- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345433971
- ISBN-13: 978-0345433978
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.6 x 24.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,540,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Midnight Bride Hardcover – Apr 2001
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To Kate Fitzleger, adopted daughter of the St. Leger's bride finder; Val has been her hero, confidante, teacher and friend - the man she knows she will love for all time - no matter what her adopted mother, Effie Fitzleger, the `Bride Finder' says. She is determined that Val will be hers someday and will do anything to have it happen - including braving the old tower and the lair of the legendary ghost of Prospero St. Leger to find a `love spell' to cast over Val. Kate would not believe the warnings and would disregard the legends that promised an untimely death to women not chosen by the `Bride Finder'.
Adding to this, enter an old enemy, Rafe Mortmain, whose sole purpose in returning to Cornwall, is to exact revenge upon Saint Valentine - whom he blames for all the bad things that have happened in his life, including the loss of the one true friend he ever thought he had - Val's twin brother Lance.
At the moment the determined Kate is casting her love spell another supernatural and evil event is taking place. As a result, Val turns into a real dark and nasty person and lets his lust for Kate - who he once treated with the dignity of a lady - take over - releasing the `dark side' of his soul. Kate, delighted at first, by the change in the quiet and courteous Val, comes around to finally understanding that you can't force love but would this realization come too late to save the soul of her best friend.
This book is a real page-turner with suspense filled action. Best-selling author Susan Carroll has created a magnificent series here that I hope will continue beyond this third book. The resident guardian ghost - Prospero - seems to play a much stronger role in this story only adding to the mystical feeling. Bravo Ms. Carroll you've created a most charming and wonderfully warm family of new `friends' for me!
I had a few reservations about this novel -- firstly, why was no one keeping more of an eye on Kate? Here was a young woman living in a village surrounded by her adopted family, and on one in the St. Leger family seemed to give a damn that she was trysting with Valentine until it was too late! Not very believable in 19th century England. Secondly, I found it very hard to enjoy Valentine's caveman-like mentality towards Kate. I know that he was basically under a spell, and that (for some reason) such behaviour is very popular and accepted in the romance world, but goodness if a man behaved that way in real life, wouldn't we be advising Kate to take for the hills? And thirdly, the switch of auras takes place between Valentine and Mortmain -- I found myself wishing that Susan Carroll had gone into this plot device a little more, for while I could deduce that Valentine's murderous rages was somehow linked to the darkness that he absorbed from Rafe, and that Rafe's new found compassion was something he got in exchange from Valentine, I could have done with a little more detail about how Valentine through his flashes of pain and rage came to have a little more understanding for Rafe.
What I really enjoyed in this novel however was the relationship that developed between Kate and Prospero, the St. Leger ghost. It was amusing and touching as you could see the seeds of a real friendship forming between these two. Another thing I liked about this novel was the reforming of Rafe Mortmain, sketchy though it was. I wished that had been a little more of this subplot. "The Midnight Bride" is a goodish read mostly because of its energetic heroine, Kate Fitzleger. Susan Carroll really developed this character fully and I for one was glad for this.of its energetic heroine, Kate Fitzleger. Susan Carroll really developed this character fully and I for one was glad for this.