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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (28 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479214663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479214662
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,484,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

COURTNEY MILAN Courtney Milan's debut novel was published in 2010. Since then, she's been a New York Times and a USA Today bestseller, and her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She's been a RITA finalist and an RT Reviewer's Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance. Her second book was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010.Courtney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a medium-sized dog, and an attack cat. Before she started writing historical romance, she experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating... Having given up on being able to do any of those things, she's taken to heart the axiom that those who can't do, teach. When she's not reading (lots), writing (lots), or sleeping (not enough), she can be found in the vicinity of a classroom. CAROLYN JEWEL Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award winning author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master's degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has three cats and a dog. Also a son. One of the cats is his. SHERRY THOMAS Sherry Thomas burst onto the scene with PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008. Her sophomore book, DELICIOUS, is a Library Journal Best Romance of 2008. Her next two books, NOT QUITE A HUSBAND and HIS AT NIGHT, are back-to-back winners of Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award for Best Historical Romance in 2010 and 2011. Lisa Kleypas calls her "the most powerfully original historical romance author working today." Her story is all the more interesting given that English is Sherry's second language--she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's SWEET SAVAGE LOVE with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aysha on 7 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i loved the way each of these stories were connected through place. my favourite read so far. each story was well written following a good plot and weaving the characters with skill and empathy
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arianna on 24 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the Courtney Milan [though it wasn't her best] and the Carolyn Jewel but wasn't quite so keen on the Sherry Thomas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
(3.5 stars) Interesting concept makes for enjoyable reading. 1 Sept. 2012
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this because the Sherry Thomas story here is intended to complement Ravishing the Heiress (Berkley Sensation), her latest HR that I thought was excellent. Not only that but the other 2 contributors here are also favorite HR writers. How could I miss with that line-up?

The 3 stories by the 3 authors are unified by taking place at the same house, Doyle's Grange, in the hills of Exmoor, each at a different period of time, but the 3 stories are only tenuously connected to each other. I wish the connection had been slightly stronger but they are tied together better than some other collections I've read.

Jewel's "One Starlit Night" begins the trilogy and takes place in 1813. The H and h here meet again at Doyle's Grange 10 years after they were teenaged lovers. He had married in the meantime and is now widowed and she has remained single. They learn some truths about themselves and about what caused their separation and must accept that it's OK to reignite that young love. Well, I'm a fan of Jewel's work but this story was truly tedious. For every 2 steps forward that the plot advances, it seems to take one step back. Actually it seemed like 1 forward for 2 back, but that's impossible because it did finally reach its HEA. (2 stars)

Courtney Milan's story "What Happened at Midnight" takes place in 1856 and there's an actual story here. There may even be a bit too much plot for the number of pages but it was an interesting read. Here we have an engaged couple separated by the heroine's father's embezzlement and the hero's belief that she is involved. She flees, they meet up again at Doyle's Grange where she is lady's companion to an unhappily married woman and he is checking out drainage systems nearby. Well, I don't think I've made that sound very interesting but I don't want to say much about the plot. It's more fun to read it not knowing where the story's going. (3.5-4 stars)

Now we come to the reason I downloaded this: Sherry Thomas's "A Dance in Moonlight". This one, of course, also takes place at Doyle's Grange, this time in 1896. The widowed heroine here is nursing her wounds after being rejected by her first love, Fitz of Ravishing the Heiress. He tells her he's in love with his wife and will not leave her. Then she meets a gentleman who looks so much like Fitz that she kisses him passionately, thinking Fitz has changed his mind and come to Doyle's Grange for her. After the first embarrassing moments, they begin a friendship, first through conversations and then through letters to each other. The development of their romance is nicely done. My problem with the story is that the heroine here does not seem much like the same character in the previous novel. This one is too nice and not as spoiled as she was previously, IMO, and so for me this story didn't much complement the novel. (3.5 stars)
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I'm Sorry- I Just Didn't Like It 2 Sept. 2012
By Lola Jane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this for the Sherry Thomas story but I read the entire thing. Each story was surprisingly grim or had grim elements. I started disliking the anthology on the first story. I found the second story mildly interesting. And, I hated Sherry Thomas' story (because I hated the heroine in her earlier appearance in Ms. Thomas' "Ravishing the Heiress"- you just can't like all the heroines all the time.) All in all, I would not recommend this anthology.

The anthology's device tying all the stories together is a country cottage called Doyle's Grange. There are also some crossover appearances of characters from one story into another but they are fairly superficial appearances.

The stories are well written but I didn't like the actual stories themselves.

1. One Starlit Night by Carolyn Jewel. I didn't like it. I think if an author is going to include a seriously traumatic backstory, then that backstory had better be addressed well and sensitively. A short novella simply doesn't have enough room when you also include a scheming/annoying(?) sister-in-law, a rotten engagement, and star-crossed lovers. Especially, when the traumatic backstory is the crux of the whole matter. And, as to my personal preference, I don't take such matters so lightly that they can be throwaway backstories to be simply resolved with a single line of dialogue. Either it was a really big deal or it wasn't. If it wasn't, then please keep it out of my entertainment reading. I get very suspicious that these traumatic backstories are included only to add gravitas to a story that doesn't necessarily need any gravitas. Sometimes, a romance is simply lovely as a romance. And, an interfering parent CAN be enough of an obstacle to young love. You don't have to add soul-screaming trauma to double-down on the fact that the hero and heroine were cruelly parted in the backstory.

2. What Happened at Midnight by Courtney Milan. The best story in the anthology, though, I found it kind of mild. Maybe, I was simply deadened by the previous story. This one, too, had its share of grimness. It kicks off with a suicide and detours through an emotionally abusive marriage that is scary. Courtney Milan did an excellent job of creating a marriage between secondary characters that was totally creepy. He didn't abuse her physically but it seemed not too far of a stretch to assume he would be eventually shooting her as soon as he lost his last marble. The hero and the heroine just weren't as interesting as the totally loony, creepy secondary character. I will say, I thought the heroine's reaction to her "incredibly brief brush with poor judgment" was unnecessary and made her seem a bit... idiotic? She didn't do anything wrong. The other guy was attempting to abuse her. She used her wits and trounced a potential abuser- Yay her! Except, she thinks she ought to punished over that? And, this was still the best of the bunch.

A Dance in the Moonlight by Sherry Thomas. I take full responsibility for disliking this one. I didn't do my research. I saw Sherry Thomas' name and I ordered it without looking at a single fact about this story. It was the dreaded Mrs. Englewood's story. I already hate Mrs. Englewood. I thought she was a whiny cow in her appearance in "Ravishing the Heiress". A story that starts off with Mrs. Englewood grieving over her lost Fitz is bound to just irritate the life out of me. And, in true Sherry Thomas plot-device style, the story has a case of mistaken identity and doppelgangers. Although, to be honest, Mrs. Englewood redeemed herself a little. She cared for her deceased husband, she loves her children, and she mostly conducted herself with candidness even though she acted like a lunatic in the beginning of the story. Thomas did a pretty good job of taking the lunatic Mrs. Englewood- she really was not a sympathetic character in her last appearance- and rehabilitating her character, a bit. All the same, I could have done without another visit with this character.

Edited to Add: Why can't Sherry Thomas' Mrs. Englewood be like "Mansfield Park"'s Maria Bertram and Mrs. Norris? Weren't they forced to repair to a cottage in France where all they did was irritate each other? Sometimes, villains just need to be villains. I hate how everyone feels so sorry for Mrs. Englewood and treats her with such care but, as a character, she is not really worthy of it? Everyone is writing her letters because they worry about her? Milly is all worried about her? Bah! In her story, she is all lovely and sympathetic to Mr. Fitzwilliam's former wife but, in her last appearance, she was a total harpie to Millie.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not Up to Usual 1 Sept. 2012
By lovesbooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in MIDNIGHT SCANDALS, the e-book anthology by Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, and Carolyn Jewel. Courtney Milan's THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR is just about a perfect novella, so I know that she can do it; unfortunately, like her last novella (THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER), she didn't do it in this one either. Oddly enough, the minor characters are the real strengths in two of these novellas.

SOME mild SPOILERS. . . SOME mild SPOILERS

Courtney Milan's selection explores a wife being totally controlled and isolated by her husband in a time when there is no legal solution. He refuses to allow her to do anything, read anything, go anywhere, see anyone (including her brother), all in the guise of "protecting her." Frankly, if she had been the heroine, it would have been a more interesting book. Instead, our heroine is this woman's companion who is running from her father's investors who were defrauded. As you would expect, the writing is fine, but it lacks Milan's past depth and detail. This book is just forgettable, that's all. Grade: C

A lot of Carolyn Jewel's selection are sex scenes which were so usual that I pretty much skimmed them. The h&h were lovers years before, but he married someone else for reasons that come out in the book. His regret for marrying his wife because he was never able to love her (being still in love with the heroine) did not endear him to me, but instead, just made him seem weak. You know how you want to scream at a couple in the midst of the Big Misunderstanding, "Just spit it out, already!"? Well, I wanted to scream, "Just ask her to marry you, you dolt!" The real strength in the novella was the heroine's sister-in-law, who uses her weakness and voiced concern to control people around her "for their own good." Grade: C-

This novella contains the sequel to Sherry Thomas's RAVISHING THE HEIRESS, giving a HEA to the woman in the previous book who was the original true love of that book's hero. It begins with her reeling at Fitz's (the previous hero) decision to stay with his wife. To me, the choice of a heroine who was totally willing to break up her former lover's marriage, regardless of its impact on innocent people--including her own children--was insurmountable. The hero of this novella is a man who looks almost exactly like her former lover. To give Sherry Thomas credit, she pulls this "ugh" coincidence off pretty well. However, I just didn't like the heroine and I hated the premise, so this novella did not work for me. Grade: C-
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Midnight Scandals 3 Sept. 2012
By A. Schreiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
One Starlit Night by Carolyn Jewel

Viscount Northword or Crispin is back home after ten years. Much has changed, especially his relationship with his childhood friend and lover, Portia Temple. Years and years ago, they fell in love, but they had some dark days together, as often young people do, and had a bad break. Crispin went on to leave and marry someone else, while Portia has been stuck in her small town, living with her brother and his wife Eleanor. Eleanor wants great things for Portia - London, fancy gowns, and a husband that will further her husband's career. Portia just wants out of her brother's house, and has decided to marry a local man, even though it is not a love match. But now Crispin is back, and seeing him makes them both realize, the past can't be forgotten.

This is a story of two people who loved each other so much, but had so much hurt between them for the past ten years that it is too scary and too hard to think of ever having that love again. They are now ten years older, and wiser and while they set out just to be acquaintances, the attraction between them can't be ignored. Carolyn Jewel writes the best sexual tension and romance scenes. So sensual and always wicked. Portia is so unhappy in her life, that it takes a great deal of effort on Crispin's part to show her how to be happy again. They have so much history together, some memories so good, some memories so devastating. But they slowly work through them, and Crispin finally convinces Portia to take another chance. Really well done romance. Rating: B+

What Happened at Midnight by Courtney Milan

Mary Chartley's father embezzled money from his partnership and then took his life. And now his partners want to be paid. While some of the partners are threatening Mary harm, the youngest partner John Mason comes on the scene and demands at least a little respect for Mary. They met because of this partnership, and have been courting. But John really needs his investment back, needing the money to support his young nephew who lost his father. John is certain Mary must know what her father did with the money, but she refuses to speak. With nothing left to do, they part ways.

Eighteen months later, John by chance hears from someone that Mary is now a lady's companion in Doyle's Grange. He heads up there to confront her again about the missing money, but he finds a different Mary. This Mary is working for a man who is imprisoning his wife and Mary. She is not being paid, and is living in forced isolation. As he starts to learn the truth about the embezzlement, John and Mary start a new friendship, and a plan to escape the man she works for.

Courtney Milan writes a novella with such a different feel. John is an expert at drainage fields, and finds himself outside, tackling problems and finding solutions. Mary is in a prison of sorts, while she is not being physically abused, she is not getting a salary, and she can't leave the house. The oppressiveness of their situation is really intense. And while John is protective of her, he is also not the alpha, growly type so it takes a little time for him to analyze everything.. He soon learns the truth about the missing money and that Mary is desperate for a friend. I like how their relationship is mended and trust slowly builds. This novella takes place years after Carolyn Jewel's but set in the same world. We see the characters briefly from her novella here and the crossover.works nicely.

This one isn't as sensual as Carolyn Jewel's installment, but I found it romantic nonetheless. Rating: B

A Dance in Moonlight by Sherry Thomas

Taking place right where Ravishing the Heiress ends, Isabelle is heart broken over losing not only her husband in India, but then a second chance at love with Lord Fitzhugh. By chance she meets Fitzwilliam, who not only shares the name of `Fitz' but looks exactly like him. So much so, Isabelle kisses him thinking it is the Fitz that just broke her heart. The new Fitz also lost his wife, so as the two of them start to talk, Isabelle realizes she has a lot in common with the new Fitz, even if he does remind her so much of the man she lost.

I didn't like this contribution. I didn't like that the new Fitz resembles the old Fitz so much. It just felt weird. This is a super short story, and not enough time is spent to give us a believable love story. This feels almost like an extended epilogue to Ravishing the Heiress with a quick love story thrown in, rather than Isabelle and Fitz's story. Didn't work very well for me. Rating: C-
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyed 18 Sept. 2012
By Under The Covers Book Blog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

3.5 Feathers
Midnight Scandals
by Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas and Carolyn Jewel
(Fitzhugh Trilogy # 2.5)

I bought this book because a. the cover is gorgeous and b. I love Courtney Milan. Overall, I thought the premise of how this anthology was set up was very clever and interesting. See, all the short stories in this anthology revolve around one particular house. Different people and different times, but always around Doyle's Grange. I really liked that. But I can't say the same for all the stories in this anthology and they are better analyzed individually.

One Starlit Night by Carolyn Jewel - 4 stars
Amazing! Just amazing! I have found another author I want to read everything she's ever written. This story was sweet and romantic and hot. The writing was beautiful. I felt like I wanted to keep making status updates on my Goodreads progress because there were so many beautiful quotes. Viscount Northword used to live next door to Doyle's Grange and was very good friends with Portia and her brother all through childhood and adolescence. Then he fell in love with Portia and although we don't know what happened at the beginning or the whys, they do not end up married. He goes on to marry someone else and move away. Years later Portia is now to be married to another man and the Viscount returns. And all their feelings for each other come right back. Their love trascended time and I could feel it from the very first page. They didn't fight it, they didn't abide by propriety of the times. They got kinky in the stables. And they got a second chance at happiness. Loved, loved, loved!

This time they were old enough to know there was nothing new in the world and that they did not invent passion, they created it between them, and it was that which was new and rare.

What Happened at Midnight by Courtney Milan - 4 stars
Courtney Milan did not disappoint either. Being that she was the reason I wanted to read this, her story was good. Even though now it's my second favorite of this anthology. Mary is hiding out after the death of her father and the charges of embezzlement against him. John is looking for her for two reasons. He hasn't stopped loving her, after all they were to be married. But also, he's the one responsible for finding her, and hopefully the money, that was stolen from his nephew. He finds her, maybe by accident, at Doyle's Grange where she had taken a position as a lady's companion. John is a bit rough around the edges when you would expect someone with his money to be a bit more refined but that worked really well for me. He knows he wants Mary but he still respects her, even though he really doesn't deny his attraction even when he thought she was a part of the theft. A bit less hot than the previous read but still a lot of sexual tension and sparks between these two.

A Dance in Moonlight by Sherry Thomas - 3 stars
I didn't get it. I couldn't connect with the character or the story all that much. I didn't have a problem with the writing for the story itself was nothing that got me crazy. Isabelle's husband died and she comes to Doyle's Grange in the hopes that she could finally be with the man she loved before, Fitzhugh. But Fitzhugh is married and doesn't want an affair. Except that one day a man knocks on her door and looks SO MUCH like Fitzhugh she thought he had come back and changed his mind. Except it wasn't him. Fitzwilliam was also staying nearby and had seen the beautiful woman before and was enthralled. He even continues to be attracted after she jumped his bones because he looked like her ex-lover. I guess I really never bought the fact that Isabelle loved Fitzwilliam instead of using him as a substitute for Fizhugh, and I couldn't understand how he could get over that. I haven't read the series that this short story goes along with, but I don't think it relates that much to the Fitzhugh's that you couldn't read this first. But I do have to say that, even though I have Sherry Thomas' series on my TBR and I'll get to those eventually, it's not going to the top of the list.
Purchase Links: Amazon
Posted by Under the Covers at 06:45
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Labels: 3.5 Stars, Carolyn Jewel, Courtney Milan, Fitzhugh Trilogy, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Francesca, Reviews, Sherry Thomas
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