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Stroke of Midnight Mass Market Paperback – 4 Jun 2013

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 345 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (4 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250002095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250002099
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.4 x 17.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 781,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Probably 2.5 stars 20 Jun. 2013
By Sandy Milan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm loathe to give this book 2 stars as it would then fall in with other books that I've really hated. That said there are some basic flaws in this story. A brief summary is that the h's father was accused of stealing a precious diamond from a duchess 10 years prior to the beginning of this book. The H was courting the h at the time and when he found some matching earrings in the h's father's desk, the H tried to arrest the father. The h then attacked the H in order to free her father and the H was scarred on his cheek in the process. The h and her father fled to the continent and lived quietly and in almost poverty for 10 years. Shortly before the beginning of the story the h's father travels back to England to confront someone about the theft of the diamonds and he is then killed.

Our story begins when the h travels back to England to try and find her father and she discovers that he has been killed. She decides to try and find the killer and clear her father's name. She through a sequence of circumstances ends up as the companion to the h's aunt, which allows her access to the ton, so that she can carry out her investigation. She has 2 possible suspects in mind, one being an old enemy of her father's. The h doesn't realise that the senile old lady she is employed by is the H's aunt. Very quickly she meets up with the H again and they have to deal with all the unresolved issues of their relationship from 10 years before. The H doesn't want her investigating and is still firmly believes that her father was guilty.

The flaws in the story made it difficult for me to truly enjoy the book and they kept mounting as the story progressed. The main one that is impossible to overcome is the way the H didn't look into the theft right from the beginning and just insisted that the h's father was guilty. He made no effort to try and find out if he'd been framed. His stubbornness about this made it very difficult for me to like him. In fact it makes him come across as a bit obtuse.

Secondly there is no possible way that an Earl would get involved with a disgraced commoner and then marry her. He never had much integrity to start with so why would he marry her? Much more believable would have been to take her as his mistress. He faced major scorn from the ton for taking on a disgraced woman. We as readers are never persuaded of a deep and abiding love between them because if there had been then he'd have moved heaven and earth to try and clear the h's father of blame, or at least he would've tried for the h's sake. His actions 10 years later don't ring true as we know he's had mistresses etc and we are never shown that he pined for the h. We also know that he only began courting her in order to investigate her father.

Thirdly the h forgave and fell in love with the H so quickly and never needed any apologies from him, despite the fact that his actions brought about 10 years of difficulty for her and her father and ultimately led to the father's death. He deceived her from the beginning and had never declared love for her in the past, she only assumed that he had honourable intentions.

There are other minor problems but these could've been overlooked if the issues mentioned previously weren't such major stumbling blocks.

If you can overlook these flaws then you may well enjoy the book. The author writes well and the book is not full of grammar and spelling mistakes.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Never underestimate the power of a well-fitted shoe 7 July 2013
By Mary Gramlich - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having been ruined, betrayed, and hiding for so long Miss Laura Falkner is a master of blending in and not being seen. But when her return to London is forced upon her to figure out what happened to her father, Laura realizes it is long past time she resolve the issue that drove her from London. False accusations of being a jewelry thief were falsely thrust upon her father and haunted him his entire life. London was the city that cursed him and eventually took his life but Laura will give him back his good name.

The problem is a job is required, staying away from anyone that might know her, and never seeing Alexander Ross, the Earl of Copley. She loved this man with every ounce of her being and he betrayed her and her father without regard for the truth. The only problem becomes he is the nephew of the woman she has been hired to serve as companion to, great.

Alex is going to dog Laura's heels until she tells him what she is up to, because he knows she would not try to solve a crime that has been resolved. However, what will be the resolution to the burning desire he has had for her all these years. Alex never made any excuses about what her father's scandal did to their relationship, but his love for her has never gone away.

When they are reunited and happiness is on the horizon will Laura let go of the past and start to build her future with Alex, or throw it away on crime solving. Alex says he is helping her solve the mysteries of the past and present but is he using her or is it Laura that is being untrustworthy?

Olivia Drake writes a fresh and fast-paced book that will have every reader unable to stop reading.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Hmmmm...MAJOR SPOILERS!!!! 19 Jun. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, I think she forgave him way too fast. After finding out he was wrong at the end, she was kind of like "we all make mistakes". He took TEN YEARS of her life away from her. She could have been married with 3 children to him if all he would have done was investigate a little bit more when she asked him to 10 years ago. I mean, my gosh, it took her 2 months to find the real people and he was supposed to be the one on the mission. How incompetent is he??? While she was hidden in the mountains for 10 years being the virginal miss she is, he was a recluse who still slept with other women. I think if he loved her as much as he says, he would have looked for her or tried to clear her dad's name at the beginning or he would have been faithful to her because she did not leave because she did not love him, she left because he made a snap, wrong decision that costed her a lot and him nothing. He was praised for finding the culprit but was not dishonored at being wrong!!!!!???!!! He talks about keeping his godmother's secret for honor but does honor not play a role in wrongfully accusing a man and punishing the woman you supposedly love??? I did feel how much he loved her after a while in the story. He told her he wanted to marry her from the start but he had an inner monologue that he tells himself that he needs to seduce her for his lust. He also acts like he wants nothing to do with her at the start but then says that he has always wanted her and always will. He contradicts himself repeatedly and it gets annoying. The faults with this book lie squarely with the hero!!!
Ridiculous and Implausible But Main Couple Had Great Chemistry Together (B- Grade) 2 Aug. 2013
By Katie Babs - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stroke of Midnight by Olivia Drake has a very implausible, somewhat eye rolling setup, but based on the main couple and their interactions and dialogue, I did enjoy this regency romance that's high on the fluff and has overall lacking drama and tension with the plot. Laura, the heroine's father, was accused of stealing some priceless jewelry and fled away to Portugal so not to be punished for the crime. The hero, Alex, the Earl of Copley at the time of the crime was courting Laura, but it was a ruse on his part at first to investigate her father. When she catches Alex confronting her father, Laura stops Alex by using a pair of scissors and scars his face. Laura feels betrayed by what Alex has done, but she ends up coming in contact with him again when her father goes back to England and is then killed. Laura, under a different name and her very inventive disguise of wearing glasses, pulled back hair and a dowdy dresses, returns to London to find her father's killer and who framed him all those years ago. With the help of Lady Milford, a kind Samaritan, Laura gets a job as a companion to the elderly Lady Josephine. What Laura doesn't realize at first that Lady Josephine's nephew is Alex. Now Laura is cornered because she thinks Alex will want his revenge, but to her surprise, he wants to help her clear her father's name. They team up together to investigate those in the Ton who wanted to ruin Laura's father. But Laura is clueless to Alex's attraction and dedication to her that has remained steady all these years. His "revenge" is to make Laura his wife regardless of her scandalous reputation and help her regain her rightful place in English society.

Those looking for light and fluffy will probably enjoy Stroke of Midnight. It's the second book in the Cinderella Sisterhood series, but other than Lady Milford being a type of fairy godmother to Laura, and mention of special slippers that fit Laura oh so perfectly, there isn't much of a fairy tale feel here. Alex is a sweetheart and not to angsty, although there are some mentions of how horrible his parents were. He and Laura do have nice chemistry together. Their investigation skills, as well as the entire mystery plot overall was laughable and close to silly as you can get. I will say I was surprised by who the villain was and their reasons for everything.

Stroke of Midnight is a predictable story, and a forgettable one, but with engaging characters and a typical HEA I look forward to in my historical romances.

Lovely Story 24 Jun. 2013
By Lily - Lily Pond Reads Blog - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
3.5 Stars!

Thank you St Martin's Paperbacks for providing me a copy of this finished book exchange of an honest review!

After her father's get's accused of stealing the Blue Moon Diamond, Laura watches her entire life change within a blink of an eye. Just when things looked like they were going great with Alex the Earl of Copley, she walks on him trying to apprehend her father and take him in for the stolen jewelry when a matching set of earrings is discovered in his desk drawer.

Now her father is dead, murdered on the streets on London and Laura comes back into the society that shunned her father in disguise. Her intentions are to find the real thief and murdered and bring justice to her father and clear his name. Little did Laura expect was to end up being a companion to Alex's aging aunt with memory issues thanks to the London's matchmaker who stuck her there.

Stroke of Midnight did have a bit of Cinderella undertones in it, which I think is what made this book that much appealing to me. I really enjoyed Laura, a girl who lost everything but would stop at nothing to bring down one of the society elite's in order to prove that her father was innocent. Alex of course has his own doubts simply of what he knows about Laura's father, which strains their relationship. Plus it doesn't help that in order to save her father from Alex, Laura just happened to cut his cheek and leave a scar to remember her by.

I loved that it had an interesting story line, love, mystery, betrayal and eventually a wonderful HAE. The sparks between Alex and Laura still remain after so many years, but both of them feel a bit betrayed by the events that have unfolded and it's going to take some healing of the heart. When Laura gets caught in the scandal of her own doing, she must marry Alex in order to save face with the society if she still wants to be able to find the man that accused her father.

I really liked both Laura and Alex. It was so sweet how she took care of his Aunt. Both obviously have issues they need to resolve, especially since Laura thinks that Alex is only marrying her out of lust and that so she can bare his heir. The mystery had me guessing until the very end and the culprit ended up being someone I wasn't expecting but it all fell into place nicely and was a very enjoyable read!
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