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Ghislaine 'Gilly' de Lorgny, formerly a member of the French aristocracy, blames Englishman Nicholas Blackthorne - a man she had once idealised - for the demise of her family and her own harrowing ordeals. If he hadn't turned his back on her, things could all have been so very different.
England, 1803. Several years after their deaths, a twist of fate places Gilly in an ideal position from which to exact her revenge upon the hated Blackthorne. After all, a chef in his cousin Ellen's employ has plenty of opportunities available to exact a poisonous revenge.

Nicholas Blackthorne is on a one-way ticket to Hell. He can't forgive himself for a mistake he made at the age of 22. The consequences of turning his back on his French godfather's request for assistance for his family had proven fatal - for them. Now Nicholas can't forget the terrible fate which befell that family - and especially not that of a wide-eyed female on the verge of womanhood, who had tempted him almost beyond reason... Ghislaine... the girl-woman who had haunted his dreams and nightmares for years.

Even for Stuart, who consistently favours problematic content, this novel is quite dark. With action extending through England, Italy and France, being lightened only by the secondary romance between Nicholas's cousin and the man she has silently adored for years, A Rose At Midnight is not by any means a traditional romance: in particular, the experiences undergone by a heroine desperate to survive do not make for comfortable reading.
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on 17 March 2013
I can't remember when I last read a book that affected me as deeply as this. There were times when I could barely bring myself to continue so bleak was the narrative. Thank goodness for the secondary story line which brought warmth and humour to a very dark story. For once there is a writer who understands the true nature of the Reign of Terror following The French Revolution of 1789. A time of retribution and revenge where the peasantry suffered as much as they had under the French aristocracy. The writing is superb, the characterisation masterly and the plot caught me out many times. I can only urge readers to buy this wonderful book for in spite of its darkness it is a wonderful story of redemption, forgiveness and deep love. I loved every page.
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on 16 May 2016
I am a new fan working my way through Anne Stuart's historical fiction.I love her books. I particularly enjoy how her hero's appear to be completely immoral,irredeemable blackguards until they meet the right woman . The transformation is always skilfully dealt with though his behaviour often hovers on the border of totally unacceptable. Redemption is a recurring theme. This one is the tale of Nicholas Blackthorne whose life travelled downhill fast after a disastrous childhood and terrible decisions as a young man one of which impacts so badly on the life of the heroine Ghislaine de Lorgny. They meet again and how their relationship resolves makes a wonderful story.
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on 7 November 2014
not up to her usual standards.The rape scenes and threats were disturbing and the casual antisemitism,although consistent with the historical period was just offputting. I loved the ice series which balance dark and love but this was too dark and not convincingly loving or desirable.
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on 27 August 2014
Nicholas is one of the best 'bad-boy' heroes I've come across in quite a while. It was refreshing to actually see him being fairly evil and not just be told about it. In fact, I'd probably have given this book 5 stars but for the many silly little typing errors throughout.
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on 27 January 2015
This was an Amazon recommendation based on my liking for Laura Kinsale's books. It read it over a couple of days; I found the primary story questionable but the secondary story was both sweet and funny.
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on 13 December 2014
I love my historic romances and Stuart is right up there with the best of them for me because they're a bit more gritty in the telling. The two stories moving along side by side was a nice touch too.
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on 10 May 2013
As all of Anne Stuarts books are, it is magnificent. If you have read Anne Stuart before you will know what I mean.
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