Midnight with the Marquess


Inspired by her brother’s tender marriage, Rachel has vowed she will only marry a man she is in love with.  However, so far, true love has remained elusive. When Major Evan Drake, Marquess of Merrick, overhears Rachel’s naïve conversation about the mechanics of kissing, he offers to give her a few lessons on proper seduction. As a child, Evan witnessed his father murder his mother, cementing his belief that love doesn’t exist. But after only a few clandestine midnight rendezvous with Rachel, things escalate into something far more serious than a few lustful kisses. Just as Evan surrenders his heart to Rachel, she abruptly ends their arrangement, sending Evan spiraling into a dark, desolate place. 

Although the story addresses a few heavier topics, the author works to keep the overall tone on the lighter side.  The writing is solid, as is the pacing, and the chemistry between Evan and Rachel sizzles and burns. Rachel’s spunky and determined character shines bright, but Evan falls short of becoming the quintessential tortured hero. He isn’t cold enough, nor is he sinister enough to pull that off. In fact, he comes precariously close to appearing woeful, more than hardened or bitter. Countless romance novels have featured the scarred, wounded hero, or a main character providing lessons in seduction. This is fine if a fresh spin is tossed into the mix, but sadly, this one fails to elevate an all too familiar plot. That said, the story does have a bit more substance, and is a solidly constructed novel, that is both emotional and entertaining.

Julie Whiteley