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Today is a review for a book that I really, really liked! Lord Midnight is written by Donna Cummings. She visited the blog to talk about highwaymen in Historical Romance. For a link to this post, see the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on this great story!
Lord Midnight by Donna Cummings
Published: Dec 22, 2011
Source: I received a copy of this book from the author to read and review
GABRIEL DeVAULT, a dashing highwayman, lives to avenge himself against the uncle who stole his title and tried to kill him as a child. One night’s robbery yields unexpected riches when his uncle’s spirited bride-to-be falls into Gabriel’s arms. Now his plans for vengeance include seduction of the innocent miss, in the home that once was his own.
MARISA DUNSMORE is blackmailed into wedding the cold and calculating Edmund DeVault, Lord Westbrook, to protect her beloved aunt. When her attempts to escape the upcoming marriage fail, she turns to the man she knows as Lord Midnight, entrusting him with her love, and her future.
Soon Gabriel must choose: saving the woman who stole his heart, or destroying the man who stole his life.
So….Where to start with this book??? Some time ago I received an email from Donna asking me if she could do a guest post. I said sure and when she suggested writing on sexy highwaymen, I thought – sure thing, we don’t have enough sexy highwaymen in regency novels! I was so intrigued by her guest post that I had to move up Lord Midnight to the top of my TBR pile so that I could get to it faster. Just look at that cover! Isn’t it just stunning? This book just had to be read!!
Lord Midnight is Gabriel DeVault, the proper Lord Westbrook – the only problem is that he’s supposed to be dead because Edmund, the current Lord Westbrook strangled him so that he could steal the title. Guess he should have done a better job at the strangling part…..Gabriel was saved by a family retainer and has been living a life in the shadows ever since as part of a band of highwaymen. Now that he is older, Gabriel is the leader and is well known for his gallantry to those that he robs. He’s just bidding his time, waiting for the perfect time to reclaim his title from his nasty uncle. This timetable is stepped up when one of the coaches that he robs contains the soon-to-be bride of his uncle’s. He can’t let his uncle marry her! And the story continues from there.
Gabriel or Lord Midnight, as Marisa calls him, is a dashing fellow! He slips in and out of his former house to visit Marisa during the night. Marisa is being coerced to marry Edmund and looks at every opportunity to escape not only the house, but her marriage.
I loved this book – it has a dashing highwayman, an evil uncle with a nefarious plot, a beautiful damsel that needs rescuing….sort of, and a whole host of colorful characters. This book is written in such a fashion as to keep the reader turning the pages – long into the wee hours to finish! Just a great, great story. “Grab Lord Midnight and be prepared for a fun historical romp. It has all the ingredients needed: a damsel in distress, a hero disguised as a villain, and a villain disguised as an honorable man; love, passion and misunderstandings to overcome.” – Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
I wanted to include an excerpt from this book to give you an idea of what it is like! I’ve included the follow, which is actually an excerpt from Ms Cummings’ guest post! Enjoy!
Here’s a scene where the heroine, Marisa, has had to decide quickly who is villainous, and which man she can actually trust. She’s just gotten Edmund to leave her bedchamber before he could discover Gabriel was hidden in her bed:
She whirled around at the sound of the laughter emanating from her bedcovers. The interloper lounged on her bed, his head resting on one upraised hand. Her knees nearly buckled from his heart-melting smile; the devilish blue eyes peering at her left her unaccountably breathless.
She could only assume her reaction was the aftermath of her experiences, first at seeing the highwayman in her bedchamber, followed by Edmund’s unwelcome visit. Yet she had never responded to fear in this fashion, and it made her waspish.
“What do you think you were doing?”
“Hmm.” He tossed the entangling bedcovers aside. “I think—no, I’m fairly certain on this point—I was nibbling on your delectable skin.”
Her stomach plummeted, causing a tingling in regions of her body that seemed only remotely connected. How did he manage to cause such a wealth of unfamiliar sensations? Edmund had never incited such responses.
“You might have given yourself away,” she chided.
“No, my sweet, you would have given me away.”
“And well I should have,” she retorted, knowing she was unable to do so. “It took all I possessed to retain my composure.”
“A most admirable feat,” he said as he approached her. “I must offer my abiding gratitude for your brave deed.”
Marisa’s gaze roamed the wickedly handsome man. He towered over her, yet not in the menacing fashion Edmund did. His smile was not a dastardly one, not with that dimple. And Marisa was certain real villains did not possess such startling white teeth.
Would a genuine scoundrel be the cause for the fluttering in her stomach, that unsettling feeling that something momentous was about to occur?
“Have you a weapon?”
His lips twitched as he reached into his boot. “I have this wee pistol, but in my profession, it is more for show than to do real harm.”
Marisa watched as he replaced the gun.
“I do not possess the nerve to place the loaded thing into my boot, for I am dashed fond of my toes.” His theatrical grimace made Marisa laugh. “And you could be safe in the next shire in the time it would take for me to ready the shot.”
“Are you frightened of me, angel?” He lifted one of her curls with his index finger.
“Not of you, no. Had I known of the pistol’s proximity earlier, however, I might have prevailed on you to dispatch my betrothed.”
He raised his eyebrows in an exaggerated fashion. “A bloodthirsty lass. Perhaps it is I who should be frightened of you.”
Marisa laughed aloud. “I am the spawn of the devil. Or so Father has told me time and again. Unfortunately I cannot convince my father that the commotion attributed to me is not my fault, at least not due to genuine sinfulness.”
“Indeed.” He twisted her blonde curl about his finger, as spellbound as he had been during the robbery. “Perhaps it is because you are afflicted with other character defects as well.”
“I will admit that my quest for knowledge has often led me down paths avoided by the fainthearted.” Her curiosity could not be contained a moment longer. “Why are you here? Should you not be on the roadways?”
“I am a different sort of highwayman,” he answered.
“Then you could take me with you! I could ride with you, just until I am so far away from here that Lord Westbrook is unable to find me. You would not need to concern yourself with me any further.”
“It grieves me to refuse such a delightful invitation, but I fear I must.”
“Why? I shall be no trouble. And I shall not sound the alarm against you. I have proven myself in that regard already. Twice in fact.”
He studied her for several long moments. Hope and fear mingled together in those long moments of indecision.
He did not frighten her. Perhaps it was because her instincts assured her she would come to no harm with this man. He had had numerous opportunities, when he had stopped her carriage, and again when he had entered her bedchamber. Yet he had not availed himself of any, even when she was at the most vulnerable.
In truth she viewed him as an ally, unlike her traitorous brother. She could not pass up this chance to flee, to rescue Aunt Althea from the dire fate that awaited her if Marisa were to fail. It was not likely the highwayman would continue to appear each time she sent a prayer heavenward, asking for deliverance, so she had to avail herself of this opportunity.
At last he shook his head. “I cannot bring you with me. It is much too dangerous.”
“It will not be dangerous, I assure you. I am an excellent horsewoman.”
“It is dangerous for me as well,” he said. “I have already tempted Fate more than is wise this evening. I must leave, and I must leave you behind.”
“Of course,” Marisa said, ducking her head, feeling the heat rise in her cheeks.
What had she been thinking? It had been a reckless notion, one she would have left unexpressed were it not for the need to take quick action. She was grateful he was a highwayman, and thus possessed of the chivalry to deny such a wild request.
Doesn’t this sound great? Go get a copy and take home a dashing highwayman for yourself!
- Celebration of Highwaymen! Guest Post & Giveaway by Donna Cummings (sugarbeatsbooks.com)