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Spencer, Duke of Morland, comes at balls at the precise stroke of midnight, dances with one girl and then leaves. At one such ball, Amelia, in a foul mood because of her brother's recklessness at gambling, steps forward herself and claims him for a dance. Their story then begins. They are thrown together for the whole night because a friend of Spencer's has died and Amelia goes along with him to break the news to the man's sister who is her friend. Come morning, Spencer offers to marry her. Amelia is a really admirable character. She holds her own and is not covered by Spencer's rudeness. Spencer is a character that I understood as the story progresses. Initially, I wanted to dislike him and put away the book. But then layers were pealed away and I started to like him. The author has done a very good job. I am taking away 1 star because I wanted the story to end sooner. It seems dragging sometimes but then picks up again. It is a good book, all said and done.
Lady Amelia d’Orsay is having a difficult time trying to keep her brother Jack from ruining himself but is determined to help him and draw him back into the family fold. Planning a get-away to their old family home, Amelia is shocked to learn Jack owes a considerable sum to Spencer Dumarque, the Duke of Morland. Aghast and the trip is no longer possible, determined to correct things Amelia takes matters into her own hands and corners the so-called Duke of Midnight for one of his Midnight dances, what she doesn't count on is the unexpected turn the night would take, one that leads to her saying I do with a man she barely knows.
During the course of denying his feelings for Amelia and trying to maintain a distance, Spencer is at times quite an ass, abrupt it's no surprise that Amelia at times takes his words as criticisms. That being said there were also moments that had me smiling and at times the byplay between Spencer and Amelia was rather entertaining.
Despite myself I did overall enjoy this book and can see myself re-reading this at some point even if it's not as prolifically as other Tessa Dare books. At times the angst that manifested felt unnecessary.
The beginning of a trilogy about the three (warring) members of the Stud Club - foppish rake Julien Bellamy, scarred war hero Ashworth and the enigmatic Duke of Morland - that remain after their founder Leo Chatwick is killed. This is the story of the Duke of Morland and Amelia D'Orsay. The opening is absolutely fabulous as the spinsterish Amelia waits at a ball for the enigmatic Duke of Midnight (aka Morland) who has obtained considerable notoriety for turning up on the stroke of Midnight at each ball, picking a blushing debutante, dancing one set escorting her to dinner and then leaving again just as mysteriously. Amelia's not expecting him to pick her, in fact although she thinks he's handsome she also thinks he's an insufferably arrogant self-publicist with his stupid stunt... But she discovers that her brother owes him a large sum of money and so... Circumstances collide and Amelia ends up 'intercepting' Morland while he is making his choice. He is forced to pick her and the conversation that ensues is totally priceless. Rich with wit and revelations and a smouldering undeclared desire between both of them... We discover the reason for Moreland's midnight dance routine and that Amelia isn't quite as immune to his charms as she would have hoped, especially when they are both whisked away to deal with the violent death of Leo Chatwick when Amelia insists on going along with the other Stud Club members to inform his twin sister Lily of his death.
The rest of the book totally lives up to that opening salvo, so be prepared to be swept off your feet and danced through a deliciously bright funny and at terms broodingly erotic romance... Go on, I Dare you!
I did not have high hopes for this book - especially from the corny title. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
Spencer has gained a reputation for only attending most balls or parties just on midnight, chooses a debutante to dance one dance (usually the waltz, I think) and then leaves. If you can imagine young girls sighing in anticipation, (imagine Justin Bieber fans when he was just becoming famous!) then you can imagine these debutantes! It made me laugh!
In fact, I laughed many times because the reasons for whatever the Duke (Spencer) does or says, turn out to be rather innocent reasons in the end, although most people think him affected! But talk about a single-minded male!!
Now we have Amelia, the girl who is strong in character - I have to admire her. She at least comes across as unpretentious, open-hearted and overall is steady, kind and loving - to a fault, at times. You cannot but like both Amelia and Spencer.
Oh, and a very surprising development about Claudia!
I will not get into the story of how they meet etc, but it is a good story, one with quite a unique plot and well-handled - in terms of the story. The author managed to show us the growth that takes place within the main 2 characters. The other characters were not too well developed, though.
However, although I enjoyed this story very much; there were also many faults too; language - too many Americanisms, too many phrases and words that were not used yet for the era, gaps about Claudia's college/academy and why she was not properly chaperoned. Then the first ball, what gossip it must have caused, what Laurent could have done to "save" his sister. And probably some more that I cannot remember.
If you do not mind the lingo, mistakes, holes in the story (minor), undeveloped supporting characters, and also the many sexual encounters, then it is quite enjoyable.
I loved this book! there I've said it, and now I'll have to no doubt spell out to you why I loved it so you'll buy and read this too and hopefully spread the word...
Spencer, who is the Duke of Morland is known as the 'Duke of Midnight', and the reason for this is because he turns up at a ball just as the Waltz is about to begin at the stroke of midnight, and each night chooses a young lady to dance with and then escort her into supper, at which point he disappears until the next time..All the women are agog at this and start vying for a chance to be courted and possibly be the next Duchess..the heroine Amelia, who at the age of 26 has given up ideas of romance and marriage and is quite content looking out for her 5 brothers and being a wall flower, is amused by the gossip about the Duke, that is until her younger brother admits that he owes the Duke £400 in gambling debts and has no possible means of paying, and so Amelia contrives to get him to dance with her (which makes his eyes nearly pop out), and once she gets him on the dance floor impolres him to forgive her brothers debt..This sets of a chain of events which see's them married within 24 hours of meeting and then the fun really begins.
Spencer is a man of very few words, and hates noisy society and is more of a hunter gather type of Alpha male, and he initially is mortified by the amount of talking Amelia seems to do, but soon realises that she is a kind and gentle person who actually makes him laugh and as he has been starved of that kindness in his life wants more of it...Amelia is written beautifully by Tessa Dare, she is a mature women who not only finds the goodness in Spencer but at the same time isn't scared to point out all his (in her opinion) numerous faults, and is not afraid to show emotion and feeling..
What I loved about this book is that both characters had flaws and weren't scared to speak of them to each other, and make an attempt to be a better peson for the other.. there is a lot of humour in this book and I found myself laughing out load..If I do have a criticism it's that the book isn't long enough and ends too abruptly, but I'm looking forward to the next book and hopefully Amelia and Spencer may feature at some point.
I first read a novella written by Tessa Dare and it was a perfectly pleasant read but it didn't really draw me in. Since then I've read 2 of her books based on the positive reviews, "A week to be wicked" and this one of the rogue series. I think the reason the novella didn't work as well for me, is that these books are full. She manages to create whole little mini universes full of characters that you like and want to see more of. She needs a whole book to have the time to let everyone come to life. As well there's a lot of adventure, but she manages very well not to overshadow the central romance. She's able to write with a lot of humour and both of her books that I've read made me laugh out loud at times. Theres also lots of sexual tension and good sex scenes. All in all what's not to like - humour, adventure, romance and love.
Other reviewers have told the story, and the only comment about that I will make is my sympathy for a girl who, having 5 brothers, must have been very much pushed to the wall and considered to be totally unimportant. However, her younger brother, Jack, shows his total lack of respect for her and complete self-centredness by demanding her money to get home with so that he can continue to gamble. Sadly, although she desperately wants to help him out of his self-made deep hole, she has never heard of "tough love". Apart from that, her character just shines (I wish I could be as wonderful as she is!!) What I do want to say to recommend this book is that if you enjoy Stephanie Laurens' books, you will also thoroughly enjoy this. It was a super read.
This is the first book I've read by the author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good old fashion romance, cleverly written with a lot of humour which I quite enjoyed. Will read more books by this author as I quite like her style of writing and the clever way she blends the romance with humour. Great read indeed!!
Tessa Dare has a great way with dialogue, and how dialogue is actually a driving force of narrative, i.e, not always 'showing' everything in the prose. She tends to have one more plot stream than seems necessary, though, some final obstacle that seems totally out of sync with the flow. It's made up for with the laughs!