In the Midnight Hour
In the Midnight Hour gets an A for originality if not for execution. Imagine a haunted bed. Now imagine that bed haunted by the ghost of a man who was famed as a Great Lover. Now imagine that bed in the possession of a woman who needs some tutoring to write a paper for her college Human Sexuality class. Imagine the possibilities!
Valentine Tremaine was killed by a father, outraged at Val’s seduction of his daughter. His spirit was bound to the big hand-carved bed where he died. This bed is bought by Veronica Parrish – a twenty six year old student who is finishing up her degree in accounting at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Veronica has spent the past several years working part-time jobs and studying for her degree. She is estranged from her family who think the only thing for a woman to do is to marry and have children. Veronica has not dated or pursued any relationships – she is still a virgin and is totally focused on her studies.
When Veronica buys the bed, she begins to have erotic dreams involving a tall handsome man. Gradually she begins to see the ghost of Valentine. He tells her his story and that he can become substantial between the hours of 12 midnight and 3 A.M. Veronica is having trouble with a class she is taking on human sexuality. When her assignment is to write a paper on Fifty Steps To Ultimate Sexual Fulfillment, Valentine offers to tutor her. But he will not take her virginity – he stayed away from virgins during his life and will not break that rule now. In return for Val’s help, Veronica will search for information about the young woman Val was killed over. There is some unfinished business involving her that is keeping him bound to earth.
The good things about In the Midnight Hour are the device of the haunted bed and the characters. Valentine Tremaine is a total charmer of a man/ghost. He is shown as a man who loves women, all women, but as he comes to know Veronica better, he changes to a man who loves one woman deeply and totally. Veronica is also a most sympathetic character. She is slightly plump and feels she is not beautiful. Her estrangement from her family hurts her and she is very lonely. Poor Veronica has convinced herself that she can have either a career or a family but not both. Then just as she falls in love with Valentine – well he is a ghost after all.
In the Midnight Hour was hampered by the addition of extraneous sub-plots which added nothing to the story. They just hung there like spanish moss on an oak tree. And, the attitude of some of Veronica’s friends was irritating. They seemed to find her virginity a curse and were constantly urging her to get rid of it. With anyone. Never mind love, caring or committment. I thought that was rather distasteful.
Otherwise, this was a pretty darn good book. There is just something about a New Orleans setting that brings out descriptions of hot, sultry and passionate love in a writer. In the Midnight Hour is full of sizzling sexual tension. The problem of how to have a HEA when the man you love is a ghost is solved in a very neat manner. I have not read many ghost romances, but I did mostly enjoy this one.
|Review Date:||March 2, 1999|