Meet Me At Midnight
Thank goodness for my “Two Book” rule, otherwise I might not have tried Meet Me at Midnight. Although I was disappointed by Taming Rafe, I found Ms. Enoch’s latest effort a very pleasing read.
Lady Victoria Fontaine is better known as Vixen, and with good reason. She flaunts her flirtatious behavior in the face of the disapproving faces of the ton, keeping her throng of suitors enamored. More and more, though she is realizing that all this flirting has become quite boring. It all comes to an end the night she meets Sinclair Grafton, the Marquess of Althorpe (better known as Sin) who is home to find out who murdered his brother, Thomas.
When Sinclair and Victoria are caught in a passionate kiss at a party, her enraged father vows they will marry. Although neither of them are meek enough to accept orders, nevertheless the marriage takes place before all of Society. They both have reasons for the marriage; Victoria is intrigued by the one man she can’t boss about like a puppy, and Sinclair needs Victoria as his wife in order to be accepted in Society so he can sleuth and and find his brother’s killer. It also doesn’t hurt that they are deeply attracted to each other.
As they discover their mutual feelings go beyond the marriage bed, Victoria and Sinclair also make discoveries pertaining to the identity of the killer. But there are problems. Should Sinclair go along with all the neat pieces of evidence and see Victoria’s former suitor (to whom the evidence points) thrown in jail and hanged, or should he believe Victoria when she tells him that it may be someone else entirely? Furthermore, since Victoria is quickly able to see where each of Sinclair’s friends fits into the greater scheme of things, is it better for him to take advantage of her perceptiveness and maybe, endanger her in the process, or simply push her away and do all the sleuthing himself?
I liked it that Sinclair and Victoria actually talk to each other. Whenever Victoria discovers something that may aid Sinclair’s quest for the killer, although she may try to figure it out on her own, she will also tell her husband. Her realization that Sinclair is actually a war hero confirms her belief in his character and she launches herself wholeheartedly into helping him solve the murder. This is no dizzy heroine who guesses the killer’s identity and tells no one about it while putting herself at peril; she expects Sinclair to take her seriously and to consider her his equal. She does buy into a last-minute Little Misunderstanding, but thankfully, doesn’t let it drag too long before she realizes the truth.
Sinclair, meanwhile, starts off thinking his wife’s best asset – aside from her allure – is that she can gain him entry into her exclusive circle of friends, one of whom he believes is the killer. Slowly he discovers that behind the frivolous façade she presents is a warm, caring woman, one who doesn’t back down but who would put up with condescending louts and much more for his sake. Eventually Sinclair discovers it angers him that others may see his wife as no more than a flighty girl to be appeased with silly compliments, and when it comes to trusting her intellect and ability, the former spy finds that he does, much to his surprise.
Although this is not a very original plot, and the killer’s identity not a complete surprise, I found Victoria and Sin refreshing, and very much enjoyed the journey. I’ll be looking forward to Ms. Enoch’s next book.
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