Grade : B

I enjoyed Midnight a great deal. The book has an interesting plot and great characters. However, reader be warned, it is as much a history lesson as it is a romance.

Nicholas Grey has returned home to the Colonies after spending time abroad to find that his father has been hung as a traitor. It is rumored that Lady Midnight, a rebel informant, betrayed his father. Nicholas becomes determined to find the informant and exact revenge no matter what the cost. His father was an active member in the community of free black men in the New England Colonies, and Nicholas must insert himself in their ranks before he will be able to find her. He becomes a well liked member of the community and catches the eye of the local inn keeper, the lovely Faith Kingston.

Faith is in fact Lady Midnight, but it was not she who betrayed Nicholas' father. She toes a dangerous line, collecting information from the British and sending it to the rebel forces. She has always been a dutiful daughter, working herself to the bone in her father's inn, but she finds that she is in the unique position of collecting information from the British soldiers who stay for the night. Her father, a staunch Tory, eventually discovers her activities and throws her onto the streets. Nicholas takes her in and the two of them begin to fall in love as the country rips at the seams with the coming of the inevitable Revolutionary War.

The book has a very, very slow start. The story is told from an unusual perspective, that of the free African American men and women who fought for both the rebels and the English during the Revolution. Because the community is so small, the factions between the two sides are magnified, and Faith and Nicholas find themselves in danger from those they love best. Faith must decide what she loves more, her family or freedom from the British. Consequently, the book has great tension and a very interesting plot.

However, it isn’t until about the middle of the book that it really gets interesting. The first half is consumed with a history lesson on the demographics of the community and the historical issues concerning them. Though the plot moves slowly, both Faith and Nicholas are great complimentary characters. Faith possesses all the necessary qualities to be a successful spy, and Nicholas is tough enough to save her from precarious situations. An appealing cast of characters, who add depth and interest to the story without stealing the show, supports the couple and the plot. One of my few complaints was the minor misunderstanding about who had betrayed Nicholas' father to the British. I have a pretty low tolerance for misunderstandings between main characters that are evident to the reader but not to the characters, and I found the one in this case to be distracting.

I enjoyed Midnight and look forward to reading more from Beverly Jenkins with the hope that she maintains the great story with a little less history lesson next time.

Reviewed by Jacqueline Owens
Grade : B

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 7, 2011

Publication Date: 11/2010

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