Stroke of Midnight
Andie J. Christopher’s début romance novel begins on New Year’s Eve in Miami. Growing up in a traditional Cuban family, Alana Hernandez has to work harder and longer than the men in her family to prove that she deserves a top place in the family business. It’s particularly galling because her brother Javier, recovering from a bad breakup, is drinking and whoring it up and not pulling his weight at work, leaving her to fix his messes. When her sister, Carla, convinces her to put the paperwork aside and head to a club with her for New Year’s Eve, she’s determined to make the most of it. A sexy stranger, no names, and a one night stand that knocks her socks off is just what she needs to forget her trouble for a few hours. But Cole Roberts, a retired Navy SEAL is hoping he’ll see the woman who rocked his world again, and gets his wish when she turns out to be none other than his buddy Javi’s little sister.
This book has a fairly typical romance storyline. Javier warns Cole away from Alana but that doesn’t stop them from indulging in a secret (and very heated) affair. What makes the book unique is the Cuban flair. The setting of little Havana, the cultural expectations, the food, and the politics make for an enjoyable background. The family dynamics are a key part of the plot; Alana’s relationship with her parents and siblings drive the story and make her affair with Cole the one place where she can be free to express herself fully. Naturally there is conflict to overcome, and the reality that Cole is only in Miami for a vacation while he sorts out what to do next with his life means he has to make some decisions that will affect both his and Alana’s future. It’s a good solid start to this series, and I’m looking forward to reading more by this author. And one last note – I’m counting this one as my first success in the ‘New to Me’ challenge I picked to do this year from The AAR Seventeen in 17 Reading Challenge. (I’ve yet to decide if I’ll mark it as ‘debut romance’ or ‘new to me’ author, since it technically qualifies for both!).