A ROSE AT MIDNIGHT by Anne Stuart
GENRE: Fiction/Historical Romance
SETTING: England/France, 1803
MY GRADE: F
FROM PUBLISHER: Once a daughter of the aristocracy, lovely Ghislaine "Gilly" de Lorgny lives for the destruction of Nicholas Blackthorne—the notorious rake she holds responsible for the cruel loss of her virtue, family and fortune. Now that the rogue has reentered her life, she seizes the opportunity to enact a poisonous revenge—but is abducted by the dashing villain before the deed can be done.
Held prisoner in a secluded hunting lodge, she steels herself to resist the sensuous punishment her captor has promised—only to be betrayed by a heart that aches with desire for the handsome, tormented blackguard. For only in her enemy's arms will Gilly know the exquisite passion that can heal all wounds...and the rapture of a love powerful enough to restore a fallen woman's honor and a scoundrel's nobility.
SPOILER SUMMARY: This is about Ghislaine 'Gilly' de Lorgny, 28-ish, French, brown hair, brown eyes and fair skin. The hero is Nicholas Blackthorne, 35, dark hair, blue eyes, English. Gilly is working as the cook for Nicholas' cousin Ellen, who lives at Nicholas's home. Nicholas discovers Gilly working there. They'd known each other thirteen years before. Ghislaine wants to murder Nicholas because she feels he's responsible for her parents deaths by hanging. So when he arrives, she poisons his food and he becomes violently sick for three days. Nicholas's valet Taverner 'Tavvy' tells him he thinks Ghislaine poisoned him but Nicholas doesn't believe him. So days later when he's well, Ghislaine poisons his rum and his milk. She delivers his food to him and he eats it right in front of him. When he says he's going to give the milk, which he thinks may be poisoned, to her dog, she tells him not to. He then asks her why she's trying to kill him and she tells him it's because he killed her parents.
Nicholas comes up with a stupid plan to kidnap her and take her to Scotland. Nicholas recently wounded someone in a duel so he also wants to get away while the scandal dies down, not knowing that the wounded man, Jason, has died. So the two of them and his valet Tavvey travel to Scotland and hid out in his run down hunting lodge.
Ghislaine's employer and Nicholas's cousin Ellen and her brothers friend Antony 'Tony' Wilton-Greening chase after them! Tony wants to marry Ellen but she doesn't know it. So the entire novel is them chasing after Ghislaine and Nicholas. Ellen and Tony finally get to Nicholas's lodge but they've already fled to Holland. While there, Ellen and her kidnapper Nicholas begin to have feelings for each other. She tells him that she became a prostitute at the age of seventeen. Someone named Malviver sold her to a brothel and she'd only had sex with TWO men all those years. That, to me, is totally unbelievable. Years later she saw Malviver and when he asked her for oral sex, she stabbed and killed him... or so she thought. Nicholas LAUGHED when she told him that.
Back to the present, she and Nicholas were at a party and they ran into a man who she'd had sex with years before named Wrexham. When she last saw him, she'd smashed him in the head with a chamber pot. He told Nicholas she was a slut, thinking she was still a prostitute, and later Nicholas ended up killing him in a duel just for that comment. When he tells Ghilslaine that, she tells him that she loves him and they have sex. While all this is going on, Ellen and Tony have decided to get married.
Ellen and Ghislaine go to France and Tony and Nicholas go to England. Out of nowhere, Malviver shows up to kidnap Ghislaine. So they're on their way somewhere and out of the blue, again!, Tony appears and he and Nicholas chase after Ghislaine. Tony ends up stabbing Malviver to death.
The epilogue has Ghislaine and Nicholas rebuilding his lodge in Scotland and she's pregnant.
MY THOUGHTS: This book was about nothing at all except Ellen and Tony chasing after Ghislaine and Nicholas, then catching up with them at the end. Seriously, that was it. Boring, boring, boring. And one really absurd part was when they were still in Scotland and not getting along, they had a picnic outside! I still don't know why Nicholas kidnapped her in the first place. I didn't like Ellen or Tony and I don't like them being featured throughout the entire book, begining to end. This really was a book about two couples, both of which I cared nothing about. I just thought this was a stupid book and I honestly can't figure out how it got published. I give it two thumbs down.