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Review: Midnight Kiss Anthology

20 Oct


Midnight Kiss by Robyn Carr, Jean Brashear and Victoria Dahl
Mass market: $7.99
Harlequin (October 2010)
ISBN: 9780373837434

The Midnight Kiss anthology was created by combining three stories written by contemporary romance writers. It goes on sale Oct. 26, 2010. The three stories introduce the possibility of love as three couples attempt relationships. I’ll break my review of the book into three mini-reviews, complete with favorite lines from each.

Midnight Confessions by Robyn Carr

Favorite Lines: “I could be paralyzed, you know. I hope I was hallucinating, but were you actually taking my picture as I fell?” (p. 33)

It’s been a year, but the humiliation of being stood up at the alter surrounds Sunny Alter like a worn bathrobe. She has no intention of getting involved in a serious relationship again and is licking her wounds in the small town of Virgin River. Drew Foley learned to make the best out of life even after he was dumped by his fiancée. After visiting family he decides to stop at Virgin River’s only bar, Jack’s Bar, for a little company on New Year’s Eve. As he walks inside he sees a beautiful blonde sitting alone and makes a snap decision to get to know her better.

It’s been quite awhile since I visited Virgin River. I loved the town then and this installment reminded me why. Virgin River is an ideal town where everyone knows everybody, but it’s so filled with love that you can’t help but wish you lived there too.

In Midnight Confessions, her addition to the Midnight Kiss anthology, Robyn Carr gives readers enough background to satisfy series readers, but not overwhelm one time visitors. Jack from Virgin River is there, as well as Nathaniel and Annie from Carr’s contribution to That Holiday Feeling anthology. “The price of admission” to the first annual New Year Eve Celebration Party is a resolution. The resolutions are combined in a pot and before each guest leaves they grab one which gives them a new goal to work toward. This is important because Drew’s resolution is one everybody should live by.

Midnight Surrender by Jean Brashear

Favorite Lines: “If only real men were like the ones you write about in your romance novels, Fee.”
“You’d never let them be alpha male, shark girl.” (p. 110)

Jordan Parrish is a man eating shark stuffed inside a woman’s body. She doesn’t believe in marriage or that love is forever despite watching one of her best friends thrive as wife and mother of five. When her friend Marly attempts to play matchmaker, she bucks and does her best to run Irishman Will Masterson off. Ian has other ideas. He sees the loneliness in her eyes and can’t resist trying to make it go away.

Jean Brashear has written a few romance novels for Harlequin, unfortunately I haven’t read any of them. After reading the wood working scene (like Ghost only with wood instead of clay), I think I might read something else she wrote.

Reading Midnight Surrender reminded me of the movie P.S. I Love You. It could just be the biting bantering which takes place between an Irishman and American woman. But it’s more of a feeling I got as I watched two people have foreplay with words. If Brashear wanted to write a story that reminds people that childhood events can have unknown effects on adults, she succeeded. Midnight Surrender shows the healing ability of love, but has a heavy chick lit feel.

Midnight Assignment by Victoria Dahl

Favorite Lines: “She had to slide past his back to fit into the crowded room, and her arm tingled where it rubbed him. The tingle spread through her whole body, like fingers dragging down her skin, but Elise ignored it. The chemistry was…a phantom.” (p. 229)

Elise Watson works for the FDIC. She is a hard woman who needs to be in control and that control has helped her climb the ladder to her position as team leader. But she’s not in control of her feelings toward her second in command Noah James. When the two are forced to work together in Omaha, Nebraska, they will be given a chance to revisit the past and the possibility of making a future together.

Victoria Dahl is the author of several historical and contemporary romance novels. She is not new to novella writing either as is shown in her story Midnight Assignment. In the short story, Dahl maneuvers two would-be lovers into an intimate situation and lets the characters discover if they are compatible or not.

I really didn’t care for this story. It was well written, but I jut couldn’t relate to the characters at all. I felt like smacking Elise as I watched her make mistake after mistake with her budding relationship. I didn’t connect with her at all. However, at the end of the story I was surprised by the way Elise seemed to turn into another person with one single life altering decision.

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