Lord Midnight

Donna Cummings
Lord Midnight
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Donna Cummings
Release Date
December 2011
Historical Romance

Gabriel DeVault, a dashing highwayman, lives to avenge himself against the uncle who stole his title and tried to kill him as a child. One night's robbery yields unexpected riches when his uncle's spirited bride-to-be falls into Gabriel's arms. Now his plans for vengeance include seduction of the innocent miss, in the home that once was his own.

Marisa Dunsmore is blackmailed into wedding the cold and calculating Edmund DeVault, Lord Westbrook, to protect her beloved aunt. When her attempts to escape the upcoming marriage fail, she turns for help to the man she knows as Lord Midnight, entrusting him with her love, and her future.

Soon Gabriel must choose: saving the woman who stole his heart, or destroying the man who stole his life.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Aug 08, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
290 people found the following review helpful
For all those lamenting their mundane lives, look no further. With dashing highwaymen, dark plots of revenge and lively adventure, LORD MIDNIGHT is an enjoyable read with a great pair of lead characters. Though the pacing of the novel wasn't as even as I would have liked, this was a quest and a romance that I enjoyed right to the final paragraph.

When he was a child, Gabriel DeVault had everything, including his title, taken from him by his fearsomely jealous uncle. Left for dead, Gabriel has transformed himself into a skilled and infamous highwayman, driven by his loss and anger, and craving nothing so much as revenge against his uncle, Edmund, now Lord Westbrook.

Marisa Dunsmore has been blackmailed into wedding the older, and decidedly unpleasant, Lord Westbrook by her father, who has threatened to throw her beloved aunt in Bedlam should Marisa not comply. Determined to escape, Marisa is perversely overjoyed when a gang of highwaymen holds up the carriage bearing her to Lord Westbrook's estate, led by the most strikingly handsome man Marisa has ever seen. His interest in her seems genuine, and even upon reaching her betrothed's estate, the highwayman follows Marisa, bringing her the promise of adventure, friendship, and the first real love she has ever known.

When Gabriel's plans to ruin Marisa to spite his uncle lead to the kind of passion Gabriel has only dreamed of finding, he faces the most terrible of decisions—abandoning his life's dream of revenge, or leaving Marisa in the arms of a madman. And when his plans unravel before his eyes, Gabriel realizes that he might not live long enough to regret his choice.

I love a complex hero, so I fell for Gabriel nearly as quickly as Marisa did. Reckless and delightfully wicked in his role as a highwayman, beneath the mask, Gabriel is a genuinely caring, lonely man. He has told himself for so long that revenge is the romantic, heroic, and the sure answer to his lifelong isolation after his uncle's attack that he has never considered another path in life. It isn't until he met Marisa that Gabriel ever considered there might be another way, and my favorite part of the book was watching him learn to become a true hero for her.

Marisa is a refreshing heroine, and the perfect antidote to Gabriel's increasingly dark moods. She is headstrong and self-reliant, but sensible about her obligations and her duties, and the struggle between marrying Edward and rescuing her aunt is never forgotten. I also liked that her adventurousness and innocence went hand in hand. Her desire for Gabriel felt as genuine as her lack of understanding that she was a pawn in his game.

I thought the scenes between Gabriel and Marisa were utterly endearing. Both of them have spent so long wearing masks (literal and figurative ones), and playing the roles expected of them that they have begun to lose something of themselves. In each other's company, however, those expectations fall away, and their connection is tangible. There were times when the narrative sometimes held up the story with repetition of plot points or descriptions, and it did slow the plot down more than I would have liked in places. These characters are strong enough to let their own words and actions speak for them, and it felt at times that the narrative was holding them back.

Nevertheless, I found our hero and heroine genuine and likeable, and enjoyed watching them overcome their obstacles and fears to claim each other's hearts. Edmund is certainly a formidable opponent, though not quite as vivid for me as Gabriel and Marisa. All in all, this was an enjoyable read, and though it was my first Donna Cummings book, I doubt it will be my last.
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