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Saturday, December 29, 2007:
"Mine Til Midnight" by Lisa Kleypas - review

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (October 2, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0312949804
ISBN-13: 978-0312949808

A woman of modest means meets a society man skilled in the art of seduction in this captivating new novel from New York Times bestseller author LISA KLEYPAS.


When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.


Wealthy beyond most men's dreams. Cam has tired of society's petty restrictions and longs to return to his "uncivilized" Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship - but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter...

Lisa Kleypas is on my top 3 list of favorite authors, so I was thrilled that she wrote another historical after her recent departure to contemporaries. Yet when I bought the book, I couldn't get into it right away, and there wasn't really any specific reason, other than I wasn't ready for it at the time.
A few days ago I picked it up, ready to get lost in Cam's story. He was an intriguing character, one we got to see a bit of in "Devil In Winter", when he kisses wallflower Daisy. Many readers thought those two would end up together, but then Daisy had Matthew, and Cam was destined for another heroine, one by the name of Amelia Hathaway.
When Amelia and Cam first meet, it is when she comes to Jenner's to track down her wayward brother Leo and drag him home. Being a young, unmarried woman, she is accompanied by Merripen, a Romany Gypsy who was taken in by her family when they found him as a boy and who is now like a brother to Amelia. As they two approach the club, it is to witness a fight over a prostitute which is being broken up by an exotic-looking man who handles the situation with ease, then turns back to the club, only something makes him stop. As if sensing her presence, he immediately turns and looks right into her eyes. From that moment, an attraction is born.
Cam Rohan looks like a Gypsy, but is dressed like a gentleman. Half Rom, and half Irish, he is a man torn between two worlds. Having lived amongst the gentry for so long, he longs for freedom, to sleep under the stars, to let go of all the material trappings he's accumulated over time. Then he meets Amelia, a young, sensible woman with luscious curves and respectability written all over her, and it seems nothing will ever be the same again...

Amelia Hathaway is a practical person, no longer given to daydreams and wishful thinking. Having loved and lost once, she has decided that the whole concept of love to be a state of mind for those other than herself, and has devoted her life to taking care of her sisters and trying to get through to her reckless brother, who has suffered a great loss of his own. Now that the family has been elevated in status, she is struggling with her brother's irresponsible ways and fears that he's drinking his way to an early grave. Moving to Ramsay House hopefully will remind Leo of his responsibilities, and improve the family's status, as well as the frail health of her sister Win.
Soon, Amelia learns that Ramsay House is situated right next to Stony Cross Park, the estate of Lord Westcliff, friend of Cam Rohan, whom she thought never to see again. But after one disaster after another, Cam seems to appear and take care of everything, and as time goes on, Amelia finds herself leaning more and more on the strong and capable young man. And Cam decides that some things are just destined to be, even when you have other plans....

I liked this book a lot because I've been wanting Cam to find his HEA for a long time, and I think Amelia was the perfect heroine for him. But as much as I enjoyed their love story, there were a few elements that kept me from loving it completely. One is that it seems there's a distance to it, like I was reading it through a thin film of apathy, in a way. I can't really explain it except to say that it was like watching this from afar with the ability to disassociate from the story, instead of feeling like my feelings were utterly engaged in what was happening. It lacked that intensity of most of Kleypas' work, and I am sad about that.

It have have been because of my second reason for not loving it: the perfection of Cam. Seriously, has there been a more perfect hero? (Probably, I just can't think of any for this post). Cam is the hero most of us think we want, until we get him, then it's like, where are the flaws? If you've read it, maybe you can understand what I'm talking about. Right from the beginning, Cam is there for Amelia, helping her locate her brother, then he shows up for every catastrophe that falls upon the Hathaways. He's kind, understanding, and anticipates the needs of Amelia and her family almost before she does. He's also seductive, patient, and intent on pleasuring Amelia to the best of his ability, which is quite considerable. And how quickly Cam gives into the idea of marriage, despite his supposed longing for freedom. There just doesn't seem to be much of a struggle, externally or internally, that Cam has about marrying Amelia. Events fall into place smoothly, and then it is done. A bit anti-climatic, if you ask me. Maybe it's just me, but I like the angst.

Still, it's Kleypas, and even her most mediocre work makes the best work of other authors pale in comparison. I have yet to read her contemporary "Sugar Daddy" (though thanx to the generosity of an online friend, that shall soon be remedied), so we will see if she maintains her superior skills writing in a new genre. I hear she does. Really looking forward to that.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

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  1. Do you know I only realized yesterday that the little astericks were your grades? I kept thinking they were hiding something and I'd move the mouse over then to see if something appeared. Sometimes I'm a bit slow off the mark.
    I know what you mean about this one. I love Lisa Kleypas books - don't think there's any doubt about that *g* and I did really enjoy this one quite a bit - but I understand what you mean about there seeming to be a bit of a distance. And also about Cam being a bit too perfect. I would have liked to see a bit more conflict in his marrying Amelia due to his heritage. But - as you say - her books are all wonderful and I'm glad I read this one. I am very curious though to see what the link is with the same tatoos!!

  2. I haven't read anything in forever. I'm wanting Lara Adrian's new one really bad! I also want Lucy's new book. I've never read Kleypas. I'll have to pick one up some time.

  3. I can't believe I still haven't read this book yet!!! It's been in my TBR since the day it came out, but I still haven't picked it up. I keep meaning to, but then I get sidetracked. I'll have to move this on up to the top of the pile.

  4. It has been so long since i had read her, I had forgotten about Cam and his story. But I jsut checked and my library has this one so I am going to reserve it to read now. thanks for the review and reminder. :)

  5. LOL Kristie. That's just me trying to be different (a.k.a. a dork). Others use letters or numbers, I tried to use "stars". I agree, I am curious about those tattoos as well.

    Kelley! How are you and the new baby? How's Mackenzie doing? Hope you are all healthy and happy :)

    Dev, it took me awhile to get into it, and I bought it on release day too. Sometimes you just have to be in the mood.

    Kris, no problemo. LK is a huge fave of mine, and a friend is lending me "Sugar Daddy" so I'm curious to see if I'll like that one as much as her historicals.

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