Yes, I know I'm a few days late. I wasn't able to post largely because the holiday madness got a little nutty. But overall, I had a merry Christmas with family and friends and that's what counts. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas. Here's my review of a light and happy historical fiction I just finished.
Summary from Goodreads
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published July 27th 2010
Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.
Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn't love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.
Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.
Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .
Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .
Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.
I'm a huge fan of historical fiction. And being something of a romantic, the idea of a fairy tale based historical fiction naturally captured my imagination. So I was quite delighted to start this read. I had never read anything by Elosia James before, but I had heard some good things about her novels, and so I was expecting greatness. I think I must have been over tired when I started this book because it struck me as ridiculous. And not a good sort of ridiculous. So, disappointed, I put it aside.
But, I did come back to this first instalment in James' fairy tales series, and I'm very glad I did! I think what threw me off initially (other than a tired and wandering mind) was the writing style. The style is light and witty, and once I got into it, I found it quite delightful. The characters are all endearing in their own ways, from the stupid but kind hearted Algie to our passionate and honourable hero, Gabriel. The women are several shades of scandalous and unashamedly so, from the simpering but sweet Victoria to our vivacious heroine, Kate. They made me laugh. They brought to mind how silly society is at times--from their Victorian? Georgian? society--to our own society today. The smart, witty banter made for a fantastic reading experience.
Cinderella is my favourite fairy tale. I think it's because it's probably the one closest to reality. After all, rising from rags to riches has been known to happen. And A Kiss at Midnight gives us a fine re-telling of this fairy tale as Kate masquerades herself as her "wicked" stepsister at the prince's castle. Naturally, Kate takes the men by storm, and the prince is not immune to her charms. I think the most wonderful moment for me was when she ran away from him and he chased after her to but could only find--you got it!--her glass slipper! I thought it was utterly heart wrenching that Gabriel clutches the slipper and says that she has undone him.
Goodreads. Kiss at midnight indeed ;)
But the best scene by far, was the funeral pyre scene! I can't possibly spoil that for you, but I thought it was a very romantic gesture of Gabriel's love, if a tad ridiculous. But then, a fairy tale needs a hero who will put everything on the line for his princess, don't they? Especially if the princess isn't a born princess. In the end, I fell in love with this story. The next in the series, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, sounds like a lot of fun, and I hope I can get my hands on it soon. Especially since it's my second favourite fairy tale.
4 glittering stars