"Complex and Heartwarming Ghost Story"
I have to admit that my experience with ghostly romances is
more limited than with some of the other paranormal
categories. I did love Lynn Kurland's STARDUST OF
YESTERDAY and was therefore very enthusiastic about
reading OF MIDNIGHT BORN. I was not disappointed. True to
Ms. Cach's style there are dark elements but the ending is
Clerenbold Keep, England 1350
and her youngest brother, alone, had
survived the black plague that took the lives of her
family, servants, and livestock, only to face certain
starvation if unable to come up with a plan. Serena is
overly tall, her face scarred by an accident. There is no
money for a dowry, nor to outfit her remaining brother
Thomas to fight under the Black Prince. However Serena does
have a plan, a desparate plan.
After much debate she convinces Thomas to help her capture
their nearest neighbor, a wealthy widower, whose sons had
all perished. True the man was older, ungainly, and
unappealing, but Serena wants to live and someday raise a
family. Hugh Le Gayne is not pleased, but after several
days under lock and key without food and water, he
capitulates. The results are deadly.
Le Gayne's Fortress 1809
Fresh from London, ten
year old Alex Woden is spending the
night camping with his country cousin Rhys in the ruins of
a haunted castle. An observant lad, Alex notes a lone tree,
a strange version of cherry with unusual blossoms, and he
hears a feminine voice whispering his name on the breeze.
It is Alex's first time camping out of doors. He is stout
hearted, but Rhys regails him with tales of the resident
ghost, who legend says killed her husband on their wedding
night. It is said that this is the reason the place came to
be called Maiden Castle. Alex's imagination takes hold,
making sleep difficult to attain. Waking in darkness, he is
attracted to a streak of light, a shooting star, then more,
After attempting to wake his cousin, Alex climbs the
highest fragment of ruin to watch. Out of the corner of his
eye he catches a different, closer glow. Started by the
vision with long pale hair reaching out to him, he looses
Maiden Castle August, 1832
Alex Wodin is back.
The castle had since been rebuilt and
Alex, now an amateur astronomer, has set up an all male
household within it's walls. A widower, he has shut away
all dreams of love and family. He sleeps by day and
observes by night, trying to unlock the mysteries of the
universe by charting the path of shooting stars.
Serena does not like trespassers. She had grown adept at
ridding her property of them in the past. This time should
be no different. She especially dislikes men and has no
qualms about terrifying servants. Alex is different
though. After his attempts to reason with her result in
mayhem, he chooses to ignore her efforts to disconcert him.
She is intrigued by him. He is handsome, wise, and kind.
She remembers the child he once was. There is much she can
learn from him.
Indeed her pranks are using up her energy. Materializing
causes the most strain. Serena knows that at this rate she
will soon leave this existance, but Alex is becoming
increasingly dear to her. He is worth any price. She knows
this happiness is fleeting, for even now a dark force seeks
to hasten her departure from this world.
Alex's family is worried about him, isolating himself in a
dreary castle, surrounded by men. They want to see him
happily remarried. How can he tell them the only woman he
wants has been dead for five hundred years?
I found Alex as charming as Serena obviously did. For
herself Serena was a woman ahead of her time, ahead of
Alex's time in fact. She is independent, self sufficient,
with an incredible thirst for knowledge. Her personality
spurs her to act first, consider later. There is
considerable humor within the tale to balance the darker
moments. I enjoyed the complexity of this story immensely,
and perhaps being a scientist myself I enjoyed watching
this rational man accept that which is not rational for a
most happy conclusion.
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 23, 2001