"Stuart weaves her dark magic!"
I thought I had read every book Anne Stuart had written
but somehow I missed this wonderful one and was lucky to
find a copy recently. It another of Stuart's display of
dark genius, that utterly mesmerizes the reader to where
you cannot put it down. She catches you up from page one
and won't let you go until she puts you through an
emotional ringer. She gives you another of those Gamma-
Rogue Males that has a black heart and a blacker soul. A
man you could easily hate, but under Stuart's carefully
crafted prose, are compelled to love.
Ghislaine de Lorgny - along with numerous cuckolded
husbands - is out to kill Nicholas Blackthorne, and she
has plenty of reasons. Gilly blames the death of her
family on the guillotine and the loss of her virtue at
Blackthone's door. When Gilly was fifteen, Nicholas
visited his Godparents (Gilly's parents) just as The
Terror was sweeping through France. Gilly fell in love
with the beautiful Nicholas, and Nicholas demonstrated a
true affection for Gilly. But when her father begs
Nicholas to take her to England, away from Napoleon's
nightmare reign, Nicholas coldly dismisses him unknowingly
consigning Gilly's family to death. She escaped with her
12-year-old brother onto the streets of Paris where she
watched her parents killed on the blade. Left to see to
her brother's and her survival, the nightmare continued.
An evil man sold Gilly into prostitution and had her
brother carried away likely killed. Gilly has carried that
hatred for ten years, but finally her time for revenge has
Nicholas Blackthorne, the last of the mad Blackthornes,
has lived his life knowing his mother and father hated
that his brother had died instead of him. So, he did
everything he could to live up to the mad Blackthorne's
reputation. He lives with so many regrets, one being he
feels responsible for the de Lorgny family going under the
blade, though he makes outward jest to hide the deep self-
loathing. When Gilly's father asked Nicholas to take her
to England, Nicholas had just received a letter telling of
his father's death so he'd carelessly brushed off the man.
For the last ten years, Nicholas believed Gilly was killed
with her parents; her face has haunted his mind.
He does not recognizes Gilly as the chef his cousin Ellen
hired a year ago but he soon finds out after Gilly tries
to poison him. Instead of turning her over to the local
magistrate, he takes Gilly prisoner and spirits her off to
Scotland, then later drags her across Europe.
Hot on their heels is his cousin Ellen and Tony. Ellen has
always loved Tony but he has been more of a big brother to
her. Tony has been trying for the last two years to shift
their relationship, but fears he has left it too late. He
sees this rescue of Gilly as a means to be close to Ellen
and change her thinking toward him. Their secondary
romance makes this into two loves stories not just one.
Both stories are enchanting.
Gilly is unforgettable, her pain and betrayal stings
deeply, showing her indomitable spirit. Yet it's Nicholas,
the contrast to his outward mask, and the inner torment,
that makes this book so amazing. Nicholas Blackthorne is
one of Stuart's total bad boys she delights making you
love. The reader is exhausted after their emotional
battles. A ROSE AT MIDNIGHT is one of those books you
won't ever be able to forget. Stuart's writing is always
stunning, but it's the true understanding of her
characters and what made them what they are, goes beyond
talent;it's dark magic!
Reviewed by DeborahAnne MacGillivray
Posted August 19, 2004
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 13, 2007