Fire at Midnight
by Lisa Marie Wilkinson
After being drugged, Rachael Penrose awakens to find herself shackled to a bed in the infamous Bedlam insane asylum. Her malicious and greedy uncle has concocted a terrible conspiracy in order for him to gain Rachael's and her brother James's inheritance. He needs them both dead, but things don't always go as planned, especially for the bad guy.
Sebastien Falconer is obsessively searching for the woman responsible for the death and incarceration of his men. He is a french smuggler, and he and his men are blamed for crimes that are not their own. That of wrecking. A most heinous act, which lures unsuspecting ships out at sea into treacherous areas so that they crash, allowing these wreckers to pilfer through the debris, stealing the merchandise that may be aboard. This woman just happens to be Rachael Penrose.
As the story progresses and events unfold, so too does a violent storm which only adds to and enhances the twists and turns of the plot, shifting the story this way and that. Some people are not who they appear to be. Much deceit is dolled out between the characters, keeping things complicated. I highly enjoyed the complexities and intricacies of the characters as they make their way through the lies and vengeful plots.
I originally thought the romance between Sebastien and Rachael lacked, but I think looking at Fire at Midnight as more of an action adventure with romantic elements allows it all to work out perfectly. The two must learn to trust the other and look past the lies and scheming to find and embrace what's brewing between them.
I did think there were a few too many POV's from characters that had small roles. I'm always tossed about writing negatives in a review. I may have found the POV's to be a negative, however I did very much enjoy the overall experience of reading Fire at Midnight!
I will look for Ms. Wilkinson's next release, Stolen Promise, in March 2010! Sounds full of intrigue and more deception!
Cultures clash and passions collide when a stunning deathbed confession by his mother sends Evan Dark, the heir to a sprawling South Carolina plantation, to England in search of information about the father he never knew. Evan, a Southern gentleman who has just discovered his Gypsy heritage, cannot resist coming to the aid of a spirited young Gypsy woman, Jade of the Lowara tribe, who has fled her campsite after learning she is betrothed to a brutal clansman. Jade's father, seeing an opportunity to bring wealth to his clan through marriage, pegs Evan as Jade's bridegroom. Coerced into marrying Jade, Evan intends to abandon his Gypsy bride and return to South Carolina, where his own fiancé awaits him, unaware that she has been unfaithful with his half brother and that the two are plotting to challenge Evan’s status as heir. When loyalties divide and fortunes are at risk, will Jade's love be enough?