This entire book felt like a preview to its successor, Prince of Dreams. Almost like it was written as an afterthought. Luke and Tasia's story is compelling, but the conflicts are resolved too quickly and with minimal drama. I expected more from Kleypas, who is a great author. Still, if you are a Kleypas fan, you should put this on your list.
mediocre. My least favorite Kleypas in quite a while. Overbearing and insufferable hero...very hard to like. Crippled by a lukewarm storyline and a slow moving plot. Try Dreaming of You, which is excellent and by the same author, instead.
Though not stellar, Again the Magic, another Kleypas, was also better. This wasn't even as charming as the Wallflowers books - at least the characters in that series were likeable, and the dialogue more entertaining - and less stilted and irritating. This was yet another book where I felt the heroine, the "exotic beauty" could have done better - after all, I wouldn't have the crabby b*stard, so what the heck is she thinking?
A little background first: I love Regencies. And I definitely love Lisa Kleypas books. There are a quite a few that have found a permanent home on my bookshelves, and get re-read on a regular basis.
Sadly, the kindest word I can come up with for this book is "clunky". The less kind words I can find are "distressing", "unpalatable", "squicky", and "unreasonable". If this were SBTR, I'd give this book a D. I finished it... but not out of enjoyment.
The romance unfolds in a very disjointed, unbelievable way. We have no idea why the heroine changes her mind about the hero, she just does and they tumble in to bed. The epilogue adds approximately nothing to the book. The age differences between the hero and heroine, as well as the hero's daughter and the character that seems to be set up for her future love interest are fairly large, and get in to very squicky territory. The villain has a complete and total change of heart, unrealistically. All of the characters may as well be cardboard for how much depth they had.
I really wish I had liked this. I definitely did not.
Russian Noblewoman Anastasia Kaptereva has been arrested for the murder of her fiancee after being found unconscious near his body with a bloody knife in her hand. Faking her own death, she escapes from her prison and makes her way to England where she finds a position as a governess to Emma Stokehurst. Lord Lucas Stokehurst has agreed to give Tasia a job for a month as a favor to a friend. He is a stern man who finds his only joy in his daughter. But after getting to know Tasia, Lucas may have found a woman he can love...at least until her past catches up with her.
This story started out very slowly and dragged through the middle. I had a hard time warming up to Lucas Stokehurst. The last part of the book was a little more interesting and sets up the next book in the series. My rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars.
This has all the outward earmarks of a romance novel, with a beautiful young Russian noblewoman, wrongly accused of a crime, who flees to England, where she takes a post as governess to a brooding, tortured nobleman. But it does manage to avoid the worst of the cliches until the (non)climax, which is infuriatingly illogical.
Midnight Angel is the story of Tasia who, though of royal birth, must escape execution from tzarist Russia.Spirited away to distant kin in England, she desperately seeks a remote refuge to protect loved ones who risk their lives to save her. She finds herself in the lowly position of governess to the "tween" daughter of Lord Stokehurst- Luke: long-widowed and VERY clueless as to raising a rebellious chit on the brink of womanhood who's driving him NUTS! He's soon lusting after the mysterious woman whose attitude and regal bearing deny her lowly status, yet is doing wonders for his troubled daughter they both hold dear. Luke's smitten, but she's in total denial, fearing for ALL their safety, knowing that she cannot prove her innocence in the murder of the hated man she was to wed.
Kleypas as always explores well-researched & unique settings rich in history, using complex (and sensuous!) characters who deny deep emotional fulfillment until it enflames them (yum ;~D ) With retribution closing in, how will Luke & Tasia find a way to free her from guilt & fear and the passion they can't deny?
Beautiful, protected Anastasia Kaptereva was about to make a brilliant marriage to the wealthy Prince Mikhail Angelovsky. The problem is she's killed him. At least she was found unconscious near his body with the bloody knife in her hand. In 1870, at the beginning of this promising, evocative novel, she escapes from a St. Petersburg prison and almost certain execution to England, where a relative finds her a position as governess to Emma Stokehurst, the 12-year-old daughter of Lord Lucas Stokehurst. While Anastasia is haunted by the murder she can't quite remember, the Stokehursts are haunted by the fire that deprived Emma of her mother and Lucas of his wife and his hand. In Anastasia, Lucas finds new love, while Anastasia finds not only love but some promise of protection-at least until her past catches up with her.
"A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to escape the gallows. And now she must flee. In disguise and under a false identity she finds unexpected sancturay in the arms of a handsome and arrogant yet gallant British aristocrat.
Lisa Kleypas is a fabulous writer.
From Back Cover: Lord Lucas Stokehurst is captivated by the gentle grace and regal beauty of "Miss Karen Billings", who appeared seemingly out of nowhere and now stands demurely before him. Enchanted, the gallant, haunted widower impetuously offers her a position as governess to his young daughter, taking the lady of mystery into his home. But "Miss Billings" has another name, Anastasia, and a dark past that pursues her still. Condemned for a crime she cannot remember, she barely escaped the gallows. And now she seeks shelter in the arms of a man devastated by tragedy, a man who must now defy society and the forces of vengeance to keep his lady safe and their bold new love alive.
If you liked this book.....don't read this. Rant ahead. You have been warned.
Taisa was found guilty of a murder she has no memory of. Sentenced to death, she manages to fake her death and travels to England to take refuge with her cousin and her husband. She finds employment with a friend of theirs as a governess to his 12 year old daughter.
I love LK books. This sounded like my cup of tea. Well, this sucked ass instead and I found myself still reading. It was like that car accident that everyone slows down to look at, because you can't not look at it!
Their ages. I was fine when I thought she was 22 to his 34. Then I find out she's really 18 and her closeness in age to Emma (Luke's daughter) is brought up. A lot. I wasn't crazy about reading about the hero having sex with someone else. I didn't believe in their romance. At about 20% in and they don't like each other to about 40% in and they are in love. Give. Me. A. Break!
I HATED Luke. He is mean, inconsiderate, stupid (there's still a kidnapping!), and overall Alpha-asshole. This is a description of his for Taisa: "She was sly, mysterious, haughty....all the qualities of a car. He hated cats." There's the confrontation with Tasia when he dismisses Nan for getting pregnant- but the baby daddy gets to keep his job. "Luke strode around his desk with a snarl, catching the front of her bodice in his large hand. She gave a whimper of fear. Luke shook her briefly, like a dog with a rat. You obey me without question." It goes on to say how turned on he gets holding Tasia off the ground. "There was a responsive ache in his groin....."
Then there is this before the fall in lust (oops, I mean love). "He had deliberately ignored her. Beneath his cool self-possession there had been something tightly reined and threatening."
Then (yes there's more) the threat of assault and rape: "I'm coming to your room tonight," he said after one particularly heated episode..." "I'll lock the door." I'll break it down." and this towards the end: "I'll tough you whenever and however I want," Luke said harshly. "Don't push me too far, Tasia...or you'll regret it." "He won't beat me," Tasia said, though privately she had her doubts." Luke's a catch don't you think?
The best thing about this book was Emma. I read some reviews for her book and I'm not going to read it since I think I will have similar issues with it. I won't be reading LK's earlier books. This sucked ass.
Before reading this book, I didnt think Lisa Kleypas was capable of writing a stinker. MIDNIGHT ANGEL proved me wrong; this book is disappointing. I kept wondering, What was she thinking?
Tasia is a member of Russian royalty who has been convicted of killing her fiancée. People help her escape her pending death and spirit her away to England. A cousin helps her get a job as governess to Lord Lucas Stokehurst for his daughter, Emma.
In the first half of the book, Tasia is a deeply religious woman who sounds more like Mother Theresa than a breathing-and-living person. Lord Stokehurst is still deeply in love with his dead wife although he has a mistress. It seems a bit strange that Stokehurst is still grieving 9 years after Marys death; he swears he will never marry again.
It doesnt take long for Lord Stokehurst to change his mind and decide that he loves Tasia and wants to marry her. They have wild nights of passion a bit strange for a deeply religious woman to jump into bed so quickly with a man nearly twice her age. She also knows he has a mistress.
The character Emma is a saving grace of the book. She is precocious and charming. Emma loves her father and seems to know everything that goes on in her fathers life (including info about his mistress). Later, she has no problem accepting her governess as her new mother.
Luke Stokehurst vacillates from tender lover to overbearing brute. Tasia begins the story as a pious woman and later tosses that aside to become a wanton lover of Luke.
The story was inventive and unique. However, the main characters dont explain why they change so radically. The book just doesnt flow smoothly; hold on, its a bumpy ride. 2.5 stars
A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to avoid the gallows. And now she must flee. In disguise and under a false identity, she finds unexpected sanctuary in the arms of a handome and arrogant yet gallant British Lord-who must defy society to keep her safe...and overcome a tragic past to claim her as his own.