Setting: London, England, 1820
“Our sister is marrying a vampire.”
When the ever practical Caroline Cabot first hears those words from the lips of her fanciful youngest sister, she accuses Portia of having a wild imagination.
But when she discovers their sister Vivienne is actually being courted by Adrian Kane, the mysterious viscount rumored to be a vampire, she decides to accept his invitation to a midnight supper and do some sleuthing of her own. To both her delight and her dismay, she soon finds herself falling under Kane’s bewitching spell.
After all, what’s a proper young lady to do when her sister’s suitor arouses more than just her suspicions?
After Midnight, the first book in the Cabot series, is a tongue-in-cheek mix of vampire story and historical romance. It’s a delightful blend of surprise plot twists, charming characters, sparkling dialogue and humour.
Enigmatic, charming, seductive and passionate, Adrian is definitely a hero to make your heart beat faster. I couldn’t help adoring him for his unwavering love for his brother, Julian. It’s wonderful to see how protective he is towards Caroline and the sacrifices he is willing to make to keep her safe. I smiled at his obvious jealousy when he finds Caroline and Constable Larkin chatting:
“I must say, Constable Larkin that you are in dire need of either a valet or a wife”.
“Which position are you applying for, Miss Cabot.”
At that resonant growl, Caroline glanced over her shoulder to find Adrian Kane looming over the chaise. He was glowering down at them with little evidence of his “notorious charm”.
Caroline is smart, practical and outspoken and it’s obvious she loves her sisters and would do anything to see them happy, even forfeit her own happiness. She feels guilty over her attraction to the man her sister loves but Ms Medeiros resolves this obstacle in a surprising but satisfying way.
I did figure out the truth about Adrian before the big revelation. If you read the dialogue between the characters carefully, then as David Frost used to say on the TV series ‘Through the Keyhole’ – “The clues are there”. What I did enjoy was watching the other characters’ reactions when the true situation is revealed.
If I have one criticism, it’s that I found the sexual tension between Adrian and Caroline somewhat lacking but the love scenes are deliciously sensual, particularly the mirror scene.
Ms Medeiros’s books always have a rich array of secondary characters. There’s brooding Julian, fond of spouting Byron; spirited Portia, with the overactive imagination; beautiful, serene Vivienne; Constable Larkin with the abominable fashion sense and Duvalier, the suitably menacing villain.
There is lots of humour in this story as well and here’s one of my favourites…
She (Caroline) was unknotting the scarf, fighting the urge to strangle her sister with it, when a pungent aroma drifted to her nose. She leaned forward sniffing at Portia’s skin. “What on earth is that stench? Is it garlic?”
Portia stiffened. “I should say not. It’s simply my new perfume.” Sticking her nose in the air, she swept past Caroline, trailing the earthy scent behind her.
This is another well-written, engaging and funny historical romance from one of my favourite authors.
SENSUALITY RATING : HOT
Read January 2012