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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stroke of Midnight by Robin Danner


It’s New Year’s Eve… What’s a fairy to do?

The king of the Fairies has granted his daughter Mariel one year in Regency London before she must return to their realm to be married. Several hours before midnight on New Year's Eve, a fairy is sent to fetch her home—her childhood love, Rhys. Even though part her is glad to see the dark, handsome fairy again, she knows he’s been sent by her father to collect her. And she’s not about to give up her last precious hours in the world she’s grown to love. But when Mariel learns that her father has chosen Rhys as her husband to unite their two clans, the idea of marriage sounds much more appealing. Especially once her new husband takes off his clothes and leads her to bed…

 



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This was a sweet little story, though a somewhat confusing one at times and also a bit lacking in substance. While I enjoyed the story, and liked the characters, I don't feel as though I really got to know them very much and thus never truly became invested in their tale. Still, it made for a pleasant half hour's reading.



The story opens with Mariel spending her final night in London before she must return to the Fairy realm. She is reluctant to leave, though we never truly learn why aside from the sense that she's strangely enamored of the human world and London in particular. We can only assume that a desire for independence and/or a wish to rebel against her father to whatever extent she's able to are behind her wish to remain in the mortal world. When Rhys comes to collect her, she refuses to leave until the very last moment and insists on showing him around the city.

The main criticism I'd have with this one is that I wish we'd gotten to know the characters and their motivations a bit better. They both seem interesting, and it's clear that there's some reasonably well-developed back story between them, but we only get this tiny glimpse into their lives that doesn't really tell us a lot about who they are. Deeper characterization could have really brought this story to life and made it a memorable joining of two who were meant to be together but had to overcome misunderstandings and other obstacles along the way. As it is, it's mostly just a "that was nice" kind of story. Which is OK really. Certainly I've read much worse.

I'd recommend this one to anyone who's looking for a quick, sweet read to fill a half hour or so and who isn't looking for more than a bit of pleasant fluff. If you're looking for something meatier, or need to have more than a touch of true strife in your reading, then you'll probably want to look elsewhere. 3½ stars to a nice story, rounded up where needed to fit rating systems.

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