Thursday, 8 December 2011

Book Review: A Midnight Dance by Lila DiPasqua

Title: A Midnight Dance
Author: Lila DiPasqua
Series: Book #3 in the Fiery Tales series
Release Date: 2 August 2011
Number of pages: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle Store, Book Depository

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: Inspired by the tale of Cinderella, Lila DiPasqua weaves a steamy historical romance that offers a glass slipper, a dangerous deception, and an impoverished beauty determined to find her handsome prince…and make him pay.

Born into wealth, Sabine Laurent and her twin sister lived a life of luxury, their father’s prestigious theater frequented by royalty and aristocracy alike. And Sabine dreamed of her own prince charming—the devastatingly handsome Jules de Moutier.

That was before the loss of her sister and her family’s fall from grace—a disaster Sabine blames on the Moutier family. Now, with her father’s death, she’s inherited his sizable debt and the responsibility of caring for his spoiled long-time mistress and her two wastrel daughters. But with the help of Sabine’s eccentric friends—the balance of her father’s acting troupe—she plans to get very close to her old infatuation, seduce the rake—and make away with a fortune.

Resisting Jules’s skillful mouth and tantalizing touch is not as easy as Sabine supposed. And soon she must decide whether her desire for vengeance is greater than her desire for her one and only prince...

Originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

My Thoughts: I am a fairy tale-aholic. Love them, can't get enough of 'em. I loved Lila DiPasqua's previous two steamy fairy tale anthologies, but was a bit miffed Cinderella (my favourite fairy tale) was missing. So of course when I heard that the reason for that omission was that Lila was planning on writing a full length novel retelling of it I couldn't have been happier and more excited! (Just telling you so you can picture the heightened state I was in when I finally got my hands on a copy of A Midnight Dance. :-)
With A Midnight Dance Lila DiPasqua is back weaving a gripping and enchanting historical romance story inspired by Cinderella.

Sabine is our heroine, a worthy Cinderella as she is loyal, brave and independent. I found her intelligence, courage and strength of character wonderful. Sabine and her family have lost everything: their wealth, their lands and their renommé due to the evermounting taxes, and Sabine blames the de Moutiers for her family's misfortune. So she devised a plan on how to save her family and home and exact revenge on the de Moutier family, but then she meets Jules de Moutier (our delicious and wonderful hero) and she is torn as the man she gets to know is gentle, compassionate and warm-hearted (and not least ignites such passion in her she can't catch her breath).

I loved both Sabine and Jules' characters, they were well developed, layered and interesting. I especially loved how Lila DiPasqua showed us different sides of their personality and how they both went through a wide range of emotions in their feelings for each other.

The supporting cast (Sabine's friends and family) was varied, colourful and surprisingly entertaining. I say surprisingly, because in romance novels I usually prefer to concentrate on the hero/heroine and skim over the secondary characters, but here they were a joy to read. They were all extraordinary and so very original that they truly made A Midnight Dance a more entertaining and interesting story. The novel has such a truly evil villain you will get goosebumps just reading about!

The passion and love story developing between Sabine and Jules was both scorching hot and tender.
"Your journals only further enforced what I already know about you," he continued. "How strong you are. How brave. How compassionate and caring. A woman who longs to live and love passionately. Freely. You don't need Isabelle to be whole. The woman before me is in no way lacking or incomplete. I see you as you are. And I very much like what I see."

I loved how besides his lust and physical attraction to Sabine, Jules soon developed a caring protectiveness when it came to her. The witty repartee between these two made me often chuckle:
She donned a cool expression and gave him a mocking curtsy.
"You've summoned me, my lord-most high? Will my lord tell me what he wishes from me? Or shall I simply continue to bask in his exalted presence?"
Jules tightened his jaw.

I enjoyed A Midnight Dance a lot but when I finished it I wasn't buzzing with that spark of excitement I usually felt when reading a Fiery Tale by Lila. Thinking back why I was not as enchanted by A Midnight Dance as with Lila DiPasqua's previous stories I realized that it was due to two reasons: the first is that compared to her previous retellings, the heroine and setting of A Midnight Dance are less glamourous. The heroine is not an aristocrat, she is poor and mostly dressed as a peasant. But I could have lived with that, the most important reason of the two is that its connection to the fairy tale was quite slim and mostly happened at the beginning. As a Cinderella-fanatic I was looking forward to all the magical details (glass slipper, fairy godmother, helping mice, evil stepmother/sisters, midnight dance, etc.) and was eager to see how Lila DiPasqua would spin them in her story, but A Midnight Dance is rather an independent historical romance which bears few resemblance to the original tale, maybe if I hadn't been told that it was a Cinderella retelling I wouldn't even have made the connection. Those familiar details which were peresent in A Midnight Dance were done wonderfully (loved how the glass slipper got incorporated after all), I just wish there were more.

Verdict: A Midnight Dance is a very well written, wonderful historical romance anyone can enjoy as it stands independent from the fairy tale. It has everything you could wish from a great historical romance: a strong and witty heroine, a dreamy handsome hero, touching love scenes, steamy love scenes and a lot of humour. Just don't expect a strict Cinderella retelling and then you won't be disappointed.

ps. If you'd like to read some steamy historical romances which bear a closer connection to the original fairy tales, do check out Lila DiPasqua's Fiery Tales anthologies (Awakened by a Kiss and A Princess in His Bed) they are both wonderful!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Cover: 5/10

Buy it:

The BookDepository 

Related Posts with Thumbnails