Guest review: Tempted at Midnight by Jacquie D’Alessandro

Posted May 12, 2009 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 9 Comments

Nath‘s review of Tempted at Midnight by Jacquie D’Alessandro

Lady Emily Stapleford never dreamed that the burden of saving her family from financial ruin would rest on her lovely, resourceful shoulders. Since she’s only willing to marry for love, and not money, Emily pens a story she hopes will bring her fortune — only to have it rejected by every major publisher. After all, what respectable reader would dare embrace a vampire heroine?

Not to be dissuaded, Emily generates publicity by attracting attention with a vampire masquerade. Overnight London is abuzz with the sightings. With renewed interest in Emily’s book, she’s guaranteed success — if it wasn’t for the mysterious American, Logan Jennsen. He’s on to Emily’s duplicity and he has every intention of using it to his advantage. If only he wasn’t falling in love with this unabashedly creative hothouse flower. And if only he didn’t have a scandalous secret of his own — one that’s putting both their lives in danger…

Genre: historical romance
Series: Mayhem in Mayfair, book #4

Tempted at Midnight is the last installment in the Mayhem in Mayfair series and came out earlier this month. I really enjoyed Sleepless at Midnight and Confessions at Midnight (reviews here and here), but was a disappointed in Seduced at Midnight (here). I was hoping that the author would rebound with this book…

The Story: All right, so basically, Emily and Logan have been attracted to each other for a long while (which is why they’ve been snipping at each other), but have only realized it after they’ve shared a kiss at the end of Seduced at Midnight, at Julianne and Gideon’s wedding. After three months of not seeing each other, they are still frustrated because they can’t forget the kiss nor the kisser.

Emily is back in London and she was told by her parents that she must marry this Season and preferably to someone with money in order to save the family from financial ruin. Emily has no intention to marry for any other reason than love and as a result, hope to sell her novel instead. To generate publicity and increase the interest, Emily has come up with a plan – to “become” a vampire or at least, masquerade as one just long enough to be seen and generate a buzz.

Logan is an American in London. He knows he’s only tolerated because he is wealthy and he is fine with it. Lately, however, he’s been feeling uncomfortable. He has the feeling that he’s being observed… and thought he spot someone from his past, it’s impossible because the person is dead.

My Opinion: Okay, so unfortunately, Tempted at Midnight didn’t work for me 🙁 My main reason is Emily. I liked her in the first book, I thought she was bold, outspoken and direct. However, as the series advanced, she lost her shine, her luster… I understand what the author was trying to do – the whole bickering because we’re attracted to each other and usually, I like it… but with Emily, I felt she was too snobbish and haughty. Her whole attitude was too much and too negative in my opinion and there were a lot of prejudices. If at least, she knew him better, then it would have gone better with me. One of the scene in particular – when Logan comes to talk to Emily’s father about the debt. Emily immediately jumps on her high horse and accuses Logan of harassing her father for repayment. First, that was not Logan’s purpose and second, she never let him explain- not that he tried, and anyway, I don’t think she would have believed him. In the end, I felt her sharpness came out wrong and as a result, she grated on my nerves a lot. It’s really unfortunate, because I really liked Emily’s character in the beginning of the series… and I knew from the beginning that she and Logan would be a couple.

One of the main problem also is that I didn’t feel the connection or chemistry between Logan and Emily. Sure, they were attracted to each other, but that was pretty much it. Even at the end, after Logan marries Emily because they were found in a compromising situation, they suddenly were in love with each other and everything was fine. It felt phony ^_^; Finally, I have to say, the different storylines – Emily masquerading as a vampire, Emily and Logan’s relationship and Logan’s stalker – didn’t blend well together. It was very clear-cut and didn’t intertwine very well.

Of course, there were parts I enjoyed… I liked the brief scenes with Emily’s family – meeting all of her siblings. I wished we could have a bit more. I liked Caroline’s side-story, it was nice to see her again and to see the friendship between the women. It always seemed like Caroline and Emily had a bond between them and it was nice to see it. Although the storyline was nice, I thought 1) it seemed like Ms D’Alessandro was filling the pages and 2) why couldn’t Caroline remain childless? I mean, that was one of the important points in her book right… I guess I just felt everything was a bit too convenient.

So yep, this book didn’t really rock my boat. It was quite disappointing because this series started off quite well. The storylines were quite original and interesting… and then, it dwindled down. Hmm, I think it lost its sparkle somewhere along 🙁

My Grade: 2/5. It really hurts me to give Tempted at Midnight this grade and perhaps, it was a case of me and not the book, although I doubt it… However, despite everything, I’m still looking forward to Ms D’Alessandro’s next book 🙂

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Other books in the series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

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9 responses to “Guest review: Tempted at Midnight by Jacquie D’Alessandro

  1. I’m sorry too — b/c I keep picking this one and Seduced up off the shelf at the bookstore and putting them back, b/c I’ve seen iffy reviews and I loved the first two so much, I don’t want to be disappointed.


  2. I read this bk and found your review spot-on.

    I dont know what happened with her move mid-series to Berkley but I was so disengaged from TAM that I am doubtful I would ever read her again. (I will always have fond memories of SLEEPLESS AT MIDNIGHT tho.)

  3. Lori

    Oh no! I’m so sorry you didn’t like it 🙁 It’s still on my shelf. I also really loved the first two in the series. Haven’t gotten to the third yet, so I’m waiting to read the 4th. Yes, amazingly, I’m waiting to read a series in order. Don’t faint!

  4. Luci

    I thought Sleepless at Midnight was the best of the series too. Although I did enjoy Tempted At Midnight. Seduced at Midnight was too much full of thoughts and little action for me.

  5. Anonymous

    I think she must’ve had a better editor at Avon because the first two books were far superior to the second two. The second two were full of repetitiveness and way too much internal dialogue (so much that the book would’ve been half as short without all of the nonsense).

  6. Lori – LOL, well you only have 2 books left in the series – so it’s not so bad if you read them in order, right? 🙂

    Yeah, I was expecting a lot more from this book, I have to say. The series started off so well and I liked Emily… but like I said, she just lost some luster 🙁 Too bad, sigh.

    Linda Winfree – Hmmmm, I’d say UBS or library 🙂 Personally, I don’t feel like you’re missing much by not reading them.

    Seton – Oh! I’m sooo glad someone agrees! I was afraid that I was being a bit too harsh with this review, phew! LOL 🙂

    I don’t know if it’s the move from Avon to Berkley, or the editor change like Anonymous suggests… however, there’s a definitive shift somewhere. For one, the main storylines of SAM and TAM are far less interesting…

    The thing about Ms D’Alessandro is that she’s hit and miss for me. The first book I read by her, Never A Lady, was a miss… and I wouldn’t have picked up another book if not for an excellent review of Sleepless at Midnight… so you never know 😛

    Luci – I have to agree. I enjoyed Confessions at Midnight a lot, but Sleepless was funny and very refreshing 🙂 and definitively, SAM was too much angst, so it fell flat.

    Anonymous – You’re right about the repetition! But I found it was between books – how the husbands liked the books the women were reading… Enough! We know already!

    Anyway, bottomline is that this one just didn’t engage me 🙁

  7. I think I have book 2 on my shelf and have picked it up a couple of times…but keep putting it down. I had no idea it was book 2 in a series though. hmmm….not sure if I want to read them now. I’ll have to think about that one.

    Thanks for the honest review Nath!

  8. Tracy – I actually started off with book 2 in the series 🙂 and I was curious at the Frankenstein that they were mentioning, so I went back. I think you could just read the first two books..

    Isabel – I know 🙁

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