Mine Till Midnight, by Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas’s Victorian romances are always first-rate, so it comes as no surprise that her most recent effort, Mine Till Midnight, is beautifully written, precisely plotted, and filled with appealing, fully developed characters. Kleypas cannibalizes some of her earlier stories for this book, but Mine Till Midnight is more than entertaining enough to rise above a few familiar plot twists.

Mine Till Midnight is the story of Cam Rohan, the half-Gypsy manager of London’s most exclusive gambling club. Cam’s going through a premature mid-life crisis: he’s bored with meaningless affairs with beautiful women, sick of making money hand over fist, and toying with the idea of returning to his Gypsy roots. Amelia Hathaway, on the other hand, would love a little boredom: her brother seems determined to kill himself, her sister is an invalid, and the baby of the family has a slight problem with stress-related kleptomania. Cam and Amelia are instantly attracted to one another, but it remains to be seen if Cam’s constant good fortune is strong enough to cancel out Amelia’s shockingly bad luck.

Fans of Kleypas’s earlier books will recognize some of the plot elements featured Mine Till Midnight—Cam is her third hero to be employed by a gambling club, and this book includes another medical-crisis-solved-by-natural-remedies scene. (Kleypas’s interest in 19th century medicine has been apparent since 1988’s Forever My Love.) Happily, there’s still plenty of life left in these storylines: I always read Kleypas’s sickroom scenes with appalled fascination*, and she addresses the prejudice endured by the Roma and the dissonance between Cam’s heritage and his current lifestyle with intelligence and restraint.

Setting aside a couple of nitpick-y complaints about recycled plot elements, Mine Till Midnight is another Grade-A Kleypas effort. Several of her Wallflowers characters play minor roles, and readers are introduced to the Hathaway family—all of whom, I was happy to see, will one day be featured in their own books. Mine Till Midnight is sharp, romantic, and (seeing as it’s packaged as a dirt-cheap trade paperback) probably the most Wordcandy-friendly deal you’ll see all month.

*This one features a scene where they cover a putrid burn wound with hundreds of crushed bees!
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


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