by Shana Abe

Febuary 2000
ISBN: 0553-58057-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

It's the year 999 and the new millennium is near or will it be the end of the world for two enemies fighting for love and land?

In A Kiss at Midnight, Shana Abe combines favourite romance themes in the tale of a convent-raised heroine taken hostage by the heir of a rival family, and that with the drama of an old Shakespearian play; poison, daggers, jealousy all included.

Rafael of Leonhart abducts Serath Rune from the convent to use her to gain that, which should have been his long ago: the land of Alderich. Not heeding Serath's warnings that she would be more trouble than help to his plans, he returns her to Alderich only to find out that she had been telling the truth. Serath is hated and feared by the people of Alderich and their Lord, her grandfather.

Being unable to claim what he wants most, Rafael keeps Serath as hostage and prepares for the new millennium which will get him Alderich as long ago promised by the king, only to find him anticipating an event even closer to his heart - Serath's surrender!

Amid having to chase sheep, rescue fields and be feared as a witch, Serath has to deal with an over- protecting mother, her crazed grandfather and the growing tension and sexual awareness of Rafael.

And their first kiss! Shana Abe likes her first kiss - not for the first time having her characters and readers long for it with ever-increasing anticipation. The first kiss is truly special; it moves and changes the hero and heroine's world. It's magical!

Shana Abe leaves not only the hero and the heroine wanting and full of desires but also her readers. She weaves with A Kiss at Midnight a tale filled with melancholy, creating a glum atmosphere with different sources of light and shadow, mirroring her characters' despair, anger and sadness. She has her readers craving and wishing for some colour, the promise of spring and hope.

I'm not really sure that I liked this book, it had elements I love, like the used themes and the created ambience, then again a little more sun and laughter would have been nice. It's a book you might want to read on a cold day, sitting in your bed with candles, old music and a hot cup of chocolate. Still, please read another of Shana Abe's books to understand why I love her so much, as this book is not a very good example; although, the kiss and the great sexual tension are as fantastic as ever.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Kris Alice.

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