by Maureen Smith, contemporary (2010)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86191-0
Tempt Me At Midnight is a readable romance, provided you don't mind the fact that it is missing a compelling plot.
You may have heard this one before. Lexi Austin, our heroine, and Quentin Reddick, our hero, are best friends. They even have a portmanteau for their "secret language" - LexiQuen". How... quaint.
Then, one day, they attend a masquerade party where they end up kissing and... whoa, everything changes. I tell you, all these masquerade parties cause so much problems in romance novels. At any rate, that's pretty much the plot. The rest of the story is scenery chewing, slow meandering conversations, bland appearances by characters from previous books (who show up just to demonstrate how awesome married life is... zzzzz...) and some occasional arguments that are quickly resolved.
Boredom is the name of the game here. This is because the characters start at the top - both characters are gorgeous, financially stable, and overloaded with positive adjectives - and there is very little interesting character development here. Oh, Lexi has some issues with an ex, but those issues crop up late in the story as yet another mini-episode of trivial conflicts and as a result feel more contrived than anything else. Quentin is a standard hero of this kind of stories: a player, rich, gorgeous, successful... and utterly boring because he is easily interchangeable with other Random Successful Bachelors in stories of this sort. It doesn't help that Quentin is a lawyer, a job that is held by three out of five Random Successful Bachelors. He couldn't be any more generic, the poor thing.
Tempt Me At Midnight is better off a short story than a full-length one because there isn't enough drama or romantic conflict to sustain the momentum of the story. If you have problems sleeping, then I'd recommend this book to you. Otherwise, the time spent on reading this book is better off used for more productive activities, like hiding your kids' Justin Bieber CDs so that they will never play them at full volume again.
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