Wednesday, July 10, 2013

(Review) It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long

Title: It Happened One Midnight
Author: Julie Anne Long
Series: Pennyroyal Green, #8
Published: June 25, 2013 (Avon)
Rating: Stay Up 'Til 2 AM
Format: Digital ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss. (Thank you!)
Summary: More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond’s heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophesy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he’ll do anything to avoid: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She is everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he’s drawn into Tommy's world of risk, danger…and a desire he’d never dreamed possible. And suddenly he’s re-thinking everything...including the possibility that succumbing to prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.
Julie Anne Long has done it again. She had my expectations all tied up in knots for this one. Her last two books in this series were AMAZING, thus I wanted this one to be just as fabulous. However, I wasn't crazy about the gypsy prophesy element, and foremost, I logically knew that hitting it out of the park three times in a row was extraordinarily unlikely. But she did it. Boy, did she.

It Happened One Midnight was a story unlike any I'd read before. At first, I thought it was going to be more in the vein of the first one in the series. A little more of a suspense-adventure plot than I usually prefer in my books. But it wasn't! Nor did the gypsy prophesy really have much to do with anything. I can't talk about the subplot specifically, due to spoilers. But it was interesting and totally fit with Tommy's character. It added a unique element and driving force to the book without taking over and stealing the show from the characters, which is a difficult feat to accomplish.

I really liked both the hero and heroine. Tommy was honest and forthright in many ways, but mysterious and secretive in others. She was slow to open up, but understandably so. I loved learning more about her as the story progressed. She was so strong and tenacious, but never obnoxiously so, and she was never so secretive as to incite frustration. Jonathan was a man with natural instincts and talent as a businessman. He was confident in his abilities, but he also struggled with desire to prove himself to his father, who was unable to respect Jonathan or take him as anything more than a joke.

While both the plot and characters were good, the thing that made this book magic was the dynamic between Tommy and Jonathan. I cannot fully explain it. They had an almost instant kinship despite appearing so different, but the early foundation of that kinship was that they did not care about each other. Which sounds odd, but it worked for them. They were both intelligent and stubborn and witty and hilarious, and it made for some of the best banter I've ever read.
“Dear God, tell me you didn’t just say that again. No. I’ve no interest in the affairs of complicated, circumspect, ginger-haired women. No.”

“And you know very well I’ve no interest in the affairs of currently penniless rakes.”


“I ought to say ‘ouch,’” he said gingerly.

“You would, but you don’t care what I think any more than I care what you think. Since we share a particular interest, I do however think you’ll be interested in a business proposition I’d like to share with you.”

“And every grain of sense I possess tells me I’d be wise to pretend I never heard you say that.”

“How many grains of sense do you possess?”

“Let me see...three grains, at last count. I used to have four, but I forfeited one when I agreed to accompany Argosy to this salon. Again.”

“That’s such a shame! Three grains is one fewer than you need to prevent you from a trip to the Half Moon Theater at midnight.”
I'm fairly certain it would have been entertaining just to watch me reading this book, because I felt like I had a loony grin on my face the entire time. And I laughed. A lot. I couldn't help it! Their interactions were simply fabulous! Of course, there were also moments of heart-clutching and a little bit of tearing up. And swooning. Oh, the swooning. The chemistry between Tommy and Jonathan was fantastic. I love how it developed for them. It wasn't instant; it came gradually and naturally, but it was fierce and moving. Also, the end of this book was one of the best I've ever read. It was a great line that actually tied back into the plot and was just awesome in general.

I have very few negative things to say about this book. The beginning was a little slow, but that's the only real thing. I do hate that the "bad guy" in the book went by the name of The Doctor. I'm sorry, but no. That title is already taken, and it is 100% awesome. No villains should be allowed to use it.

It was also nice to see some of the regular Pennyroyal Green characters back again. We saw both Eversea and Redmond family members, and Argosy made appearances again. Poor man. One day, I hope he will get his own book. Even though he is a tad ridiculous, I want him to be happy.

Now, all I have to do is sit back and wait for Between the Devil and Ian Eversea. In March of 2014. Pardon me while I go cry in a corner. Or re-read the entire series to tide myself over. Yes. That seems like a better option.
Trouble was, she’d begun to find him interesting. And it was a rare enough sensation, when it came to men.

It’s valuable, he thought, to occasionally see one’s self through the eyes of new people. Not the ones who see you nearly every day, and therefore never really see you.

Laughing with him was strangely a bit like drinking champagne. She wanted more of it, and the more she had of it, the giddier she felt.

Are you appealing to my sense of chivalry now? You must be desperate.

*All quotes from ARC or galley, so final copy may be slightly different.

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