A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

Redonk Nutshell: Orphaned woman learns of her past while battling attraction to local Corporal

Book 3 in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series is A Lady by Midnight.  It’s the story of Kate Taylor, a local woman we’ve seen in the previous two books who gives music lessons. She’s sweet, patient and caring. She also has a telling birthmark on her face.  Kate has wanted to know more about her past since she was a young child, and she’s recently taken steps to dig up whatever she can.  After a disheartening visit to her childhood orphanage, she has a run in with Corporal Samuel Thorne.  These two have tolerated one another for the past year, Thorne doing his best to remain indifferent and Kate trying not to snap at him.  They travel back to Spindle Cove together and come to realize there’s something of an attraction there. It’s a surprise to Kate but not to Thorne.  When a troupe of aristocratic family members roll into Spindle Cove claiming Kate as their cousin, Thorne is skeptical.  In order to protect her, i.e. insert himself into her life, he claims to be her fiance while the claims of Kate’s parentage are verified.  What results is a cat-and-mouse play on Kate’s emotions and affections.

While I enjoyed Lady, this wasn’t my favorite of the Spindle Cove series.  It wasn’t as flirty or funny as the first two, but I suppose that’s appropriate given Thorne’s temperament.  He’s a hard man, a man who truly takes the entire novel to come to terms with his feelings for Kate.  And Kate…god love her.  She truly is the perfect woman for him.  Though she’s kind and patient, she also isn’t afraid to call him on his crap.

This was a lovely emotional journey, and I was glad for Kate’s discovery of her past and family.  Thorne is a tougher cookie, but Kate works on him and gradually wears him down.  It’s a story that starts out sad and gritty but grows into something warm and enduring.   A sort of rags-to-riches love story.

Rating: C

Romance: 3.5/5             Raunch: 3/5

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