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Midnight in Your Arms--Morgan Kelly
Published by Avon Impulse
Released October 30, 2012
Review copy from Avon via Edelweiss
For fans of Downton Abbey and readers of Jude Deveraux and Teresa Medeiros comes a brand-new tale of a love that dares to defy time itself...
When psychic Laura Dearborn inherits Stonecross Hall in 1926, she has no idea she's inheriting a love story too-one that she's lived again and again. But as Alaric Storm III, the handsome owner of the mansion from sixty years earlier, starts to haunt her waking dreams, Laura discovers her heart's true home has always been within Stonecross's walls.
Tormented by memories of war, Alaric Storm III is used to spirits-just not ones from the future. Set on fire by Laura's ghostly affections, Alaric is forced to choose: follow his heart and grasp Laura's hand through time, or surrender to the call of duty and live without love.
As All Hallows' Eve draws near, Alaric and Laura must find a way to hold on to each other forever-or risk repeating their tragic romance until the end of time.
I originally saw this title available for download in Edelweiss, but didn't request it when I skimmed the description and saw the words "time-travel" listed. Me and time-travel romances have a hate/hate/love relationship. I love the idea of them--history, romance, modern ideas! What could be greater? The reality is that I'm a modern girl who loves to read of modern thinking heroines; not something always found with this type of romance or if it is done, it is not done well.
However, I was willing to give this story a chance when I saw the comparison to Jude Deveraux; she was my first historical romance author and I have a special fondness for her titles. With that comparison in mind, I downloaded the novella and hoped for the best.
Laura Dearborn, having lost her brother in battle and seeing unspeakable things as a war nurse, is struggling to make a living as a psychic in early 1900s. Her life changes when she inherits a fortune and estate left to her by a mysterious man, dead for the last sixty or so years! Even stranger, it is a house Laura has never been to, but has seen in her dreams...
This book is indeed similar to Deveraux, but, it is the one series of hers I did not like: her Forever series. Do you remember that series? The one where the heroine has to complete several tasks and make sacrifices to save our hero? It spanned three books, took at least a year to get them all and ended with the hero not remembering our heroine and our heroine having to start from the very beginning to build a relationship?
Remember it now?
Like that book, this book has a time-traveling bit with lovers separated and the heroine struggling to get back to him. The beginning was slow for me, made so by numerous descriptions of post war emotions and scenes. I can't fault the author for striking the right tone with the after effects for war, but it did seem to make the beginning feel more like a fiction piece than a romantic one. At times, there were so many emotions and descriptions to get through, I got confused as to what was happening around Laura and what exactly Laura was doing.
Thankfully, Midnight in Your Arms ended much better than the Forever series. I liked the last few chapters, mostly because the time-travel aspect was less emphasized and the romance become the central focus. I enjoyed seeing Alaric and Laura together; the chemistry between them was definitely not imagined! I had no problem seeing them as a couple with realistic challenges and backgrounds to overcome. The ending was a little strange, ending somewhat abruptly with no clear resolution to the couple's new dilemma. I felt the reader had to suspend a considerable amount of belief to find it a true ending. If there had been more pages or an epilogue, it might have resolved such a short ending.
Overall, this was not a bad story. I enjoy the historical romance aspects and the contemporary heroine; I just did not like them combined with the time-travel theme. I cannot argue with the author's grasp of history and her writing style, the beginning alone made me feel the angst and despair that many may have felt after WWI. After reading this, I cannot wait to see what the author does with a straight historical romance someday.