Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1) 

Author: Lisa Kleypas 

Rating: 4.5 Stars 

Mine Till Midnight is a novel that completely took me by surprise. Although its cover just screams "bodice ripper," don't let that fool you. In reality, Lisa Kleypas' first Hathaways novel is a story of tender relationships, growing family, and understanding love. It's a novel that defies most of the typical norms set on historical fiction, instead taking a less-trodden path and succeeding all the more for it. While you would expect plenty of sensual encounters, dashing dukes, and drama resulting from a severe lack of communication from most historical fiction novels, Mine Till Midnight delivers with sweet and adoring love scenes, steady character growth, and inner issues that the characters must face opposed to your run-of-the-mill drama. As such, it was a novel that might as well have been written for me and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If anything is certain, it is that I will certainly be reading more of Kleypas as soon as I possibly can.

Amelia Hathaway is a protagonist I liked even from the first page. When our story opens up, she is frantically searching for her elder brother who is squandering away the Hathaway's newly acquired wealth. With the help of a childhood friend and gypsy, Merripen, she traces her older brother, Leo, to an establishment run by the dark and enigmatic Cam Rohan. Cam, a gypsy himself, cannot help but find Amelia alluring and after helping her locate her brother, kisses her before residing to the fact that he will most likely never see her again. As fate would have it, however, the Hathaway's new residence happens to be neighboring to the home of Cam's own friends and before long, he is caught up in Amelia's life yet again.

Cam, a mixture of gypsy and Irish blood, is an outcast is both worlds. Although he longs to be part of the nomadic tribes, he fails to realize that the Irish part of him retains strong roots and that his time spent as a civilized man is bound to cause difficulties if he were to return to the gypsy lifestyle. With the entry of Amelia into his life, however, he can't help but begin to fall for the beautiful woman. Amelia is fiercely independent and protective of her family. As orphans, the Hathaways have no one to care for them and as Leo is so often drunk or despondent due to the death of his fiancee, it is up to Amelia to run the household and oversee the well-being of her three younger sisters, Win, Poppy, and Beatrix. Cam sees Amelia for the woman she truly is; fearful of marriage after being jilted by a former lover, protective of her brood, and straining at the pressure put upon her. Amelia too sees Cam for more than a gypsy or an exotic mystery; she sees him as a man, well bred, intelligent, and alluring with his tales of gypsy lore.

For me, the slow manner in which Cam and Amelia grew to gradually trust and depend upon one another was beautiful to watch unfold. While their initial interaction began with a kiss, their chemistry stayed checked while they got to know each other as friends and slowly began to give each other their hearts, even against their own will. In the midst of this blooming romance, we have the crazy Hathaway family. Each of the Hathaways had a distinct personality that was hard not to love. We have the soft-spoken, quite, and often sickly Win who is loved by Merripen from afar. We have Poppy, the sweet-tempered and helpful young girl growing into a woman and Beatrix, still somewhat a child but alluring with her love of pets. Leo, as the eldest, is the bad-boy of the family and, as such, I can't wait to read his story soon. It seems as if the men in this story, from Leo, to Cam, to Merripen, all retain an air of mystery while still showing their true sides of caring, worry, and love. Kleypas strikes a delicate balance with all of them, making them appear simultaneously vulnerable and strong, dark and light, protective and needing protection themselves. In this manner, she weaves a romance where both man and woman are equal, see eye-to-eye, and only bring out the best in one another.

Mine Till Midnight utterly captivated me and I'm already missing the wacky presence of the Hathaways. Cam and Amelia's love story is one that will stick with me for a long time to come, mostly because they had to overcome their own inner obstacles to be together, whether it be their personal qualms, worries, or just the gossip that was sure to ensue from a union of English lady to gypsy. Yet, it all works out so perfectly and the characters are all so flawed and grow so wonderfully that one can't help but sigh in contentment when the last pages of this novel have been flipped. I'm hardly an expert on historical romances, but it is evident thatMine Till Midnight is something wholly different, unique, and beautiful from everything else out there. More than anything else, this novel is sweet. It is all laced with a romantic tinge of cute and adorable along with sensual, making it the perfect blend of just about everything.


  1. I'm honestly not a fan of historical novels. The bore me mostly. I guess I've been reading the wrong ones. I haven't seen this one before but I must admit it sounds really interesting :) I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Great review :)

  2. I just recently finished and reviewed Kleypas' latest book and was so disappointed (paranormal is not her thing) that I knew I'd have to read something else by her soon, just to put it behind me.
    I'd normally choose this one, but I'm afraid if I start such a lovely, promising series, I won't be able to stop. And I have far too many review copies for that.
    I'm glad it surprised you, Keertana!

  3. Mine Till Midnight sounds like it has a lot going on for it but Kleypas actually makes everything work well. I adore novels when an author does this, goes beyond what is expected and yet still delivers a masterpiece. I've heard a lot about Kleypas' novels, but have never known where to begin, but Mine Till Midnight does sound like an awesome book to start with. Beautiful review Keertana! :)

  4. Oh this sounds like a really good historical romance. I love the sound of how their relationship develops. Will have to add this one to the wishlist!

  5. Excellent review Keertana!

    Its amazing that one book could have such a wide range of terrifically created characters. And nice that an early kiss did not ruin a relationship.

    Sounds like a wonderful book from the way you described it!

    Love the word choice of "sweet" :)

  6. YAY KEERTANA!!!! I love this series too! I went on a historical romance kick and read the entire Hathaway siblings series in a week. Best week ever. I haven't read any of Lisa's contemporary books, but I will read any and every historical she writes. I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the books!

  7. I have been wanting to read this author but I just read a recent review for another book of hers and it was a flop. Maybe this one will work. I rarely pick up books that scream bodice ripper on the cover as you said, but I would take a chance on this after reading your review because it sounds like so much more than a smexy book. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. This sounds right up my alley, Keertana!! I've seen this cover around on GRs and honestly, I dismissed it because it looked like a bodice ripper, as you said. But your review describes a story I know I would love! I MUST get to this soon. Brilliant review, my dear! :)

  9. Now see, you're so right! Normally, I would write this off as a bodice ripper and not really for me as soon as I saw the cover, but I'm so glad that you reviewed it, because it sounds precisely like the type of historical romance I'd adore! I do have to admit, I'm a sucker for gypsies...and Irishmen...this is really just a bad combo for me. :P Thanks, Keertana! I just finished my Lauren Willig series this week, so I needed somewhere else to go.

  10. I'm sure I've come across this author's name before (and several times, at that), though I have never really paid her books much attention. This sounds fantastic! I'm pretty certain Cam and Amelia's relationship is one I could get behind. I'll have to give this book a try one day. :)

  11. I need to get a list of favorite romance novels from you that I can work my way through when I'm in the mood for them. I know you've mentioned this author being a favorite indulgent read, and that makes me want to take notice. I'm also impressed with the fact that this one surprised you, as that's not easy to do.

  12. i am so going to read this <3

  13. Hi, Carole's Chatter is collecting posts about Favourite Romance Novels. This looks like a good one. It would be super if you linked it in. This is the link - Your Favourite Romances There are over 25 links already. I hope to see you soon. Cheers

  14. I absolutely love Lisa's books but this story was nothing shot of amazing. I really fell for Cam. Very well written!
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