When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.
Wealthy beyond most men's dreams, Cam has tired of society's petty restrictions and longs to return to his "uncivilized" Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendshipbut intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….in Lisa Kleypas's Mine Till Midnight.
About the Author
Lisa Kleypas is the RITA Award-winning author of many contemporary and historical romance novels, including the Hathaways series, A Wallflower Christmas, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, and Love in the Afternoon. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College and published her first novel at the age of 21. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts in the Miss America competition. She lives in Washington with her husband and two children.
Read an Excerpt
Finding one person in a city of nearly two million was a formidable task. It helped if that person’s behavior was predictable and he could usually be found in a tavern or gin shop. Still, it wouldn’t be easy.
Leo, where are you? Miss Amelia Hathaway thought desperately as the carriage wheels rattled along the cobbled street. Poor, wild, troubled Leo. Some people, when faced with intolerable circumstances, simply . . . broke. Such was the case with her formerly dashing and dependable brother. At this point he was probably beyond all hope of repair.
“We’ll find him,” Amelia said with an assurance she didn’t feel. She glanced at the Gypsy who sat opposite her. As usual, Merripen showed no expression.
One could be forgiven for assuming Merripen was a man of limited emotions. He was so guarded, in fact, that even after living with the Hathaway family for fifteen years, he still hadn’t told anyone his first name. They had known him simply as Merripen ever since he had been found, battered and unconscious, beside a creek that ran through their property.
When Merripen had awakened to discover himself surrounded by curious Hathaways, he had reacted violently. It had taken their combined efforts to keep him in bed, all of them exclaiming that he would make his injuries worse, he must lie still. Amelia’s father had deduced the boy was the survivor of a Gypsy hunt, a brutal practice in which local landowners rode out on horseback with guns and clubs to rid their properties of Romany encampments.
“The lad was probably left for dead,” Mr. Hathaway had remarked gravely. As a scholarly and forward-thinking gentleman, he had disapproved of violence in any form. “I’m afraid it will be difficult to communicate with his tribe. They are probably long gone by now.”
“May we keep him, Papa?” Amelia’s younger sister Poppy had cried eagerly, no doubt envisioning the wild boy (who had bared his teeth at her like a trapped wolverine) as an entertaining new pet.
Mr. Hathaway had smiled at her. “He may stay as long as he chooses. But I doubt he will remain here longer than a week or so. Romany Gypsies—the Rom, they call themselves—are a nomadic people. They dislike staying under one roof too long. It makes them feel imprisoned.”
However, Merripen had stayed. He had started out as a small and rather slight lad. But with proper care and regular meals, he had grown at a near-alarming rate into a man of robust and powerful proportions. It was difficult to say exactly what Merripen was: not quite a family member, not a servant. Although he worked in various capacities for the Hathaways, acting as a driver and jack-of-all-trades, he also ate at the family table whenever he chose, and occupied a bedroom in the main part of the cottage.
Now that Leo had gone missing and was possibly in danger, there was no question that Merripen would help find him.
It was hardly proper for Amelia to go unaccompanied in the presence of a man like Merripen. But at the age of twenty-six, she considered herself beyond any need of chaperonage.
“We shall begin by eliminating the places Leo would not go,” she said. “Churches, museums, places of higher learning, and polite neighborhoods are naturally out of the question.”
“That still leaves most of the city,” Merripen grumbled.
Merripen was not fond of London. In his view, the workings of so-called civilized society were infinitely more barbaric than anything that could be found in nature. Given a choice between spending an hour in a pen of wild boars or a drawing room of elegant company, he would have chosen the boars without hesitation.
“We should probably start with taverns,” Amelia continued.
Merripen gave her a dark glance. “Do you know how many taverns there are in London?”
“No, but I’m certain I will by the time the night is out.”
“We’re not going to start with taverns. We’ll go where Leo is likely to find the most trouble.”
“And that would be?”
Jenner’s was an infamous gaming club where gentlemen went to behave in ungentlemanly ways. Originally founded by an ex-boxer named Ivo Jenner, the club had changed hands upon his death, and was now owned by his son-in-law, Lord St. Vincent. The less-than-sterling reputation of St. Vincent had only enhanced the club’s allure.
A membership at Jenner’s cost a fortune. Naturally Leo had insisted on joining immediately upon inheriting his title three months ago.
“If you intend to drink yourself to death,” Amelia had told Leo calmly, “I wish you would do it at a more affordable place.”
“But I’m a viscount now,” Leo had replied nonchalantly. “I have to do it with style, or what will people say?”
“That you were a wastrel and a fool, and the title might just as well have gone to a monkey?”
That had elicited a grin from her handsome brother. “I’m sure that comparison is quite unfair to the monkey.”
Turning cold with increasing worry, Amelia pressed her gloved fingers to the aching surface of her forehead. This wasn’t the first time Leo had disappeared, but it was definitely of the longest duration. “I’ve never been inside a gaming club before. It will be a novel experience.”
“They won’t let you inside. You’re a lady. And even if they did allow it, I wouldn’t.”
Lowering her hand, Amelia glanced at him in surprise. It was rare that Merripen forbade her to do anything. In fact, this may have been the first time. She found it annoying. Considering that her brother’s life might be at stake, she was hardly going to quibble over social niceties. Besides, she was curious to see what was inside the privileged masculine retreat. As long as she was doomed to remain a spinster, she might as well enjoy the small freedoms that came with it.
“Neither will they let you inside,” she pointed out. “You’re a Roma.”
“As it happens, the manager of the club is also a Roma.”
That was unusual. Extraordinary, even. Gypsies were known as thieves and tricksters. For one of the Rom to be entrusted with the accounting of cash and credit, not to mention arbitrating controversies at the gambling tables, was nothing short of amazing. “He must be a rather remarkable individual to have assumed such a position,” Amelia said. “Very well, I will allow you to accompany me inside Jenner’s. It’s possible your presence will induce him to be more forthcoming.”
“Thank you.” Merripen’s voice was so dry one could have struck a match off it.
Amelia remained strategically silent as he drove the covered brougham through the highest concentration of attractions, shops, and theaters in the city. The poorly sprung carriage bounced with abandon along the wide thoroughfares, passing handsome squares lined with columned houses and tidily fenced greens, and Georgian-fronted buildings. As the streets became more lavish, the brick walls gave way to stucco, which soon gave way to stone.
The West End scenery was unfamiliar to Amelia. Despite the proximity of their village, the Hathaways didn’t often venture into town, certainly not to this area. Even now with their recent inheritance, there was little they could afford here.
Glancing at Merripen, Amelia wondered why he seemed to know exactly where they were going, when he was no more acquainted with town than she. But Merripen had an instinct for finding his way anywhere.
They turned onto King Street, which was ablaze with light shed from gas lamps. It was noisy and busy, congested with vehicles and groups of pedestrians setting out for the evening’s entertainment. The sky glowed dull red as the remaining light percolated through the haze of coal smoke. Crowns of lofty buildings broke the horizon, rows of dark shapes protruding like witches’ teeth.
Merripen guided the horse to a narrow alley of mews behind a great stone-fronted building. Jenner’s. Amelia’s stomach tightened. It was probably too much to ask that her brother would be found safely here, in the first place they looked.
“Merripen?” Her voice was strained.
“You should probably know that if my brother hasn’t already managed to kill himself, I plan to shoot him when we find him.”
“I’ll hand you the pistol.”
Amelia smiled and straightened her bonnet. “Let’s go inside. And remember—I’ll do the talking.”
An objectionable odor filled the alley, a city-smell of animals and refuse and coal dust. In the absence of a good rain, filth accumulated quickly in the streets and tributaries. Descending to the soiled ground, Amelia hopped out of the path of squeaking rats that ran alongside the wall of the building.
As Merripen gave the ribbons to a stableman at the mews, Amelia glanced toward the end of the alley.
A pair of street youths crouched near a tiny fire, roasting something on sticks. Amelia did not want to speculate on the nature of the objects being heated. Her attention moved to a group—three men and a woman—illuminated in the uncertain blaze. It appeared two of the men were engaged in fisticuffs. However, they were so inebriated that their contest looked like a performance of dancing bears.
The woman’s gown was made of gaudily colored fabric, the bodice gaping to reveal the plump hills of her breasts. She seemed amused by the spectacle of two men battling over her, while a third attempted to break up the fracas.
“’Ere now, my fine jacks,” the woman called out in a Cockney accent, “I said I’d take ye both on—no need for a cockfight!”
“Stay back,” Merripen murmured.
Pretending not to hear, Amelia drew closer for a better view. It wasn’t the sight of the brawl that was so interesting—even their village, peaceful little Primrose Place, had its share of fistfights. All men, no matter what their situation, occasionally succumbed to their lower natures. What attracted Amelia’s notice was the third man, the would-be peacemaker, as he darted between the drunken fools and attempted to reason with them.
He was every bit as well dressed as the gentlemen on either side . . . but it was obvious this man was no gentleman. He was black-haired and swarthy and exotic. And he moved with the swift grace of a cat, easily avoiding the swipes and lunges of his opponents.
“My lords,” he was saying in a reasonable tone, sounding relaxed even as he blocked a heavy fist with his forearm. “I’m afraid you’ll both have to stop this now, or I’ll be forced to—” He broke off and dodged to the side just as the man behind him leaped.
The prostitute cackled at the sight. “They got you on the ’op tonight, Rohan,” she exclaimed.
Dodging back into the fray, Rohan attempted to break it up once more. “My lords, surely you must know”—he ducked beneath the swift arc of a fist—“that violence”—he blocked a right hook—“never solves anything.”
“Bugger you!” one of the men said, and butted forward like a deranged goat.
Rohan stepped aside and allowed him to charge straight into the side of the building. The attacker collapsed with a groan and lay gasping on the ground.
His opponent’s reaction was singularly ungrateful. Instead of thanking the dark-haired man for putting a stop to the fight, he growled, “Curse you for interfering, Rohan! I would’ve knocked the stuffing from him!” He charged forth with his fists churning like windmill blades.
Rohan evaded a left cross and deftly flipped him to the ground. He stood over the prone figure, blotting his forehead with his sleeve. “Had enough?” he asked pleasantly. “Yes? Good. Please allow me to help you to your feet, my lord.” As Rohan pulled the man upward, he glanced toward the threshold of a door that led into the club, where a club employee waited. “Dawson, escort Lord Latimer to his carriage out front. I’ll take Lord Selway.”
“No need,” said the aristocrat who had just struggled to his feet, sounding winded. “I can walk to my own bloody carriage.” Tugging his clothes back into place over his bulky form, he threw the dark-haired man an anxious glance. “Rohan, I will have your word on something.”
“Yes, my lord?”
“If word of this gets out—if Lady Selway should discover that I was fighting over the favors of a fallen woman—my life won’t be worth a farthing.”
Rohan replied with reassuring calm. “She’ll never know, my lord.”
“She knows everything,” Selway said. “She’s in league with the devil. If you are ever questioned about this minor altercation . . .”
“It was caused by a particularly vicious game of whist,” came the bland reply.
“Yes. Yes. Good man.” Selway patted the younger man on the shoulder. “And to put a seal on your silence—” He reached a beefy hand inside his waistcoat and extracted a small bag.
“No, my lord.” Rohan stepped back with a firm shake of his head, his shiny black hair flying with the movement and settling back into place. “There’s no price for my silence.”
“Take it,” the aristocrat insisted.
“I can’t, my lord.”
“It’s yours.” The bag of coins was tossed to the ground, landing at Rohan’s feet with a metallic thud. “There. Whether you choose to leave it lying on the street or not is entirely your choice.”
As the gentleman left, Rohan stared at the bag as if it were a dead rodent. “I don’t want it,” he muttered to no one in particular.
“I’ll take it,” the prostitute said, sauntering over to him. She scooped up the bag and tested its heft in her palm. A taunting grin split her face. “Gor’, I’ve never seen a Gypsy what’s afraid o’ blunt.”
“I’m not afraid of it,” Rohan said sourly. “I just don’t need it.” Sighing, he rubbed the back of his neck with one hand.
She laughed at him and slid an openly appreciative glance over his lean form. “I ’ates to take something for noffing. Care for a little knock in the alley before I goes back to Bradshaw’s?”
“I appreciate the offer,” he said politely, “but no.”
She hitched a shoulder in a playful half shrug. “Less work for me, then. Good evenin’.”
Rohan responded with a short nod, seeming to contemplate a spot on the ground with undue concentration. He was very still, seeming to listen for some nearly imperceptible sound. Lifting a hand to the back of his neck again, he rubbed it as if to soothe a warning prickle. Slowly he turned and looked directly at Amelia.
A little shock went through her as their gazes met. Although they were standing several yards apart, she felt the full force of his notice. His expression was not tempered by warmth or kindness. In fact, he looked pitiless, as if he had long ago found the world to be an uncaring place and had decided to accept it on its own terms.
As his detached gaze swept over her, Amelia knew exactly what he was seeing: a woman dressed in serviceable clothes and practical shoes. She was fair skinned and dark haired, of medium height, with the rosy-cheeked wholesomeness common to the Hathaways. Her figure was sturdy and voluptuous, when the fashion was to be reed-slim and wan and fragile.
Without vanity, Amelia knew that although she wasn’t a great beauty, she was sufficiently attractive to have caught a husband. But she had risked her heart once, with disastrous consequences. She had no desire to try it again. And God knew she was busy enough trying to manage the rest of the Hathaways.
Rohan looked away from her. Without a word or a nod of acknowledgment, he walked to the back entrance of the club. His pace was unhurried, as if he were giving himself time to think about something. There was a distinctive ease in his movements. His strides didn’t measure out distance so much as flow over it like water.
Amelia reached the doorstep at the same time he did. “Sir—Mr. Rohan—I presume you are the manager of the club.”
Rohan stopped and turned to face her. They were standing close enough for Amelia to detect the scents of male exertion and warm skin. His unfastened waistcoat, made of luxurious gray brocade, hung open at the sides to reveal a thin white linen shirt beneath. As Rohan moved to button the waistcoat, Amelia saw a quantity of gold rings on his fingers. A ripple of nervousness went through her, leaving an unfamiliar heat in its wake. Her corset felt too tight, her high-necked collar constricting.
Flushing, she brought herself to stare at him directly. He was a young man, not yet thirty, with the countenance of an exotic angel. This face had definitely been created for sin . . . the brooding mouth, the angular jaw, the golden-hazel eyes shaded by long straight lashes. His hair needed cutting, the heavy black locks curling slightly over the back of his collar. Amelia’s throat cinched around a quick breath as she saw the glitter of a diamond in his ear.
He accorded her a precise bow. “At your service, Miss . . .”
“Hathaway,” she said precisely. She turned to indicate her companion, who had come to stand at her left. “And this is my companion, Merripen.”
Rohan glanced at him alertly. “The Romany word for ‘life’ and also ‘death.’”
Was that what Merripen’s name meant? Surprised, Amelia looked up at him. Merripen gave a slight shrug to indicate it was of no importance. She turned back to Rohan. “Sir, we’ve come to ask you a question or two regarding—”
“I don’t like questions.”
“I am looking for my brother, Lord Ramsay,” she continued doggedly, “and I desperately need any information you may possess as to his whereabouts.”
“I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew.” His accent was a subtle mixture of foreignness and Cockney, and even a hint of upper class. It was the voice of a man who kept company with an unusual assortment of people.
“I assure you, sir, I wouldn’t put myself or anyone else to the trouble, were it not absolutely necessary. But this is the third day since my brother has gone missing—”
“Not my problem.” Rohan turned toward the door.
“He tends to fall in with bad company—”
“He could be dead by now.”
“I can’t help you. I wish you luck in your search.” Rohan pushed open the door and made to enter the club.
He stopped as Merripen spoke in Romany.
Since Merripen had first come to the Hathaways, there had been only a handful of occasions on which Amelia had heard him speak the secret language known to the Rom. It was heathen-sounding, thick with consonants and drawn-out vowels, but there was a primitive music in the way the words fit together.
Staring at Merripen intently, Rohan leaned his shoulder against the door frame. “The old language,” he said. “It’s been years since I’ve heard it. Who is the father of your tribe?”
“I have no tribe.”
A long moment passed, while Merripen remained inscrutable in the face of Rohan’s regard.
The hazel eyes narrowed. “Come in. I’ll see what I can find out.”
They were brought into the club without ceremony, Rohan directing an employee to show them to a private receiving room upstairs. Amelia heard the hum of voices, and music coming from somewhere, and footsteps going to and fro. It was a busy masculine hive forbidden to someone like herself.
The employee, a young man with an East London accent and careful manners, took them into a well-appointed room and bid them wait there until Rohan returned. Merripen went to a window overlooking King Street.
Amelia was surprised by the quiet luxury of her surroundings: the hand-knotted carpet done in shades of blue and cream, the wood-paneled walls and velvet-upholstered furniture. “Quite tasteful,” she commented, removing her bonnet and setting it on a small claw-footed mahogany table. “For some reason I had expected something a bit . . . well, tawdry.”
“Jenner’s is a cut above the typical establishment. It masquerades as a gentlemen’s club, when its real purpose is to provide the largest hazard bank in London.”
Amelia went to a built-in bookshelf and inspected the volumes as she asked idly, “Why is it, do you think, that Mr. Rohan was reluctant to take money from Lord Selway?”
Merripen cast a sardonic glance over his shoulder. “You know how the Rom feel about material possessions.”
“Yes, I know your people don’t like to be encumbered. But from what I’ve seen, Romas are hardly reluctant to accept a few coins in return for a service.”
“It’s more than not wanting to be encumbered. For a chal to be in this position—”
“What’s a chal?”
“A son of the Rom. For a chal to wear such fine clothes, to stay under one roof so long, to reap such financial bounty . . . it’s shameful. Embarrassing. Contrary to his nature.”
He was so stern and certain of himself, Amelia couldn’t resist teasing him a little. “And what’s your excuse, Merripen? You’ve stayed under the Hathaway roof for an awfully long time.”
“That’s different. For one thing, there’s no profit in living with you.”
“For another . . .” Merripen’s voice softened. “I owe my life to your family.”
Amelia felt a surge of affection as she stared at his unyielding profile. “What a spoilsport,” she said gently. “I try to mock you, and you ruin the moment with sincerity. You know you’re not obligated to stay, dear friend. You’ve repaid your debt to us a thousand times over.”
Merripen shook his head immediately. “It would be like leaving a nest of plover chicks with a fox nearby.”
“We’re not as helpless as all that,” she protested. “I’m perfectly capable of taking care of the family . . . and so is Leo. When he’s sober.”
“When would that be?” His bland tone made the question all the more sarcastic.
Amelia opened her mouth to argue the point, but was forced to close it. Merripen was right—Leo had wandered through the past six months in a state of perpetual inebriation. She put a hand to her midriff, where worry had accumulated like a sack of lead shot. Poor wretched Leo—she was terrified nothing could be done for him. Impossible to save a man who didn’t want to be saved.
That wouldn’t stop her from trying, however.
She paced around the room, too agitated to sit and wait calmly. Leo was out there somewhere, needing to be rescued. And there was no telling how long Rohan would have them bide their time here.
“I’m going to have a look around,” she said, heading to the door. “I won’t go far. Stay here, Merripen, in case Mr. Rohan should come.”
She heard him mutter something beneath his breath. Ignoring her request, he followed at her heels as she went out into the hallway.
“This isn’t proper,” he said behind her.
Amelia didn’t pause. Propriety had no power over her now. “This is my one chance to see inside a gaming club—I’m not going to miss it.” Following the sound of voices, she ventured toward a gallery that wrapped around the second story of a huge, splendid room.
Crowds of elegantly dressed men gathered around three large hazard tables, watching the play, while croupiers used rakes to gather dice and money. There was a great deal of talking and calling out, the air crackling with excitement. Employees moved through the hazard room, some bearing trays of food and wine, others carrying trays of chips and fresh cards.
Remaining half-hidden behind a column, Amelia surveyed the crowd from the upper gallery. Her gaze alighted on Mr. Rohan, who had donned a black coat and cravat. Even though he was attired similarly to the club members, he stood out from the others like a fox among pigeons.
Rohan half sat, half leaned against the bulky mahogany manager’s desk in the corner of the room, where the hazard bank was managed. He appeared to be giving directions to an employee. He used a minimum of gestures, but even so, there was a suggestion of showmanship in his movements, an easy physicality that drew the eye.
And then . . . somehow . . . the intensity of Amelia’s interest seemed to reach him. He reached up to the back of his neck, and then he looked directly at her. Just as he had done in the alley. Amelia felt her heartbeat awaken everywhere, in her limbs and hands and feet and even in her knees. A tide of uncomfortable color washed over her. She stood immersed in guilt and heat and surprise, red-faced as a child, before she could finally gather her wits sufficiently to dart behind the column.
“What is it?” she heard Merripen ask.
“I think Mr. Rohan saw me.” A shaky laugh escaped her. “Oh, dear. I hope I haven’t annoyed him. Let’s go back to the receiving room.”
And risking one quick glance from the concealment of the column, she saw that Rohan was gone.
Copyright © 2007 by Lisa Kleypas. All rights reserved.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Where do I begin? The first Lisa Kleypas book I read was Tempt Me at Twilight. I was searching for a different author since my usual "go-to-authors" were not releasing anything new at the moment. Tempt Me at Twilight was listed under the new releases for romances, and I decided to take a chance. Boy am I glad! I have since bought all but one of LK's books. I just got around to reading Mine Till Midnight, after leaving the Hathaways for quite some time. First of all, I love Cam. I think he is a fascinating and breathtaking character. He is unpredictable and a bit devastating, in the best way. As for Amelia, I won't lie; she annoyed me a great deal at times. She was so controlled and controlling. That, I suppose, is the symptom of being the second oldest of five with a brother who is in danger of drinking himself to death. Also, having lost both parents and being thrown into a new world (one with a titled brother) can be a major factor. While there were moments that I found it hard to believe that Cam would find enough in common with Amelia to fall in love, they do compliment each other well. Two side notes: This book has excited me at the prospect of reading Seduce Me at Sunrise. If that book wasn't at my house while I'm at school, I'd be devouring it now. I really find Win and Merripen to be fascinating. I am hoping my expectations will be met (which I'm sure they will). Second, I really disliked Leo. Really! The very end was his only saving grace (though I think this was maybe a bit intentional...?). If I hadn't read Poppy's book first, I probably would not have been interested at all to pick up Leo's book when it is released in June. All in all, this was a great book. I am happy to have a glimpse into the unconventional Hathaway household.
From the moment Cam & Amelia meet, you are caputured into a world of endless passion, within the realm of the "Romany Seduction Spell;" causing you to be unable to cease reading this book. Cam is portrayed as a figment within ones imagination, a handsome intriguingly sexual individual who doesn't seem to exist. Someone within a dream, a fantasy, a beautiful sensual nightmare. Because he's unlike any other man Amelia has ever met before, there is a slight attraction to him at first. Cam spends most of his time at Jenner's, a gentlemen's club, he manages, which is located in the notorious city of London. Every so often having to break up the occcasional bar/whore fight between gentlemen of elegant status; to having an exceptional knowledge of mathematics when it comes to others accounts; and finally to having his way with an assortment of women. He is ULTIMATELY a jack of all trades. Amelia is the extreme opposite. She's reserved, a proper lady, and since her parents died, she's basically head of the household. Having to contend to her three younger sisters, and her older brother, Leo (aka Lord Ramsey), who is normally intoxicated, whoring around, or missing. She doesn't have it easy, but is willing to put it all on the line, including her own happiness for her family. Since Amelia's parents took in a Romany boy, Merripen, and had accepted him as one of their own. Amelia is not prejudice to be seen, spoken to, or even accompanied by a Romany. She is willing to accept Cam as an equal individual, within a world who would ONLY see him as scum. Cam will stop at NOTHING to have possession over Amelia's heart, mind, body, and soul. Leaving no means behind within the game of SEDUCTION. This book is exceptionally written, highly sexually gratifying, and it possesses many twist and turns as well. Leaving me to desire my own handsome seductive Romany. DESERVES WELL BEYOND THE 5 STAR RATING!
When I read Lisa Kleypas' earlier series, where Cam is introduced, I was immediately interested in him and was dying to find out if he ended up with any of the girls from that series. When he did not, I was disappointed, but put it from my mind - until I read the synopsis of "Mine Till Midnight". After immediately purchasing the book, I took it home and literally read it cover to cover, effortlessly and entirely enthralled. Kleypas does an excellent job of keeping the story interesting, funny and relatively light-hearted, without skipping out on the darker contextual subjects that deepen the plot and characters. All in all, it was very satisfying and I would absolutely recommend it.
I'd rate this one 'R' - for adults only. The initial two-thirds of Mine Till Midnight is a well-written nicely-paced love story. The focus is firmly on character personalities, feelings, challenges. The final third of the novel makes an abrupt switch to erotica - he puts his there, she puts hers there, over and over and over. The prose is lovely in both the love story section and the erotica section. The characters are interesting and well-drawn. There is a significant amount of point of view head-hopping in some scenes, and even in some paragraphs. Normally I hate that, but in Mine Till Midnight the transitions are done so smoothly I didn't mind - much. A certain amount of 'modern think' by characters is normal in historical romance because it allows the reader to identify better with the hero/heroine. In the love story section of Mine Till Midnight the heroine's 'modern think' is kept to a believable minimum. Unfortunately, in the erotica section the 1800's heroine suddenly adopts some jarringly post sexual revolution attitudes that just don't ring true for a sheltered 1840's woman. I'm not sorry I bought and read Mine Till Midnight. But as I read the first half of this book I was mentally making space for it in the keeper section of my bookcase. By the time I finished it I knew it didn't qualify and tucked into my 'pass it along' box.
I loved this book. All the characters were wonderful and enduring. The the story was amazing and it leaves the reader wanting more. I have read the entire Hathaway's series and Lisa Kleypas never fails to please her readers!
I love the start to the Hathaway series!
Was thrilled to learn this book was the start of a series because I didn't want it to end. Loved the tension between the main characters but especially how protective he was of her once he fell in love. Great read!
This is the first book of Lisa's that I have read, and it was amazing. It was funny, tear jerking, and steamy of course!. It did not dissapoint!
Great series! Love the romance
Enjoyed getting hooked on this series...you will love them all.
Finally Cam's story
couldnt put this one down
I read Seduce me at sunrise first not knowing it was the 2nd in a series, and loved it. Then I read Tempt me at twilit because the bookstore didn't have this one. But I've got to say I have enjoyed all three! I only recently started reading Lisa Kleypas and I'm looking forward to the next (if there are) Hathaway Family adventure/romance! Great book by a great writer!
Mine Till Midnight was a satisfying conclusion for the character we first meet in The Devil in Winter. Though I briefly thought he would end up with Daisy '4th Wallflower book', I thought he was much more suited to Amelia. Having two characters that are so alike was fascinating to read about. Cam is independent and lonely, and Amelia is responsible and lonely as well , but when they found each other, they bring out the best of one other. They're a perfect combination.
England, 1848In the process of trying to locate her wayward brother who seems bent on self destruction, Amelia Hathaway found herself in a Gentlemen¿s Club. Cam Rohan knew as soon as Amelia walked into the room, she was not just any women, he knew he had to help her find her brother and then hopefully avoid the consequences of the thoughts he was having about her. Cams `good luck curse¿ made him long for the freedom of the Gypsy lifestyle while the string of bad luck that the Hathaway family was in seemed to be getting worse and Amelia had to take control to make sure the whole family (Leo, Amelia, Winnifred, Poppy, Beatrix and Merripen) survived. Finding themselves in the same area again, Cam found he could not stop trying to help Amelia, while Amelia struggled to maintain control, she seemed relieved to find someone who was finally willing to really help her when she needed it, even if she didn`t realize that is what she wanted.The characters in this book are wonderful, the strength of both Amelia and Cam shine leaving me to want to know more (luckily `Seduce Me at Sunrise¿ delivers that and more). The struggles Amelia has in keeping her family together are sometimes tough but she handles all of them with such kindness (even the lizards) that you can see the love for her family (including Merripen and all his surliness). Cam is a great complex character, a bit of humor, some confidence and a lot of luck, this is the type of character that I enjoy watching as he realizes the depth of his feelings and what it actually means to him, and then ¿¿. there is what he does about it. There is a bit of a paranormal twist, just a small part, but it may prove to be the turning point for the Hathaway family. This is the first book of the Hathaway family series
Cam had lived as a gypsy until he was 10 and his grandmother sent him off to live as a gadjo among the English. Despite his roots and his desire to remain true to his gypsy nature it turned out that Cam had the curse of good luck which has brought him more wealth than he knows what to do with. Now Cam is the manager of a prestigious and notorious London gambling club for gentlemen, but longs to return to his wild gypsy ways. Then one faithful night he meets a woman who sooths his soul and makes him question his desires.Amelia Hathaway is the second oldest sibling of five (and one adopted gypsy) and acts as overseer and mother of her odd brood. Her older brother, Leo, has inherited a Lordship but is lost in a fugue of liquor, gambling and woman. Determined to save them all Amelia moves the family from London to the Ramsay House where the derelict house turns out to be more a problem than a haven. However, at the nearby Westcliff Manor Cam Rohan is staying as a guest and is determined to assist Amelia in any way he can, until he is finally faced with the decision of whether his destiny lies with the gypsies of his past or the unusual Hathaway family of his present.At the beginning of this tale I couldn't help feeling that the story wasn't quite measuring up to its loosely related predecessors, the Wallflower Quartet. However, as nice as it was to revisit some of my favorite characters from those past books, this book's appeal really lies with Cam, Amelia and the rest of the Hathaways. I found that once they took central stage without interference of the past characters the story went much smoother. I enjoyed Cam's courtship of Amelia which certainly got quite steamy along the way. The "Hummingbird" nickname was so sweet! There was only one part I didn't care for where Cam's jealously seemed to get the better of him, I've never cared for the whole "kissing the heroine into submission" routine, but that was just one small scene. Overall I totally enjoyed this story, it moved along well and easily held my interest. I've already picked up the next book with Win and Kev, and am really looking forward to reading more about this eccentric Hathaway Clan.
After reading Mine Till Midnight(my first by Lisa Kleypas), I have only one wish. That I had discovered Lisa Kleypas sooner!! Being a fan of romance, and especially of historical romances, I could hardly put this book down. It was the story of the Hathaways, a family who it seems is on the brink of disaster. In Mine Till Midnight, Amelia meets Cam Rohan, a Gypsie who is living in polite society. I found the story incredibly addictive. It was amusing, heartfelt, suspenseful, and hot! All of the characters were unique and well written. I really felt like there was some serious electricity between the two main characters. Their relationship didn't feel forced or false. I also loved the way Kleypas described the area and the clothing of her characters. One of the joys of reading historical fiction is envisioning a former way of life and in this aspect, I wasn't disappointed. I loved the book and can't wait to start reading the next in the series.
As originally posted on my blog Ticket to AnywhereMine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas is the start of a new series that involves the delightfully unpolished Hathaway family. The Hathaway's were content to live in relative obscurity in the country until Leo inherited a title which brought the family to the attention of the aristocracy. Now Leo's sister's all have opportunities that they never thought possible before. Although what each sister will do with these new advantages will shock most members of the ton. Take for example, Amelia Hathaway, she is the oldest and has taken it upon herself to act as a mother to her younger siblings and to do her best to make even the most unconventional of them presentable. Which is a very daunting task to say the least. But then she meets Cam Rohan, a gypsy, who gives new meaning to the phrase tall, dark and dangerous. Amelia meets Cam when trying to track down her wayward brother and the sparks that fly between them are immediately felt on both sides. Mine Till Midnight was such a fun read. I loved loved loved meeting the Hathaway family and adored all of their many quirks. Especially that scene with Beatrice, the youngest Hathaway, at Lord Westcliff's dinner....well....lets just say that it had me laughing out loud and leave it at that. Amelia is a strong character and despite an initial desire to be conventional she soon realizes that just isn't the Hathaway way. I really enjoyed reading her story and all the ups and downs of her relationship with Cam, who is totally swoon worthy by the way. My one problem with this story was how even after Amelia and Cam married (and that's not a spoiler people this IS a romance book after all and they tend to end in one of two ways.) Anywho - after Amelia and Cam married the rest of the Hathaway family still referred to him as Mr Rohan. Which I can see before the marriage - but afterwards when he becomes part of their family? I don't know, perhaps I am just not very well versed in Victorian etiquette rules....but even if that is the norm, it just doesn't seem very Hathaway-like. All in all though this was a very fun read and is my favorite Lisa Kleypas to date. Can't wait to see what shenanigans the rest of this boisterously, unconventional clan gets up to!As originally posted on my blog Ticket to Anywhere
1st book in the series....Great story; dark hero and responsible/strong heroine; Theres more characters to love, and it gives the story more depth. You find yourself more involved in the story, and more involved in the family as a whole, which I find very refreshing.
This book offers something new in the form of its hero, Cam Rohan, a man of half Irish, half gypsy decent. He is paired with the "practical spinster" type, Amelia Hathaway, who nevertheless is a very likeable character. At first I found the premise, particularly Cam, a bit off-putting for seeming rather far-fetched/unlikely, and the plot itself is pretty erratic and all over the place - there's even a bit of the paranormal thrown in. But the pacing of the story and the burgeoning romance between Cam and Amelia soon swept me up, and I was able to brush aside such concerns. My only qualms stem from the fact that, being so unconventional, I thought Cam's story really didn't receive its due. So much was unaddressed about his identity as a gypsy. This was not for lack of effort on the author's part to paint a picture of the gypsy culture, which I, admittedly, don't know anything about. But Lisa Kleypas seemed to have done a lot of research herself, sprinkling Romany words, stories, and beliefs throughout so as to make Cam seem like a very convincing character, at least to me. I'm referring instead to what it must have meant to be a gypsy in Victorian England, and particularly one who is such a prominent figure in English society. (Cam is a very successful businessman.) While the author tries to address Cam's straddling of two worlds and the conflicts inherent in this juggling act, such a struggle seems only incidental within the larger scope of the story itself, and the resolution a bit too pat and swift. I think this story was beautifully written, the characters engaging, the premise new, but also there seemed to be so much untapped potential. Also, I came away from this book with my favorite aspect being the Hathaway family itself (Amelia is the second eldest among four other siblings). It was such a relief to be introduced to the Hathaways after suffering through a certain alphabetetically inclined family that shall remain nameless, in comparison with whose stilted, supposedly humorous banter and awkward attempts at affectionate sarcasm the Hathaways emerge as refreshingly real, neither annoyingly perfect nor overly angsty. While this achievement is by no means a bad thing, in a romance, the relationship between the hero and heroine should obviously be the thing to stick out most in one's mind. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed Mine Till Midnight and can't wait to read the sequel.
Absolutely delightful. I'm so thrilled Cam got a book! I've been madly in love with him ever since he stole that kiss from Daisy. ;) This book was wonderfully passionate and utterly enchanting. Kleypas has once again proved herself a master -- Mine Till Midnight is a superb historical romance.
I wanted to like this more. I had read the 3 contemp Kleypas novels and enjoyed all of them and decided to try her historicals once more. This calls itself the start of a new series but has characters from another seires in it. It just didn't pull me. I would read 10 pages, put it down, read anotehr book, read 10 more pages and then forget about it. I dont' know why, I read loads of historical romances and I really enjoyed her contemps but somehow these historicals don't pull me in.
Amelia Hathaway is searching the London night for her wayward brother Leo. Before she can find him she crosses paths with Cam Rohan, gypsy turned manager of a club called Jenners. Before she knows it Cam is helping her in the search for her brother. Along for the ride is Merripen, a dear friend who Amelia thinks of as another brother. Her concern for her brother Leo stems from his recent excessive indulgence in alcohol and gambling. She is worried for his life and is determined to save him whether he likes it or not.Once Leo is found, brawling in front of a tavern, Cam and Amelia part ways but not before Cam kisses her senseless and leaves her with a desire for more. She returns home in a daze, thinking she will never see him again. A week passes and the orphaned Hathaway siblings move to the Hampshire country home that came with the title of Lord Ramsay that Leo inherited. The house is in a shambles and it is up to Amelia to see to the restoration and to the care of her sisters and Leo.It turns out their neighbor in Hampshire is Marcus, Lord Westcliff. He was the hero in It Happened One Autumn. Amelia has an impromptu meeting with him and two of his house guests. Marcus and his wife Lillian welcome the Hathaways to the neighborhood with an invite to dinner. Amelia is beside herself since the Hathaways are quite poor and have very little in the way of appropriate clothes. But she manages to gather everyone, even Leo and off they go.But where's Cam? Back in London? Just to show what a small world it is... Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent is a friend of Lord Westcliff. He and his wife are also guests at Lord Westcliff's country estate. Sebastian was the hero of The Devil in Winter and he happens to own Jenners, the club where Cam works. See where this is going?Amelia is a no-nonsense type of heroine. She has to be. She can't depend on Leo, the eldest and only male sibling. He has decided to wallow in self pity. Her three sisters are all younger and look to Amelia for guidance. She is very practical and sees her future as a spinster taking care of her siblings. I really like Amelia. Her attitude of never give up no matter what didn't get on my nerves like I thought it might. Her inner dialogues were amusing and showed what she wanted to say but dared not for fear of causing hurt feelings. She wasn't always as circumspect when it came to Leo. She loves him dearly but even he pushed her to her limits.Then there's Cam. *sigh* I fell for Cam in a big way. He's not the typical dark, brooding hero that I usually go for. In fact there was very little angst in Cam. The one thing he did get upset about is money. No, not lack of, but what he called his "good-luck" curse. Being a half gypsy and raised by them he adheres to the belief of not being tied down and materialistic. He only wants what he needs and doesn't feel the need for great wealth. Unfortunately for him, he seems to have the magic touch where money is concerned. This, added to the fact that he is employed in London no less, was really the only source of angst for him. Until he met Amelia. Otherwise Cam is the calm in the middle of the storm. Always cool. Serene. Not a word I would normally use for a man but it fits him. But when he's with Amelia she has the ability to make him loose all that calm and practically explode with emotions.And I don't want to forget the Hathaway siblings. They are such a essential part of the story. They're not here just for fill or future books, which are certainly in the making. The relationship Amelia has with her siblings is a vital part of who she is. When Cam comes into the picture he develops his own unique relationship with each sibling, slowly becoming part of the family before he realizes what is happening.In addition to woe-is-me Leo, there is Win, Poppy and Beatrix. Win is in frail health after she nearly died the year before. She is described as being soft spoken and ethereal but her strong backbone peaks through every now and then. Popp
Ms. Kleypas is one of my favoirte historical authors. Her books are fun and show a side of the Regency Era most books don't go into. Most of her books are not written with Dukes and Earls as the Heroes but more the upper Middle Class at the time. This story is full of quirky characters, a haunting, gypsies, and life when it was simpler. This is a quick read and it has some turns that had me wondering if the hero and heroine were ever going to get together. This book is also steamier than some of Ms. Kleypas' earlier works, which is a plus in my mind. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.