SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.
Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.
Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.
Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.
Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .
Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .
Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.
REVIEW: I do believe I have found a new “favorite author.” A friend of mine was looking for fairy-tale based stories to read when she came across A Kiss at Midnight, and knowing my tendencies suggested the book to me before she was even half-way through. I do love a good fairytale re-tell! And this one is fabulous!
I will say that one, the cover of this book is NOT how I pictured Kate at all, and two – I’m not sure who wrote this synopsis because it doesn’t really do the book justice…so my suggestion is to read and decide for yourself. The characters are fun, and loveable. While Mariana, the “evil step-mother” is arrogant and snobby and not too bright; she isn’t detestable. Neither is Victoria, the step-sister. I actually kind of like Victoria, even if she got her lip bitten by a dog because she was feeding it meat from her mouth (uh, YUCK!) Kate, our Cinderella, is so brass and funny. She’s clever and quick witted, but she’s also self conscious and unsure of herself.
I love that this is a fairytale retell of Cinderella, but I also love that Eloisa James has slide in references to other books as well. I’ve caught several, and I almost wonder if I’ve missed some. One of the more notable would be Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as Romeo and Juliet (which is mentioned by name more than simply referenced). The storyline doesn’t actually move in that direction at all, it’s just…there. I don’t know if it was purposefully done, but my mind finds similarities between Kate and Gabriel, and Elizabeth and Darcy of the ever famous Pride and Prejudice. The book has also had me laughing out loud at some of the crazy scenes, and funny moments, and witty over-the-top characters. Henry (aka Henrietta) makes a crazy and atypical fairy godmother.
The chemistry between Kate and Gabriel is notable from the moment they meet, but it is nowhere near the Disney version of love at first sight, however annoyance is very quick to turn into infatuation. The two of them fight it (the attraction) but bringing them together is instant flames, along with sharp tongues. The romance between them is hot and heavy and – a romance lovers dream.
I highly recommend the book! It is very well written, a lovely interpretation, and just plain entertaining!!!