Wild on Books - Book Reviews



The Midnight Man

Charlotte Mede
















Release Date:
July 29, 2008

Historical Romance


Bookmark Rating:
3 1/2 Bookmarks!

Reviewed by
Jennifer Ray

Review Posted:
June 2008


Lady Helena isn’t sure exactly why the mysterious Nicholas Ramsay claims he wants to help her, but she has the distinct feeling he isn’t telling her the whole truth.  With no other options, however, she is forced to accept his protection, although she proceeds with extreme caution.  That caution only extends so far, however, when the dangerous Ramsay launches an all out sensual attack on her body and her heart…

Finally, Nicholas has the opportunity to put his plans for the lovely Helena into motion.  He’ll sate both their physical desires during their dalliance, but that’s as far as it can go for a man without a heart…

Charlotte Mede has crafted a very inventive plot, rife with plenty of intrigue combined with romance.  While the romance between Helena and Nicholas is the predominant storyline, the pursuit of evidence regarding Darwin’s theory is just as important to the plot, as it figures greatly as a weapon against the villains who are intent on doing harm to Helena.

Ms. Mede tackles the friction between Science and the Church as the theory of evolution threatens to topple the near-absolute power religious leaders hold over the populace.  With a Bishop who is as far from pious as you can get in the role of the villain, this disconnect between the theory of evolution and the story of Creation is all the more uncomfortable in a way that that enhances the suspense very well.

The heroine of the piece, Helena, is a woman to be admired.  Fighting for her independence after a life of being subjugated by her father and husband, both now dead, she is besieged by her husband’s powerful relatives who seek to gain her fortune for themselves through control of her.  All she wants is to be left alone to lead a quiet life with her artistic pursuits and charitable works, but that is not to be.  Things really ramp up when the dangerous Nicholas Ramsay enters the picture, showing her the sensual side of herself she had come to believe didn’t exist.

Nicholas Ramsay is an intriguing character.  Powerful and dangerous, here is a self-made man who still suffers from the scars of his past, but must learn to overcome them before he can find true happiness.  What disappointed me about him was that we never really experienced that transition with him.  His character and goals remain the same throughout most of the story.  Although we see plenty of reasons why he should fall for Helena as the book progresses, he is seemingly unmoved by her virtues, dead set on achieving his revenge no matter what.  When the story finally concludes, he does a rather abrupt about-face, which was difficult to believe without seeing him change over a period of time.

Additionally, there were a number of scenes that were ‘skipped’ in the story.  The first time I noticed it, the heroine had been rendered unconscious by the villains.  When she wakes, she finds herself on a boat with the hero, with no explanation of how she escaped the villains’ clutches or how she came to be on Nicholas’ boat.  I thought I’d accidentally turned multiple pages, or that perhaps the advance copy I received had left pages out of the book.  The page numbers matched, however, and as I read further, the scene was described sketchily in Nicholas’ thoughts.  There was never any real explanation of how this man physically overcame several of the bad guys by himself, though.  There were several similar occurrences throughout the story, and they served to make me feel as if I were missing parts of the book, although it was apparent it was written this way.  Many of them felt important enough that I would have enjoyed ‘seeing’ these scenes play out.

All that said, this was an enjoyable and creative plot, one I’m happy to have not missed.  Charlotte Mede has a wonderful imagination, and I will definitely be keeping an eye on this author’s future work.


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