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A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Well-known for tales of dukes and duchesses, James (A Duke of Her Own) upgrades to the handsome prince in this delectable Regency reimagining of the Cinderella story. Miss Katherine Daltry, on the shelf at 23, manages the household of her ungrateful stepmother and silly stepsister, who inherited all of her father's estate. Kate is thrust from the cinders to the spotlight when her stepsister needs a stand-in for a betrothal ball at Pomeroy Castle. Gabriel, youngest princeling of the duchy of Warl-Marburg-Baalsfeld, needs a rich wife to support his archeology habit; Kate is, of course, manifestly unsuitable. Eccentric turns from Professor Biggitstiff, a pickle-eating dog, and an irrepressible godmother spin a candy floss comic romp around a core of heartache. James's deft touch allows the characters to shine through genuinely witty dialogue and an uncluttered plot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Fairy Tales (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061626848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061626845
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think is the first Eloisa James books I've read [can't be totally sure, since I read a lot of romance novels] but this book wouldn't have me wanting to read another by the author.

Halfway through the book I found myself thinking, "I don't think I really like this book." And I was trying to figure out why, and I don't think i really buy the attraction between Kate and Gabriel or this great passion they're supposed to share.

I gave it three stars, because the last half of the book is a lot better than the first half. Although when the hero and heroine finally make love, there's a real sleazy feel about it, with him spending time with his future wife, while slipping upstairs to cop a feel of his future lover. Might have been better if they had gotten together before the future wife showed up. It was hard to get into their passion when I thought about the innocent future bride down stairs waiting for him. Left a real bad taste in my mouth.

It has a nice romantic ending. Just wished I'd enjoyed the journey to that happy ending more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very light, humorous book. It is a Cinderella-type story. Katherine Daltry, a twenty-three-year-old "spinster" and orphan, resides with and caters to (serving as land steward) her horrid, greedy stepmother and daft stepsister. She, of course, has no fancy clothes or trifles as all her father's money was left to the stepmother, who is using said funds to sponsor her weeping daughter and marry her off to a viscount (this viscount happens to be a distant cousin to our prince, and for one reason or other, needs the prince's approval to wed his chosen bride).

Gabriel is our prince - but a second son, not a crown prince. Gabriel's brother, who has thoroughly embraced religion, has exiled all the "oddities" of his duchy to Pomeroy Castle in England. So, Gabriel, who is an "amateur" archeologist, finds himself needing to support a menagerie of peculiar relatives, exotic animals, and everything else in between. And in order for him to accomplish this task, he needs a rich wife, who has already been chosen for him by his brother and is expected to arrive any moment from Russia.

The preliminaries aside, the love story begins when Kate finds herself posing as her sister - for farcical reasons I choose not to reveal - at Pomeroy Castle, awaiting Gabriel's approval of her as his cousin's wife. Kate and her "fiancé" have been invited to join the festivities preceding Gabriel's betrothal ball. And this is where all the fun begins. The interaction between the two main characters was so refreshing, as is the interaction with the secondary characters, especially the "magical" godmother - humorous to say the least.

Kate is a very likable, sincere heroine with a joyous look on life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's obvious from the reading of it, but Eloisa James also lets us know in her Historical Notes at the end, that this is NOT historical fiction. It's just delightful fiction. She's free and easy with language (it's full of modernisms) and has written a wickedly funny take on the Cinderella story. Not much depth to it, it's just pure entertainment with LOL moments, crazy characters (including various animals of different species), absurd situations and witty, zany dialogue. James has always been a wordsmith, so the way she writes is even more to be admired than the plots she contrives.

As for this plot, no need to talk about it. We're all familiar with Cinderella's story. Here we have our Cinderella (Miss Kate Daltry), wicked stepmother (Mrs. Mariana Daltry), not-wicked-at-all stepsister (Victoria Daltry), somewhat charming prince (Prince Gabriel Albrecht-Frederick William von Aschenberg of Warl-Marburg-Baalsfeld), godmother not-of-the-fairy-variety (Henrietta, Lady Wrothe), glass slippers (not of glass but rather of a transparent stiffened taffeta), a ball which will be left at midnight, and, of course, the HEA required of all fairy tales. It's a truly fun read (charming, one might even say).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love EJ. I have read everything she has written thus far, and started her fairytale series two weeks ago. I finished this [A Kiss at Midnight] two days ago. I read through it pretty quickly, and did find myself interested in the plot, characters, wit, and fun of it. I was not expecting this book to be historically accurate or the language to be perfect either. She states as much in her notes at the end of the book. When I want a serious romance I read Jane Austen (or another author of the same ilk), when I want some hanky-panky I go for EJ. I read this book in the spirit it was intended, as a fun fictional romp in an imaginary land, in an imaginary time, (though the places mentioned are real, the details are not and I understood that).
Some of the characters were a bit wooden and under developed (Cherryderry, Mariana, and Toloose for example). Matter of fact i had a very hard time even remembering who the heck Toloose was and why on Earth a Russian princess would transfer her affections from Gabriel to him...I had to go back and re-read who the fella was! I did find the whole mention of the collection of animals (the elephant, monkey, lion etc) completely useless to the story in general. While cute, i found all the mention of the dogs annoying, but understandably since Ceasar was the cause of Victoria's not going with Algie to the Prince...i let it slide, although her condition [pregnancy out of wedlock] would have been reason enough for Katherine to have stepped in and gone in her place.
This story sort of reminded me of another EJ book, Duchess by Night, which involved a character pretending to be someone other than who she was. In that book she was disguised as a young man, while in this [A Kiss at Midnight] Kate was disguised as her half sister.
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