Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Kiss at Midnight - Eloisa James (Fairy Tales #1)

A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1)
Every now and then, a girl likes to read a trashy romance novel.  It's one of those simple truths, a little guilty pleasure I think we all like to indulge in every now and then.  And in my opinion, if the novel is based off a fairy tale, even better, because then I get to scrutinize it for interesting twists.

This didn't have many of them.

As the title and cover would suggest, A Kiss at Midnight is based off the story of Cinderella, though it takes place in Regency-period England rather than in some place where magic trees or fairy godmothers are prevalent.  There are some changes from the original story--the stepsister isn't evil, the prince is exiled and will never be king, the heroine is posing as someone else for much of the story--but it's nothing that made my jaw drop.  Really, I feel like it didn't need to be a Cinderella story at all, and that it would have served its purpose, romance-novel-wise, if it had just revolved around Kate pretending to be Victoria.  I think a more interesting story would probably have been that of Tatiana: the Russian princess uprooted from her home to marry an impoverished prince she's never met, only to find him in love with another woman.  That could be interesting.  This?  This was...entertaining, in a typical romance novel sort of way, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's actually interesting.

So, the plot wasn't terribly interesting.  The characters weren't that interesting, either.  Really, my favorites were Effie and Henry.  Kate and Gabriel themselves were just...blah.  Kate is a Nice Girl who slaves away for her family, servants, and tenants while her stepmother and stepsister spend all of her dead father's fortune.  After her stepsister Victoria, who is genuinely a nice person, has a little mishap with a dog bite, Kate agrees to pose as Victoria in order to secure the approval of one of Victoria's fiance's relatives; this approval is apparently vital, even though the fiance and the relative (the prince) have never met before.  Kate spends the entire story talking about duty, how she just couldn't leave her stepfamily, and whining that she will never marry Gabriel because she believes that he'll have affairs, even if she blatantly states that she doesn't think he's the type to leave.  Gabriel spends his time whining that Kate isn't rich enough for him to marry if he's going to pay for the upkeep of an entire castle and its staff because that is his responsibility.

Suck it up and find solutions.  The two of you are supposed to be adults, aren't you?

Effie and Henry, though, were delightful.  And Tatiana seems like she had potential, too, though we didn't really see that much of her.  Oh well.  That's the way the cookie crumbles.

2 stars out of 5.

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