Tuesday, July 9, 2013

IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT, Julie Ann Long

So you know what I'm going to say here. It's what I always say when I read a Pennyroyal Green series book. It's what we're all thinking.

WHEN are Olivia and Lyon going to finally get together?

I mean, honestly, haven't we been waiting an archeological age for these two star-crossed lovers to set aside their prejudices and start kissing as if their lives depended on it? When is this going to happen already?

At this end of this delightful novel--NOT about Olivia and Lyon--a reader finds the answer Ms. Long has placed there: not freaking yet.

And in all honesty, we haven't really ever actually seen Lyon and Olivia on the page together--they may have outgrown each other by now. But God, I hope not. Every time you read about them on the page, it feels like the equivalent of the dry shampoo of lighter fluid: passionate, soul-searing flames.

Flames.... Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths. Heaving breaths...

Wait, sorry, that's that movie CLUE. You'd have had to have seen it. Mrs. White (Madeline Khan) is to die laughing for. Whatever. Every time you read about Lyon and Olivia, you need to sign up for a cold shower because all you're going to get is sexually and relationshipally frustrated.

Back to the book at hand. So in this book, IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT, we get to hook up with Jonathan Redmond (one of Lyon's younger siblings who has been left to deal with the irascible father that Isaiah has become since Lyon stomped off, making Isaiah realize, his kids are no longer listening to him.) Being several of the Redmond kids have gotten their own books, and each one has delighted in thwarting the old geezer by doing the exact opposite of what he demands, you'd think Isaiah would catch on. But he doesn't. It doesn't matter. Children need a villainous parent so they'll break free, make their own independence, forge their own way, and thumb their nose at said parent, in order to get them out of the house. It's a fact. If my parents had been just a bit meaner, I probably would have left far sooner. It's their fault really I mooched as long as I did.

Meanwhile, while Jonathan is living, well, a rather sheltered life in my opinion, but learning quickly to get it together so he doesn't have to do whatever the guy with the money demands of him, we meet Tommy--a delightful red-headed girl, not exactly approved of in society. Wrong side of the tracks...and the blanket and issues of that nature. This girl can rally, my friends. Not sheltered. Totally running a racket when it comes to her background and keeping up a fine artistry of maintaining mystery, allure, yet appearing as if she belongs in society when her living circumstances are nearly a step from the gutter. She has chutzpah.

You really do want to see both of them succeed, though perhaps I wanted it a bit more for Tommy because her circumstances were that much more...harrowing and she was a single woman in a rather unforgiving time-period (though she didn't dwell on that nearly as much as I did.) Anyway, it's a very charming, delicious, delightful book--and it went really fast. I can't say it was my favorite in the series...that's still WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE or perhaps A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES; however, this book might deserve a reread to see if it gets better with rereads, you know? I've had books that do that. I prefer the other books because of the emotional punches were bigger for me than this one, but not everyone will react the same. This book may be someone's WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE. Disclaimer aside, I repeat, it's a charming, delicious, delightful book. Go find it.

And then you'll be just as excited to see that Ian Eversea is the hero of the next in the series--who was in WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE--and it will be interesting to see how Ms. Long makes Ian into a heroic character considering the time I met him (WIDFAD), he was less than gentlemanly, let alone heroic! Then, then, I'm hoping for some Lyon and Olivia closure, but I won't hold my breath. The Pennyroyal Green series is a brilliant funny emotionally-vivid place...it'd be a shame to lose it as well.

What did you think of IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT? Liked it more or less or the same as the others in the series? Do you also wonder how Ms. Long redeemed a man who was trying to shag another man's fiancée and is basically forced to crawl out of the window naked...all the while saying "It hadn't gotten that far yet." Yet. Now there's justification. Oh, I hope he suffers. I cannot wait to see.

What are you reading?



16 comments:

Maureen said...

Oh, you're gonna love this... I'm reading
Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth.

I can't really tell what it's about, yet. I just started it and it's a bit...uh...convoluted at the moment.

Marnee Bailey said...

I haven't read these books yet. I know. I'm not sure what I"m waiting for. I keep hearing really good things. But I said it before, historicals have left me cold for a little while. Thomas has a new one coming out soon though. Excited about that.

I'm still working on Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I keep thinking it's going to pick up, but it's slow moving, I think.

Terri Osburn said...

I know I sound like a broken record, but nope, haven't read any Long. I've met her. Does that count?

We're heading out for the big show. Oh, I'm still reading Guardian by Nancy Northcott and loving it. Y'all need to read this series!

MsHellion said...

Mo, I need more details about this book when you've got them!

Marn, I hear you on books leaving you cold. I went through that phase with historicals. I was basically only reading like two authors for a while, and there are certain authors I avoid because if I read the books, I'd set libraries on fire to make sure the books were extinguished. Slightly dramatic, but I really can't handle them among the fold. Writing is a great place to learn tolerance and acceptance (especially acceptance)--that every voice has a place and a following, despite it's detractors.

Terri, you've MET HER? *voice same as "you met the queen?"* Next time you meet her, can you tell her she's AWESOME. Clearly I need to investigate the Northcott books. I'm clearly missing out.

Janga said...

I loved It Happened One Midnight. It is one of my top reads of this year. I didn't love it quite as much as I did What I Did for a Duke, which not only has one of the most memorable opening scenes ever but also probably my favorite first kiss scene, and A Notorious Countess Confesses, which features my favorite hero in the series. I don't think we are going to get Lyon and Olivia's story until JAL decides to end the series, Hellie. I'm almost as eager to have more details about Colin Eversea's parentage. JAL is one of my favorite writers and has been since I read The Runaway Duke, her debut book.

I second Terri's recommendation of Nancy Northcott's Guardian books. I'd label them fantasy as opposed to paranormal, and although they have plenty of action, it's not at the cost of character development.

I just finished The Arrangement, Mary Balogh's next book, and it has a beta hero I adored. I'm reading a women's fiction novel today--Finding Colin Firth by Mia March. I fell in love with the title. :)

MsHellion said...

Janga, I pulled out WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE again just so I could reread it...and yes, that opening is to die for. *LOL* Twists, twists galore. And I think it might be the kiss scene that stole my breath the first time I read it and I had to post-it the page so I could return to it and read again.

Colin Eversea already had a book right? Hmmm.

And as soon as you mentioned FINDING COLIN FIRTH, I went to put my name down on the library to get in line for it. Oh, yes, just the title alone, but even with the blurb, it sounds great. :)

irisheyes said...

Unlike the rest of you, I've read most of the Pennyroyal Green series but have a real hard time remembering them when the next in the series comes out. So much so that I bought WIDFAD in ebook and realized I had it in paperback and had read it already. I did like and remember the last one (about the widow and the vicar). I suppose it is going to be one of those series I can re-read and enjoy all over again as if for the first time. LOL

I just finished INTO THE LIGHT by Ellen O'Connell. I love her stories. This one is a sequel to her last BEAUTIFUL BAD MAN. She writes westerns and finding good books in that genre is always difficult for me. So when I saw she had a new book out I did a little happy dance. Downloaded it to read over the 4th holiday away with the family. It was a very nice escape.

I have to look into that FINDING COLIN FIRTH. How can I not with a title like that?! :)

MsHellion said...

*snorts* Irish, that's what I'd do. Forget I read it and buy it again. Yeesh. But I wouldn't mind having WIDFAD twice. *LOL*

I know, right? How can you NOT read a book with Colin Firth in the title? *LOL*

MsHellion said...

FYI: I have a Dad Dr. Appt this afternoon, so if you comment and I don't respond right away...it might be closer to the witching hour before I get to come back and comment. :) Happy reading!

Janga said...

Hellie, Colin's book is The Perils of Pleasure, the first in the series. How many books start with the hero about to be hanged? LOL

Details are fresh for me since I recently reread the full series for an H&H essay.

MsHellion said...

Ah, yes, the hanging... (Not many--though Teresa Mederios' book where the hero was about to be hanged or shot comes to mind. I think it was shot.) Still...awesome. *LOL*

Mostly I remember the song they sing everywhere and drives the family batshit insane. *LOL*

P. Kirby said...

I've circled WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE whenever it has come up on sale, but so far, most historicals have left me cold, as in glacial, so haven't hit the buy button yet. I think the whole lot of Pennyroyal books were on sale recently.

Currently reading COLD MAGIC by Kate Elliot which is really good; strong voice, strong female protagonist, no Insta-Love/Lust, and complex world building. Also reading Linda Howard's NOW YOU SEE HER, which has a strange prickly female protagonist, and yet is still pretty engaging.

HEARTS OF SHADOW by Kira Brady is next up, even though I thought the love story in HEARTS OF DARKNESS was bleh. I like the worldbuilding and the hero in the second book is the nerdy, scholarly type, so potentially yummy.

Maureen said...

You got it, Hels, I'll keep ya informed. I figure I keep on reading and suddenly, it will all click into place. You know the big light bulb moment...

quantum said...

JAL is on my TBR but alas there are no audio versions available to me. However, with both you and Janga singing her praises, I don't think I can hold out much longer. I will have to buy an e-book. But not until I have tried 'Red Sean' ... thanks for reducing the price Maureen.... sensible move. *smile*

Great review Hellie!

quantum said...

What are you reading?
'Lorraine Heath's 'Lord of Temptation' following last week's rec. Great read so far. Does Crimson Jack marry Lady Anne in the end? .... He damned well better! LOL

Maureen said...

Yer welcome, Q. I'm working the price structure on and off, trying to find that magic price.