Read The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale Online


In the late 18th century, intent on avenging her family's death at the hands of a cult leader, Lady Leigh Strachan dresses as a boy and seeks out the reclusive S.T. Maitland, nobleman and highwayman, who was once known as the Prince of Midnight. Hiding in a crumbling castle in France, with a tame wolf as his pet, the hero is deaf in one ear, suffers from vertigo, and seemsIn the late 18th century, intent on avenging her family's death at the hands of a cult leader, Lady Leigh Strachan dresses as a boy and seeks out the reclusive S.T. Maitland, nobleman and highwayman, who was once known as the Prince of Midnight. Hiding in a crumbling castle in France, with a tame wolf as his pet, the hero is deaf in one ear, suffers from vertigo, and seems revoltingly sentimental to the stoic Leigh. But he joins her quest and together they begin to emerge from their individual suffering ......

Title : The Prince of Midnight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780759203181
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Prince of Midnight Reviews

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2019-06-07 09:40

    "Don't let that happen to me." Her words shook. "Don't leave me to be what I'll become without you."This is a review of the audio book as well as the story itself. Once again Laura Kinsale has written an amazing novel, and Nicholas Boulton has made it real. I can’t even explain what he brings to the stories he narrates. How he makes the hero and heroine so much more than just characters in a book. He doesn’t merely read their lines, he exists in them. The people, their lives, their passions and trials and triumphs… he becomes them! He makes them living, feeling human beings – flawed, tormented, irredeemable people who I can’t help but fall in love with. The StoryLeigh’s need for revenge drives her far from home to La Paire, in the foothills of the French Alps, seeking the help of the legendary highwayman known as le Seigneur du Minuit – The Prince of Midnight. She needs someone with his strength, his cunning, and his skills at swordplay if she has any hope of destroying the man that destroyed her family. But convincing le Seigneur to help is harder than Leigh anticipated, and so begins a battle of wits and wills.S.T. Maitland isn’t the man he once was – not physically or emotionally. As Leigh’s masquerade unravels and her story comes out, bit by bit, S.T. knows that her’s is a cause le Seigneur du Minuit would have championed. But now, barely able to stand up without falling over, hope he once had of healing, any high esteem he’d once regarded of himself is gone, and S.T. doesn’t imagine to be any use to anyone. My ThoughtsOh, what an emotional roller-coaster ride this is! At times I loathed Leigh, at times I loved her. At times I hated S.T., at times I worshipped him! From one scene to the next I didn’t know what to expect from these two equally tortured souls! It’s a heartbreaking, uplifting, romantic, painfully brilliant story, and that, lovely readers, is why I was up until the wee hours, listening, unable to close my eyes until the end.I’m not usually a fan of high-angst stories, but this one sucked me in, chewed me up and spit me out - and I loved every minute of it! I wanted to kill Leigh and S.T. at the same time I couldn’t help but love them both. I desperately needed them to get their happily ever after just as desperately as I wanted them to give up on each other and walk away. But these words made it all come together for me, made it all okay... He tried to pull away, and then suddenly his grip tightened on her hands. He lifted them to his mouth. "Ah God, you are. . . you are. . . and what can I give you in return?""Give me your joy, Seigneur." She pressed her forehead against their clasped hands. "Oh, give me your joy. I can go on alone if I must. I'll endure, oh yes—I'm too strong to break. And I'll grow old and turn into stone if you leave me. I'll never look up and see you play with the wolf; I'll never hear you call me sweet names in French; I'll never learn to beat you at chess." She shook her head violently. "Please. . . dance with me. Take me to Italy. Paint me in the ruins at midnight. Give me all your mad notions and your crazy heroics and your impossible romantical follies. And I'll be your anchor. I'll be your balance. I'll be your family. I won't let you fall."His hands opened. He slipped his fingers over her cheeks, cupping her face between his palms.She felt hot tears fill her eyes. "I'm so weary of grief and hate." She bent her head and stepped away, looking up into his face. "I want a chance to give you the best of myself, too."Far off beyond the lake, a crane made its warbling whoop, exotic and startling against the background of the harpsichord. He lifted his hand, touched her cheek, caught the single tear that tumbled down it.She bit her lip. The tears came, impossible to stop. "I love you," she said in a cracked voice. "The truth is, Monseigneur. . . I need you more than you need me."He was silent, his hand against her skin, warm against the night air."Don't let that happen to me." Her words shook. "Don't leave me to be what I'll become without you."And so, in the end, when it was all said and done and I was listening to those final words of the story, I knew it was right. I knew that even though their happily ever after was hard fought, it was so, so well deserved, and that made it right.Perfect. Brilliant!

  • ɴΘεɱí
    2019-05-25 03:49

    Llevaba con este libro dos meses, entre que he tenido mucho tiempo y los ratos que tenía para leer no me apetecía por que el libro es horroroso, así he tardado tanto!Los personajes son odiosos, ella se puede llegar a entender en algunas cosas, pero es más seca que la mojama y él tiene más pajaritos en la cabeza... Son tal para cual!Encima es una historia que no tienes por donde cogerla, unas paranoias que se montan que te entra ganas de no seguir leyendo.En fin con un par de ovarios lo he terminado pero no se lo recomiendo a nadie jajajaja

  • Caz
    2019-06-02 04:54

    This was the first of Laura Kinsale’s novels to appear in audiobook form, and I’m warning you now – the review is LONG and there may even be some fangirling involved . If you want the short version, however – the audio book of The Prince of Midnight is fantastic, so go and listen to it immediately!As for the longer version… I’ve been following Laura Kinsale’s blog pieces over at AudioGals in which she talks about bringing her books to audio; about how she spent a long time listening to narrators because she knew how important it was to get it right… and since I heard the first clip posted of Prince I’ve been chomping at the bit. Not only because she’s produced some fantastic books and I’m looking forward to listening to them, but because Nicholas Boulton is quite possibly the best audiobook performer (I can’t call him a ‘narrator’ because the word doesn’t even begin to do him justice) I’ve ever heard. It certainly helps that he has a beautiful, mellifluous voice that’s soothing and sexy as sin at the same time, but it’s about so much more than that. He doesn’t just narrate – he inhabits the characters, from the principals right down to the bit-players, and gives each one a distinct voice. He juggles all manner of regional and foreign accents effortlessly (I’m verypicky when it comes to accents) and if he had any problems with pronouncing the French and Italian dialogue, then I certainly wasn’t aware of it. And most importantly – and impressively – he can convincingly voice female characters without using falsetto or making them sound screechy. In fact for Leigh, he uses a register and tone that seems to be not all that far removed from his natural speaking voice – yet there’s no doubt she’s female.I confess that I haven’t read the book, although I did a bit of reading around – read synopses and reviews so that I was familiar with the storyline and characters (I didn’t want to have to break up the flow because I didn’t know who was who) - and it’s clear this is another title of Ms Kinsale’s that really divides opinions. It seems as though the majority of reviews are either five stars or two – and that most of those love or hate stances are based on the readers’ feelings about the heroine.She’s difficult to like, no doubt about it. Lady Leigh Strachan has travelled to the south of France to seek out the legendary highwayman known as Le Seigneur de Minuit, who had been regarded as a Robin Hood-like figure in the part of England they both come from. She wants him to teach her how to fight; to shoot, fence and ride, so that she can return home to exact revenge on the man who killed her family.For his part, the legendary Seigneur – otherwise known as S.T Maitland – is now retired. For three years, he has buried himself in obscurity living in a run-down castle in Provence, painting and growing vegetables, with Nemo, a half-tame wolf as his only companion.His reaction to meeting Leigh, a very beautiful young woman, is pretty much what you’d expect of a man who hasn’t had a woman in three years; and hers on meeting him is the crashing disappointment of discovering that her hero is no longer the man he once was. Although only in his thirties and ridiculously handsome, S.T is deaf in one ear and has problems keeping his balance, so he can’t ride, can’t fence or do anything which involves sudden and precise movement.Leigh doesn’t even try to hide her disappointment and scorn. And doesn’t try for most of the book, which is why so many have found her to be unlikeable. S.T is infatuated with her from the start and wastes no time in letting her know he’s interested, but Leigh doesn’t want any of it. She’s downright nasty to him many times, and it’s mostly undeserved, but it’s clear to me that she’s deeply traumatised and is trying to protect herself – not just from feeling anything for S.T, but from feeling anything at all. Her parents and sisters weren’t killed in an accident, which would have been bad enough; they died brutally and calculatedly at the hands of the Reverend James Chilton, the leader of what we would today call a religious cult who has all but brainwashed the local population. In fact, it appears that what Leigh really wants is to die herself, but she keeps going because otherwise there will be no-one left to avenge her family.S.T eventually agrees to help her and they travel to England. His vertigo affects him very badly during the sea voyage, although miraculously, the pitching and rolling of the ship seems somehow to have helped him, and his balance problems suddenly disappear.Once that happens, he is suddenly transformed into the Seigneur de Minuit once again, full of braggadaccio and self-confidence – and to be fair his confidence in his own abilities is, for the most part, justified. Leigh, however, still maintains her distance emotionally, if not physically, even though now, her determination to maintain barriers between herself and S.T is more to do with her fears for his safety than any disappointment or dislike.The more confident S.T becomes that he can handle Chilton, the more desperate Leigh becomes to stop him. But he can’t believe it – they’ve come this far, he’s back to his old self and now she doesn’t want revenge. Being S.T, he decides she’s bloody well going to have her revenge whether she likes it or not; he thinks that her wish to leave Chilton alone is because she lacks faith in him and doesn’t think he can carry out his plan to destroy him, whereas the truth is that Leigh, unable to tell S.T that she loves him and knowing exactly what Chilton is capable of, is terrified of losing him. She’s suffered so much and despite her desperate fight against it, has opened herself up once more to the risk of pain. The problem is that she doesn’t tell S.T any of this or contradict his assertions about her lack of faith in him.Another issue for some readers is the fact that despite Leigh’s disdain for S.T and his awareness of it, they nonetheless embark upon a sexual relationship fairly early on in the book. Leigh offers herself initially as payment for his help, which he refuses. But S.T is not a monk, and finds it impossible to maintain his refusal when she tempts him deliberately. He’s infatuated and horny and she feels that by letting him bed her, she’s in some way excising a debt – but even though it's not pretty or at all romantic, the way Ms Kinsale handles it feels right somehow. The story is quite complex and I’m barely scratching the surface. There’s the added complication of S.T’s still being a wanted criminal in England; a cameo appearance by the notorious Marquis de Sade; S.T’s capture by and escape from the cult and so much more going on that to try to write a complete synopsis would take up too much space :)I’ve already said just how damn good this is in audio, but I wanted to pick out one or two points specifically to illustrate that. Even though I haven’t (yet) read the book I’ve been told by people who have and who have listened to the audio that the big thing for them was that they found Leigh to be a much more palatable character in the audio. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that that’s true; Nicholas Boulton’s interpretation almost strips her bare, as it were, and he really brings out the pain and vulnerability she struggles so hard to keep hidden. I didn’t dislike her as much as some readers seem to have done, but I would defy anybody to maintain that opinion after listening to the scene in which S.T makes Leigh train the horse he names Mistral. I had tears running down my face when she finally breaks down and finds she can’t help but feel for this beautiful, mistreated animal. As for his performance of S.T himself... this is only the first of (I think) eleven of Ms Kinsale’s books that are coming out on audio, and I’m already running out of superlatives to describe just how good Nick Boulton is. God help me when I get to book ten - these reviews are going to be really short if I'm to avoid repeating myself over and over again! But it truly is a wonderfully nuanced portrayal of a complex and multi-faceted character. You can hear his insecurities, his frustrations, his passion; you feel his triumphs and share in his joys – and if you can keep a straight face in the scene where S.T pretends to be totally plastered, then you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!Without wishing to do any disservice to Ms Kinsale’s splendid story, I’m going to end by saying that if you read the book and found it hard going because you couldn’t like Leigh – listen to this, and you might find it changes your mind. And if, like me, you haven’t read it before, then listen to this and you’ll wonder how the hell you managed NOT to have read it. And if you’ve read it and loved it – listen to this and you’ll find you love it even more than you did before.Yes. It’s that good.

  • Iradai
    2019-05-19 04:46

    No había leido ninguna novela de esta escritora anteriormente, pero la verdad es que no me dan ganas de intentarlo de nuevo al menos mientras me acuerde. Me resultó tedioso, totalmente prescindible.Pertenece a la familia de los libros que se dejan sin acabar o que hubieses deseado dejar

  • Viri
    2019-06-02 05:45

    Y no le pongo una porque no soy tan mala y amo como escribe Laura... que si no. *Respira Viridiana, respira*Me sentí estafada, pues me lo habían pintado como un libro excelente y para mí fue todo lo contrario; ¿qué es entretenida? sí, lo es, pero carece de sentido en gran parte de la historia. Y eso que adoro a Laura Kinsale. La verdad no se como pudo ser BEST SELLER. La reseña completa en el blog.

  • Loederkoningin
    2019-06-01 09:51

    I didn't make it further than page 35, but I'm pissed enough about another K&K bud read going down the drain to give it 1 star for now. Might come back to because if there's something I hate it's having paid $$$ for books I end up abandoning. Also, now is probably a good time to attack my massive Toblerone bar. Earlier ramblings:“Okay, so I am not actually "recommending" this one to you, I only wanted to bring it to your attention. Ahem. 1. It has Fabio on the cover (we have never read one with fabio on the cover) 2. People don't like it because the heroine is such a bitch... which sounds like great potential. 3. Pet wolf 4. Crumbling castle”Sounds like a winner to me. >:D

  • Kimberly Carrington-Fox
    2019-06-13 10:26

    Otro libro del #RetoRita que cae!!!! Y uno de los que más pereza me daba coger ya que el solitario Gandy que le dio Cassie en su reseña no auguraba nada bueno. Pero bueno, una coge siempre cada libro con ganas de que le guste. Pues con las ganas me he quedado porque vaya libro más insufribleMe gustaría saber qué clase de porro se fumó Laura Kinsale cuando escribió este libro. Seguramente uno caducado porque es imposible que de la mente de la escritora que creó la (para mí) maravillosísima Flores en la tormenta haya salido este espanto de libro. No he podido conectar en absoluto con él. La protagonista me parece totalmente insoportable, una petarda que lo único que sabe hacer es tratar mal al protagonista y a la que he deseado constantemente un vuelo en caída libre por un acantilado. Él me ha gustado más y tenía muchas papeletas para ser un gran maromo pero se ve perjudicado por el coñazo que le rodea. Además, no entiendo que se enamore de ella tan rápidamente. Que se la quiera beneficiar sí, claro, porque tiene el hombre la boa hambrienta, pero ese amor repentino, no. ¡¿Y POR QUÉ ME LO PONES CON ESAS CEJAS, LAURA KINSALE?! #MeTiroYoPorElPrecipicio #KimYSuTraumaConLasCejasNo me tiréis de la lengua para contaros lo absolutamente terrible que me ha parecido el desarrollo de la historia de amor, con ese primer encuentro guarreril tan espantoso. Química, cero y pasión, el cero absoluto. Por muy bien que intente escribir Laura Kinsale, esta historia de amor le ha salido un churro. Y la trama seria, que es la que mueve a la pichote de Leigh, es un jaleo desproporcionado más liado que la pata de un romano. Está bien que seas raruna escribiendo y tal pero chica, Laura Kinsale, aquí te has pasado.¿LO MEJOR DEL LIBRO? Terminarlo. Y el lobo Nemo.¿LO PEOR DEL LIBRO? Todo lo que hay entre el primer capítulo y el final del epílogo (que vaya WTF...[Ahora lo que me gustaría saber qué clase de porro se fumó el jurado de los RITA que lo premió...]

  • Kathleen
    2019-06-10 09:38

    Read it years ago but couldn't remember it well. Just now listened to audio, narrated by Nicholas Boulton. Solid 5 stars for his near-perfect impersonations, but only 3 stars for the story itself, mainly because I didn't like the heroine.Laura Kinsale is a superb romance writer, but this story arc was frustrating. Frustrating! The downers went on far too long. Leigh was frequently unlikable. She was cruel for about 80% of the book -- it ruined the romance arc. I wanted to slap her. She was also TSTL, pulling a really dumb stunt that almost got everyone killed.Then there is our hero, a Robin Hood-style highwayman who goes by various names, including ST Maitland and The Prince of Midnight. He is a fascinating character, coping admirably with hearing loss, fugitive status, and vertigo. When in top form, he's sexy, good humored, dashing, a swashbuckling swordsman, and a brilliant horse trainer.However, I felt he let Leigh get away with too much bitchery. Why did he love her?? But he did, and almost from the start, when she hunted him down at his crumbling castle in France, asking him to teach her swordplay, to avenge her dead family, killed by a cult leader. He agrees, saves her life a few times, feeds and clothes her...and she treats him like crap. I wanted him to abandon her. Ugh. Her cruelty during his bath and in the horse-training corral stick in my mind, to name a few ugly scenes.Enjoyed the animals: Nemo the wolf and Mistrial the amazing gray horse. Loved the role Mistrial played, when confronting Reverend Jamie Chilton, the cult leader. Lol. Chuckled a few times in those scenes.Felt the cult plot was extreme, only because it occurred within a community where educated and resistant people lived, including an Earl and his Countess, a Squire, etc. To my admittedly thin knowledge, cults are typically formed outside an established community. Cult members leave their community behind. (By the way, the religious control reminded me slightly of Maddie's dilemma as a Quaker in Flowers from the Storm.)Loved the epilogue, even though the HEA came about by an act of god. Sweet and sexy, and thankfully fairly long, riding on a horse. ;) My favorite books by this author are Flowers from the Storm and Midsummer Moon. I think I really liked The Shadow and the Star, but it's been a while...

  • Yolanda
    2019-06-06 06:42

    #RetoRita22Mira que me gustan los libros de Laura Kinsale, pero con el Seigneur..... no ha podido ser. Desde luego, la historia es atípica y no es que no me gustase la situación pero, a medida que leía, lo que pensaba que pintaba bien.... me ha ido aburriendo y el libro se me ha hecho cuesta arriba.La protagonista se me ha hecho, en ocasiones, infumable. La parte de Dulce Armonía, Paloma de la Paz y toda la parentela, muy muy cuesta arriba.En realidad, lo que valoro es el trabajo de la autora al escribir esta historia que, a mí, no me ha convencido.

  • Nuria Llop
    2019-06-07 10:41

    (4º del Reto Rita) Laura Kinsale crea en esta novela un protagonista masculino formidable, de los que impactan y enamoran desde el principio. Un héroe imperfecto que me ha encantado y que se sale de lo común en el genero romántico. El premio RITA que obtuvo al Mejor Romance de 1991 creo que es indiscutible, igual que la calidad narrativa de esta autora y la riqueza de sus personajes, siempre tan bien construidos y abundantes (al menos, en lo que hasta ahora he leído de ella). La ambientación histórica es impecable y la trama y el tema, que giran en torno a la vanidad y el orgullo (por exceso y por defecto) quedan más que claros en la historia que nos cuenta. Objetivamente es una novela de 5 estrellas, pero la tendencia la autora al dramatismo, a rizar el rizo y dilatar así la historia de amor innecesariamente (creo), así como las abundantes descripciones detalladas que a veces me han ralentizado la lectura, no son lo que busco actualmente en una novela romántica. La he disfrutado en su mayor parte porque tiene momentos maravillosos, una fina ironía que me encanta, escenas para enmarcar y releer mil veces, diálogos estupendos y unos personajes tan humanos que te cautivan pronto, pero también me ha hecho sufrir y, en algún momento, me ha sacado de quicio. Bravo por la autora por sacudirme de esta manera. Así que, a pesar de lo que no me convence de esta novela, creo que es muy recomendable para cualquier lector, y no solo para las adictas a la romántica.

  • Nani
    2019-05-29 09:56

    #Retorita2,5 pero sobre todo por él. Le doy 3 pues que me encanta esta escritora (seguramente se merezca 2 pero no puedo)Tengo tal dolor por lo que estoy apunto de hacer. No me creo que vaya a valorar con menos de cuatro estrellas un libro de Laura Kinsale. Creo que estoy en estado se shock. Desde mi opinión, los personajes que ha creado esta mujer (al menos los libros que yo me leído de ella) me han parecido creíbles, bien elaborados, no sé, he conseguido entenderlos en todo momento sus actitudes o acciones, por muy inverosímiles que llegarán a ser. Pero no me ha sucedido en este libro, he intentado, me rebanado la cabeza una y otra vez, para poder llegar a comprender los comportamientos de los personajes, bueno, sobre todo de ella, de Leigh.Nos encontramos con unos personajes que podrían haber sido maravillosos, pero que para mí no han llegado a serlo. S.T. Maidlan, un famoso forajido en Inglaterra, que tras su último asalto, se ve abatido y tiene que huir a Francia, para evitar la cárcel y para recuperarse físicamente de los daños que sufrió por el intento por atraparle. Vive apaciblemente en un pueblo de la Provenza. Es relativamente feliz. La autora nos presenta al "caballero de la brillante armadura" o mejor dicho a "Robin Hood", ya que es conocido sobre todo, por creer que su robos han sido para beneficio de los más necesitados o para resarcir el honor de alguna dama. S.T. es un hombre que está enamorado del amor pasional, necesita sentirse indispensable por y para las mujeres, hacerse valer y así enamorarlas con su valor, caballerosidad, y sus artes amatorias. Una vez que ya ha conseguido el "favor" de la dama, sufre un enorme vacío, como si no fuera suficiente. Y vuelve a empezar a buscar otra "hazaña" para así conseguir a otra dama en apuros. Todos lo años que fue "el príncipe de medianoche", realizó una y otra vez, esta forma de actuar, buscando la adoración de las mujeres. Es un hombre necesitado de amor.Por otro lado tenemos a Leigh, que acude a S.T. en busca de ayuda, o mejor dicho, de venganza. La joven ha sufrido la perdida total de su familia por parte de una sola persona, y ella quiere vengarse matándolo. Para ello necesita que S.T. le enseñe a disparar, a utilizar la espada, montar a caballo tal y como lo hacía "El príncipe de medianoche". Al principio entendía la actitud distante y un poco borde de ella. Pero sinceramente, durante toooodo el libro salvo las 20 últimas páginas, fue insoportable. No puedes hablar así de hiriente, diciendo cosas que, sabes perfectamente que van a hacer daño a la otra persona. Escudándote en tu dolor por tu perdida, y encima sin arrepentirse en ningún momento. Sinceramente, estuve todo el libro gritando, "S.T. mándala a tomar por c**o", y pensaba, ¿en serio sigue con ella después de la perla que le acaba de soltar?. Yo podría llegar a entender a él, pero me costaba mucho. Pero a ella, no lo entiendo, por mucho dolor que una sienta por las perdidas, no puede insultar, denigrar, y herir verbalmente, y con intención, a una persona que es está contigo, la única persona para más inri. ¿Se puede llamar a esto romance?, ¿historia de amor?, creo que debería de llamarlo mejor "el sufrimiento de S.T. Mainland"Y luego la trama por la que se desarrolla es un poco extraña, muyyy subrealista, aunque me la puedo creer. Teniendo en cuenta, las cosas que pasan en nuestros tiempos. Pero lo que no me puedo creer, es que se pueda permitir que alguien, hombre o mujer, agredan verbal o físicamente a otra persona, y se quede de rositas, que no pida tan siquiera perdón.

  • Erin
    2019-06-18 09:56

    I'm giving this one such a low rating partially because of the great depth of my disappointment in the novel. Kinsale is usually an author I really enjoy, but this book had some Issues. It started off promising. Leigh is a woman who dresses like a man and goes off to France to find the mythical Prince of Midnight, a highwayman who once terrified the English countryside. She finds him and is disappointed: he's a recluse living in a crumbling castle, and he's half-deaf and suffers from fits of vertigo besides. Classic Kinsale: a feisty heroine who balks at social convention and a hero with some kind of physical deformity. Except that so many pages go by in which nothing really happens. Leigh and S.T., the titular Prince of Midnight, embark on a quest to kill the Evil Cult Leader who killed Leigh's family. I was hoping for a swashbuckling bildungsroman—Leigh goes to S.T. to learn how to fight, after all—and I liked the tension created in the beginning when S.T. falls helplessly in love with Leigh almost immediately (albeit partly because he's really lonely and she's female) and Leigh is disgusted and thinks S.T is a big fraud. But then there's no swashbuckling. We get almost 400 pages into the novel before there's even the swordfight I'd been hoping for. There's so much potential for dramatic tension as the novel progresses, but it's wasted as Leigh and S.T. mostly just sit around angsting about each other. Most of the novel's conflict rests on a Big Misunderstanding, a romance novel trope I really hate. It's one of the things I find especially frustrating about historical romance, because mostly Big Misunderstandings arise from social convention stopping women from actually saying what they mean. There's no excuse for that in this novel: Leigh wears men's clothes most of the novel and seems to have no problem telling S.T. how much of an ass she thinks he is. But, alas, as Leigh starts falling for S.T., she decides their caper is foolish because she's certain some harm will come to him. He is, after all, wanted for robbery in England, and she quickly becomes convinced that him risking his neck for the sake of a family she's never getting back just isn't worth it, because then she'll lose him, too. She doesn't bother to tell S.T. what her fears are, however. She just tells him not to do it and then picks a fight with him. Since she spends so much time telling him how much she hates him, he assumes she still thinks him an incompetent fraud, which makes him take even bigger risks so that he can prove his worth. And the thing is, this misunderstanding never gets resolved. I was hoping for a epiphany moment when Leigh would just tell S.T. how she felt, but she's never completely honest with him, which made their HEA seem undeserved. Leigh is an infuriating character because she bases her opinions of S.T. on what she thinks he's feeling, and not what he tells her he feels. He makes proclamations of love early and often, she insists he has no idea what love means, so even at the end, when she can finally say out loud to him that she loves him, and he's all, "Hello, I've been in love with you since the second page of this book," she's still like, "You don't love me, stop saying you do." Argh! Also, the early sex scenes are squicky. Leigh gives herself to S.T. willingly, but only because she thinks she owes him and only has her body to pay him with. S.T. doesn't feel right about taking advantage of that, but then does it anyway. The very first sex scene, early in the book, was rape, IMHO, and that made me feel weird whenever these characters had sex again in the novel. It's all so bad that I can forgive the clumsy deus ex machina ending, but the Mega Happy Epilogue was so completely out of left field. These are two characters who spent 500 pages fighting and calling each other unforgivable names, who had squicky, rape-y sex, and then everything is peaches and sunshine at the end? And I actually liked the Leigh who showed up for the epilogue. Where was she for the rest of the novel?One last annoyance: my copy of the book (the Sourcebooks reprint) is loaded with a distractingly large number of typos. Most of them are punctuation errors, but there are some misspellings, and one character's name is Chastity in some chapters and and Charity in others. That just piled onto my annoyance with the novel. Which, for some reason, I finished. *sigh*

  • LibraryLass
    2019-06-15 04:40

    Contains SPOILERS!!!!!I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am not a raving fan of Kinsale but I did enjoy this one. It was different in that the majority of the book was written from the hero's point of view. This made for a nice change. What also made a nice change was that S.T. the hero fell in love and recognised his feelings way before Leigh, the heroine. I also liked that BOTH S.T. and Leigh had flawed characters. It wasn't just that S.T. was deaf and suffered from vertigo, but that he fell in love at the drop of a hat. Leigh had suffered terrible losses in her life and this made her cold and bitter towards life and especially S.T. Another reviewer found this off-putting as Leigh didn't soften for most of the book, I , however, found this extremely refreshing and honest. Leigh lashed out at S.T. in what I thought was quite a realistic way. (I could imagine saying those things to him if I was coming from the place she was). I LIKED the fact that Leigh didn't turn into a simpering girl just because S.T. professed his love. I also liked the honesty towards the end of the book when S.T. has trouble committing to 'staying'. I thought this was a very real aspect of his character which was well played out.The only thing that was a bit jarring for me was Leigh wanting to go "on the run" with S.T. - it wasn't that I didn't want her to go but the author didn't lead me to how Leigh got to her decision. It just seem to happen with no lead up to it, I had no indication of her thoughts about it. Even so, I found it refreshing, I read it in one sitting as well so it kept me interested the majority of the way through.

  • MomToKippy
    2019-05-26 07:52

    3.75 Will write later. On vacation. I think this is my fourth Laura Kinsale and I am still loving them. I see now that what she does very well is present us with tortured, disabled, defective or damaged heroes and heroines. There are no perfect romance novel caricatures here. Although they tend to be physically beautiful they have serious baggage or challenges. She handles this very well. As the story evolves the characters work through their issues or resolve their problems to some degree while moving closer to one another. Their struggles are heartfelt and well depicted. Not only do we see this evolve but the characters tend to have special talents or traits that make the story even more colorful. As in her other books there is some dramatic cross-country or cross-continent adventure too. We also have a strong animal focus in this book (a wolf and horses in particular) that I just loved. I had no idea that Kinsale had the equestrian knowledge that she displays here. What a treat for me!

  • Floripiquita
    2019-06-17 04:45

    1a reseña: Me suelen gustar mucho los libros de Laura Kinsale, pero con esta protagonista no puedoooooor2a reseña: vuelto a leer con motivo del #RetoRita y mantengo lo puntuación, es bastante flojo para ser de la misma autora que esa maravilla que es Flores en la Tormenta

  • AliciaJ
    2019-05-31 05:37

    (Sigh) I've most definitely fallen in love with Nicholas Boulton's voice. He has the most seductive and romantic accent ever. I feel like swooning. (sigh)

  • Patricia Marin
    2019-06-13 09:36

    Algo falla en este libro y no tengo muy claro lo que es. Me ha gustado la narración, ¡qué digo! me ha encantado cada descripción y cada palabra, ha sido un gusto leerlo en ese aspecto. Pero sobran las primeras doscientas páginas. Algunas situaciones planteadas eran verdaderamente absurdas y, en algunos casos, hasta surrealistas. No me creía para nada al personaje del Señor de la Medianoche. Ni un poco. A medida que avanzaba, sucedían cosas sin ninguna lógica y sin que más adelante tuvieran repercusión alguna. Su protagonista me ha parecido un inmaduro incapaz de crecer y, mucho menos, incapaz de superar su situación actual. Con un "Te amo" puesto en los labios todo el tiempo, si yo no me fiaba de él, ¿cómo podía Leigh confiarle su vida? Para mí, lo que tenía era un calentón y, la verdad, se la podría haber machacado con una piedra. Leigh me parece un personaje con unas motivaciones más creíbles que las de un tipo que como S.T., al que por arte de magia, el problema que tiene desaparece y aparece sin razón (y, por tanto, consigue que no me lo crea). Desde un punto de vista puramente personal, me daba la sensación de que ambos personajes tenían un grave problema de comunicación. Ni una ni otro eran capaces de decir las cosas que sentían y tampoco lo que querían del otro. Leigh, por puro miedo. S.T., por puro orgullo, porque es un mentecato y un inmaduro y se enfurruña cuando las cosas no le salen como quiere, en especial, cuando se trata de seducir a Leigh (insisto, con esa actitud de galán traschonado, ¿dónde vas, colega?) Sus discusiones van en aumento, al principio no está muy clara la razón y eso descolocaba bastante, cansaban y llevaba a plantearte si seguir leyendo la novela, precisamente porque no se podía empatizar con ninguno de ellos. Llegando a la mitad del libro, el desarrollo mejora y las situaciones absurdas no se dan con tanta frecuencia. O es que ya estamos curados de espanto, no sé xD Lo más divertido es sin duda la llegada al pueblo y todo lo que pasa a partir de ahí, hasta el final, porque la situación de los dos personajes parece un poco más centrada y justificada. No me ha gustado el principio. No me ha gustado S.T., porque a los pocos capítulos hace una cosa que me resultó tan chocante que no daba crédito. De repente, todo su discurso, todo lo que quiere demostrar y todo de lo que se enorgullece, queda a la altura del barro, con lo que me resulta perfectamente creíble que Leigh no se fíe. No me ha gustado el lobo, no tenía ningún sentido para la historia y no servía para nada más que para hacer bulto (planteaba problemas innecesarios, la verdad). En fin, que puedo seguir hablando de esto todo el día, lo voy a dejar aquí. Es una novela que me ha dado que pensar.

  • Lady Wesley
    2019-06-08 08:43

    I haven't actually read this book, but listening to the recently released audio version narrated -- I should say perhaps "enacted" -- by Nicholas Boulton was a wonderful experience. At first, the plot reminded me of a Georgian 'Cat Ballou' (an old movie, for you young 'uns, where Jane Fonda wants washed-up gunslinger Lee Marvin to emerge from retirement to avenge her family). There's that same feeling of disappointment and chagrin when she finds that her legendary hero is a drunken mess who's utterly incapable of helping her even if he wanted to. Except Cat Ballou is a comedy and this book most definitely is not.At times, it was grim and hard to listen to. Terrible things have happened to S.T. and Leigh, and they continue to happen. But then, I fell in love with S.T. and started to hate Leigh for being so mean to him. From what I read of the reviews, that's a pretty typical reaction. There is a deeply felt romance and lots of adventure, leading up to what I wasn't positive would be a happy ending. At times, I was so anxious about what would happen next that I actually increased the listening speed.Laura Kinsale is an exquisite writer, and I've loved every book of hers that I've read. In choosing Nick Boulton to narrate her books, she really hit the ball out of the park. He is utterly amazing! I have no doubt that I'll listen to every book that he does, blowing my book budget for months. If you are at all into audiobooks, listen to this one and to Flowers from the Storm.

  • Carmen
    2019-05-27 08:52

    2,5 estrellas para esta novela que se me ha hecho mucho más larga de lo que esperaba, con partes muy interesantes y otras que solo me provocaban ganas de saltarme líneas. No le pongo menos estrellas porque hay una gran parte de él, el señor de la medianoche, que me ha gustado mucho, sobre todo ese miedo casi infantil o esa chulería tonta que nos enamora a las lectoras y que le aporta cierto humor a las conversaciones. Ella es un tema a parte, que da para una larga conversación. Tengo que meditar la opinión completa del blog

  • Melissa
    2019-06-16 07:52

    What can I say about Laura Kinsale? She would be one of my writing heroines and one of my all-time favorite authors even if all she'd ever written was Flowers from the Storm. (A masterpiece of historical romance; read it if you haven't already!) Anything else she writes that I love is just icing on the cake. The Prince of Midnight was some very delicious icing!A summary of this novel's plot sounds so bizarre. Lady Leigh Strachan, a beautiful young woman whose happy, bucolic family life was shattered by the infiltration of a cult leader into her village, is seeking revenge for the horrors done to her loved ones. She seeks out a famous retired highwayman, who has a price on his head in England and is living in isolation in Provence, France, to get his assistance in her plot. Unfortunately, she finds that he's deaf in one ear and has horrible vertigo as the result of an accident, so his helpfulness seems dubious at best. He's a romantic sort, though -- quixotic and prone to taking on gallant deeds for ladies in distress -- and against his better judgment and in spite of his impairment, he decides to help her seek revenge. It's a very odd story, but it really works.The highwayman, S.T. Maitland, is such a complex, lovable, witty hero. He had a nomadic childhood, without close family connections or a place to call home, and he's lonely. He's had many love affairs, but nothing permanent, and he craves long-lasting affection and companionship. His best friend is a wolf named Nemo, whom he's tamed and who is as real and vibrant a character as any other in the book. Maitland thinks if he can just be swashbuckling enough, just deliver the kind of justice and vengeance Leigh is seeking, that he'll manage to break through her coldness and earn her love.Leigh, on the other hand, is not impressed with Maitland's instant declarations of love nor with his derring-do. She's not impressed with much of anything, and is fairly unlikable for a good bit of the story, although as her tale unfolds you understand completely why that would be. She grew up as part of a close-knit, loving, almost idyllic family, and once that was violently torn away from her she completely shut down. Maitland, his wolf, and eventually his horses (more animal characters that Kinsale brings beautifully to life) break down her defenses and leave her once again vulnerable to pain, but also to love. It's a difficult, heartbreaking journey for her.The cult and cult leader that have taken over Leigh's home town are chillingly rendered. (One word: oatmeal. I know, but trust me!) There are some genuinely creepy moments once Maitland and Leigh finally encounter the cult. Anyone who has read about Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, or other cults will recognize how realistically Kinsale describes the kind of bizarre thinking, strange rituals, and mob mentality that a charismatic leader can produce in a seemingly normal group of people.The story is intense, but not without humor. S.T. Maitland is a very funny man, with a dry, sarcastic wit that made me laugh out loud many times as I read. Kinsale's heroes are a cut above any other historical romance heroes I've encountered -- complicated, witty, flawed, intelligent, and completely fascinating. I wasn't even a third of the way through the book when I was completely smitten with S.T. (Just wait until you find out what the S.T. stands for! Another laugh-out-loud moment.)I feel like I'm not describing this book very well at all! It's a beautiful story of love and redemption -- of two imperfect people who find each other under the strangest of circumstances and discover in each other the things they'd lost, or maybe never even had. He gains the companionship and constancy he craved. She regains the love and family ties she thought she'd lost forever. It's a very emotional journey; the last chapter had me in tears.Laura Kinsale is a master! Beautiful prose, rich characterization, unique plots, and stories I spend hours and days thinking about after I've put down the book. She's quite simply on a different plane than other historical romance writers I can think of, and I stand in awe of her abilities.ETA: I should probably mention that for much of the book I used my Kindle's "Immersion Reading" function to simultaneously read the book and listen to the audio reading by Nicholas Boulton, and Boulton's brilliant performance of the story added so much to my reading experience. He's beyond great at narrating Laura Kinsale's novels, bringing all the characters to life with such emotion, realism, depth, and humor. If you can get your hands (or ears, I suppose!) on the audiobook, you'll be glad you did. :)

  • Lea's Audiobooks Hensley
    2019-05-24 05:40

    Narrated by Nicholas BoultonIt’s finally here. Romance listeners have eagerly awaited The Prince of Midnight, the first audio release from Laura Kinsale’s fascinating backlist. Earlier this year, Ms. Kinsale announced that her entire backlist (twelve titles) would be released in audio during 2013 and into 2014 and now we have a taste of Kinsale’s skillful writing combined with Nicholas Boulton’s talented performance. It’s sheer audio perfection.Once a famous highwayman, S.T. Maitland is now a recluse hiding in the ruins of a castle, a painter with stacks of half-finished canvases. He’s lost his hearing in one ear and can no longer swing a sword or ride a horse without losing his balance. He’s not an unhappy man – just one dealing with life the best way he can with a wolf as his only companion.Lady Leigh Strachan has traveled to France looking for the highwayman she is sure can help her learn to fight and take vengeance on those who have wronged her family. Finding S.T., she is both appalled and greatly disappointed when she realizes the ruined man before her is incapable of teaching her anything – or so she believes. All S.T. sees in her is another damsel in distress seeking help like a thousand others.A longtime audiobook enthusiast, Ms. Kinsale spent a great deal of time choosing Nicholas Boulton as narrator of all her titles, and what a fine choice she made! With his consistent delivery of her characters, he keeps the listener totally engaged. His understanding of those characters’ motivations and the storyline provides listeners with the full depth of Kinsale’s writing that has her books still making readers’ favorites lists decades after their original release.In print, S.T. seemed foolish at times, and it was difficult to sympathize with Leigh and her hateful treatment of him. In audio format, those challenges disappeared when Boulton fleshed out their characters and made me care more about them. I realized I had missed significant cues in print that affected my reading enjoyment, cues that his narration made clear. It’s what we audio enthusiasts love to see – an average print read turned into an outstanding audio experience.Flowers from the Storm and Midsummer Moon are slated for audio release in late June/early July. A whole new generation is about to discover the wonder that is Laura Kinsale’s writing. Romance listeners, old and new, are in for such a treat.This review was written for the 5/20/13 Speaking of Audiobooks column.

  • Barbara ★
    2019-06-14 02:31

    I disliked this book and had to force myself to finish it. The hero, S.T. Maitland is a likeable guy. An aging highwayman with infirmities due to an explosion. The heroine, Leigh Strachan, is irritating, rude and aggravating beyond measure. The interplay between the two should have been good but she is just bitchy. All in all, something to be skipped at all costs. Definitely not worth reading.

  • Ashley
    2019-06-04 09:31

    This is only the fourth Kinsale book I've read, but one thing I've realized I'll never have to worry about is encountering a cookie-cutter story in one of her novels. I never think to myself, while reading one of her books, "this is a lovely twist on < insert historical romance trope >." I can't even say that modern historical romance authors seem to have cribbed Kinsale's plotlines and manner of storytelling, because I've yet to encounter contemporary books in this subgenre that are as wonderfully weird as Kinsale's are. I mean this in a good way. Her stories are unexpected and big and always like nothing I've ever read before. Have you read many historical romances about a young woman determined to destroy a cult leader who had her family members systematically murdered or driven to suicide? I certainly haven't.The CultTo avoid spoilers, I will just say that beyond the hero and heroine and all the lovely animal characters, the scenes that take place within the compound of the cult were the most memorable. There's a very bizarre, chilling scene in this book involving oatmeal. That shit had me reeling.As did the scenes that followed involving a pitcher of "acid" and an armful of nettle. In my mind, I picture Laura Kinsale as this sweet lady having tea with Nicholas Boulton, but she dreams up some very diabolical stuff.The AnimalsNemo, the hero's pet wolf, was so fantastic. He is probably the most memorable animal character in any book I've read. All of the animals in this novel worked so well because they helped illuminate the characters of the humans to whom they were bound.Leigh, the heroine, is not very likable for most of the novel (though I'm a sucker for effed up heroines so I rather liked her). The most emotional scene in this entire book, for me, was seeing her with the horse that Maitland, the hero, goaded her into trying to tame. When the horse finally comes to her she cries for the first time in the book, quite likely not believing she is deserving of the horse's trust and quiet affection, but also angry and unsure about the affection and love that has sprung up between herself and Maitland."Oh, how did this happen?" She stroked the animal's face again, its neck and ears, making little whimpering sounds. "Oh, God, you're so beautiful, why are you coming to me?" She wiped the tears away with her arm. The horse nudged her. She shook her head and sobbed frantically."I didn't want this!" It's a rather long scene and I obviously can't post the whole of it here, but it's really beautiful.The Hero Kinsale's heroes always seem, to me, distinct, interesting, and wonderful (save for the hero ofMy Sweet Folly, of whom I don't really know what to think). Maitland was no exception."You want revenge, madam, you want justice--there's no measure in skewering the fellow from behind. I want him to know who's killing him. I want him to see his malignant little kingdom smashed to nothing. I want to pull it down piece by piece around his ears before he dies." Maitland was a real tender guy, his biggest fault being how thoroughly upset he got whenever his romantic notions of how his life should be didn't match the reality. He wanted so badly to be loved, which is not necessarily something you'd expect of a highwayman or the hero of a HR. I really liked that his outlook on his relationship with Leigh always, even the end, boiled down to this oft-repeated idea of: Together. You and I together.The Heroine She's not as big of a presence as Maitland, but I think I liked her more. She was such a mess and messy, screwed up heroines speak to me, I guess. Just a couple of my favorite quotes from or about her."For God's sake. Don't build a wall to keep me outside.""I won't build one," she whispered. "I am the wall."Leigh should have stayed home at her cousin's the way she had for months--waiting, hoping, hating. She was afraid, too, frightened of what she found herself becoming. She felt that she was transforming into a malevolent black spider, hunched back in her crack, staring out at the world and despising everything and everyone for having what she did not. For all my gushing, I can't say I liked this quite as much asSeize the Fire orFlowers From the Storm but it was still fantastic.My biggest gripe with this book is that the epilogue was long, unnecessary, and frankly not good. If/when I read this book again, I'll just skip it. Anyway, Kinsale's an excellent writer and her books are awesome, if you didn't already know.

  • Kid Disaster
    2019-05-30 07:34

    4.95 stars. Major side eye at that epilogue.

  • Kate
    2019-06-18 07:33

    I'm quite convinced that Laura Kinsale is one of the best Romance author's of the past few years. Her stories are complex, engaging, original, and heavy on the history. She has yet to disapoint me. Leigh is on a mission to avenge her family's killing. Her foe is a religious minister (we would now call him a cult leader) who turned the town against her family for one reason or another. She seeks the help of S.T Maitland, the famed Prince of Midnight...a fabled highwayman. What she finds isn't exactly the stuff of dreams but a half deaf, stumbling, shell of a man.They travel across two countries and battle internal and external demons as equals. The main characters balance eachother's strengths and weaknesses. Neither is perfect, nor do they claim to be. I realize there are some mixed reviews on the character of Leigh, who was a downright jerk to S.T (one of my favorite romance heroes of all time). If I may, I have a point to make. Time and time again we read about the aloof alpha hero, who is sexually desirable and available to the heroine, but he remains emotionally distant until he has been shown that he no doubt loves her with all his heart. The aloof male is such an archetype that we see over and over. In this book, the roles are reversed. The female is the aloof, distant love interest...the hero is the lovesick puppy willing to do anything to win the recognition of the heroine he loved.I suppose for the above reason I liked Leigh. I understood her. This was a romance written the right way. I believed it when it happened for them. It was, if you will, a romance for feminists.

  • Gavin
    2019-06-10 10:27

    This was a fun change to the sort of historical romance books I normally read. The hero and heroine were both flawed characters, but despite that they were both interesting and, mostly, likable. I enjoyed the slow burning romance. The plot was quite interesting with an injured former highwayman being lured out of retirement to help the heroine seek vengeance against those who wronged her. I'll be happy to try more Laura Kinsale books in the future. Overall 3.5 stars. Audio note: The narrator Nicholas Boulton gave a good performance. I liked his French accent a lot. Boulton sounds suspiciously like Simon Vance!

  • Emery Lee
    2019-06-06 03:50

    I LOVE Laura Kinsale for her depth of emotion and effortless imagery but this book really fell short for me. The best part, by far was the ending , the "liasion a cheval" (quite an erotic fantasy for an equestrienne!!) but the main characters were so irritably inconsistent - running hot and cold throughout.I never liked Leigh at all until the epilogue! And even ST flip-flopped so much that it was hard to know who he really was, other than a masochist for following her.I also didn't care for the religious cult plot. When I began reading, I thought I would adore this book, but it was actually a bit of a struggle to finish it.

  • Sofia
    2019-06-08 03:36

    This is my second Kinsale. Prince of Midnight had a tough battle to follow Flowers from the Storm for me, as Flowers was totally engrossing and fabulous. So how did I find the Prince:Well the ‘Prince’, S.T., was human, real, a broken down fellow, full of human quirks, shilly shallying, ineptitudes, highs and lows. You might love him one moment and say ‘really’ the next, but that is why one can empathise, he is one of us as we all try to get out of the dragging mud pool of life. ST and his eyebrows kept reminding me of Heyer’s Sylvester especially during the Channel crossing. At first I blamed Leigh for not accepting his immediate declaration of love, but then I realised that as at par with his character this had been very impulsive and things had to develop further. You can’t state a feeling without something to back it up.I liked Leigh’s portrait as well, understood her distance, her feelings, her being walled up. People have walled up for lesser reasons than she had.Loved their story, well written and developed as usual. There were a couple of heart stopping moments as well.

  • Sally
    2019-05-18 06:53

    It was between a four star and a five star for me but I decided to go with a five star because Laura Kinsale can do no wrong and has yet to disappoint me. Plus, while I think I still prefer Flowers from the Storm and Seize the Fire, I did enjoy this a lot more than My Sweet Folly which was a four star. I'll come back and write a proper review when I've had time to get my thoughts together. I must admit I wasn't too pleased when I saw there was an epilogue as I don't really think it was needed, but after what was included in it... :):)

  • Christy Stewart
    2019-05-18 10:41

    I know beggars can't be choosers, but I can't help it...This book has a lot of my 5 star tags but Kinsale just didn't seem to know what to do with them. I liked the deaf-mountain-man-hermit thing and the emotionally-unstable thing but these were so inconsistent that it wasn't even entertaining. The leading man would go from a gimpy puss to Zoro in a split second; I would have rathered he stay the gimpy puss, he was likable then.Also, just as a PS, this is one of those travel books where the whole time is spent trying to get to 'that place' or to find 'that person.' I have no patients for that theme. I think every book, no matter the era it's set in, should have Star Trek technology where everyone just beams to where they want to be.