on Jan. 29, 2012 :
What more could a reader ask for? A dashing highwayman hero and a spirited damsel in distress on the receiving end of his enticing midnight visits. The romance between Gabriel (Lord Midnight) and Marisa does not disappoint. The emotional depths of the characters has both humor and those larger-than-life gestures and words we long for as readers. I'm tempted to relay several scenes, but I'll restrain myself from divulging spoilers better left enjoyed in the reading. But I can say that the gradual progression of the hero and heroine's intimacy was simply delicious! Lessons. Oh, those lovely lessons and Marisa's charming descriptions of her responses! So absolutely wonderful!
And Edmund, the unbalanced uncle to the hero and the unfortunate Marisa's unwanted bethrothed, is a first class villain! Outwardly charming...inwardly rotten to the core. He has fooled society and convinced them of his virtues and honor, but the reader knows better. And, the cleverness of his manipulation of Bernard, Marisa's brother, was another great and memorable scene as we get into Bernard's head for his inner conflict between his ambitions and guilt about being a traitor to his sister. I was also totally touched by Marisa's sense of being unlovable and her feelings of being trapped in her circumstances, powerless to rescue not only herself but her dear Aunt Althea, who her father threatens to send to Bedlam. This is one heroine who has been let down by a her own family, which makes Gabriel treasure her faith in him even more. Of course, this does hamper his plans to use Marisa for his revenge...
What I loved most about this story was the characters' relationships with each other, especially the chemistry and faith the heroine and heroine have in each other, but also the affectionate relationship Gabriel has with his highwaymen "family." But this is also a fast paced story with the danger of discovery at every turn!
My only hesitation about giving a full five stars is some minor thoughts related to plot I didn't totally swallow, but don't let that hold you back from a very entertaining reading escape!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)