Review by Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies Reviewer:
Rachel Penrose has unwittingly become a central character in her uncle Victor’s twisted plans to kill her infant brother and inherit the family fortune. He’s isolated her away at St. Mary’s of Bethlehem Hospital (also known as Bedlam) and spread lies that would ensure that should she escape that none of her neighbors would come to her aid. Only Rachel has some loyal friends who will put their own lives at risk to save her.
French Privateer Sebastién Falconer has had his ship and cargo taken and his crew is all either dead or jailed - all because a Miss Rachel Penrose chose to act as a Customs informer and accuse him of crimes he did not commit. Sebastién is seeking vengeance but that becomes complicated when he is put in charge of a young woman obviously suffering from some aliment and discovers the woman he seeks and the one in his care are one and the same.
Sebastién is in a precarious position. His twin English-raised brother is intent on capturing him and seeing him hanged for yet another crime Sebastien didn’t commit and now with Rachel in his care he’s stepped into a whole other situation that has absolutely nothing to do with him. At first Sebastién doesn’t believe Rachel’s being truthful about her plight but as he comes to know her it becomes painfully obvious that she is innocent of wrongdoing.
For Rachel, the discovery that Sebastién is not who he originally claimed to be is a betrayal she can’t accept – especially now with her life and that of her infant brother in danger. Unfortunately Victor is persistent and will do whatever he must to see Rachel and little James exterminated.
Because of her distrust of Sebastién, Rachel ends up at court where she meets his brother Jacques and becomes a pawn in his ‘game’ with Sebastién. She ends up being used as bait to lure Sebastién out, but in the end chooses to warn him about the situation. Once again she’s forced to rely on Sebastién for her safety and while she wants to trust him, there are too many people who are not what they seem to be and she can’t afford to make a mistake. Sebastién and Rachel’s relationship is often volatile but it’s also passionate and honest – even if neither is truly ready to trust the other.
FIRE AT MIDNIGHT is a historical novel that contains a captivating romance along with the stunning events from what is known in British history that as “The Great Storm.” Lisa Marie Wilkinson pens a story that grabs your attention right from the beginning and ensures that you’ll have a very hard time putting the book down. The characters are brilliantly written and their emotional angst as various situations unfold really pulls at the heartstrings.
Sebastién and Rachel’s arguments and face-offs add a bit of humor to the storyline and kept it from getting overwhelming but even so, there were times I wanted to cry for them and the injustice of their situations. FIRE AT MIDNIGHT is full of suspense, passion, characters you’ll either love (or love to hate) and a plot so thick that you’ll feel like you’re a part of it by the time the story ends. Beautifully written Ms. Wilkinson!