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Midnight Fire by Madeline Baker

Midnight Fire

by Madeline Baker

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A wild and passionate love affair brings our hero and heroine together. Neither can resist the attraction they feel for one another and everything else takes second place.



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Midnight Fire is what I would call a cozy romance, the type of book that is nice to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. It was a very pleasant read, but the story lacked a certain depth in both characterizations and plot. It sort of just skims along, telling what is happening without digging deep or going into a lot of details. There were certain scenes where I thought that more details would have helped to shore up the plot, and there were also some minor inconsistencies in details peppered throughout the story. One of the main things that kept me reading though was the action. It made the narrative move along at a very fast pace. It seemed that some new event occurred every few chapters usually threatening Morgan and Carolyn's growing relationship. Admittedly, this type of writing style is not my favorite, because at times, it made me feel like they were being tortured, but at least they were together and happy for the better part of the story. It also made their happily-ever-after ending sweeter in some ways, because it was a very hard fought one. Still though, in my opinion, the story would have been stronger if the author had focused on just a few events in more detail instead of populating it with a large number of events that were simplistically rendered and already over before I had a chance to really get involved in what was happening. In spite of my opinion that this novel was overburdened with plot points, I can honestly say that each and every one of them was wrapped up satisfactorily with generally happy endings for all, and for me a happy ending is always a must.

I liked the hero and heroine, Morgan and Carolyn. I really enjoy tortured heroes and for the most part, Morgan falls into that category. He was basically a loner whose very difficult childhood and mother's harsh words on her deathbed, had left him a broken man, an alcoholic with virtually no self-esteem. I thought that the author painted a realistic picture of the struggles of a man who was half white and half Indian within a historical context. I enjoyed watching him grow and progress from a man who thought very little of himself into a man who was confident and self-possessed. It was also nice to see him forgive the hurts of the past to successfully reconcile with long-lost loved ones. Carolyn, for her part, began the story as the pampered heiress that she was, barely knowing how to take care of herself, but still she rarely complained and developed a certain willingness to work and learn. She also gained a lot of self-confidence from her experiences and progressed from a young woman who was somewhat timid and highly emotional at the start to a more mature woman who was able to take charge when the situation called for it. My only complaint about her character would be that she was a bit too melodramatic at times and cried quite a lot especially early on. While I love sensitive characters, both heroes and heroines, who aren't afraid to cry, I just thought that Carolyn turned on the water works a few too many times. Otherwise though, Morgan and Carolyn were two lovely characters who seemed made for each other.

I liked the way that the author built Morgan and Carolyn's relationship slowly over the weeks that they were alone on the trail, so that when they finally gave in to their attraction, it seemed believable. The book also contained a pretty extensive cast of secondary characters, some likable, some not, and some who grew on me, but all added to the story in some way. I particularly liked the time that Morgan and Carolyn spent with the Lakota, and wished that it might have been explored more fully. In fact, that would probably be my primary issue with the book, that I frequently found myself wishing there were more of everything. Overall, I thought that the story itself was good, it just needed a few more ingredients to give it more flavor. In my opinion, this was a truly romantic read that would have been better if there had been more focus on the internal workings of the hero and heroine's relationship and a bit less on external conflicts. Midnight Fire might not have been as compelling as some other romances that I've read, but in spite of it's weaknesses, was a sweet, warm, and gentle story that was a generally enjoyable and satisfying book which leaves me open to reading more of Madeline Baker's works in the future. There are no explicit love scenes or other particularly objectionable material, making it appropriate for any romance reader. Madeline Baker also writes paranormal romance under the name Amanda Ashley. ( )
  mom2lnb | Feb 2, 2008 |
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He was a hard riding, hard drinking drifter, a half-breed who had no use for a frightened white girl fleeing an unwanted wedding. He told himself he needed only the money she offered to guide her across the plains, but half-way between Galveston and Ogallala, where the burning prairie met the endless night sky, he made her his woman. now she was his to protect, his to cherish, and he would allow no man -- white or Indian -- to come between them. There in the vast wilderness where his desire had ignited hers, he swore to change his life path, to fulfill the challenge of his vision quest, if only he could keep her love.
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