Published: December 21, 2010 (HarperCollins)
Format: Audiobook from the library
Summary: What Miss Phillipa Damson needs is a good, old fashioned knight in shining armor. What she has is a fiancé she never wanted and a compelling urge to run away. But if she manages to escape, will she find her happily ever after?
My Review: As I'm not generally the biggest fan of Cinderella retellings, I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James when I read it last year. During the reading, there was one secondary character who stood out: Wick, the major domo/butler who had some additional relationship to the prince that was quite the mystery for a while. I unfailingly loved him in every scene in which he appeared. When I later saw that he had his own story, I jumped at the chance to read (well, listen to) it.
May I reiterate, just in case you missed it: A love story where the hero is a butler! How awesome is that?
Forced to run away from home or face a marriage to a horrid man, Phillipa chose the former. When she heard that the prince and princess had a need of someone to help their sick baby, Phillipa jumped at the chance. She had previous experience with children and medicine, so the position was perfect for her. She felt an immediate attraction to Wick, and the feeling was reciprocated, although neither disclosed it at first. Yet there were bigger problems than her deception separating them: As Phillipa was not actually a servant, their stations were not compatible with the prospect of a future together. Phillipa was far above Wick in station, and Wick was a stickler for living according to rules and protocol. How could the two ever have a future together?
One thing I can definitely say about Phillipa and Wick is that they had magnificent chemistry, and it culminated in a couple scenes that had steam rising from my dashboard. As Storming the Castle was a novella and there was not room for the development of a full-length novel, their relationship felt rushed, especially since my preference generally runs toward the drag-it-out-as-long-as-possible end of the spectrum. In addition, the progression of their relationship toward the beginning was a little strange and awkward. Overall, though, their story was cute and ultimately satisfying, and it made for a very enjoyable few hours.
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