ARC Review: Midnight by Melanie Gilbert

Overall: 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Steam: 💋 Kissing only
Feels: 😔🤔☺️🤨😣😐

~QD STORY DETAILS~ 
Tear jerker: No
Paranormal/Fantasy: Yes
Location: Danville
Character age range: late teens/immortal
Lead: Nova Kramer
Love interest(s): Kent Danville
HEA: HFN/No – cliffhanger

~QD BOOK INFO~
Kindle Unlimited: No
Audible: No
Series: Yes – A Fae Brothers’ Ever Afters
1. Midnight – releases 08/13/19

~QD 🔥~
Sex/kink type: kissing
Possible triggers: violence, mention of death of family members

~REVIEW🖋~
The Quick and Dirty: Cinderella retelling of a girl who has no idea she’s half fae and being sought out by both a witch, and her “prince charming”. The latter of which doesn’t realize his “Destiny” or destined mate is right under his nose. 

After the accidental death of Nova’s mother and sister, her father moves the two of them to Danville. Nova quickly realizes that her neighbor is unfortunately the same girl who bullied her on her first day at school. Luckily, she’s made friends with a new group of students, all of whom are somehow related to the Danville family (the town’s namesake). She anxiously tries to navigate her new friendships, her estranged relationship with her father, and attempting to stay away from Stella, her bully, but she doesn’t realize that her mishaps are more than they seem on the surface. While Nova and Kent dance around their attraction to one another, Stella is using her powers as a witch to seek out a powerful Fae artifact she assumes Kent has. Little does she know Nova is not a mere inconvenience to her path to Kent. Nova is the key to it all.

While I enjoyed the premise of this book and there were certainly some great standout moments, I had some serious qualms that I feel could have turned the story from okay to great (see below for more details). This was my first Melanie Gilbert novel and while this book wasn’t my favorite, I can see some elements that I enjoy and will likely give her books another try.

**MILD SPOILERS**

Issues that I felt should have been addressed in the book:
1. Prose: In the first portion of the book the prose felt stiff and a bit stilted, like it need a few more adjectives. I wanted to be able to see and feel what was happening and not be told.

2. Nova’s father blames her for her mother and sister’s deaths, which was a complete accident, and this is not resolved by the end of the book. He comes back around to “speaking” to her, but the matter of him ignoring her and being a neglectful parent was never truly addressed or resolved beyond a cursory “my bad” kind of moment.

3. There were moments where things were said that either didn’t make sense or felt like they were for the benefit of the reader and didn’t come across as organic in the dialogue.

4. The assaults felt a bit gratuitous and overly graphic/violent in contrast to how tame the other physical interactions between the characters were (lots of blushing, kissing temples, feeling awkward about hugs).

5. The response from Nova, her father and her friends to the assault, and Stella, was one of my biggest issues with this book. I was very frustrated by the lack of action with regard to Nova’s harassment. She tolerated it and even overlooked it, which made her complicit and seem weak in my mind. Her anxiety and guilt over her mother and sister’s deaths did not absolve her of her responsibility in allowing Stella to treat her so poorly. She did not confront Stella and actually went out of her way to tell her friends to do the same. What’s worse, her friends listened to her. Additionally, her father and all the adults in her life also did nothing about it. Nova’s father leaves her home alone at night soon after the assault, which occurred just around the corner from her house. Kent, after discovering what Stella’s brothers had done, still invited her to lunch, his birthday party and walked with her to class. Even after the harassment Nova suffered at night by the brothers (how did her father not hear this?), and after she was drugged (DRUGGED!) no one did anything beyond tell Pierre, who, if he was as powerful in town as he’s portrayed, should have been able to do something. All of that not only seemed unrealistic but really made me lose respect for the characters and made them unrelatable.

6. When Nova had been kidnapped and injured she worried about not attending Kent’s party. ?! It would have been more realistic to have her worry for her life!

7. Nova’s father is very quick to accept that Nova has a destined mate and very quickly allows them to be tied together (the human equivalent of married) despite the fact that Nova is still a minor.

8. The issue of the Stella’s failed attempt at the crest and pretending to be Lenore was not resolved. I understand there is a sequel in which the Viceroy crest will be addressed, but I felt that the issue of the Armaden crest should be closed before proceeding if each book is to address one of the four clans.

9. If it had not been billed as a Cinderella retelling, I would not have made the link between the two. In my opinion, there just wasn’t enough of a common thread for someone to link the two without being told.

While I don’t relish writing reviews that are less than stellar, I don’t write any of the above as anything more than constructive critique. I thought the premise was interesting, particularly because Kent is a Fae/Hound, but I felt the execution could have been better.

** I was provided an ARC of this book in return for a voluntary and honest review.**

~BLURB~

If you were thrown into a war between a Fae clan and a witch coven, would you be able to uncover the truth before the stroke of Midnight?

Nova Kramer blames herself for the death of her mother and sister—so does her father. When he moves them to Danville City to escape the reminders of what they lost, Nova is thrown right back into a world full of anxiety when their new neighbor, Stella, and her twin brothers make it their mission to bring Nova to her knees—after all, they know her secret—and blackmail is just the start.

Kent Danville and his brothers have a secret, too—their clan is working to take down a coven of witches and find the other five clans of Fae, but when Nova walks into his life, the Fae can’t seem to stop thinking about her. He can’t risk falling for the new girl—he has a soulmate out there somewhere, and a mission to complete…if the coven doesn’t kill him first.

A war is brewing between the coven and the clan—each side a little less human than the other—and Nova may get caught in the crossfire if she can’t discover the truth before the clock strikes Midnight.

Can your heart handle this magical shifter retelling of Cinderella and Prince Charming? Read now to find out!

Perfect for fans of Casey L. Bond, K.M. Robinson, and Chanda Hahn.

~LINK~
AMAZON (click the image):

GOODREADS

~AUTHOR INFO~
MELANIE GILBERT
Melanie was born in Michigan, USA where she lived until moving to Virginia to attend college. She majored in Business Management and minored in English. After graduating in 2009, Melanie added a Pomeranian puppy named Toby to her family. Soon after, Melanie got married and quit her day job to be a stay at home mom. She, her husband, 2 sons, and Toby live in Michigan where her husband attends college. She enjoys playing with her boys, reading, putting puzzles together, and of course, writing.

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