RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: A Rake’s Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell


Title: A Rake's Midnight Kiss
Author: Anna Campbell
Publication Info: Forever August 2013
ISBN: 978-1455512102
Genre: Historical: European

Book A Rake's Midnight Kiss This RITA® Reader Challenge 2014 review was written by Holly S. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Historical Romance category.

The summary:


Brilliant scholar Genevieve Barrett's secret identity as the author of her father's articles is her greatest deception-until her father's handsome new student arrives on their doorstep. Genevieve recognizes him as the masked intruder who earlier tried to steal a priceless gem from their home. Keeping the seductive stranger's identity hidden is a risk, but she's got secrets of her own to keep.


Sir Richard Harmsworth fakes a rakish facade to show society that he doesn't care about his bastard status. Yet haunted by his unknown father's identity, Richard believes the Harmsworth Jewel will prove he's the rightful heir. Intent on seducing the stone away from its owner, Richard finds himself face-to-face with a beauty more breathtaking than any jewel. But even as she steals Richard's heart, Genevieve will be in greater danger than her coveted treasure . . .

And here is Holly's review:

Let me open this review with full disclosure: I am an Anna Campbell fangirl in the worst way. She has this way of writing historicals about women who aren’t damsels in distress, more like damsels who don’t need no stinkin man'…a concept that is rarely done well, but when it is, it's divine. Enter Anna Campbell. I’ve read all of her books, and this one has the same trope going on, but it is so well written, you forget that it's a story that has been told (and usually not so well) .

I read this book when it first came out, and honestly when I started to re-read it I wondered if maybe I was mistaken; maybe it wasn’t a great book. Maybe it was my fangirl status that made it so amazing to read the first time. How wrong I was!

The way that Richard and Genevieve meet each other at the outset is a well written twist on the first encounter between two people who are destined to be together. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but so worth the read, trust me.

The thing that I like the most between these two is that you really get to see the love develop…there is definitely attraction at first sight, but the overwhelming life-altering love that develops between them is on a level that you don’t typically see. It's a lot more layered and intricate, with both Genevieve and Richard needing to travel a long journey to understanding what it means both to love and to be loved.

There are lots of backstory things going on, which definitely move the plot along, but I’m not going to get much into them here except to say that the extras help enhance the storyline instead of detracting from anything.

The love scenes are perfect. From the first kiss in the woods up until the very last one. I hate reading a romance where after the first smash, the love scenes really aren’t that great. So not the case here!

Not to mention that the first smexytimes encounter contains two of my romance reading catnips: Richard has to rescue her from a slimy guy AND of course, it’s a historical so she was a virgin. Again, these are two types of scenes that could end up not doing anything for me except make me want to move on to my next book (with a sad trombone in the background).

I think my overall favorite part of the book is the breakup/get back together last third of the book. I honestly think the struggle was more on Genevieve’s part. She really had to understand that there are men who she can trust in this world. Her father spent the better part of the last five years using her and exploiting her because she was smart and talented, leaving her to believe that the only way she could be herself was not with a man. Richard came along and threw off this equilibrium, and she really had to fight her own long-held beliefs to be with him.

Richard had his own struggles, having his birthright questioned and all, but his story didn’t move me as much.

Bottom line: If you like really well-written, well-plotted, thoroughly developed love stories in historicals this book is for you (and the third book in the trilogy comes out in August….bonus!!).

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | All Romance eBooks

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Karin says:

    Wow, the reviews are really all over the map on this one. Coincidentally, I am in the middle of reading it myself, and hovering between A and B grades. I do like the clever sparring between the H and h, and the way he appreciates her intellect. The plot premise about the Jewel, not so much. This is my second Campbell book, and the first one was much darker, with a rather Gothic Beauty and the Beast plot. Looking forward to the 3rd one in the trilogy.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    I was fascinated by the reviews when I scheduled them, how what worked so well for one reader made another reader irritated. Campbell is a writer who takes great risks with her writing, and so it’s not always going to work with every reader. But wow, is she talented.

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