Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Advanced Review: A Waltz at Midnight by Crista McHugh (5 stars, novella)

Full Description: Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5

Thoughts After Reading:
I'm giving McHugh's A Waltz at Midnight a perfect rating, but with a mild caveat. As the "word count" suggests, this novella is a bit on the short side and thus a list price of $2.99 seems a bit steep to me. Price concerns aside, though, A Waltz at Midnight is a beautifully sweet (and perfectly clean) post-Civil War romance. The war has left the heroine destitute and and with a family consisting solely of her injured brother. Her aunt took the siblings in, but only with the condition that the heroine works as a servant at the aunt's boardinghouse. In an effort to help her friend, and to earn some much needed money, she ends up exchanging letters with the hero under her friend's name. The hero is being pressured by his parents to marry the heroine's friend in order to unite the two families' businesses. He struggles with his duties to his family and his passion for art, along with the aftermath of the war. A good portion of the book consists of the meaningful letters the protagonists exchange, tackling serious issues such as cowardliness in war and the limited opportunities available for women of the time. Feelings develop very realistically between the couple as they use writing to discover and comfort each other. They eventually meet in person, and shortly after the conflict is resolved rather delightfully. All-in-all, it was a feel-good romance novella that had a respectful level of realism for a book set in the era of the Civil War.

This review is based on an ARC copy I received on NetGalley, thanks to a publisher who is obviously awesome.

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