Review + Excerpt: Midnight Valentine - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they’d be together forever, but fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye.

When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

Book Type:

Contemporary Romance

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Midnight Valentine
By J.T. Geissinger

Review + Excerpt: Midnight Valentine

“I’ll love you ‘til the end of time.”

Every now and again a book completely takes you by surprise. You never saw it coming, didn’t expect it, didn’t realize how quickly you’d surrender to its spell. MIDNIGHT VALENTINE was that book for me.

Off the heels of some frankly tepid reads, I figured I needed to switch genres to shake off this romance funk. I decided to give it one more go, I’d loved BURN FOR YOU after all, which is also by J.T. Geissenger.

Almost immediately, I knew I’d hit gold.

You know that highly anticipated moment in every novel when the two main characters meet? Well, it was explosive. I had to know why he hated her on sight. I wanted to know more about the girl who was wonderfully sarcastic, and why she had to start over. I wanted to know why he hid in shadows, a mix of seething anger and broken pieces.

And while I didn’t know all these things that stoked my curiosity like a flame, I did know I wouldn’t be able to put it down until I’d devoured the entire story whole.

Megan and Theo’s story was antagonism and attraction, grief and hope, despair and desire. It was an unstoppable storm of contradiction that brought two broken people together in way they couldn’t explain.

“You make all my broken parts bleed.”

Megan had lost the love of her life in an accident, while Theo’s life irrevocably changed years ago, almost succumbing to a similar fate. Both of them struggle with what their lives have become, but once they meet, everything changes.

Without divulging too much, this is a love story that explores themes of true love and second chances. It’s easily my favorite romance of the year thus far, and my first 6-star read in a long time. I loved the emotion of it, loved the humor and the banter, loved every single page from beginning to end.

Crackling with tension, bursting with emotion and laced with an intangible magic, this is the kind of love story you hope to find, the kind that lingers long after the final page.

The first thing my gaze lands on when I enter the kitchen is the coffee maker—which is when I remember the power’s off.

I stop, groan, and slap a hand on my forehead. Then I notice what’s on the island and stop groaning.

Next to a sheaf of stapled papers sits a large to-go cup, the kind with the plastic lid and the paper sleeve. A curl of steam rises from the hole in the lid.

Drawn toward it as if magnetized, I cross to the island, pick up the cup, and sniff. The delicious, nutty scent of strong coffee greets my nostrils, making my mouth water. I crack open the lid and grin in delight when I see that black gold.

If this was meant for anyone else, they’re out of luck. I’m claiming this sucker. I take a sip, closing my eyes in ecstasy when the coffee hits my tongue. It’s exactly how I like it: unsweetened and scalding hot.

Sighing in pleasure, I open my eyes…and find Theo standing in the kitchen doorway.

“Oh. Hi.” I feel flustered and guilty, as if he caught me masturbating.

Theo points at the cup in my hand, then gives me an inquisitive thumbs-up.

“Yes, it’s perfect. Did you do this?”

He nods.

“Thank you. I can’t function without coffee in the morning.”

He nods again. I know it’s only my imagination that thinks he’s saying I know, but now I’m even more flustered. Get your shit together, Megan. Focus.

I straighten my shoulders and put on my boss lady face. “So this is the contract, I take it?” I point at the paperwork, and he gives me a thumbs-up. “Okay. I’ll look it over right now and let you know if I have any questions.”

Another incline of his head, this one looking regal. He’s calmer than I’ve ever seen him. His entire aspect is lighter, as if the thunderclouds that permanently follow him around have opened to let rays of sunlight shine through.

He looks at home standing there in the doorway to my kitchen. At home and at peace.

Why that should make me feel so good, I don’t know. But some part of me, a small, dark corner of my heart, just exhaled the breath its been holding since I met him.

“Theo Valentine,” I say quietly, holding his warm gaze. “Welcome to my home. I’m trusting you with the most important thing in my life. Don’t screw it up.”

His mouth bursts into a huge, glowing grin, devastating in its beauty. His entire face is transformed, like there’s another man hiding beneath that mask of scowls he normally wears, waiting to break free.

He swaggers over, pulls a pen from his back pocket, flips over the contract, and scrawls onto it.

You’re crabby in the morning.  

“No, I’m crabby this morning,” I correct, reading around his shoulder. “My house almost burned down last night, remember?”

Except it didn’t.  

I read the words he’s written, then glance up at his face. He gazes down at me with a secret little smile, lashes lowered, a lock of dark hair flopping onto his forehead. Then he winks.

The man winks.

I say drily, “Yes, Superman, you saved the day. And before I sign this paperwork, you’re going to tell me how you came to be outside my house last night at the exact moment a fire started inside the damn walls.”

His expression sours. He begins to turn away, but I grab his biceps. I’m shocked when I find a stony, bulging muscle beneath my hand. I knew he was big, but I had no idea he was made of steel.

At my touch, he freezes. Nostrils flaring, he glances down at my hand on his arm, then looks back up at me. I half expected his gaze to reflect irritation or disdain, but what I see in those expressive brown eyes of his is a depth of suffering so bottomless it leaves me breathless.

He looks at me as if I’m torturing him with my touch. As if the mere laying of a few fingers on his clothed arm has caused him such misery he might not be able to stand upright much longer. The rawness, the palpable realness of his pain is astonishing.

I snatch my hand back and stare at him in confusion, knowing I’ve made a terrible mistake, but not knowing how or why.

Then I’m horrified to realize I touched his left arm. The side that would’ve sustained the most damage in his accident, if, as Suzanne had said, he was broadsided by the other car.

I look at the ragged white scar over his left eyebrow, the snarl of scar tissue running down the left side of his neck, and blurt, “Oh God, I’m so sorry, I’ve hurt you!”

I back away a step, but am prevented from going any farther when Theo grabs my wrist. I suck in a startled breath, then we stand there, staring at each other in a cavernous silence so tense it crackles.

His gaze drops to my mouth. He swallows and moistens his lips, and a wave of heat spreads across my chest and up my neck. My heart starts to pound like mad, the drum of it drowning out everything else.

His gaze snaps back up to mine. I know he sees the effect he’s having on me, because his eyes darken, and a ruddy flush creeps over his cheeks.

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