Mine Till Midnight is the first book in The Hathaway series by Lisa Kleypas. It’s so swoony and will have you coming back to re-read again and again.
[Some Spoilers; Mature Audiences]
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Last week, we participated in Fiction Fare/Swoony Boys Podcast’s 14 Days of Fictional Swoon Blog Hop. One author I mentioned was Lisa Kleypas and her The Hathaways series. After thinking about the Hathaway family and Cam Rohan for that little bit of time, I knew I wanted to re-read the novel and write a review for it!
Mine Till Midnight features the Hathaways. They aren’t an aristocratic family, and they’ve lived a very simple life. That all changes when the eldest Hathaway, Leo, inherits a title. The family has money and an estate. Things are looking up, if Leo wouldn’t drink and gamble away all their money. Amelia Hathaway is the oldest daughter and has deemed herself a spinster in order to make sure that she can take care of her younger sisters and hold the family together since Leo isn’t doing a good job of it. Plus, she experienced a terrible heartbreak and doesn’t want to experience that ever again.
One night, she and Merripen, a Gypsy that her family adopted when he was just a boy, go through London trying to track down Leo before he ends up dead in a gutter. The night will change her life forever because she meet Cam Rohan, the dashing manager of Jenner’s, a famous gaming hall on King Street. He’s amazingly good with numbers and so very charming. He’s also a Gypsy.
After their initial meeting, they think they’ll never see each other again, but fate has other plans…
What I love so much about this book is that Amelia and Cam try to fight their desire, but it’s not a strong fight. They’re so drawn to each other and fate intervenes and brings them together in the most unlikely places.
The first time Cam meets Amelia, he ends up stealing and kiss and her bonnet ribbon. He thinks she’s beautiful and so different from any other woman he’s been with. In fact, just days before his employer told him that the reason he was bored with women was because he went after the same ones repeatedly.
“A bit of novelty may be just the thing.”
Novelty is a good way to describe Amelia Hathaway and her family. They’re loud and all over the place. Leo is a drunk, Winn is sick, Poppy is so happy, and Beatrix can’t stop collecting pets or stealing things. They really have no place in polite society, yet there they are by a stroke of some dumb luck.
While they’re trying to find their footing, Cam has been experiencing a longing to return to his Romany roots, but the more time he spends with Amelia, the more he wonders if he should run from her or stay. His gadjo side and Roma side are at odds when it comes to her.
Due to her brother’s depression and general not caring, Amelia finds herself in charge of restoring Ramsay House, the estate they inherited in Hampshire. She had hoped with him out of London that Leo would straighten up, but it’s not the case. With him on the ropes, her younger sister Winn still feeling the effects of the scarlet fever that almost killed her, and Poppy and Beatrix needing new clothing and a London Season very soon, Amelia’s at her wits ends and grasping for control of a spiraling situation.
Part of the reason she likes control so much is because of her parent’s untimely death and Leo’s debauchery, but Amelia doesn’t want to put herself out there anymore. She was very nearly engaged to an architect that worked with her brother, but he called off their courtship via letter when he found it more advantageous to court his boss’s daughter.
Amelia isn’t used to leaning on anyone, but she naturally feels that inclination with Cam. When Ramsay House catches fire due to a mishap of Leo’s they’re invited to stay at Stony Cross Manor, the residence of Lord and Lady Westcliff. (These two are from The Wallflowers series, but it’s not necessary to read those books to understand these.) Cam is also there as he’s friends with the Westcliff’s.
Being in such close proximity, Amelia and Cam’s courtship takes off. It’s a fun and playful one for sure, and Cam will knock you off you feet. I’m surprised Amelia didn’t keep his gold ring from the get go with lines like this one:
“You are an interesting woman, Amelia.”
Gooseflesh rose wherever his breath touched. “I can’t f-fathom why you would think so.”
His playful mouth traced the wing of her brow. “I find you thoroughly, deeply interesting. I want to open you like a book and read every page.”
You see, Amelia’s a force of nature that doesn’t slow down, but Cam always knows how to get her to be still and see things from a different perspective. Believe in magic—a little at least.
“What you didn’t mention, Mr. Rohan, was that if a Roman steals a woman from her bed according to tradition, it is with the purpose of marriage in mind. And the so-called stealing is prearranged and encouraged by the bride-to-be.”
Came gave her a charming smile, deliberately dispelling the tension. “It lacks subtly, but it hastens the proceedings considerably, doesn’t it? No asking for the father’s permission, no banns, no prolonged betrothal. Very efficient, a Romany courtship.
He decides he can’t live without her and a life living free wouldn’t be as fulfilling as a life with her by his side. Even with the fact that he’s a Gypsy and their marriage won’t be accepted doesn’t stop these two once they realize how fate as laid their path for them.
He forced himself to face the truth. The fact was, Amelia was his, whether he stayed or left, whether they walked the same path or not. They could live on opposite ends of the world, and she would still be his. The Roma half of him had seen that from the beginning. And it was that side of him that he would listen to.
In a nod to the Romany tradition, Cam can’t help but go to her after this revelation and steal her away. It’s so romantic and the writing is dreamlike as he goes to her room and takes her off with him to “sleep” under the stars.
“You knew I’d come with you, didn’t you?” she asked.
Cam leaned over her, kissing her temple. “I only hoped.”
Along with a stellar romance and chemistry (fans self and never looks at a beech tree the same way again. What? Cam likes being outside. His a Rom, after all.) between Cam and Amelia, there’s a supernatural element at play in this book as well. It’s a beautiful underlying plot.
My only complaint is there is no epilogue to this book. I know there are other books in the series that focus on the Hathaways that have Cam and Amelia very prominently featured, but just a teensy epilogue with their wedding would have been lovely.
Still, Cam Rohan will go down as one of my favorite book boyfriends. He’s loving, kind, possessive, strong, and he allows himself to truly feel the desires of his heart.
“I can’t promise you a perfect life. But I can promise that no matter what happens, I’ll give you everything I have. We’ll be together. You inside me…me inside you.”