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REVIEW: Shadows at Midnight by Elizabeth Jennings

Dear Ms. Jennings:

I don’t think it is any secret I enjoyed this book.   It sent me on an EJ/LMR glom which I blogged about a month ago.   Weirdly I thought this book was a September release but alas it is an August release thus my belated recommendation and review.

While I totally sucked this book up like desert traveler at the only oasis for a 500 mile radius, it is not without its flaws.   There are plot holes bigger than aforementioned oasis but none of the plot holes affected my enjoyment of the story.

Shadows at MidnightGunnery Sergeant Daniel Weston is an uncomplicated character. He saw Claire Day and instantly knew he wanted her. As he says in the first page, he had moved heaven and earth to be next to her but an uprising in Laka brought their brief acquaintance to an end. An explosion occurred and Daniel believed that she was dead. Claire, however, had survived but suffered amnesia from the head trauma unable to remember much about the day, her time in Laka, or Daniel.

The primary voice of the book is Daniel’s and he is both entertaining and likeable and his yen for Claire makes him sexy and endearing. In this book, Daniel has really only one goal: Claire. He wants to protect her, love her, provide for her in whatever way she will allow him to.

Claire was the resident Embassy DIA analysis known to be blonde, smart, and dedicated. Her world has turned to ash since the Embassy bombing. She lost her mother years ago and her father recently. She has nightmares constantly but of unknown origin and unknown meaning, likely related to the bombing. Her daily companions, you write are “physical and mental weakness, a constant feeling of sliding into a deep, black hole, a huge wall of glass between her and the rest of humanity.”   She can’t remember the last time she felt the loving touch of another human being. She is at the very end of her tether.

By happenstance Claire, in Florida, is watching the news when a report of about heroes is aired and one Daniel Weston from Washington, D.C., is profiled as a result of his rescuing two children and their mother from a burning building. Claire recognizes him and some instinct drives her to seek him out. Maybe Daniel Weston can help her recreate the loss of her memories surrounding the her time at the Embassy.

Daniel has spent a year of frustrated celibacy taking women out and having to leave them unfulfilled on their doorstep because Claire Day is in his head and even he knows he should move on, he can’t.   When she arrives on his doorstep, it’s like every holiday, birthday, joyous occasion rolled into one event.   Claire is back.   But Claire remembering Daniel triggers her enemies into action and Daniel needs all of his marine skill to keep her alive.

The story isn’t as physically sexy as some of her earlier books but the sexual tension permeates nearly every page.   And Claire, while physically and mentally weak, has enough of a character that I didn’t want to pummel her. And for Daniel, it couldn’t have been anyone but Claire.   That message was so brilliant throughout the story.   It is really a story all about Daniel and his relentless determination to save the most precious thing in the world to him, no matter what.

Seeing the romance through the male point of view is interesting, particularly looking at it from the female gaze.   As I’ve said before, I don’t know if this is what real men think like, but it sounds like what real men think like so that is enough believability for me.   Daniel is so into protecting Claire, that he even feels like he has to protect her from his own animal lusts.

Anyone unfamiliar with Jennings voice will have to be prepared for exaggerated descriptions of Daniel’s lust.   Everything about him is outsized.   His strength, determination, and desire.   The consistency of Daniel’s character makes the exaggerations seem normal.   But if Daniel’s intensity is found to be creepy then I doubt the reader would enjoy this story.   For me, though, the plot holes were forgivable, the recycled bits from other stories (including the suspense as well as the hero and heroine’s professions) were only slightly irritating, and Daniel really appealed to me thus my response to this book was very positive. There was no question in my mind that Daniel and Claire would be happy for the rest of their lives, no matter where they were, no matter what they had, so long as they were together.   That’s the essence of the romance for me. B

Best regards,


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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Annmarie
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 17:46:59

    LOVED this book. I am a total EJ/LMR fan! I have always thought the same thing about EJ/LMR (and Shannon McKenna) her male POV seems like what a male would actually think/say/believe.

    I find I forgive EJ/LMR for flaws because of her heroes. They do ‘it’ for me to such a degree, I can forgive anything.

  2. Tabitha
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 19:36:37

    I really enjoyed this book! Reminds me so much why I enjoy EJ/LMR writing.

  3. Danielel D
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 19:44:34

    I’m reading this book now and so far I’m really enjoying it.

  4. helen
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 19:49:44

    It reminded me (in a great way) of the old Linda Howard, or Beverly Barton Silhouette Intimate moments..remember those mystery’s with the needy heroine and the tough protective male? I loved it and would like to see more romances like this. I miss those books!

  5. Jane
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 19:52:32

    @helen: Read her Midnight series. I think they are available at Ellora’s Cave (I know! I know!) but those are her best works other than this one and they are sexier.

  6. Mary G
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 20:22:24

    Loved your take on this one Jane. The one thing that I really liked about this book was that Claire was kickass with computer intelligence. I loved that Dan was in awe of her talents. While she did need his muscle & weaponry, she was also instrumental in putting the bad guys away.
    That was different than her other books for me, either as LMR or EJ.

  7. Jane
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 21:02:06

    @Mary G – while I liked that element, I felt it was just oh so convenient that she was so talented with computers. It really didn’t make all that much sense to me.

  8. Mary G
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 21:40:05

    I love Garcia, the computer genius from Criminal Minds. I thought of her while I read it.

  9. Joy B
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 08:38:51

    This cover grabbed me in the store and the blurb sounded interesting so I added to my maybe buy this. Will need to more to my TBB.

  10. Babs
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 11:36:37

    OK…finally read this (I’m a little behind.) Have loved previous novels from her and really wanted to love this one…BUT…there were some glaring inaccuracies about the MSG program that I just could not dismiss. Sigh. Definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as some of her earlier novels.

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