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Stroke of Midnight
by Jamie Denton, Carrie Alexander, Nancy Warren
Harlequin Blaze Anthology
ISBN: 0373791186
December 2003
Contemporary Anthology

On New Year’s Eve, Natalie Trent, Isabel Parisi, and Arianne Sorenson met at the annual Monticello ball. The three single ladies agree to meet at the same time next year if they are all still single. The ladies share a cab to the ball a year later, each searching for the perfect man with the determination to bring in the New Year with a bang. For Natalie Trent, the one that got away is the one she wants to see even though she’d rather not see him. Ex-military man Joe Sebastian skipped out on Natalie after sharing soul searing kisses at midnight. He can only hope she’ll forgive him when she learns the reason for his disappearing act. Natalie is about to learn that revenge never tasted so sweet. Isabel Parisi is an expert at keeping men at an emotional distance. All except for one man, email buddy Tom Grace. Behind the computer screen, she lets her guard down with him. Tom takes advantage of the masked ball to press his pursuit of Isabel. She is completely taken with her lion king, but what will she do once she realizes megabytes and modems no longer separate her from her best friend? Number cruncher Arianne has lusted after her client, Rafe Monticello for so long she can’t remember a time when he hasn’t occupied her thoughts. Rafe is equally enamored of the ice princess. When he practically dares her to do something spontaneous for once in her life, he reaps the rewards. But when it comes to their future, are they speaking the same language?

Stroke of Midnight is a highly sensual blend of three intertwined stories that stroke the libido as they entertain. Jamie Denton’s story of Natalie and Joe sets the foundation for the two stories that follow. With witty dialogue and hot sex, she sets the bar high and is a tough act to follow. Isabel and Tom come to life thanks to the charming prose of Carrie Alexander. In an interesting collaboration between the authors, Carrie addresses some of the same scenes as Jamie, but from her characters’ view points. Tough nut Isabel is skillfully developed and wonderfully paired with her lion king. Nancy Warren also tackles scenes and develops others hinted at in the final story that tells the tale of Arianne and Rafe. These two are a delightful blend of wickedly sensuous and innocent.

Stroke of Midnight is definitely worth tucking in your stocking or wrapping up for yourself to put under the tree. That is, if you can wait that long to read it!

Lea Moyer, December 2003

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