Review of Midnight Angel, by Lisa Kleypas:
In the infamous words of The Mask: It's smo-kin'! Midnight Angel is a great read, even if it's pretty basic. Lady Anastasia Ivanovna Kaptereva has fled Russia and takes a post in England as a governess, because she's been convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. She ends up chez Stokehurst, at the estate of Luke, Lord Stokehurst, a widower who lives with his troublesome daughter Emma. Luke can't resist Tasia's crazy gorgeous face, her inner serenity, nor her strong character, and falls hard. Tasia, likewise, learns to love melancholy Luke and his daughter, and together they face the Russian threat that haunts Tasia.
There's an odd air of the supernatural in Midnight Angel. There are fortune-tellers, ghosts, and premonitions; but it all works strangely well with Tasia's unearthly air. She's terrifyingly regal, beautiful, and strong, and seems unreal in a rather plausible and endearing way.
Luke is a moody dreamboat, not quite brooding but certainly damaged by the loss of his wife. His abrupt awakening in Tasia's presence is moving, and Kleypas really made me care for his happiness. He's got the typical obsessive-possessiveness that Kleypas favors, but because he's the type who 'must needs be worshiping at some altar,' it works. And, oh yeah, he has a hook for a hand. I'm not really sure why.
The chemistry is hot (smokin!), the characters are endearing--even Emma, and I usually hate children in romance novels--and the story is actually exciting. I give this highly enjoyable (if not especially exceptional) read a B+.