Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publish Date: August 2, 2011
Series: Heroes and Heartbreakers #1
Synopsis: His name is Rafer Callahan. He was a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who fought through life the only way he knew how: with his fists. But Rafer never meant to bring any harm to Cambria Flannigan, the girl—the lover—whose sister he’d been unable to save…
Cami lost her sister in the brutal murders that rocked her hometown so many years ago. Some still believe that Rafe, along with his friends Logan and Crowe, were involved. But how could Rafe—who haunted her girlish dreams, then her adult fantasies—be a killer? That is the question that keeps her up at night.
Now a prosperous ranch owner, Rafe is trying to build a new legacy for himself. It’s finally time to settle the score with Cami—and make her his. But old wounds open up with a series of new murders…and each of the victims has a connection to Rafe, Logan, and Crowe. With suspicion, fear, and loyalty tearing her apart, Cami is once again at risk of losing her heart—or her life.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There’s always a fine line that I walk when I read Lora Leigh stories. That line divides between what I can accept, in regards to the male lead’s behavior. But that is the case in a lot of the Lora Leigh stories that I read.
The male lead, Rafer, was a little rough in this story. Maybe to the point where I would normally close the book and walk away. But there was something about Cami and the story she told, that intrigued me.
But let me rewind and start from the beginning before I start talking about the writing.
There is a lot of back story that is written in the first 50 or so pages of Midnight Sins. Leigh explains the towns hatred for Rafer, Crowe, and Logan, who are the grandsons of the three prominent families in town, the barons. The story explained is the three prominent families all had daughters who were loved and cherished by the town. They were deemed as the town’s sweethearts and could do nothing wrong, until they all chose the wrong husbands. Threats to the daughters’ inheritances were thrown, and they all chose to ignore those threats. Soon after the daughters came of age and received the inheritances, incidents started to happen that caused the daughters and their husbands to die. Now, the cousins, with the help of one uncle, are battling the barons for their inheritances.
Coincidence? I think not.
Midnight Sins true story starts with a progression of time, following the life of Cambria Flannigan, Cami. Cami is 13 when she first fell in love with Rafer Callahan. At the time, Rafer was 20 and dating her older sister, Jaymi. Unfortunately, Jaymi is brutally murdered a few months after that moment, and the town blames Rafer and his cousins.
Time moves forward, and Cami is now 21. A lot has happened since we last saw Cami. She is separated from her family, is attending school, and is still passionately in love with Rafer. Rafer and his cousins enrolled in the Marines and is in town for the weekend to visit Cami, as he has been since she was 18. A passionate night in his hotel room and Cami’s innocence was taken. Insert graphic scene here.
Fast forward again to a few years, and Rafer is now back in town. From here, the story whirlwinds in an emotional roller coaster that separates Cami from the rest of the world. Her relationship with Rafer is a complicated one. They both have the murders, the inheritances, and the town against them. Rafer’s lust for Cami grows with each moment. They play a game of cat and mouse throughout the rest of the book. Throw in some danger and action, and you have Midnight Sins.
Usually, Leigh would write these scenes in such a way that I would stay interested. But there was something about the way she wrote Rafer that turned me off. To me, he seemed too aggressive with Cami. It may be my taste, but it just seemed a bit much.
Cami is a strong character. She has endured a tragic loss of her sister, and really, the only family that has loved her. Her parents no longer care for her. In her small world, she is alone. She has suffered through so much throughout the story that you cannot help but feel for her. She puts up this facade that I commend her for. If I was in her shoes, I do not think I could have done what did.
I felt that some scenes were developed really well and some were not. I think that the back story of the town’s sweethearts could have been a completely different story on it’s own and the story of Rafer and Cami completely separate. Some scenes were hot and steamy, but then it would quickly be diluted by the “pillow talk” between the two. Actually, most of the dialogue between Rafer and Cami were something that I did not truly enjoy. Rafer is a force of nature in this book and maybe that’s what had me skimming through parts.
There were a few things in the story that threw me off. I didn’t understand where some aspects came in and what other characters’ roles were in the story. I hope that the second books fills in more of those gaps.