AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT
Written by Tara Sivec
Published by Swerve, February 27, 2018
My star rating: 5 stars
Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.
Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.
But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos. Find it on Goodreads
I don’t read books like this all that often. I find that it’s all about the steam and very little substance. But this book had everything!! It was crude, hilarious, sweet, sad, steamy, and it had a totally engaging and empowering plot!
Cindy had it all. A beautiful daughter, a gorgeous home, an expensive wardrobe – her life looked picture perfect from the outside. But nothing is as it seems. She finds herself divorced, her relationship with her daughter deteriorating, and is about to lose her home and her social status. That’s when the unexpected happens – Ariel and Belle. It’s through her new found relationship that she slowly rebuilds herself piece by piece. These three characters were SO amazing! Cindy is the innocent bad girl that has yet to come out of her shell, Ariel (my absolute FAVOURITE!) is a bold, strong, confident bad girl with the heart of gold. And Belle is the innocent librarian, excited at this new world she’s opened up for herself. The three of them together worked so well. They are very different people but their strengths and weaknesses gave them an incredible balance. They were so very supportive and loyal, always there as a shoulder to lean on or a strong voice to stick up for the other.
I love the theme of a woman who finds herself at rock bottom and works her butt off to get where she wants to be. She wasn’t pulled out of a tough situation with ease. Instead, she worked for it. She made her own decisions, made some tough calls, and chose her own path. She was supported by some great friends, but ultimately they only guided her and lent a non judgemental hand. She also had a past that made her all the more determined to make it on her own. This was very empowering to read, knowing that she picked herself, dusted herself off, and was so strong in the end.
This book also had something that is rarely seen in books – a supportive male! I mean this in the way that even if he didn’t like the choices she was making, he was there to support her if he knew she had the right reasons behind the decision. He never really tried to interfere – ok well he did but that was before he knew the whole story. He was yet another supportive lifeline that helped her on the way to find who she was.
As far as the steam goes – it was there, but not overwhelming. It came in as the plot called for it and wasn’t thrown in just for the sake of it. I love a good steamy novel every once in a while and this was done well. There were feelings and emotions connected with everything.
The best thing that this book had going for it? The humour! I laughed out loud more times than I could count! The one liners were outstanding, and mostly all came from Ariel’s mouth. Like I said before, she’s very bold! She’s fantastic with unfiltered verbal assault, and you never have to question what she’s thinking. Some of the things her character said were so funny and unpredictable that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
I LOVED this book way more than I ever expected to! So thanks to Robin (The Other Weasley over on Books Amino) for telling me about this gem! I need more!
Until next time, happy reading!