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Friday, January 22, 2010

Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna

Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (59 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

New Year’s resolutions have never looked so good.

New Year’s Eve. The party is rockin’, and Claire is in her usual spot holding up the wall. It’s all right. She’s much happier scribbling in her trusty little notebook than mingling. Especially since those notes turn into the sexy erotic romances she pens in secret. Those two gorgeous gods across the room are perfect hero material and…oh dear, are they headed her way?

Mason and Hunter know she won’t remember them as the scrawny geeks they were in high school. She also doesn’t know they’ve been lusting after her for ten long years, waiting for her to meet a man and have a normal relationship. They’re through waiting. The time has come to make their move—and show her exactly how much they’ve changed.

One night in the middle of a Mason/Hunter manwich, and Claire has enough research material to fill a hundred notebooks. Good thing she’s got OfficeMax on speed dial to order more. Except suddenly her two hunks have this crazy idea that keeping her is selfish. Selfish? She may be mousy, but this mouse is about to roar…

Take two once-upon-a-time nerds who went from geek to chic, add in a mousey woman who learns to roar, and you have Make Mine Midnight; a fantastic novella that gets the blood pumping while tugging at those all important heart-strings.

Though I expected a sexy ménage, I didn’t foresee the stigma of plural relationships playing such a pivotal role in the story. Mason and Hunter, while in love with Claire for well over a decade, haven’t considered the ramifications of taking things to the next level. I was pleasantly surprised at the very effective scene in which Hunter realizes the negative impact of public displays of affection between the three and balks at the notion of hurting Claire. Of course, Mason is aware as well, and they mutually decide to let Claire go before her reputation and feelings are affected. When Claire informs the two that she’ll make her own decisions, and embraces the life they could share, the three face a loving, if uncertain, future. Considering the length of the material, the subject matter is presented beautifully, and I was most certainly impacted by the message. Claire, Mason, and Hunter are meant to be together, even if the world isn’t quite ready to accept the fact that love comes in all forms.

Aside from a few instances when awkward word choice and sentence structure slowed the story, the material was tightly written. Annmarie McKenna knows how to manipulate the heart and create fascinating and multifaceted characters, while kicking up the heat and making the reader sweat.

Make Mine Midnight is a wickedly naughty pleasure readers are sure to enjoy.

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