Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moonlight Becomes Her - Meagan McKinney


The newspapers call her Lady Moonlight. No one in high society would dream that the elusive jewel thief is one of their own--demure New Orleans debutante Mystere Rillieux, a woman who hides her past as well as her seductive womanly charms from everyone she meets. Everyone but one man....

Railroad magnate Rafe Belloch has no lack of fortune and no lack of pride. Which is why he has never forgotten the masked woman with startling blue eyes and catlike grace who once relieved him of his money-and his clothes. Someone Rafe suspects he has just met again...

Now, amid the glittering balls and operas of the summer season, a dangerous dance around the truth begins, where a an bent on delicious justice closes in on his prey ... and a master deceiver may finally meet her match...

I used to be a big fan of Meagan McKinney. The first book I read by her was Lions and Lace and I just loved Trevor and Alana's story. I enjoyed many others of her books but none to same degree. I kept looking for new books but it seems she stopped writing after publishing this Moonlight Becomes Her.

Imho the story has many parallels to Lions and Lace, there's an alpha hero, self made man who has a settle to score with the New York society. The heroine is not the society darling that Alana was but she does play that role for a time. In fact, this heroine is a thief, she lost her parents and her only brother as a child and was "rescued" by a supposed gentleman who taught her to steal and who pretends to be her uncle when they go out in public.

Once the hero starts suspecting she is the thief who once stole from him, and left him naked, he decides to prove himself correct. The only problem is that he is also very much attracted to her. Mystere (the heroine's name really annoyed me btw) only wants to be free of her "uncle", look for her long lost brother and find out who her parents were. Unfortunately said "uncle" sees her as his ticket to a good life and doesn't want to let her go. As Mystére and Rafe become closer and closer she tries to hide from him what she truly is and he decides that she will be his, a mistress that he will keep. I must say I found him pretty ruthless at this point, even when he decides to marry her it seems to be against her wishes and Mystére becomes unsure of herself the more we get to know her.

I think McKinney does a great job describing the gilded age of New York society, both here and Lions and Lace we can really visualise the people, the clothes, the balls... the old families (the Astors and the Vanderbilts) snub everyone who they consider "new money" and make or destroy reputations.

Rafe and Mystére eventually acknowledge their feelings for each other but I while in the Trevor / Alana story I felt that he really had learned his lesson and that Alana while suffering was still assured of her worth as a person and sure of herself I wasn't totally convinced of that here. I enjoyed reading this story but it did fall short of my expectations.

It ends with a cliffhanger (and a special appearance by Trevor Sheridan), where is Mystére's brother and who are they and will they be able to prove it? Unfortunately it doesn't seem like McKinney has written his story yet...

Grade: 3.5/5

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