Reviewed by Cara Lynn
After Midnight by Sarah Grimm was very readable, plus it had an interesting story. It's romantic suspense for adults, not only because the sex is adult, but because the story is developed more fully than many other romantic suspense books.
Isabeau Montgomery was a child prodigy, a pianist and composer of renown, with four albums to her credit, but when her mother died in a car accident that left her maimed when she was still a child, she gave up playing the piano. She now owns a successful bar and grill. And she is capable of playing again, because her hands are restored except for the scars, but she no longer plays because it makes her physically ill and brings up emotions that she cannot deal with.
Then Noah Clark walks into her bar and the music begins again in her head, in a way she cannot ignore. He has come to record a come-back album after he has fought a few demons of his own.
One night, after closing, she plays the piano, which he overhears. At first he does not know who she is.
And he falls for Isabeau. He comes into her bar nightly just to be near her.
Isabeau has protectors, friends and family, -- and somewhere there is an enemy, maybe more than one, lurking who wishes to destroy her.
Music is interwoven into the storyline. If you love music, you will appreciate this book.
The sex is hot, believable, builds to a climax (pun intended) (more than one) but does not move so fast that it loses you.
The love story
The love story between Noah and Isa is very dear. He is changing, just as she is. Both of them need each other. It is a testament to their love that they continue on a path which saves them both -- and ultimately saves Isa from death.
I enjoyed the interaction of their friends with them. Their friends are loyal, but also straight on, willing to challenge them, when they need to be challenged.
There are enough red herrings in the story, that there are several people who might be the one(s) out to destroy Isabeau. I ultimately guessed who it might be, but I wasn't sure until the denouement. And the acts of potential violence escalate until...
On the other hand, it is more a story of psychological unfoldments for the two main characters than it is suspense, though the suspense is major. Most romantic suspense does not develop the main characters and their motivation as fully as Grimm has. This is what sets this book apart -- and the element of music, which factors into all parts of the book.
Have you read any of her other works? You can be sure that I will~