Title: On a Midnight Clear
Author: Lily Morton
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 212 Pages
Category: Holiday Romance, Magical Realism
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: On a Midnight Clear is an absolute delight of a book. It’s a story full of whimsy and wonderment, and I couldn’t help but adore it. It is, at its heart, a story about the miracle of falling in love, simply, sincerely, and without pretense, and not being afraid to hold on to that miracle even when it seems impossible.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: It can safely be said that Lord Barnaby Greenwood is not having the best of Christmases.
He’s penniless, up to his eyeballs in debt, and about to lose his estate. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that when a local property developer offers a lot of money to buy King’s Wood from him, Barnaby is very tempted. But his father had always impressed on him that the green wood was sacred and must be protected at all costs, so he finds himself saying no.
He knows this will result in the loss of his home, but duty comes before everything. However, that fateful decision leads instead to a magical Christmas for Barnaby, complete with an old god who grants him a favour, and a beautiful statue that comes to life.
Cosmo is perfect for him. He’s funny and kind and completely enraptured with Barnaby, and for the first time in his life, Barnaby falls in love. But how can this lead to anything but heartache, when on the last stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, Cosmo will go back to being a statue and take Barnaby’s heart with him?
Review: “This is magic, Barnaby Greenwood. It is the furthest thing from reality that can be.”
Author Lily Morton has leaned just slightly Pygmalionesque in her brand new holiday romance, On a Midnight Clear, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say my heart grew at least three sizes by the time I’d finished reading it. Or, if not my heart, at the very least my happiness increased by ten smiles plus two.
This bright and beautiful story contains all of Morton’s trademark sweetness and humor along with a heaping helping of magic wrapped up in the tale of a particular statue, a boon from the Holly King, and a Christmas miracle which all coalesce to make Lord Barnaby Greenwood’s present a lot happier. Unfortunately, it’s his future that’s the problem. Money woes have left Barnaby on the brink of losing his family estate in Derbyshire to a real estate developer with plans to raze Barnaby’s ancestral home as well as the surrounding wood to build McMansions in their place, but Barnaby isn’t about to give in yet. His legacy as protector of King’s Wood demands he exhaust every avenue to come up with the funds to stave off his creditors.
When the statue Barnaby has spent his life pouring his secrets out to, sharing things with, and maybe even been preoccupied by the sculptor’s talent for capturing the perfect male form, suddenly comes to life, he may not have understood that he’d just discovered the answers to all his problems, but he surely became convinced he’d discovered a miracle in Cosmo.
Cosmo is full of light and life and joy and magic, and he sprinkles those things about generously to brighten the lives of everyone he meets. Barnaby has become all but a recluse since his financial problems began, to the point he’s even isolated himself from his friends, but he’s never strayed far from his favorite sculpture. Never from him. The man he now knows as Cosmo has always been Barnaby’s steadfast confidante even when Barnaby didn’t know Cosmo could listen, let alone was listening. When Cosmo asks Barnaby to take him to see the village and then discovers it’s full of folks who don’t have much to do with Barnaby, nor he with them, Cosmo promptly paves the way for Barnaby to reconnect a bit while also shepherding him towards the answer to his problems. All while being madly, deeply, and irrevocably in love.
On a Midnight Clear is an absolute delight of a book. It’s a story full of whimsy and wonderment, and I couldn’t help but adore it. It is, at its heart, a story about the miracle of falling in love, simply, sincerely, and without pretense, and not being afraid to hold on to that miracle even when it seems impossible. Even knowing there is a time limit on it. Last year’s Merry Measure was Morton’s first foray into holiday romance. Here’s to hoping these winsome happiness overloads become an annual trend.
You can buy On a Midnight Clear here:
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