For a while now, Miss Bates ARC-reviewing was akin to a baby in a high chair with Cheerios strewn on the tray: all slap-happy grabby, a few falling to the floor, others tossed away, or crushed, some consumed, chewed over, enjoyed. It was so many choices, so many books, nothing focussed, or settled, or embraced out of sheer curiosity and freedom. It was “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” Flexing her reading muscles and dipping into the Tottering TBR has been great. BUT Miss B. possesses a backlog of guilt-inducing e-ARCs: her good-girl syndrome says, “Do something!” Therefore, dear readers, on occasion, she’ll dip into the battered “ARC” hat to pull out a bunny and offer a mini-review until it’s no longer a bottomless top hat, but a modest beanie. Miss B. WILL learn to be circumspect. One bunny is Lucy King’s The Party Starts At Midnight, a contemporary Harlequin Presents with a purty cover, zippy dialogue, and atypical HP characterization. Here’s what the blurb tells us about it:
This was not the itinerary that events planner Abby had intended:
8:00 p. m.: Leave the spectacular party you’ve organized in search of Leo Cartwright – international playboy, notorious tycoon and your most prestigious client.
8:10 p. m.: Find Leo asleep, half-naked, in a penthouse suite that just screams decadence – and battle a wildly-out-of-character impulse to kiss him awake.
8:30 – 11:30 p. m.: Return to the party. Spend all evening avoiding Mr. Cartwright – and trying to forget his tempting demands …
11:59 p. m.: Assure Leo that you will not be mixing business with pleasure.
Midnight: Break your own vow … All. Night. Long …