On Saturday during the Five Fall Favorites party when I listed Midnight Justice by Patience Royale as one of my top five reads of the year, I promised a full review. This is one you won’t want to miss.
She’s headed west for an advertisement when her path crosses with a gun-throwing gambler at Fort Laramie. Carson Graves believed his course unalterable, yet hopes of a fresh start spur him forward and straight into the suspicions of his gang. While Marion Halifax finds herself dependent on Carson who is determined to right his wrongs, a bitter man has sworn revenge and is set on destroying Carson Graves once and for all.
One woman, who knows the change she sees is real and ready to face down the past. One man who knows justice might still await him. And a crippled outlaw who holds the power to free or condemn. The three find themselves in a tangle of love and hate, justice and truth as dreams hang in the balance and destiny lurks uncertain. One piece of the past can tip it, but only if it is discovered in time.
This book. What an adventure. If you love books that make you feel you’re there, that let you get to know the characters personally, that keep you turning page after page in an epic-length work, that combine poetic description with dramatic plot, Midnight Justice is your book.
Midnight Justice is a gripping page-turner that weaves together themes of love, forgiveness, justice, revenge, and redemption in a riveting and sweet story of drama and adventure in a Western setting. Breathtaking descriptions and vivid characters leave the reader sympathizing, sighing, and rejoicing by turns as the author leads step by step on a journey of destiny. ~ my official review summary
Characters: Carson and Marion were so easy and delightful to get to know – not to mention Sylvie and, of course, Dottie. 🙂 Everyone was developed well for the role they played in the story. Even with a large cast of characters, the vivid descriptions made each one stand out in a memorable way. The dialogue flowed well and lent certain characters a distinct personality and manner. I loved Marion’s sweet, pure dreams and hopes and goals and the way she kept encouraging those around her no matter what. I loved her loyalty and sweet determination. She was so pure and good, yet she wasn’t “perfect” – she was a rock, yet she wasn’t unshakable. She faced hardships like a human with tears and struggles, yet she kept her eyes fixed on Christ. She was determined to stick with her beloved, yet she was gentle and honoring of others as well. She loved with all her heart and never wavered from her principles of what’s right. Characters truly make the story, and Marion is the best kind of protagonist.
Plot: There’s not a lot I can say without giving spoilers, but it’s satisfying. There are twists that might catch you by surprise. The characters’ journeys are woven together beautifully. In some places, I was on the edge of my seat. In others, I was smiling and nodding. In yet others, I was chuckling. This plot has it all.
Pace: I loved how the first part of the book shifted quite regularly between Carson and Marion each chapter. While one might find the beginning a bit slow, it was a good setup for the rest of the story. With the length of the book, the variations in pacing seemed exellent. I felt carried along with the story. I love the word pictures the author weaves – I can see each scene. In many books filled with journeys and travels, one of three things tends to happen: (1) too many time skips; (2) too much boring description (“they traveled all morning. They stopped for lunch. They traveled all afternoon. They stopped when the sun touched the horizon…” etc.); or (3) drama happening along the way that feels like it was added simply to avoid the second option. Midnight Justice had none of these. Despite the lack of time skips in mot instances, when larger period of time occurred in which nothing of note happened, the author somehow made it sound interesting while transitioning smoothly to the next important scene.
Content review: some violence, romance. There are a few kisses, most of them between married couples. I found the romance sweet, innocent, pure, and lovely, worded in a discrete way. There’s not too much physical description or dwelling on it. This book handles that aspect better than most, in my opinion.
All in all, this is a beautiful story of love, justice, rightness, and forgiveness! It’s so sweet and pure, yet dramatic and complex. Such a variety of characters have all been interwoven into a lovely book. I love how the focus of the story is kept and the characters’ goals are clear. I love the redemption messages – so different and yet so similar, and the beautiful, faithful hand of God preeminent throughout. The descriptions and the way the author puts words together is riveting. The story definitely left me with something to take away.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re an adult or young adult who loves Westerns, adventure, beautiful description, or a good story. Five of five stars.