By Jen Comfort
Rating: 4.5/5 Genre: Contemporary Romance Steam: Explicit Publisher: Montlake Pub Date: 10 January, 2023 Thank you so much Wunderkind PR for allowing me to read an ARC! All opinions are my own. Available: Amazon (KU) | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
Midnight Duet Synopsis:
Self-professed diva Erika Greene has it all: a starring role on Broadway, legions of fans, spectacular natural talent. But after an accident on stage leaves her face scarred and her career in shambles, Erika retreats to Paris, Nevada, where she’s inherited a ramshackle opera house in desperate need of some TLC.
Erika pours her savings into the building, but it’s not enough to stave off casino developer Raoul Decomte’s avaricious gaze. With foreclosure imminent, she leases the space to some unexpected tenants: a German hair metal band, fronted by glam rock god Christof Daae.
Erika is tempted by Christof’s low-slung leather pants—and even more so by his ambitious drive to make Nacht Musik international superstars—but he’s off-limits. The rest of his band thinks he’s still dating their beloved keyboardist, who is conveniently not present on this jaunt to the American Southwest. When Erika finds out Christof’s been unceremoniously dumped and is trying to keep it under wraps, she makes a deal to keep his secret…for a price, of course.
Christof is desperate to hold the rest of the band together after his keyboardist’s departure, but he can’t maintain the charade forever. Nor can he resist the opera house’s mysterious proprietor, who tempts him with midnight singing lessons. It isn’t long before sensuous nighttime interludes turn into smoldering backstage encounters.
But can their newly ignited passion survive the searing light of day? Or will their beautiful duet turn into a brokenhearted power ballad for one?
Midnight Duet Review:
Let’s get something out of the way: I am not a theater person. I’ve never seen The Phantom of the Opera. Tbh the closest I’ve seen is a mock skit on SNL… I am however the child of two parents who listened to 80s hair band growing up. Did I catch all the theater references? Nope. Did I catch all the 80s hair band references? Yes. So I am completely on Nachtmusik’s side of things. I mean if you can pull of gold pants and pirate-y billowy shirts open to your navel, I support you.
That all being said, you know how you get something to read and you know it’s low-key absurd and fun and ridiculous? THIS IS THAT BOOK. OMG! I loved all of it. Erika, Christof, and the whole Nachtmusik gang were such fun characters in this book. There are a lot of heavy topics that are dealt with in the pages, but I thought that they were handled with care. I still cannot get over how much I loved this book. It’s campy and fun and completely self aware while having a fabulous time.
Erika and Christof are phenomenal leads in this book. Both are drama queens of their own. Erika is very much old school, melancholy Broadway version and Christof is “I need to control everything” drama. They balanced each other out so well. Sure, there was insta lust, but who wouldn’t for billowing open tops? I loved how they slowly built up their relationship.
Erika and Christof’s chemistry? *fans self* those stage/closet/mirror moments… Yes. It was good. But I loved the way their character flaws and strengths fed into their chemistry on a different level from their relationship. Sometimes intimate/steamy scenes are put into book for fun, this book felt like those scenes were necessary. Each scene made the characters more complex and understandable in a needed way. LOVED that.
I caught myself laughing several times during this book. I seriously highlighted so much of this book in tears (good kind) because I needed to be able to go back and see them again. There’s something about Comfort’s writing that is so refreshing and enjoyable! It’s the wit and self awareness if I’m being honest. I won’t ruin anything for you, but there are so many good moments!
The side characters of Sibylle, Waldo, and Sergei were an absolute shot of hilarity in the book. I need to know more about all of them. I would like to personally campaign to have a sequel with one of these characters as the lead. There’s late night seances, vampire-but-not-ness, and utter chaos. It felt like a band and family with them.
My only little wish would have been a few more “awe” moments between Erika and Christof, especially more training moments. And maybe some of those implied steamier scenes too… I’m a simple being.
Long Story Short
Do I recommend this book? HELL YES! It’s so much fun. To be honest this is a poolside with a good drink kinda book and there is no shame in that fun. For someone who is not into theater, I enjoyed the overall joy of Midnight Duet. It’s just campy/zany enough to fall absolutely in love with it.
If You Liked This One…
I would highly recommend picking up Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter. There’s a similarity in the easy writing style, complex characters, and overall fun plot. Otherwise The Love Wager by Lynn Painter would be another great contemporary romance comparative. Once again–the fun. If you’re really wanting something super off the wall My Date from Hell by Gwenda Bond is a more supernatural contemporary romance but I bet if you love this you’d LOVE that one!