Book Review: Ella Grace’s Midnight Secrets

Posted July 8, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Ella Grace’s Midnight Secrets

Midnight Secrets

in Paperback edition on April 30, 2013 and has 400 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Wildefire romantic suspense series based in Midnight, Alabama, and revolving around the Wilde sisters.

My Take

Midnight Secrets was disappointing, a basic romance with some minor twists. I just can’t get excited about it.. I kept checking the cover to be sure I wasn’t reading Lora Leigh’s Callahan series.

Grace uses extremes to make her point: the bigotry of the upper class society of the town of Midnight against one man in particular. It’s a great way to point up the common decency — well, decency should be common! — of Savannah, her sisters, and her grandfather of a young man who is hardworking, trying to do right.

Oh, it’s just so sweet about the promise ring, but the segue between the initial sweetness and the next ten years takes a while to roll out, and it’s confusing to read. When it does open into today’s story, it rolls into a huge cow pie of a mess. Vandalism and breaking-and-entering are spread throughout town, and there’s a growing resentment in Midnight. In spite of it, Zach is pleased to be back and surprised that he enjoyed the construction business.

It’s a town that looks so perfect on the surface, but Savannah’s return stirs up the bottom and releases a lot of muck, people just aren’t what you think.

Oh, brother, the melodrama was eye-rolling: there’s this big, dark secret that Grace strangles along for the entire story, and it’s so anti-climactic when it’s finally revealed. Well, other than Zach’s oh, my god reaction. The tried-and-true don’t tell what you know routine which almost leads to disaster. The fire was a tear-jerker as far as the letters are concerned. The oh, you don’t trust me and the you’re still holding back from me, gag.

Not up to Grace’s usual standards.

The Story

It’s prom night and all three Wilde triplets are going and staying true to their characters: the shy, too serious Savannah, the popular Samantha, and the rebellious Sabrina. Unfortunately, Billy and the boys in the parking lot are true to theirs as well and it’s Zach Tanner who rescues a grateful Savannah.

Lucky for Zach that the Wilde girls were brought up right, and they fall in love. A doomed love, naturally.

Ten years later, Savannah is threatened by a man she puts away, and she’s ordered on vacation as a protective measure. It’s time anyway. Someone has to get the old homestead packed up. She’s sure she’ll be able to avoid Midnight’s new chief of police.

She just doesn’t reckon with Midnight’s matchmaking curiosity and Zach’s interest…

Nor does she take into account the secrets she’ll stir up when she starts reading her grandfather’s letters.

The Characters

Savannah Wilde grows up to be an assistant district attorney in Nashville. Reid Garrison is the district attorney. Samantha is a homicide detective in Atlanta; Sabrina is a private investigator in Tallahassee. Daniel Wilde is the girls’ grandfather, Beckett’s father, and he’s done his best to raise the girls. Camille Rose Harris was the woman Daniel married; he wrote her letters every day when she was alive and even after she died. Gibby Wilcox is Daniel’s second cousin twice removed. Always turn down a chance at her casseroles. Beckett loves and adores his wife, Maggie, so it’s a shock for the town and their children when their murder-suicide is discovered.

Zach Tanner is so far over on the wrong side of the tracks, he could be in a different universe. God knows that’s how the rest of the town treats him. And Savannah is fascinated by him. Francine Adams is his mother and the town slut with a selfish streak a mile long. His brother Josh is two years younger. Leonard Easley is a widowed bank president fascinated by Francine. Eric Adams is Josh’s father who walked out on them. Brody James and Logan Wright are friends of Zach’s, and they run a private security company.

The deputies in Midnight include Bart Odom, Arthur Norton, and Drayton. Hazel is the dispatcher.

Ralph Henson owns Henson’s Grocery. Clark Dayton graduated last year; he’ll be a deputy when he grows up. Mason Hardy is Clark’s cousin and a jerk as well. Chief Harlan Mosby does everything he can to make Zach’s life miserable. At least he’s consistent — he’s corrupt to the core. Lindsay Milan, Drayton’s sister, has been trying to get Zach’s attention. Sarah Jane Riley, Sylvia Johnston, and Carrie Long are some of the town gossips; Inez Peebles is the biggest of them. Faye runs the diner.

Lamont Kilgore is the town’s mayor, and he and his wife, Nesta, were friends with Maggie and Beckett along with Lisa and Richard Tatum, Doug and Paula Fisher, and Kyle and Noreen Ingram. Margie Atkins is Lamont’s elderly aunt. Reverend Simmons is thrilled to see Zach show up for church. Sour Lyman is the science teacher who retired. Hester is Gibby’s best friend; Scooter is her old cat.

Billy Bartell was the guy taking Savannah to the prom. A mistake. Toby took Samantha. Bobby Tom Benson is the assassin.

The Cover and Title

The cover uses complementary colors very nicely with the vivid blue sky and Zach’s naked, orange, and very well-muscled chest with a deeper orange for the title, and a lighter value for the author’s name.

Oh yeah, the title reflects the town, for it’s Midnight Secrets that need to see the light of day.