Once Upon a Midnight: The Once Upon Series

Once Upon a Midnight: The Once Upon Series

3.8 16
by Nora Roberts, Jill Gregory, R. C. Ryan, Marianne Willman
     
 

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When darkness falls, magic calls…
 
The Witching Hour
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Nora Roberts
A kingdom is plagued by tragedy until a wizard-god’s spell brings forth a courageous and beautiful young woman who must follow her heart in love and follow her destiny in…  See more details below

Overview

When darkness falls, magic calls…
 
The Witching Hour
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Nora Roberts
A kingdom is plagued by tragedy until a wizard-god’s spell brings forth a courageous and beautiful young woman who must follow her heart in love and follow her destiny in battle…
 
Mirror, Mirror
New York Times Bestselling Author
Jill Gregory
A healer sworn to protect the heir to a troubled kingdom must rely on a wounded knight and a magic mirror for assistance…
 
Dream Lover
New York Times Bestselling Author
Ruth Ryan Langan
On a business trip to Scotland, a young American disillusioned by love gets swept up by the romance of the Highlands—and by the charms of a perfect stranger…
 
The Midnight Country
New York Times Bestselling Author
Marianne Willman
An American researching her family history in Europe stumbles upon an enchanting chateau and its enigmatic master, who is convinced she is the key to a terrible curse...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Midnight plays but a token role in this latest Once Upon a... anthology (after Once Upon a Kiss), with the exception of the solid offering from Roberts, who easily outclasses her companions. Roberts's "The Witching Hour" is a fantastical but slow-to-start romance between a warrior and the woman destined to save the magical island of Twylia. Gregory, best known for her western romances, also offers a pleasant fantasy in a medieval setting ("Mirror, Mirror"), but her protagonists, a feisty young healer and a wounded knight, are little more than rough sketches. The final two stories-Langan's saccharine, ghost-aided romance ("Dream Lover") and Willman's conventional werewolf tale ("The Midnight Country")-are strangely set in the present. Both, however, feature prosaic characters and improbabilities aplenty. In Langan's story, for example, the protagonists meet on a blind date, fall in love and find their happily ever after in a single day. Two equally far-fetched twists allow the protagonists in Willman's entry to find happiness. Overall, the skimpy character and plot development and awkward mishmash of historical and contemporary elements may convince readers that this series has played itself out. (Oct.) Forecast: With the avalanche of new books coming out this fall from Roberts-three paperback originals (Key of Light; Key of Knowledge; Imitation in Death) and one highly touted hardcover (Remember When)-this anthology is likely to get buried in the mix. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101214671
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/30/2003
Series:
Once Upon Series , #6
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
157,811
File size:
445 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Read an Excerpt

She walked deep into the forest, beyond the known and into the realm of faeries. There she cast the circle, made the fire, and sang the song for vision. She would see what had been—and what would be.

In the flames, while the moon rose and the single star that dogged it blinked to life, she saw the Battle of the Stars. She saw the bodies of servants, of children as well as soldiers. She saw the king—her father—fight like a demon, driving back the greater forces. She heard the screams, and smelled the blood.

Her father’s voice came to her ears, a shouted order to Gwayne, who fought beside him, to get the queen, and the child she carried, to safety. To do this thing, as a soldier, even against the queen’s orders, for the world. For the True One.

She saw her father’s death, and her own birth. She tasted her mother’s tears, and felt the force of love beam through the magic.

And with it, the force of duty.

“You will not shirk it.”

“Am I enough?” Aurora asked the image of her mother.

“You are the True One. There is no other. You are hope, Aurora. And you are pride. And you are duty. You cannot turn from this.”

Aurora watched the battle, and knew it was what would come, not what had. This blood, this death, would be by her own hands. On her own hands. Even if it meant her end, she must begin. “I have power, Mother, but it is a woman’s power. Small magic. I’m strong, but I’m not seasoned. How can I lead, and rule, with so little to offer?”

“You will be more. Sleep now. Dream now.”

So she dreamed again of her wolf, her warrior with eyes as green as the hills. He was tall, and broad of shoulder. His hair, dark as her own, swept back from a face of sharp planes and angles, and a white scar slashed through his left brow like a bolt of lightning. She felt a curling in her belly that she knew for desire, one she had felt for no one but him.

“What will you be to me?” she asked him. “What will I be to you?”

“I know only that you’re my beloved. You and you alone. I’ve dreamed of you through my life, waking and sleeping, only of you.” He reached out, and she felt the brush of his fingers over her cheek. “Where are you?”

“Close, I think. Close. Are you a soldier?”

He looked down at the sword in his hand, and as disgust rippled over his face he shoved its point into the ground. “I am nothing.”

“I think you are many things, and one of those is mine.” Giving in to curiosity, following her own will, she pulled him to her and pressed her lips to his.

The wind swirled around them, a warm wind stirred by the great beating of faerie wings. The song rose up inside her, and beat in her blood.

She would have love, she thought, even if death followed.

“I must be a woman to become what I am to become.” She stepped back, drew off her hunting tunic. “Teach me what a woman knows. Love me in visions.”

His gaze swept down her as she stood before him, dressed only in moonbeams within the shimmering circle of magic. “I’ve loved you all my life,” he said. “And feared you.”

“I’ve looked for you all of mine, and come to you here, fearing everything. Will you turn from me? Will I be alone?”

“I’ll never turn from you.” He drew her to him. “I’ll never leave you.”

With his lips on hers, he lowered her to the soft floor of the forest. She knew the thrill of his hands, the taste of his skin, and a pleasure, a deep and drugging pleasure that caused her body to quake. Flames leapt beside them, and inside her.

“I love you.” She murmured it as she raced her lips over his face. “I’m not afraid.”

She rose to him, opened to him, entreated. When he joined with her, she knew the power of being a woman, and the delights.

When she woke at dawn, alone, with the fire gone to ash, she knew the cold kiss of duty.

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Meet the Author

Nora Roberts is truly a publishing phenomenon. With over 250 million copies of her novels in print, she has come a long way since she wrote her first novel in a spiral notebook using a No. 2 pencil. Now she has published over 150 novels and her work has been optioned and made into films, excerpted in national magazines and translated in over twenty-five different countries. "I always have stories running around in my head," she explains. "Once I start putting them down on paper, I just keep going; I just keep writing." In addition to her amazing success in mainstream fiction, Nora Roberts remains committed to writing for her category romance audience that took her to into their heart in 1981 with her very first book, a Silhouette romance.



Nora Roberts continues to write futuristic romantic suspense as J.D. Robb, and her characters Eve Dallas and Roarke have become two of her most popular creations ever. Her J.D. Robb titles are hailed as "a perfect balance of suspense, futuristic police procedure and steamy romance...truly fine entertainment" by Publishers Weekly.



Reviewers agree that Nora Roberts deserves praise. The Los Angeles Daily News describes her as "a word artist, painting her story and her characters with vitality and verve." Kirkus Reviews comments on True Betrayals saying "Roberts' style has a fresh, contemporary snap." Roberts is said to be "reminiscent of Jacqueline Briskin and Sidney Sheldon" by Booklist, and Rex Reed lauds her saying, "Move over Sidney Sheldon: the world has a new master of romantic suspense, and her name is Nora Roberts." Publishers Weekly claims "Roberts keeps getting better...[her] prolificness shows no sign of abating." They add, "When Roberts puts her expert finger on the pulse of romance, legions of fans feel the heartbeat." USA Today calls Nora "a consistently entertaining writer."



The remarkable Ms. Roberts did not become a success overnight. By the time her first novel, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981, she already had three years of hard work behind her and several rejected manuscripts languishing in drawers. Today, according to Entertainment Weekly, "her stories have fueled the dreams of twenty-five million readers." One of America's leading novelists, her books are published around the world. She is frequently invited to promote her novels in other countries. Her recent travels took her to England, Italy, Australia and Japan to meet fans, fellow authors and aspiring writers.



Sanctuary was made into a television movie which aired in 2001 on CBS as "Nora Roberts' Sanctuary." The cast includes Melissa Gilbert, Emmy-winner Kathy Baker and Costas Mandylor. CBS has also optioned The Reef for another television movie. Montana Sky has been optioned by TriStar Television for a two-hour television movie. Her book This Magic Moment became the television film "Magic Moments" starring Emmy-winner John Shea and Jenny Seagrove. Sacred Sins has been optioned for film by Kaleidoscope, and Private Scandals has been optioned by Burt Reynolds Productions. Reflections and The Law is a Lady were selected by Good Housekeeping magazine for presentation as condensed novels. Honest Illusions and Private Scandals were featured as Readers Digest's Condensed Books.


The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly have all featured or mentioned Nora Roberts in articles about writing and the romance genre. She has appeared on ABC-TV's Good Morning America and Cable News Network, and has been featured on the television programs To Tell the Truth, Entertainment Tonight, and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. She has been interviewed by local television and radio programs across the country, and she has been featured in dozens of newspapers, including the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Washington Times, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, and Atlanta Constitution.

Her extraordinary accomplishments have also received recognition from her peers. The first author ever to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, and the first author to receive their Centennial Award when she published her 100th novel Montana Sky, she is the recipient of almost every award given in recognition of excellence in romance writing. In 1997, she was honored at the Romance Writers of America National Conference when she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to her awards from the Romance Writers of America, she has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Waldenbooks, and she has been honored by B. Dalton Booksellers, the New Jersey Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and BookRak Distributors.



Nora Roberts is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America, and a member of their Washington, D.C. chapter. She was the keynote speaker at their 1994 national conference in New York. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, The Crime Writers League of America, and Novelists Inc.

The youngest of five children, she was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. She now lives in Keedysville, Maryland.



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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Keedysville, Maryland
Date of Birth:
1950
Place of Birth:
Silver Spring, Maryland
Website:
http://www.noraroberts.com/

Customer Reviews

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Once Upon a Midnight 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿The Witching Hour¿ by Nora Roberts. Cneturies of war has devastated the island Kingdom of Twylia. The hope of the people lies in Draco¿s prophecy that an intrepid queen will lead her forces to victory over evil. As Aurora falls in love with Thane, she risks her life not knowing if she is destiny darling facing the malevolent Loreen.

¿Mirror, Mirror¿ by Jill Gregory. As King Mortimer of Grithain lies dying he obtains a vow from Ariel to protect Prince Brandon from their enemies. With the help of a magic mirror, Ariel¿s sister Fiona the Healer, Conor the wounded knight, and an incredible amount of luck and love they might succeed.

¿Dream Lover¿ by Ruth Ryan Langon. Antiques expert Allison flies to Scotland to complete the purchase of Hamilton Hall from owner Malcolm. Allison will strip the house of anything of value so her firm can sell them. On the plane Allison meets the badly injured Heath. However the matchmaking of the mysterious Sir Malcolm combined with the magic of love propels Allison to need to save Hamilton Hall.

¿Once Upon a Midnight¿ by Marianne Willman. Californian Jenna searches for her roots but cannot find her final destination. The locals insist that Beaumont Foret is a fairy tale. When Philippe senses her nearby he runs out to protect her from the wolves. As they fall in love, each keeps a genetic secret from the other that if revealed will lead to happiness for both of them.

The four magical romances are all delightful novellas that add to the enchanting mythos of the ¿Once Upon A¿ series.

Harriet Klausner

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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book!!! I had already read this first story by Nora Roberts in one of her other romance anthologies, and the other stories were just as good. I really liked how all of the romance was centered around midnight. These stories were beautifully written, and I would recommend any of them to future readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It came as no surprise that Nora Roberts delivered on this. Witching Hour was terrific and probably my fiftieth book by Ms. Roberts! Jill Gregory's Mirror Mirror took me away in a tale of fantasy and magic. As did Marianne Willman-great ending-in Midnight Country. But my favorite was by Ruth Ryan Langan, Dream Lover-made me want to hop on a plane to Scotland. Hmm.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was beyond what i thought it would be! the Nora Roberts story was quite good, but the one story i enjoyed most is the one by Marianne Willman, The midnight Country. the story has such a twist at the end, i was so surprised by it. i am going to pass this book on to my friends and family!