Cover Image: A Kiss in the Moonlight

A Kiss in the Moonlight

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The beginning of this book was confusing because it lacked focus. Some early chapters focus on Dara, some on Gwendolyn. I wasn’t sure who the protagonists were until the about a quarter of the way into the book. Once that was settled, I found myself wishing for the narrative to slow down. We don’t get to linger on Dara’s sense of self compared to her two sisters; Dara and Michael’s bickering flirtation happens across only a few pages. For me, one of the best parts of the novel were Dara’s Rules and Tweedie’s Responses that served as epigraphs for each chapter.

Was this review helpful?

The story is set in Dublin, where Gwendolyn and her sisters are on a mission to find their father. They are short on cash and decide to stop at their father’s favorite gaming hell. Gwendolyn disguises herself and enters a game of faro to win the money they need. She finds herself losing badly, unaware that the dealer is cheating. She is rescued by Becket Steele, who stakes her further play in exchange for a later favor and stops the cheating. Gwendolyn rapidly makes up for lost time, returns the stake, and escapes when things turn rowdy.

The book is a great read with a lot of themes that I love, such as sisters against the world, enemies-to-lovers, men unafraid of women’s voices, and strong women. The gambler’s sisters are the oldest Gwendolyn, middle Dara (the heroine in this one), and youngest Elise. Even though Dara is the middle sister, she is the planner of the three and feels responsible for the other two. Gwendolyn is the responsible one who does the work for Dara’s plans, and Elise is doted and babied, which causes problems later on. It is a great set-up, and while baby sister Elise may seem spoiled and irritating, Cathy Maxwell does a great job in making those archetypal characters redeemable and for the reader to feel empathy for.

The book is well-written, clear, and has the perfect amount of will they/won’t they. The dialogue is funny, poignant, and sweet. The romance between Michael and Dara is well-written, and their vulnerabilities are beautifully portrayed.

Was this review helpful?

My fellow readers. The writer brings you some entertainment that is one for the money. Don’t we all feel at sometimes we all have a sibling like our dear Dara. That woman seems to have her two cents in everyone’s affair except Aunt Tweedie. I have a feeling that Aunt Tweedie will tell her where to go and how to get there.
This is a telling of three sisters with the intentions of entering noble society. The book shares with their of how the sisters get their and whom they Strung along as their crew. Something tells me these people were begging to return home the first night. I am absolutely enthralled with Mr. Steele. He can be my savior anytime and I would have any plans on turning him away at anytime.
Mr. Steele has is site set on older sister Gwendolyn. His mind may have told him that she was apart of his mission, but his heart had other plans for Gwendolyn. I felt sorry for little sister Elise. To have a middle older sister such as Dara and what she did cause grounds for a huge cat fight. The three sisters story is book held with excitement about romance and the dangers of hunt down thieves that takes from the crown. I enjoyed this often times humerus and enjoyable love story.
I give this story two snaps and a twist. Until next time my fellow readers. Read on! I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. #AKissintheMoonlight #CathyMaxwell #Netgally #Goodreads #Bookbub #HaperCollinsPublisher

Was this review helpful?

I don't believe that I have ever read this author before, but I found her to be a talented story teller, with wonderful character in a very engaging story.

A Kiss In the Moonlight is the first in a new series about three sisters. The Lanscarr sisters have been abandoned by their father and their greedy cousin Richard had him declared dead, so that he as the closest living male relative could take over their childhood home, trying to marry them off to anyone to get them out of the house. Having made a death bed promise to their grandmother to take care of her sisters, middle sister Dara, comes up with the harebrained scheme to go to London to have a Season and finds Dukes for each of them to marry. First step is for the oldest sister, Gwendolyn, to win them money at a gambling hall. And with the intervention of the mysterious Beckett Steele, she does. And he also gets them invited to some of the nicest soirées
But Beckett also brings into their lives his friend, Irish MP, Michael Brogan. They are working together to find out who has been stealing money from the Army. Michael, like most of the men seems to be vying for the hand of the gorgeous youngest sister, Elise. But it is really Dara, who challenges him and he does it just to irk her. Although he is the only man that Dara has ever felt anything for, she must suppress her feelings because of Elise. I really enjoyed the story, but was so disappointed in the selfishness of Elise. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher via This is my unbiased and voluntary review.

Was this review helpful?

The first few chapters are a hot mess of disorganization. I could not tell which sister was going to be the romantic heroine of this book, and frankly was surprised when the focus turned to Dara, given how much of the initial 20-25% of the book is told from the viewpoint of eldest sister Gwendolyn or the man who I presume will be Gwendolyn's eventual love interest. Once the book decides whose story it wants to tell, however, it does get better. Main couple Dara and Michael are that common enemies who really want to be lovers. Dara is the fixer of her family, and she is the one who spearheaded the sisters coming to London with their aunt. She worries more about others than herself, to the point where those others feel stifled not cared for.. But her intentions are good. Michael is an MP who is also heir to an earldom, and who is currently investigating a possible smuggler, He is first drawn to youngest sister Elise based solely on her looks but it is Dara who ends up actually snagging his interest. Too bad since his initial interest in Elise was very much reciprocated by her. Elise is something of a spoiled brat, basically upset that her call of "dibs!" on Michael didn't automatically make him hers. But the romance between Dara and Michael perseveres. Michael respects Dara's intelligence and helps her find a place where she prioritizes herself. I look forward to Elise's story next.

4 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary ARC of this book. The opinions herein are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I tried it. I am romance novel guru, but I could not get into this one.
My husband works at a casino so I was drawn to the Gamblers Daughter’ storyline… but this one hit the mark. Story is boring and repetitive, and takes a while to get going.
I do not recommend

Was this review helpful?

I liked this book and the three sisters and am looking forward to the rest of the series and see how the rest turn out

Was this review helpful?

Overall, I liked this book. At times I felt it was a bit repetitive and the story wasn't moving quick enough. The romance was nice. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Was this review helpful?

I have not read this author's work before, but after reading this first installment of her new series, The Gambler's Daughters, I will definitely be looking for more. The series is set around three sister who need to make their own way in the world after the disappearance of their father. Gwendolyn, Dara, and Elise are looking to get away from their cousin, who took over their home after their father's presumed death. Dara comes up with a plan for their escape to London, where they can try to find matches for themselves. Dara is the middle sister, but she is the one who tries to take care of everyone. Dara hatches a plan to finance their Season. She meets Michael, and he irritates her as much as he ignites a passion within her. One small snag, though, is that her plan involved marrying a duke, and Michael is definitely no duke, but a politician. But he is determined to make her see they belong together.
This first book was an enjoyable and entertaining story and I became engrossed from start to finish. There is also a bit of sibling rivalry that comes into play, which adds drama to the plot. The book does end on a cliffhanger, so you can be sure I will be picking up the next installment to find out what happens!
I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed A Kiss in the Moonlight by Cathy Maxwell. The character are wonderful. Happy reading!
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

Was this review helpful?

Cathy Maxwell has been a longtime favorite author of mine since I began my romance reading journey, and A KISS IN THE MOONLIGHT is truly a triumph.

Dara and Michael's romantic journey is one of twists and turns that will entertain readers while evoking great emotional reactions. Their story is earnest and sincere, making it a delight to read.

Overall, I highly recommend A KISS IN THE MOONLIGHT!

Was this review helpful?

Another winner from Cathy Maxwell and one that's a little different, too. In addition to the main couple (who are not initially obvious), there are many other stories and characters set up for future stories. So, lots of possible romances, and a mystery on top of it all.

Was this review helpful?

New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell begins a spectacular new series, the Gambler’s Daughters. Three aristocratic sisters must use their wits and wiles to make their ways in Regency London.
Cathy Maxwell has done it again in this first book of the new series! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the fact that this featured a wily, independent heroine in an unconventional setting. And the hero isn’t a duke!

I can’t wait for the release of the next book in the series!

Full review to come on my blog.

Was this review helpful?

Wow, Amazing 5 Stars for A Kiss in the Moonlight by Cathy Maxwell! Maxwell is a dynamite storyteller and this tale kept me turning the pages. Dara wants a better life for her sisters and she comes up with a plan for them to go to London and marry Dukes'. After her sister Gwendolyn wins the funds the sisters, Dara, Gwendolyn, and Elise along with their great-aunt travel to London. At first, the women are not invited to any events, but soon they are invited to one of the biggest parties of the season and they soon learn who invited them. The gentleman who aided Gwendolyn at the gaming hall in Ireland. His friend Michael Brogan is also in on his plan but it has nothing to actually do with the sisters, but they are a convenient aid. Michael is searching for the crooks who are stealing funds from the military. He calls upon the sisters and flirts with the young Elise and everyone thinks he's after Elise but Dara does not want him to be with Elise, firstly she herself is falling for him and second, he's not a duke. But soon Dara begins to fall deeply for Michael and he begins to fall for her. But her sister Elise is deeply in love with him and she wants nothing but to protect her sister's heart. Soon Dara finds herself in scandal and also with Michael, on the hunt for a killer. This is their only chance, they have one season, can they all find love and marry a duke?

This tale just takes many turns and has romance, scandal, murder, and mystery all thrown into one amazing story. You will not be able to put it down! I truly love these sisters and I can't wait to read each of their stories and see where the next book in the series takes us! I most highly recommend A Kiss in the Moonlight!

Was this review helpful?

Cathy Maxwell is a new to me author and I am so glad to have discovered her with this book. She really brings the characters to life for me. This is her first book in a new series The Gambler's Daughters following 3 sisters who are trying to make their way in society. After their gambling father disappears and they find themselves on their own their great Aunt is all they have to look after them. Middle sister Dara comes up with plan using what little they have & gambling it to finance their season with plans to find a husband for each of them. When politician Michael Brogen gets involved
it changes everything, especially her well thought out plans.
This book really showed me the wonderful writing of Cathy Maxwell. It has everything you want and more. A little mystery & humor and the perfect make you melt romance your looking for. My favorite part that really shows you just how fun this story is, at the beginning of each chapter she starts with Dara's example
following the proper rules of society. Then even better is their less proper aunts response.
This was a wonderful story & I look forward to the rest of the series

Was this review helpful?

Oof this was rough! Honestly, the premise was spectacular! Unfortunately, the writing was flat, the story never developed well and I just didnt care for any of the characters.
After their annoying cousin inherits their home, three sister (and their great-aunt) from Ireland run from home and try their luck at London's Marriage Mart. Middle sister, Dara is the mastermind behind the whole things because her number one goal in life it to see to the well-being of her sisters (this backfires). She has an immediate attraction to Mr. Michael Brogan, an Irish MP. Unfortunately, he looking only at her little sister, Elise. Yes- major sister drama, sprinkled with a 'who stole this money' mystery.

What a bummer because the idea was just great but it never delivered.
Side note: This is the first ARC I have received that I honestly questioned whether an editor even looked at it. In no way did it reflect what I thought about the story, but I have never seen so many spelling/grammar errors.

Thank you #NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

Since their father disappeared and their toad of a cousin took possession of their home, the Lanscarr sisters, Gwendolyn, Dara, and Elise, have found themselves in a predicament. To prevent them being forced into unwanted positions, Dara proposes they gamble for the money to finance a season in London. Her hope is that with their looks and charm they’ll be able to snag titled husbands despite their lack of fortune.

It seems the scheme is actually working when the sisters are declared the season’s incomparables, but Dara’s plan is challenged by sensible MP Michael Brogan, who she finds irritating and attractive in equal measure. He doesn’t have the title she craves, but Michael is determined to teach Dara a thing or two about London life and men in general, leaving her to question all the plans she made.

I feel like I keep saying this lately, but I’ve got some mixed feelings on this one. I really liked the premise and I’ll continue the rest of the series because of that, but I think this story succumbed to first in series syndrome. There was just too much ground to cover here with getting everything set up that the romance was rather lost. In the first half of the book especially, Dara was annoyingly naïve but also controlling and manipulative of her sisters. She was determined that they go along with her plan and didn’t really listen to what they wanted. Dara and Michael didn’t even get page time together until a quarter of the way through the book. At 29% they still hadn’t had a real conversation beyond her rudely stealing a dance with him from her sister. This scene just made Dara seem even more rude and I was left wondering why in the world she thought she could warn this man away from her sister when there was no reason to. Of course, it was because she had feelings for him herself, but that aspect didn’t feel especially believable just because of the way her behavior came across to me.

Dara was also quite the little snob and for no reason. She wanted her sisters to share in her ambition but continually failed to ask what they wanted. She claimed to have done so much to get herself and her sisters to London, but really all she contributed was the idea and the nagging. It was Gwendolyn’s card playing that provided the funds that ultimately made the move possible and to be honest I was more interested in her interactions with Beckett Steele than in Dara’s with Michael. In fact, for a while it seemed Gwendolyn and Beck would be the MCs of this story. Anyway, I just couldn't understand why Dara was the self-appointed boss of the other two sisters or why she felt so entitled. Even when she was well-meaning, Dara was obnoxious and difficult to like. She continually assumed she knew best, that flaw even foiling some of Michael's high stakes political investigation and likely resulting in a man's demise because she couldn't keep her mouth shut and quit making assumptions about Michael and her sister. All that said, Dara was much more likable in the latter third or so of the book, but I still didn’t get the romance. Apparently, she and Michael bickered a bit and fell in love, but most of this appears to have occurred off page and we don’t see much of it, so it was hard for me to really believe that they had a connection, much less deep, abiding love.

I think Michael and Dara could’ve used more time on the page together, alone. There’s also a bit of political intrigue going on and that just seemed like another thread of the story that didn’t have time for a proper fleshing out because of all the other elements at work here. Most of the time one or both of her sisters is around and while Gwendolyn is likable and their eccentric aunt was both humorous and charming, the younger sister, Elise, was just over the top. She was this annoying spoiled brat of Dara’s creation and that, of course, backfired on Dara. It seems Elise’s story will be next, and I do want to read it just because of how this one ended, but it’s going to take quite a lot of character development for her to become likable for me. This certainly wasn’t terrible by any means, but I didn’t love it the way I wanted to or thought I would. I think there was perhaps just too much going on here.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I'm giving A Kiss In the Moonlight 3.5 stars rounded up rounded up to 4.

This is the first in a new series with three sisters fleeing their guardian in Ireland to have a season in London. To, of course, find husbands. Book one is Dara's story, and she is the middle sister. She's the one who tries to take care of the others. Sometimes , putting their needs ahead of her own even at times to her detriment.
She finds love with Michael, a man her sister Elise is interested in. This causes a rift between the sisters. I felt that Elise came across as selfish and immature in this, but I'm holding on to hope that she will be redeemed in her story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

A Kiss In The Moonlight is the first novel in The Gambler’s Daughters series by Cathy Maxwell. This is my first book by this author, and I had mixed feelings about the story. The writing was engaging, and I cared for the characters, yet sometimes I felt confused.

Dara and her sisters are destitute and devise a plan to go to London for a season to find Dukes to marry. Along the way, Dara meets Michael Brogan, a man who entices and infuriates her. Michael is successful if not titled and finds himself falling for Dara, not Elise, the younger sister who is infatuated with him.

I felt lost in the first few chapters of this book. We are introduced to three sisters: Dara, Gwendolyn, Elise, and their great aunt, Tweedie. This book is Dara’s story, yet there are several chapters at the beginning of the book from the point of view of Gwendolyn and a man named Steele. At first, I was confused about which sister was the main viewpoint. I understand what the author tried to do; however, I don’t think it worked.

I loved the characters of Michael, Dara, Gwendolyn, Steele, and Tweedie. I did not like Elise, she was too self-centered, and I had trouble relating to her. The bulk of this story focused on the vivid characters I enjoyed. The plot, once it started following Michael and Dara, was excellent. I especially enjoyed the last few chapters. The story flowed well and kept me interested.

There were captivating moments in this story. I loved the premise and writing, and I look forward to the next book. Sometimes it takes a little bit for a story to gain momentum, and this was one of those novels. When it did find its pace, the book was interesting, intriguing, and captivating.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?