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Midnight Harvest [Mass Market Paperback]

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2005 The chronicles of Saint-Germain
Blending the dark eroticism of the vampire with high adventure in history's most compelling locales, the story of Saint-Germain is the enduring drama of a lonely hero who walks the earth throughout time, battling for honor...and love. To escape the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, Saint-Germain travels to San Francisco, where he reunites with Rowena Saxon, a past lover whose beauty and wisdom have matured with time. There he offers Rowena a choice: a natural death-or immortality as a vampire. But unknown to the noble exile, an assassin has followed him from Spain, torturing his friends and his associates at every step. The next target will be Rowena, unless the vampire recognizes the peril that both he and his lover face. Will his ignorance achieve what time itself cannot-the death of Saint-Germain?

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From Publishers Weekly

Set in the 1930s, Yarbro's 16th assured Count Saint-Germain adventure takes the 4,000-year-old vampire to the United States. First, however, he must flee an unstable Spain on the eve of civil war, a move that costs him a lucrative airplane manufacturing business and gains him dangerous new enemies. Encounters in Boston and during a cross-country trip with the ever-faithful Rogerio reveal an America gripped by the Great Depression and wary of "foreigners." He's relieved to arrive in San Francisco, where he reunites with the now-mature but still desirable artist Rowena Saxon (first met in Writ in Blood), but his stay there proves less safe-for both himself and his friends-than he had hoped. Vintner Carlo Pietragnelli, sustained financially by the Count through the years of Prohibition, and his neighbors are suffering theft by "midnight harvesters," but a bigger threat comes from the murderous Ku Klux Klan-like White Legion. Meanwhile, a ruthless assassin has followed Saint-Germain from Europe. Though far from fast-paced or action-packed, the novel provides fascinating historical detail interspersed with sensual interludes and enough intrigue to sustain interest. Intelligent parallels with the present provide depth. The difficulties 20th-century life presents for a vampire are well handled by the remarkably consistent author, who is, as always, true to her character. Like its immortal protagonist, this long-running series deserves to live on.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Yarbro brings the long-running adventures of the vampire Saint-Germain to Spain in the 1930s, where her ancient hero is living comfortably, running several successful businesses, including an aircraft design and construction company, and enjoying a beautiful noblewoman as his lover. But the coming Spanish civil war encroaches on Saint-Germain when the army eyes his aircraft business, hoping to refit the planes for war over Saint-Germain's objections. Realizing he is fighting a losing battle, Saint-Germain sends his lover to England and then, with his faithful servant, Rogerio, flies to Boston, Chicago, and finally San Francisco, where an old flame, Rowena Saxon, awaits him. But the Spanish insurgents are worried that Saint-Germain will cause trouble for them after they seize his assets, and they send Cenere, a skilled assassin, to track him down and kill him. Slow at points--a whole chapter is devoted to Saint-Germain buying a car--the novel is filled with intriguing period details and, once the pace picks up, a compelling story. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn from beginning to end Dec 16 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I really don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I suppose it's out of loyalty to Saint-Germain. But I must say my hopes for a truly engaging SG book have pretty much been extinquished. There was a time when Yarbro could write...what happened?
I'll overlook the fact that the book opens with an entirely gratuitous and graphic sex scene (can I just say I really don't need a blow by blow description of where the count is sticking his tongue...some things are better left to imagination). But let's move beyond that.
The whole plot of the book was weak. SG leaves Spain on the eve of civil war only to be followed by an assasin of the new regime. Sounds exciting? HA! This is a study in how to make nothing happen throughout an entire book. Things that should have been suspenseful were flattened by endless repetative dialog and an entire lack of action. He must get his lover out of Spain...blah blah blah, lover leaves Spain without incident. He must get out of Spain...blah blah blah, he drives out of Spain without incident. Once he's in America things really pick up. I particularly liked the entire chapter devoted to buying a car. Wheeee! Eleven pages conversations with a saleman...the test drive was really exciting.
It was nice to see Rowena Saxon again (more muff diving). However, the "problems" SG faces with the vinyards he has invested in seem entirely contrived...and again, the action is buried in the repetitive dialog. Let's Beat This Point to Death should have been the title of this book. When action finally does manage to shoulder its way to the fore, Yarbro gets it over with as quickly as possible and gets back to being tedious. SG gets severely injured, turn the page, bing, all better...back to endless yapping.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Saint-Germain Comes to US Nov. 24 2003
Format:Hardcover
Midnight Harvest, while not as much of an edge-of-seat read as might be a few of the previous books, manages to introduce new connections, resolutions and laying bare of some previously met plots, settings, mysteries and people. Running for his life, as usual, Saint-Germain leaves eve-of-Civil War Spain and makes his way across to America and on to San Francisco. Reuniting with a previous lover, he must survive the attentions of a murderous assassin and help the people he loves and those he cares about survive the attentions of 20th century American villains. While there is not the "cast of thousands" violence seen in some of the earlier adventures, a healthy dose of suspense mixed with Ms. Yarbro's usual extremely competent period scholarship make for a very satisfying read. Saint-Germain is the oldest and, I think, so very romantic of the six vampiric "heroes" in either current TV or books available to us today. This latest book makes for a good addition to any collection of Saint-Germain's adventures, or the beginning of one. After all, you can't beat a bit of sex, violence and learnin' for curl up and enjoyable pleasure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a disappointment for fans of St. Germain Nov. 16 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
For fans of St. Germain, this book is not a disappointment. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro delivers as usual and I hope there are more to come!
If you're a history buff I think it would be difficult not to enjoy. You don't have to love vampires.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history, too much repetition Oct. 25 2003
Format:Hardcover
Four thousand year-old vampire Ferenc Ragoczy, Count of Saint-Germaine flees Spain at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Despite his largely successful attempts to mislead those researching him, the Spanish send an assassin after him, tracking him across multiple countries into the United States. Saint-Germaine ends up in San Francisco where a longtime lover welcomes him and near where his investments in California winelands are finally beginning to pay off. Although depression-era United States is not torn by civil war as is Spain, right-wing hate groups threaten Saint-Germaine's Italian partner in the wine business. Somehow, Saint-Germaine must protect both himself and his friends from both assassins and American facists.
Author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro does a fine job conveying a sexy and sophisticated vampire who uses love rather than violence ot gain willing providers to his blood-need. Saint-Germaine's wealth and generosity make him both sexy and a good friend. His four thousand years of life give him a broad range of experiences to draw upon. Together with his vampire ability to stave off the true-death, he is a formidable opponent to the Spanish and American facists.
For the most part, Yarbro's research rings true--from the cars to the movies to the political climate of depression-era America. A few errors stand out--discussions of Molotov Cocktails before this term came into use, description of the load of a shotgun as 'grapeshot' which actually consists of grape-sized balls fired from a cannon, but these can be largely overlooked. More seriously, however, Yarbro choses to slow down the action in her story with long conversations where a few points are discussed ad nauseum. MIDNIGHT HARVEST is interesting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars St. Germain in San Francisco when if fizzles Oct. 15 2003
Format:Hardcover
I have read every one of the St.Germain novels up to now, but I'm beginning to wonder if I will read any more of them. The beloved character has grown stilted with age. The dialog in this outing was frequently wooden, the plot could have been lifted from several of the last 10 novels, and this series seems to me to have lost its spark. There seems to have been more of an attempt to round out the character of Roger. St. Germain's love interest was more interesting than usual. Still, somehow it all just refused to gel. Once again, St. Germain is heroically driven from his home by encroaching bad guys (this time during the Spanish Civil War by Franco's minions.) Once again, St. Germain is followed by an evil assassin. And, once again, St. Germain's love interest is menaced by the bad guys. In a sub-plot, immigrant farmers are menaced by xenophobes wearing sheets.
I think in the future, if I get a hankering to spend some time with St. Germain, I'll go back and read one of the earlier, more heartfelt books. If you have yet to read Hotel Transylvania, Path of the Eclipse, Roman Blood, Out of the House of Life, The Palace, or Tempting Fate---by all means read any of those before this one. Many of the later novels are worth reading, once you've become well and truly hooked, but these last few have had a whiff of doldrums about them.
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