Review: At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec

At the Stroke of Midnight
(Naughty Princess Club #1)
by Tara Sivec
Publisher: Swerve
Publication date: Feb. 27, 2018
Genre: Romance

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.



At the Stroke of Midnight is sort of a parallel universe to the Disney princesses that we’ve come to know. Basically, it’s a mash-up of Weeds, and the Desperate Housewives of Fairytale Lane. Cynthia’s husband left her and her daughter to go traipsing around with the babysitter. He took all their money, stole from his parents, left divorce papers on the table, and just left the country. Cynthia has no idea how this could have happened. She grew up in a trailer park with her step-mom and step-sisters, Brian (her ex) drove up, swept her off her feet, and whisked her away to Fairytale Lane where she was supposed to live happily ever after. She’s done everything a respectable housewife in her position should do. She dressed the part, acted the part, was head of the PTA, organized all the neighborhood events, and kept all of her emotions in check. She was pretty much a Stepford wife. That is, until the moment her husband leaves her scrambling with no money and bills to pay. Pretty soon she finds herself teaming up with a couple of neighbors (Belle and Ariel) to start their own Naughty Princess Club stripper hotline. You pick the princess of your fantasies from their website, and that princess will show up to your party and strip for you. Needless to say, this was one riot of a story.

“I said yo. It’s a greeting. Sort of like hello, or what’s up, asshole. But that last one is just for friends, and we’re not friends, so I figured yo was the safest bet.” -Ariel

Cynthia is this prim and proper housewife. She doesn’t get angry, show emotion, or really step out of line from her cookie-cutter life. Even with her husband gone for half a year, and having to sell just about all their furnishings and possessions, she still puts on the illusion that everything is fine and her husband is just away on business. It takes Ariel to call her out on her crap to ultimately break her out of her shell. Cynthia was VERY uptight and if it wasn’t for Ariel, I probably would have been bored to tears. Ariel was the neighborhood “hussy” that all the pearl-wearing housewives gossiped about. She dressed the way she wanted, spoke what was on her mind, and I was cracking up every time she was in the story. I honestly can’t wait until her story comes around. However, this is Cindy’s story and I have to say, while I wasn’t a fan of her in the beginning, I loved that you slowly saw her go from uptight to being more of who she is. And boy, when she lets her hair down, watch out!

I loved the way the author meshed modern-day with the fairytale. It’s honestly like a parallel universe. With Cindy living with her step-mother who treated her like a little slave, her rags to riches story, the fact that she falls for a certain PJ Charming, and there’s even a scene with the iconic shoe. Except it was all a realistic take, and I loved it. I loved the rawness of these characters and their situation. Belle is a twenty-something young woman who still lives at home with her father. She also works at the library. Ariel is a wild and carefree character. She loves collecting antiques and her ex-husband left her to be with another man and became a performer for a cruise line. That’s not even touching base with PJ, Eric, or “Beast” that we meet in this story. I just thought the author did an amazing job taking something we all know and completely making it their own.

At the Stroke of Midnight is the perfect balance of a fun retelling with insane amounts of humor and some steamy scenes mixed throughout. I enjoyed my time reading this story immensely. I will be honest, these three princesses are not my favorite when you think of a Disney Princess. However, the author was able to make me fall in love with them. I love that one of the chapters is titled, “A Prude, a Mouth, and a Librarian Walk Into a Strip Club.” There were just so many laugh out loud moments that I didn’t want to put the book down. This seriously needs to become a TV show. For now, I will be crossing my fingers that it gets released in paperback or hardcover. I need to have a physical copy of this book on my shelves.



Favorite quote…

“I’m going to be a stripper, and my thirteen-year-old daughter approves. It’s fine. Everything is fine, and this is completely normal.”





22 Thoughts on “Review: At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec

  1. That cover already had me curious and my! I can’t be happier enough that the story is equally great too. Adding this to my list!

  2. This sounds fun. Your review was so vivid I started picturing scenes in my head. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My goodness – I definitely need to grab this one! Sounds really creative and different. Glad you enjoyed this one! Hugs…RO

  4. This series sounds hysterical…I’m going to add to my wishlist for when I need a good palate cleanser.

  5. I got my copy today *happy dance*

  6. StackingMy BookShelves on 20 March, 2018 at 9:02 am said:

    This sounds really interesting with all the different spins on the fairy tales. I have to put this on my list to read! Great review and glad you enjoyed it!


  7. That sounds like a fun read.

  8. This seems like such a fun read and I’m looking forward to reading this one because I enjoy romance with some humor. The cover is really cute.

  9. I love the plot of the story! And how hilarious it seems. Gonna pick up this book soon!

  10. Lol I definitely enjoy this authors crude humor it’s a fun escape 😀 I am looking forward to Belle and Beast

  11. Lauren Becker on 22 March, 2018 at 4:59 am said:

    Hah, that favorite quote at the end is great. This sounds like such a good book!! I’m super curious now, and that’s awesome there will be more books focusing on the other women. Ariel sounds like a riot!


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