I wondered if Lisa Kleypas planned to continue with this series since it had been so long since the first book (Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor). I canI wondered if Lisa Kleypas planned to continue with this series since it had been so long since the first book (Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor). I can't say I loved this book, but I did enjoy it and find it to be a very readable story.
Series: Part of Kleypas's contemporary romance series "Friday Harbor" about island life in Washington state. The back cover says that this is the first book in "Friday Harbor" trilogy...but it's not really. The first book was Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor...I'm not sure if the thing on the back cover was a misprint, or if the other book was a prequel of sorts. Either way, I wouldn't say you have to read the other one first. This story can stand on its own, though it does reference events from the first book.
Summary: Lucy Marinn is a glass artist on San Juan Island, content in her life with her boyfriend of two years. Then she finds out that he has cheated on her...with her own sister. Lucy is devastated and vows not to get involved again. Then she meets local vineyard owner, Sam Nolan. He's exactly the kind of guy she can't get involved in - one who will never commit or get married.
But circumstances throw the two together and they can't avoid the chemistry between them. Each vows not to let things get to serious. The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and each will have to do some reevaluating of their lives to make sure they don't miss out on the best thing that's ever happened to them.
Review: I don't really have a whole lot to say about this book. I enjoyed reading it, but nothing much is jumping out at me to comment on.
Like another reviewer said, this book does come close to that line between contemporary romance, and chick lit. It's still a romance but there's a lot of other stuff dealing with the characters' emotional drama's, life changes, etc. The romance actually takes quite a while to develop. So don't expect things to get jumped into quickly there.
One thing I did think about often in the story, though, was the sort of odd paranormal/magical aspect of the story. I didn't dislike it or particularly like it, but it did strike me as a bit out of place. It just seemed like a weird addition to the story.
The thing that struck me most about the story was the readability. Because even though I didn't love it, I zipped through it rather quickly. I hardly realized how much I'd read when I saw I was halfway through the book. And it's always a good thing when you don't realize how much you've read because the story is easy to get through. It's just a simple, easy story with good characters and interesting stuff going on that kept me reading.
I am intrigued by how things will go for the last Nolan brother, Alex, because that guy is a mess. Should be interesting to see how Kleypas works things out with him.
So...who'd like this book? People who like simple contemporary romances and who don't mind stories that develop that romance slowly. I can't guarantee that fans of Kleypas's historical romances will like the book, it's just a different kind of story, but most who read Kleypas seemed to have liked this book....more
Lisa Kleypas has become one of the very few historical romance authors I buy on default (the only others I can think of are Catherine ARating: 4.5 / 5
Lisa Kleypas has become one of the very few historical romance authors I buy on default (the only others I can think of are Catherine Anderson and Linda Lael Miller). Because even when I don't love her books, they are still very enjoyable with great characters and an interesting story. I didn't LOVE this book, but I did like it a lot.
Series Note: Fifth book in Kleypas's "Hathaways" series...which also ties in to her "Wallflowers" series...which I believe also has ties to some of her other books. Kinda of a same universe deal. But among the "Hathaways" books, I would say you could get away with reading this one as a standalone, though the others are wonderful and you should read them anyway ;)
Summary: Out of a family of unconventional people, Beatrix Hathaway is the most unconventional of them all. She is in no way prim and proper like other ladies of them time. She loves animals, rescues and rehabilitates injured ones, has a hedgehog for a pet, wears mens pants and loves to discuss topics of importance. She despairs of ever finding a man who will accept and understand her, and who will equal her intellectual and curious nature.
When her friend Prudence starts receiving letters from a potential suitor who is off at war fighting the Russians, Bea is heartbroken over what Captain Christopher Phelan is going through...and horrified that Prue feels nothing and has no plans to write him back. Bea ends up writing Christopher under Prue's name and so begins a long correspondence between the two. And in that time, the two fall in love with each other. But Christopher believes she is Prudence and when he returns, she's even more heartbroken that he intends to formally court Prudence. Soon, though, he realizes something is not right, but can he forgive Bea for her deception?
Review: I've been looking forward to Beatrix's story since the beginning of this series. She's such a great unconventional heroine for a historical romance, and I love unconventional heroines. Did this book live up to what I'd hoped it would be? Mostly...
I really liked the premise of the story...Beatrix writes to Christopher, impersonating her friend Prudence, and the two fall in love, but the ruse may end up costing her the man she loves. It's maybe not the most unique of storylines, but it's also not one you come across in historical romance much. So I liked that, and it was a great way for these characters to get to know each other and fall in love.
And I love Beatrix as a character, as mentioned above. She's fascinating. I loved how quirky and unique she was. And I loved that she was an animal person (seeing as how I love animals too). Plus the whole klepto thing was really unique.
I mostly liked Christopher...though I did think he overreacted a little to the situation. But the chemistry between these two characters was good and there are some sexy scenes between them...though not as many as a romance reader might hope.
I thought the beginning of the book was a little slow building and it takes a long time before you really get much of Christopher and Beatrix together. So my attention wandered a bit in the beginning, but the story picks up a little ways in and it kept me reading from that point on.
My one criticism of the story...and it's not really even a criticism, but more that the story went in a direction I wasn't expecting and I'm not sure if that was a bad thing of good thing. In any case, I'd been expecting this to be a fun, quirky story, considering who Beatrix was and a lot of focus on her. I thought there'd be a lot of funny scenes, things that had me laughing out loud, and just a lot of amusement. In actuality, this story has a rather serious tone and in a way is more focused on Christopher.
Christopher went through a lot of bad things while at war and when he returns, he's suffering from what we call today, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That issue is a big chunk of the book...the depression he suffers, the flashbacks, night terrors, overreactions to certain stimuli and all that. Kleypas gives a lot of focus to that issue, how it affects his life and his relationship with Beatrix. It gives that story a darker, more serious tone. And I wasn't expecting that, or the strong focus on him.
I'm undecided on how much I minded that. I really did want a fun, quirky story about Beatrix falling in love...and there definitely was some of that, just not as much as I was expecting...but at the same time, Kleypas picked a great, realistic topic in Christopher dealing with PTSD. It's an unfortunate reality for soldiers returning from war and worked really well as a storyline. So while I was disappointed to not get quite the story I wanted, I also did like what she did write. Kinda of a toss-up there.
I think Kleypas fans will love this book, though. It's well-written, interesting, at time sexy, has great characters and just about everything you expect from a Kleypas novel.
Oh, and thank you to the publisher for including that sketch of the dog into the text. That was really cool and something you almost never come across in a romance novel.
Lastly - I really hope Kleypas writes a story for Mark Bennett and Audrey. There's a story with a lot of potential there....more
I liked this fourth installment in Kleypas's "Hathaway" series. Didn't love it, but I solidly liked it. It was missing a little something to push me oI liked this fourth installment in Kleypas's "Hathaway" series. Didn't love it, but I solidly liked it. It was missing a little something to push me over into the loving it category.
Series Note: You could probably read this one as a standalone without too much trouble. But it would probably read better if you read them in order.
Summary: Leo Hathaway, Lord Ramsay, never expected to be a Lord, but a succession of deaths among the previous Lords Ramsays left him (and by extension his family) as inheritor of a title. At the time, Leo was on a downward spiral after the death of his fiance to scarlet fever. After intervention by his family, he recovered and now takes in active role in being a Lord. While he was away in France, though, his family hired a companion for two of his sisters, a Miss Catherine Marks.
From the first, the two set each other on edge. Always bickering, picking, and making each other angry. Plus, Leo knows Catherine is hiding secrets about who she really is. Then one day an argument leads to a kiss and everything changes. Suddenly, they can't stop thinking about each other. While Leo gives in easily to what he wants, he'll have a much harder time convincing Cat to take him.
Review: I agree with another reviewer that said the second half of the book was much better than the first. The first chunk dragged for me as it seemed to be all about Leo and Cat bickering and going back and forth, among other mundane stuff. It was a bit dull, in my opinion. But the story really picks up after that, as Cat finds herself in danger, and she and Leo travel to London. The pace picks up, the story gets more interesting and I was much more into the story.
After the way Leo was early in this series, it's hard to imagine him as a likable character, but Kleypas did a great job redeeming him. He ends up being a great romance hero. And Cat's mostly likable too. She got on my nerves some with her constant pulling away from Leo. As for the romance, pretty good. Not my favorite among the Hathaway books. The back and forth struggle between Cat and Leo got old at times, but it was still a nice romance.
There's also a little bit of a suspense plot to the story that gave it some depth. I tend to prefer historical romances that add even just a smidge of suspense. Makes them more interesting. I liked how the "plot" played out in this one. It worked for the book.
I also liked that all the other Hathaways had roles in the book...Amelia and Cam, Win and Merripen, Poppy and Harry. Nice to revisit them. And can't forget Dodger the ferret. I love that little guy. He cracks me up.
So what didn't I like about this book? Hmm. Might be a little hard to explain. But one of the things I've loved about all the other books in this series was the unconventional, quirky Hathaway family. The characters, the romances all had an atypical vibe and I loved that. But in this one, I felt that vibe was missing to a certain extent. The story felt too typical. I wanted something more like the other books.
I have a feeling Beatrix's book will make up for it, though. She's probably the most atypical of all the Hathaways and I really look forward to reading her book when it comes out next month....more
Even though I bought this book soon after it came out, I must admit I wasn't all that enthused to read it. Not because of any fault of the author, booEven though I bought this book soon after it came out, I must admit I wasn't all that enthused to read it. Not because of any fault of the author, book, or series (I like author and the series) but mostly because out of the various romance sub-genres I read, historicals set in England (Regency era or whatever) aren't my favorite to read. They're probably at the bottom of the pile. I enjoy them now and then, but I'd just much rather read a romantic suspense or contemporary romance or erotic romance, etc. So even though I knew I'd probably like this book, it took me a while to work up to reading it. But it was worth reading in the end. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Series Note: This book is the 3rd book of Kleypas's Hathaway series, which is about a quirky English family that suddenly finds themselves part of the nobility and not really qualified to fit in. This book may possibly be read as a stand-alone...it depends on how strict you are on that type of thing. For me, personally, I'd have wanted to read them in order, but at the same time, the storyline is fairly independent with the only running aspect that of the characters and the new marriages.
Summary: Poppy Hathaway may love her unconventional family unconditionally, but she doesn't exactly want a marriage that is so odd and unpredictable. She wants a man who will bring some stability and normalcy to her life. And she thinks she's found just the man. But then she meets enigmatic hotel owner Harry Rutledge who causes her body to tremble. For Harry, it's lust and possessiveness at first sight. He wants Poppy for himself, damn anybody else.
The next thing Poppy knows, she's marrying Harry, despite her reservations and her anger over his manipulations. But Poppy soon finds out there is more to Harry than meets the eye. He intrigues her and stirs her nurturing soul. Even if he's more like her unconventional family than she would like. But getting Harry to trust her and care for her may be an impossible task. Harry has his heart locked in a steel box and it will take everything in Poppy to break through his defenses.
Review: I really enjoy the Hathaway family from this series. They're so anti-proper and unlike the typical stiff, rigid noblemen and women. Beatrix, Poppy's younger sister, cracks me up. And I love Cam. They're just a lot of fun to read about.
Sometimes these historical romances where the storyline is almost entirely about the romance kind of bore me because they tend to go 'round and 'round the same point, but this one never bored me. There's a great push/pull between Harry and Poppy that keeps the story on its toes. And there's the slow discovery of who Harry is as a person that turns a reader from bordering on disliking him to feeling a deep sympathy toward what he's been through in his life. Plus there's the machinations of the hotel staff that were amusing (with some really funny lines!).
I really liked the romance between Poppy and Harry. Poppy is such a likable character because she may have a little prim and proper in her, but at heart, she's just as unconventional as her family. She's intelligent, kind, caring and a perfect foil to Harry's blocked off emotions. And Harry...well, in the beginning, it's easy to think of him as the bad guy because of what he did. But you could also consider him a guy doing what it takes to get what he wants. As you get to know him through the book, it's easier to like him, though, and there's a great chemistry between him and Poppy.
And of course, it's great to be able to catch up with past characters from the series...Cam and Amelia, Win and Kev. You also get a sneak peek at what is looking to be a very interesting pairing in Leo Hathaway and Miss Marks, Poppy and Beatrix's companions. And then there's Beatrix. What a fascinating young woman! I'm very much looking forward to her story.
There's also a small little piece of suspense in the story. I read some reviews that criticized this part, said it was superfluous. Maybe it was, but I didn't mind it in the least. For me, it fit the story and gave the book a little tension and intrigue. I'm always in favor of that. So it worked for me.
I do question the cliffhanger type ending, though. I didn't think that was necessary at all. There's already plenty of build-up to the Leo/Catherine Marks pairing. I was already intrigued enough to not need such a hanging thread to end the book. It mostly just annoyed me because I was left thinking, damnit, I don't want to wait until next summer (or whenever) for the next book! So personally, I'd have left that part off.
Overall, though, this book was a winner for me. It's quirky, fun, with a little bit of steaminess. The romance is great and so are the characters. It was a perfect addition to what has been a pretty good series. ...more
It's kinda funny, as much as I enjoyed the original Wallflowers series, I probably would have waited a while to buy this book. But with everyone talkiIt's kinda funny, as much as I enjoyed the original Wallflowers series, I probably would have waited a while to buy this book. But with everyone talking about it, anxiously waiting for its release, I got caught up. So I had to go buy it the day it got out ;) I enjoyed the book quite a bit, though, so it was worth the hardcover price.
This book introduces a relative of two of the original Wallflowers, Rafe Bowman - who is one of Lillian and Daisy's brothers. He's been at odds with his father all his life, and has a reputation as a quite the wild rake. But now he wants to get in on his father's business. In order to do so, the elder Bowman demands that Rafe marry a woman of his choosing. That woman is Lady Natalie. Rafe is resigned to obeying his father this once, but then he meets Natalie's companion, Hannah. Sparks instantly sizzle between them. At first, all Hannah can see is that Rafe is the wrong person for Natalie, but then she realizes there is so much more to him than meets the eye. And with every meeting their feelings grow. Unfortunately, Rafe has his obligations, and Hannah knows what will happen if he disobeys his father. But neither are willing to give up on what they feel between them.
This was a fun, light-hearted book to read. I loved the fact that Kleypas gave the Wallflowers an active role in the story. It was great to read up on them, see how things were. They weren't just bystanders in the story, but active participants. I love when authors don't neglect their past characters. It adds so much more to a story. So on that point, this book was fabulous.
And I also enjoyed the romance between Rafe and Hannah. The brash American and the quiet, somewhat subdued Hannah. Their first meeting was great and their verbal sparring was fun to read. I liked how Kleypas played out their budding relationship. And the ending was wonderful. Very sweet.
One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Lillian and Hannah go off to talk about Hannah's "big secret" and one by one, the other Wallflowers join in, until the "big secret" has been told to each one. It just came across kinda funny to me - how it got told to one and all despite how Hannah wanted to keep it private. Oh, and the toupee scene...that was hilarious!
If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that the story deserved to be longer. Because even though I could buy into the love the bloomed between Rafe and Hannah, I still thought there needed to be more to their story. More build-up, a little more conflict. Plus there's the fact that Kleypas gave a fair amount of space to the other Wallflowers, which took away time for Rafe and Hannah. When I finished the book, I had a slight disappointment that there hadn't been more to the story. But don't get me wrong, the book worked as it was, I just thought it could have been even better if it had been another 50-100 pages longer.
For you Wallflowers fans, though, I think you'll really enjoy this book. It fits in perfectly with the other Wallflowers stories. I suppose we can only hope Kleypas will revisit these characters again....more
If I'd noticed back when this book came out that it was about Cam Rohan from the Wallflowers series (I think he was just in one book...Rating: 4.5 / 5
If I'd noticed back when this book came out that it was about Cam Rohan from the Wallflowers series (I think he was just in one book...), I would have read it much sooner! Cam was such an intriguing character when Kleypas gave us a peak at him before. I was actually rather disappointed that he didn't end up with Daisy. But I'm glad Kleypas brought Cam back and let us see more of him. I ended up liking him even more!
The heroine of Mine Till Midnight is a "spinster" named Amelia Hathaway who is the de facto leader of her family. Her older brother should technically have the job, but he's floundering in gut-wrenching grief over the death of his fiance. So Amelia is in charge of taking care of her quirky family. When her brother Leo disappears again, she goes out searching with her family's "adopted" son, Merripen - a gypsy abandoned by his tribe and left for dead. The two encounter gaming club manager Cam Rohan who reluctantly helps them find Leo...and surprises Amelia with a searing kiss before walking away.
She thinks to never see him again, but when her family moves to their new estate (from a title Leo surprisingly inherited) she's shocked to find Cam in residence visiting her new neighbor, Lord Westcliff (from the Wallflowers series). And soon the two are battling an intense attraction...but each has their own "demons" to battle - Amelia taking care of her family, and Cam trying to find his place in the world (be it his gypsy roots, or in the white world).
I've read quite a few reviews that thought something was missing from this book, but I have to admit I really enjoyed it a lot and didn't have any major complaints. Cam was such a fascinating character to read about. He's definitely a drool worthy hero and I'm so glad Kleypas brought him back!
And I actually rather liked Amelia (though I know many others didn't). True she was a bit of a control freak, trying to manage her family, but I don't think she went overboard at all. Leo needed managing, Win was ill and needed support, and the others were young. I thought Amelia was rather strong and valiant in the way she kept things together. And I definitely felt the chemistry between Cam and Amelia. That scene where he sweeps her into the night on his horse was fabulous. I actually sighed ;)
The storyline mostly revolved around Amelia's family and their struggles - Leo's grief, inheriting a title, Win's illness - and all that. I didn't like Leo for most of the book, but once I got to understand his character a bit more, I just felt sad for him because he was totally lost. I'm looking forward to reading his story to see how he puts his life back together.
There's also a side-story in the book of the secret love between Win and Merripen. Those two are definitely interesting...can't wait to read more about them in the next book.
As a bonus for this book, we also got to see the Westcliffs (Wallflowers series) again. It was nice to get an update on them!
The one this that I was rather "blah" about for this book was the minor supernatural element that popped up now and then. It just didn't quite fit, in my opinion and came off kinda awkward. But it was easy to overlook.
Overall...I just enjoyed this one a lot...from the characters to the relationship and the low-key storyine. The book had a rather loving, sweet feel to it (at least for me). And it definitely kept me reading! I finished it in two sittings. Plus the build-up for Merripen/Win has me anxious to read the next book. Can't wait to start it!...more
I think I'm one of the few people who like Mine Till Midnight better than this book! Not that I thought this book was bad or anything. Far from it. II think I'm one of the few people who like Mine Till Midnight better than this book! Not that I thought this book was bad or anything. Far from it. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but for whatever reason, I just like the first book in this series better.
I'll skip over doing a more in depth summary since plenty of other people have done that...
The storyline/romance for Seduce Me At Sunrise was set up in the previous book...a sort of forbidden love between Win and Merripen. I was definitely anxious to read about how their relationship was settled. Kleypas did a great job building this pairing in Mine Till Midnight.
I enjoyed getting to read about Win - how she battled back to good health and became a stronger woman, mentally and physically. And Merripen was a great character. It was good to find out more about him. The chemistry between the two was undeniable. Anytime the two were in a room together, sparks flew.
What turned me off a little about this book was Merripen's back and forth attitude. He's all over Win, then pushing her away. He's attacking Dr. Harrow for being close to Win, then telling her he can't be with her. Plus there was Merripen's constant self-flagellation. It just got a little irritating and old to me after a while. I know it was an important part of the story, Merripen's battle for self, but I thought it was overplayed a little. But that's just my opinion.
Even so, I still enjoyed this one a lot. Merripen and Win were a great couple. And we got more of Cam/Amelia (who I really enjoy), plus a guest appearance by Annabelle and Simon Hunt (Wallflowers series). So all-in-all, a good read, but I just like the first book in the series a little better. It was a bit sweeter to me....more