I'll be honest with you. Here's the thing. There are two kinds of writers. The ones to whom writing and inspiration come easily and those to whom they don't and they are jealous of the people that belong in the first category. Clearly, Lisa Kleypas falls under the first category, but this isn't the issue here. The issue is that as a reviewer I'm the equivalent of an uninspired writer, those green with envy people that belong in the second category.
Long story short, I don't know what to write about this book right now. The only reason I'm even going to try this is that I loved it too much and I know that a simple rating, even a 5-star one, won't make anyone want to read it.
As I've said before, this is, in my opinion, one of Lisa Kleypas' best moments. I haven't loved all the books she's ever written, but I have loved most of them and when I think about why I keep going back to her books and why they always turn out to be the perfect comfort reads it all comes down to two things.
-No two heroes or heroines are ever the same (or even remotely similar).
I believe Lisa Kleypas is a master in that last thing. There are writers like Julie Garwood that write lovely, lovely books, but you've read one and you've read them all. No reading experience is ever the same with Lisa Kleypas. Even her writing style seems to have changed a little through the years.
Anyway, let's go back to this book.
There is nothing that particularly stands out about her, but this is not a bad thing. She's an all-around likable and relatable character. Just an ordinary sweet woman, that is strong and hard-working nevertheless. She's been dealt a bad hand in life, but she's not annoying or miserable and she doesn't complain all the time.
What a man? No, really. What. a. man? We all enjoy our alpha heroes, but, let's face it, there are too many of them. I hereby present you the perfection a beta hero can be. Sir Ross Cannon. You see, he's the guy you want to have in real life. The man you dream about, but you're afraid you'll never find (you're right, you won't). Awwwww, he's so sweet; he's forgiving, understanding and he wears his heart on his sleeve. There's not an indecent bone in his body. And because he's been celibate for three years (he's too decent to sleep with a woman for money and he didn't want to marry again), he's also the most sex crazed hero LK has ever written (which only made me think he's even cuter). Really, he's adorable.
For a book whose plot is driven by revenge initially, this is surprisingly angst-free. I feel almost like LK is afraid to insert a conflict, small as it may be, in her books. I don't know how I feel about that here. On the one hand, it made me love and appreciate Ross even more, but, on the other hand, I am a reader who appreciates a little angst in her books (a small amount of it mind you!). I don't like BIG misunderstandings that last for too long or that happen one after another and won't let me even catch my breath. But this almost seemed like a wasted opportunity. Why would you even have a plot like this when there is no groveling, no angst, nada? Poor Sophia tried to grovel, she cried and worried about what would happen, but the moment she told Ross he was like "of course I forgive you dear Sophia".
However, Sophia and Ross are so good. They made butterflies appear in my stomach every time they were together. I could feel their attraction growing and turning, first into affection, and then into love.
In any case, this is a great book. Read it for the hero alone if not for anything else.