Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas | Book Review

First Published: 2010
Kindle Bundle
Adult, Historical Romance
Rating:
She harbors a secret yearning.
As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted... and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?

He is a world-weary cynic.
Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep... and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can't be denied.
If I am completely honest - and I always thrive to be - I was surprised by how much I liked this novel. Beatrix has always been my second favorite Hathaway sibling (right after Leo) so I knew I had nothing to worry on that front, but we had very little build up toward her story in the other novels, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

What I got? Captain Christopher Phelan. I loved this guy. He returns from war a changed man, a man who no longer fits into the rule he used to occupy before, and he doesn't know what to do about it. Atop this feeling of isolation, he suffers from PTSD, which of course was a term that didn't exist at the time period of this book. So, he fears he's half mad.

The only thing keeping him going? Pru, the girl who wrote him all those honest letters while he was employed. But of course, Pru didn't write them, but Beatrix. Wonderfully free spirited, outdoorsy, compassionate and intelligent Beatrix Hathaway. 

Animals and humans alike are attracted to the unique way she looks at the world. And both cannot help but be soothed by her, which Phelan desperately needs.

The romance between them is very sweet. Beatrix is completely sure of herself and her love to Phelan. She doesn't let anything stand in the way of her showing him affection, of convincing him to take her on. To take himself on. 

And the way Phelan dotted on her was nothing short of delightful. He never spared an opportunity to show her how much he loved her once he realized who she was. Was never afraid to tell her that he did. Was never afraid to let the whole world know about it, too. 

I'm going to take myself to the corner to swoon in peace, thank you very much.

But this wonderful novel was filled with a bittersweet feeling - because I am not nearly ready to say goodbye to the Hathaways! I have binge this entire series in a week. I have become attached to this family, like they were close friends of mine. I have rejoiced in their victories and felt sorrow at their losses.

I don't want this to be the end!

Please, Kleypas, write more novels featuring this peculiar family. I will settle for stories with them as supporting characters only, anything you'd like, but give me something. I am not okay! 
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