Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I took a multiple year break between this and the rest of the series. It was intentional. This was the last book before Ms. Kleypas started her hiatus from historical romance. I didn't want to not have one if I needed an LK fix. Even after all those years, I fell back into the world of the Hathaways, like a worn in pair of shoes. They feel like real people to me, just as quirky as real relatives. Beatrix earns a special place in my heart as heroine. She is such a wonderful, sweet person, but has a very thoughtful and wise beyond her years core. Many times I didn't feel like Christopher deserved her in the least. I love animals much in the same way as Beatrix, so I really connected to her in her animal and nature love.
The romance seduced me, even when I didn't really like Christopher. I felt bad for his experiences, but his superior and somewhat shallow behavior initially was a turnoff. I like that he did evolve as a character. I was sorry for the way he suffered in the war, and it took that to help mature him. I am sure it didn't help that his mother was so mean to him and made no mistake about favoring John (his brother).
As always, the Hathaways charm the socks off me. It was lovely to see how the years have evolved the various siblings and their spouses. I did miss seeing Harry and Poppy. It was awesome to see the next generation of Hathaways.
Lisa Kleypas has such a wonderful voice and her historical romances are sensual in a way that goes beyond sexuality. Her descriptions of the setting stimulate all the senses in a delightful way. And the letters that Beatrix and Christopher exchange are heartfelt and deep.
Other than Christopher starting out as a jerk, I can't say I disliked anything about this book. I love that he realizes before it's too late what a treasure he has in Beatrix, and he truly is like many of her charges, wounded and striking out in anger, but deep down in need of love and care.
Another wonderful Hathaway novel by Ms. Kleypas. A treasure to read.
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