Blog Archives

Then Came You (Lisa Kleypas, Gamblers #1)

3 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
The characters are vivid, intense, and flawed – sometimes they’re almost annoyingly temperamental and illogical.  Lily, our main protagonist, despite the fact that she’s had a broken engagement, an unsuccessful one night stand, and a young daughter of her own, has moments where she acts more like a petulant teenager than a grown woman.  Our hero at least becomes more even-keeled as the novel progresses, though sometimes Alex feels more like a foil to Lily’s wildness than a sane man (just because he’s almost unbearably tolerant and patient with Lily at times). Despite this, the story is engaging and involving, the characters are strong yet vulnerable; their deepening love for one another is ultimately very believable. There are some pacing issues that you don’t see in Kleypas’s later works, but despite its flaws Then Came You is a worthwhile read.
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It Happened One Autumn (Lisa Kleypas, Wallflowers #2)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
A great example of the genre, with characters that are extremely well-developed: powerful, attractive, and intelligent, but still flawed enough to feel layered and relatable.  Though Kleypas is adept at writing character-driven historical romances, she hits just the right amount of sensuality in this novel: it’s a well-paced, amusing opposites-attract story between a brash American heiress and a traditional, straight-laced earl.  It’s a wonderful mixture of wit and sex that also serves as a nice introduction for characters who will be developed in later novels… and it’s a great example of strong characters, who struggle falling in love because neither wants to give up the independence that comes with being in a relationship nor are they willing to surrender to the vulnerability that comes with falling in love. A wonderful read that is completely repeatable and memorable.

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Goddess of the Hunt (Tessa Dare, Wanton Dairymaids #1)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This felt like exactly what it is: a beginning work from a very promising author.  There are interesting characters and passionate sex scenes, but all of the writing and characterization ultimately feels like it could, and should, be more fleshed out.  You’ve got a strong-willed, independent tomboy of a heroine – a woman who rides and fishes with the best of them (and has a hearty appetite to boot).  She’s fun and easy to relate to; the fact that she’s out to seduce her brother’s friend is a nice opening premise.  BUT… this is one of those novels where they fall in love/consummate their relationship almost too quickly, and the second half of the novel is dense with misrepresentations and misunderstandings, where everyone means well, but keeps saying and doing the worst possible thing and hurting each other’s feelings.  Though it’s well written and worth the read, there are many times when it’s just as frustrating as it is good…
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Midnight Angel (Lisa Kleypas, Stokehurst #1)

0 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Halfway through this book, all I could think was: how much more is there? I finished reading it not because I derived any enjoyment from the story, but because I’m the type of person who has to finish a book.  The plot twists vacillated from fantastically unbelievable to just plain wearisome and the love story of the main characters was forced, underdeveloped, and completely unsatisfying.  The most interesting parts of the novel were small side plots about an impregnated maid, a Maypole party, and descriptions of the Russian landscape.  Think of it this way: I suffered through this book so you don’t have to!

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Secrets of a Summer Night (Lisa Kleypas, Wallflowers #1)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
A very solid start to my favorite Kleypas series, Secrets of a Summer Night is strong enough to be enjoyed as a standalone novel as well.  It has a multi-faceted heroine who is relatable despite being a gold-digger in desperate need of a wealthy husband, and a genuinely interesting hero who struggles valiantly, trying to convince himself he’s merely in lust, before finally succumbing to love. Kleypas’s settings and side characters are artfully developed and believable, and it’s a wonderful historical romance. That said, I will admit it’s probably my least favorite in the series: the prologue was unnecessary and a poor start for an otherwise strong book, and there were small moments where it dragged – still, no book is perfect, and for me, all the novels in the Wallflowers series are not merely readable but repeatable.

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