Love in the Afternoon, Lisa Kleypas
Beatrix Hathaway has always been the oddest member of her family. More at home with the animals in the stable than with other people, she’s content to be out of society and has always assumed that she’ll remain unmarried forever. All that changes, however, when she discovers that her friend Prudence has been completely neglecting one of her beaus, Christopher Phelan, even though he’s at war. Beatrix takes it upon herself to write letters in Pru’s name, with her permission, because she knows a soldier needs that kind of comfort. But what she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with her correspondent, who has never liked her, or for her reaction to his return to England.
This book won me over from the first few pages. I can’t resist a love letter and the first pages of this book are precisely that, Christopher and Beatrix’s exchange. I could genuinely feel the love between them and I was immediately won over, somehow – it was a perfect pairing from that moment on.
While the rest of the book didn’t quite match those letters, they still set up this love story very well. A few of the pieces didn’t fit – it’s impossible to believe Beatrix and Prudence actually ever made friends – but the strength of the main couple carried the book through very well.
This was a lovely ending to the Hathaway series and I’m sorry to see them go!
When Beauty Tamed the Beast, Eloisa James
Piers Yelverton, the Earl of Marchant, is a doctor in Wales. Despite having a temper, hating his father, and a leg wound that has never healed, Piers is a brilliant doctor; that won’t get him married, like his father wants. Linnet, meanwhile, has been ruined completely by accident, but lucky for her she can charm a rock, and is thus sent to become Piers’s bride. Despite the fact that he’ll have nothing to do with her, she’s determined to become his wife and persuade him to love her – but when she falls in love with him, she has to face the fact that he may never feel the same.
Eloisa James is one of my auto-buy romance authors. If a new book with her name on it is coming out, you can guarantee I will have preordered it somewhere (in the case, the handy Book Depository). I’m loving her latest romances based on fairy tales – this is the second one and doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Beauty, naturally, is Linnet, who is not only gorgeous but charming and perfect in every way. Beast is Yelverton, who is not unattractive physically but has a bad leg and a temper to match. The author freely admits that she was inspired for his character by the TV doctor House which in my eyes (and I imagine in many others’) only made him a more appealing character.
What I loved about this book is the way that the author turned around the stereotypes by forcing Beauty to deal with unattractiveness and by showing Beast that he really isn’t horrible after all. It was very clever and well done – I am already looking forward to the next book by Eloisa James.
Archangel’s Consort, Nalini Singh
The third book in the ongoing paranormal romance / urban fantasy series about archangel Raphael and his consort Elena, this novel focuses on the growing threat to angelkind from the awakening of an older, mentally unstable archangel – Raphael’s mother, Caliane.
This novel is very much a continuation of previous novels in the series – I wouldn’t dream of reading it on its own. Relationships continue to develop and the backstory of both characters is fleshed out more. I have to admit that so far, I am preferring Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, simply because I prefer getting to know two different characters. I like these two, but they’re already in love – they’ve lost a bit of that glow for me. Regardless, I enjoyed reading this one, and fully intend to pick up the next in the series, which in any case will be focusing on another character.
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