Title: Love in the Afternoon
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways, #5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (Imprint of Macmillan)
Date Published: June 29th, 2010
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.
I’m beginning to think that Lisa Kleypas is the kind of author that really grows on you with every book you read by her. When I started this series I thought it was okay. It was entertaining enough but I didn’t immediately grasp the reason for those who have the “Kleypas Craze”. But with each book in this series getting better and better I’m beginning to understand it a bit more.
Love in the Afternoon is without a doubt my favorite book in the series. Before diving into this one I was a bit leary that I would find Beatrix a little bit immature and annoying given her almost childish and innocent view of the world. However, I’m happy to say that I found her to be the complete opposite. She’s funny, endearing, and is almost more mature than others in society in the sense that she doesn’t see the need to let her reputation prevent her from enjoying life. “[She] doesn’t suffer from insanity, [she] enjoys every minute of it”, as Zarek from the Dark-Hunters would say. Because of these reasons and others, she very quickly she became my favorite Hathaway sibling.
I love that this book actually takes Bea and Christopher through this emotional bonding process they have while corresponding with each other during the war. Although Christopher believes he’s falling in love with someone completely different, it still made their relationship feel much more real. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight for them, more like love at first word. This was one of my favorite things about the book. It’s different for a romance, but it worked so well.
Even so, I wasn’t sure how Kleypas would play out the story once Christopher found out Bea was behind the letters, but I was pretty happy with how it progressed. Christopher goes through so much in the war and I really loved that Bea was the woman strong enough to get him through it. It was really touching to watch their relationship progress.
Now I’m a bit sad the series is over, but I’ll definitely be going on to read the Wallflowers series, which actually takes place in the same world, but before this series (timeline-wise). I’m hoping though that there will be another spinoff of this series perhaps about Audrey and her brothers/siblings. It’s been several years since she’s written these books though so I don’t know if that will actually happen. Hopefully! *crosses fingers*
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