Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/recommended-reviews/june-2010-recommended-reads/love-in-the-afternoon-by-lisa-kleypas
In a family full of unique personalities, Beatrix Hathaway stands out. Though lovely, intelligent, and kind, Beatrix is more comfortable outdoors than inside, in forests rather than drawing rooms, and for that reason – combined with her menagerie of unusual rescued animals – Beatrix is considered a bit of an oddity. Beatrix fears she’ll forever be alone in a crowd, ever the loving sister and doting aunt, but never a wife or mother. Then Captain Christopher Phelan returns from the Crimean War and Beatrix finds herself straddling the line between happiness and heartbreak.
Christopher, once a handsome, carefree gentleman has come home from war a changed man. He plans on marrying the gorgeous, flirty Prudence Mercer, a woman whose letters kept him going during the war. There’s just one problem – it was Beatrix, not Prudence, who wrote the letters. Prudence wants to marry the dashing war hero who can dine with the queen. Beatrix wants the caring, wounded soul she sees in Christopher. When Christopher learns who was behind the letters, will he turn to the woman he once claimed was more suited to the stables? Or will his anger over Beatrix’s deception ruin their chance at having a life filled with the love and joy both desperately deserve?
Lisa Klypas ends her magnificent Hathaways series on a high note with the captivating Love in the Afternoon. I have been eagerly awaiting Beatrix’s story since she was first introduced in Mine Till Midnight and Ms. Kleypas surpassed any expectations I might have had. I’ve known for a long time that Ms. Kleypas is an exceptional wordsmith, but even I was amazed at the absolute beauty of some of the sentences and phrases in Love in the Afternoon.
Concerning the hero and heroine themselves, Beatrix and Christopher both left their marks on my heart and will remain with me for years to come. Beatrix is a gorgeous spirit – loving, lively, and possessing a generous heart. She is one of my absolute favorite heroines of Ms. Kleypas’s, and believe me when I say, she has some fierce competition in that respect. As for Christopher, my heart broke for him many times over in Love in the Afternoon. He has returned to England forever changed by his time away at war and he finds he can’t quite fit into the life he once had. Seeing him start to heal was almost as entrancing as watching him fall in love with Beatrix. The two of them fit one another so perfectly that my heart melted when they were together.
As the Hathaways are a close-knit family, you can be sure Beatrix’s siblings and their spouses appear in Love in the Afternoon and between their interactions and the antics of Beatrix’s peculiar pets, there are many moments in Love in the Afternoon that made me laugh out loud. Each Hathaway book stands on its own, so readers need not worry they’ll miss out on something if they happen to read a book out of order (as I did).
I cannot say enough good things about Love in the Afternoon and I fear any further attempts on my part would fail to express how much I adored Beatrix and Christopher’s story. Love in the Afternoon is a brilliantly-penned, exquisite romance that I plan on enjoying over and over and over again. Joyfully Recommended!