Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review - Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Product Details

Pub. Date: June 2010

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Format: Nook e-book

Barnes and Noble Synopsis

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.

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed the other books in Lisa Kleypas' Hathaway series and expected to enjoy this one, as well.  Now that I've read Love in the Afternoon - Beatrix and Christopher's love story - enjoy seems like an inadequate word.  This book is incredible, amazing, beautiful, sad in parts and filled with love all the way through. 

It's true that Beatrix is the most unconventional of the Hathaway siblings.  However, in my opinion, she is also the most instinctive and naturally intuitive sibling.  She is a true nature lover that often finds animals easier to deal with than humans; especially the shallow humans like her so-called friend Prudence.  Beatrix's 'friend' receives a letter from Captain Phelan while he's away at war in the Crimea.  She dismissed him and his letter because she thinks it's silly that he is writing to her about a dog on the battle field.  Beatrix innocently writes a letter on her friend's behalf in order to help with the obviously frightened and miserable dog.  To her surprise she ends up in a correspondence with Captain Phelan.  And while she is writing about herself and her feelings, she continues to sign the letters as if she is Prudence.

When Christopher returns home - he is a shell of the man he was before going to war.  He has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (although it is never referred to as such in the book) and finds his once 'normal' life nearly unbearable.  it is, of course, Beatrix who patiently helps him to heal and reacclimate to life off the battlefield.

Love in the Afternoon is a beautiful book.  It has moments of heartbreak that had me wiping away tears.  It is filled with love, patience and healing, that also had me wiping away tears.  I highly recommend this book (along with the entire series) and give it an A++.  Lisa Kleypas is an author whom I will definitely be reading time and again.


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