Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tempt Me at Twilight

He was everything she'd sworn to avoid.

Poppy Hathaway loves her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his passion, but not his trust.

And she was everything he needed...

Harry was willing to do anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and for all...

This book positively sparkles!

This is book 3 in The Hathaways series and if you love historicals and have never read a Lisa Kleypas novel, drop everything and pick up this entire series!  The last book just came out so all are available.  NO EXCUSES!  Buy it, borrow it, steal it, but read this series!  Ok, yes, I've only just started reading book 4, but its a wonderful series, masterfully written, wonderfully witty and just utterly brilliant and I purposely waited until the last three books were out because I really wanted to read them all in one swoop.  I had discovered book 1 shortly before book 2 was released and could hardly contain myself while waiting for the rest of the series to follow!  I will review the first two books at a later date, but let me give you a little background before we dive into book 3.

If you have read Lisa Kleypas' The Wallflowers series, you may remember Cam Rohan from Devil in Winter.  (The Wallflowers series is another wonderful set of books you must read if you have never read them.)  Anyhoo... Cam gets his own story in The Hathaways book 1, Mine Till MidnightThe Hathaways are five siblings: Amelia, Winnifred, Poppy, Leo and Beatrix.  I listed them in order of their books, so you can see that Cam's story is really Amelia's too.  Win's story is told in Seduce Me at Sunrise and Tempt Me at Twilight is Poppy's story.

Poppy is unofficially, and rather discreetly, being courted by Michael Bayning but Michael is nervous and keeps putting off talking to his Viscount father about the match.  Leo Hathaway had inherited the title of Lord Ramsay through a series of unexpected events, so the Hathaway lineage isn't as grandiose as London society would prefer it to be.  And fearing his father will not approve the match, Michael wants to warm him up to the idea.

But for the past three years, the Hathaways have been staying in a suite at the Rutledge Hotel each London season.  It is here, with the help of Dodger, Beatrix's jovial ferret, that Poppy meets Harry Rutledge, the hotel's mysterious owner.  Dodger's antics add delightful charm to the scene while Poppy's intelligence and sweet, genuine persona leave Harry enchanted.  But when he intercepts a love letter between Michael and Poppy, Harry makes an underhanded play to win the woman he wants, and frankly, he could care less who he hurts along the way. 

But Harry doesn't realize that he's up against the force of the Hathaway family and they band together to protect their own.  But they also love each other unfailingly and all of this is completely new to Harry.  Looks like he's got a lot to learn if he expects to catch, and keep, a Hathaway. 

This story was wonderful.  Poppy is a pretty and intelligent girl, but her level-headedness craves normalcy after living with a family that is anything but normal.  A life with Michael seems like just the thing for the happily ever after she wants but fate throws her a curveball in the form of a man with a mysterious past and a very detached way of running a business.  Harry is your brooding alpha male, which Kleypas is just masterful at sculpting.  But Poppy is everything that Harry needs and, although he knows this, he's not quite sure what to do with her.  Given his murky past, he has a hard time sharing anything personal about himself, so everything around him is business... including his marriage to Poppy.  But Poppy wants a true marriage, a happy marriage, like the ones her two sisters have.  With a little help from the Hathaway family, Harry comes to some conclusions about the woman he's married to and learns that if he wants to keep Poppy, he has to win her heart for good.  

I love when a story sucks you in on page one and just keeps you engaged all the way to the back cover.  Personally, I think Beatrix made this already-wonderful story exceptional. Her way of thinking in relation to her love of animals added so much charm and understanding, it left me in awe. Even Poppy realizes the wisdom of the youngest sibling and it made me all the more excited about reading her story. But Leo is up next and his story picks up just a little before the end of Tempt Me at Twilight. Each Hathaway book seems to get even better than the last and that makes me so excited about reading the last two stories. 

I highly recommend this series of five books if you love historical romance, especially those set in Victorian England.  (As a side-note, these books could stand alone, but don't rob yourself of a wonderful series.  Do read these in order!)  Ms. Kleypas writes impeccably and her stories are page-turners.  The Wallflower series is also exceptional, so if you have not read those four books (plus one Christmas tome), I highly encourage your to do so.  Book 1 of The Wallflowers is Secrets of a Summer Night.  You will not be disappointed! 

My rating:  10 - Absolutely LOVED it!

The Hathaway Series in order...

     Amelia's story             Win's story                Poppy's story                Leo's story                 Beatrix's story

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