Secrets of a Summer Night
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers #1
Published by Avon
Released: November 28, 2006
Genres: Historical Romance
Miss Annabelle Payton, Miss Lillian Bowman, Miss Evangeline Jenner and Miss Daisy Bowman are regular sights at the peripheral of a ballroom. With each young lady having oddities and foibles that make them untenable to the bachelors of the ton. However, they strike up an unlikely friendship each vowing to help the others out to find a husband by means fair and foul. With the beautiful and spirited Annabelle being the first…
Miss Annabelle Payton’s family are on the knife edge of poverty, to stop these dire straits Annabelle must marry and marry well. However, with no dowry to speak and it approaching her fourth season it is becoming nigh on impossible to catch a husband, let alone a peer of the realm. Instead she is starting to receive more dishonourable offers of becoming a mistress, offers that it seems she may have to consider if things don’t change soon. One of these men is a Mr Simon Hunt, who has been longing for Annabelle for two long years, despite her repeated rebuffs, but he soon sees his opportunity when they are both invited to the country for a house party. However the Wallflowers also see the same opportunity for Annabelle to find a suitable husband. Let the games begin…
This is one of my favourite series, and Mr Simon Hunt is one of my favourite heroes. He is a self made man, a son of a butcher who has made his fortune in financial speculation and then on the blossoming trade of the railway. However, no matter how rich he is, he still will never fit in with the upper echelons of society, something that bothers him not at all. He is blunt, honest and very sure of himself (aka arrogant), how could you not love him? He also has some very dishonourable intentions toward Annabelle…to begin with, I love that as the book goes on his feelings towards Annabelle deepen; in this book it is more a case of lust at first sight rather than love. That is why I loved that Annabelle was such a strong heroine, I think if she was a weaker person and gave in to Simon at the beginning then this story would have been vastly different, and not so happily resolved. The love story between these two was very passionate and there were some hot sex scenes in the book (one in a linen closet, which is most definately my favourite!) which added nicely to the couples growing affection for each other.
I also liked the introduction to the other Wallflowers, each having their own very distinct personalities and I look forward to reading Lillian’s book next. One of my favourite parts of the book was when the girls were playing rounders-in-knickers, it was a very funny scene that never fails to have me in fits of giggles.
This book is very polished and well written, especially the dialogue, the interactions between the characters are really good, sometimes funny, sometimes intense and other times romantic. The conversations and banter between the wallflowers especially Lillian and Daisy Bowman shows their relationship of teasing and close sisters perfectly, and the conversations between Annabelle and Simon are equally sharp and witty. As well as this the language is elegant and seems very much in keeping with the language of the day, this isn’t a contemporary book dressed in a historical setting. LK gets her setting very well with enough detail to keep it interesting but not bogging you down in details about that historical period.
I have read this book many times and it is one of my favourite series a must read for those who love romance, especially Historical Romance.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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