Find out why we love Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas, a historical romance. It’s the first book in the Wallflower series and an Under the Covers favourite that we think is required reading for all romance lovers.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.
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 or foul. With the beautiful and spirited Annabelle being the first…
Miss Annabelle Payton’s family are on the knife edge of poverty. To keep them off the streets Annabelle must marry and marry well. However, with no dowry to speak and 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 Mr Simon Hunt, a butchers son turned railway magnate. He 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 house party as an opportunity to find Annabelle 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 on the blossoming railway trade. 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 Simon’s feelings towards Annabelle deepen. In Secrets of a Summer Night it’s perhaps 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 romance between these two was very passionate and the book was filled with intense sexually chemistry. A particular scene in a linen closet was pops into my mind! Their physical compatibility added beautifully to the couples growing affection for each other.
the wallflower ladies
I also liked the introduction to the other Wallflower ladies. Each has their own very distinct personalities and I look forward to reading Lillian’s book next. One of the reasons Secrets of a Summer Night is a long time favourite, aside from the beautifully wrought romance, is the friendships. Especially among the wallflower ladies. Romance books often overlook any other relationships the main couple have apart from the romantic one. But this series does an excellent job of showing the importance of friendship and platonic love. In fact, one of my favourite parts of the book was when the girls were playing rounders-in-knickers. It was a such a funny scene and a pivotal moment in the book.
This book is polished and well written, especially the dialogue. The interactions between the characters are well done. They can be funny, intense, witty and romantic – often all at once. This is especially shown in the dialogue between sisters Lillian and Daisy Bowman. It personifies the teasing and closeness of 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. Lisa Kleypas has clearly researched the time period and struck the perfect balance of authenticity without bogging you down in details.
I have read this book many times and it is one of my favourite series and a must read for those who love romance, especially Historical Romance.
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