I recently finished Marrying Winterborne – Book 2 in Kleypas’s The Ravenels series and I loved it enough to go back and read book 1. So here am I with a gleam in my eye and a bit gobsmacked about the writing.
Devon Ravenel has just inherited a lot of land, property and responsibility. Yes, it’s all under the guise of an earldom, but considering Devon’s never worked a day in his life, his new responsibilities might prove be burdensome. Kathleen is recently widowed.
There’s a lot here for me to like. Kathleen is a very strong heroine. She’s taken on quite a bit in looking out for the well-being of the Ravenel’s daughters. The ladies have been basically left without a dowry. All they truly have is their title and limited choices, but that’s another story for another day.
Within the first chapter I was hooked. Drawing me in was Devon and his brother’s conversation – it was witty, sarcastic, boorish and very telling not only of their relationship, but the circumstance and conditions that the ladies are living in.
During their first meeting Kathleen and Devon are, let’s just say, not agreeable to each other. Kathleen’s in mourning which is this long drawn out process and which Devon doesn’t understand. He pokes at her quite a bit and I enjoyed Kathleen’s response to each and everything he said to her. Come to find out there was some family history between Devon and Kathleen’s husband (also Devon’s cousin). From the beginning, the tension between Kathleen and Devon is palpable and that makes for some fun times. The dialogue is really good between them. Kathleen doesn’t take anything from Devon, and whatever he dishes out she promptly throws right back at him.
I thoroughly enjoyed Devon because once he started caring about Kathleen you can see the changes in him. The eventual softening of his sometimes harsh words. The eventual softening of his ofttimes bleak reality of the situation that they’re all in. It turns out that The Ravenels weren’t at well-to-do as they probably should have been. The properties have been run down without proper upkeep and it’s taken its toll. There’s much to be done. While there’s a sweet and sometimes graphic romance storyline, it’s not the entirety, and for me that worked really well.
Their romance wasn’t quick, and as a reader, the journey is fulfilling – we got to see everything that brought them together, including their highs, lows and all the little challenges and misunderstandings. Theirs wasn’t a straight road, but the journey was worthwhile.
The interactions between Kathleen and Devon’s brother, who came to support Kathleen during a rather dire situation with the staff working for the Ravenels, was one of my favorite things about this story. There was a maturity there that I really didn’t expect from Weston. And it spoke a lot of his willingness to help rather than wallow. I couldn’t find any fault there because they were dealing with their surrounding reality.
The twins, Cassandra and Pandora, were just as troublesome, funny and outlandish as could be expected. Helen, oh Helen, to say she’s my favorite is an understatement. She’s the quite one who no one expects would land a man such as Mr. Winterborne. Their beginning is beautifully told and the set-up for book 2 is just perfect.
As with book 2, I really like the pacing. It moves quickly and the character development along the way is really good. There’re lots of characters to meet and know and it all worked. Everyone had a purpose and there wasn’t anything that I thought missing.
Happy reading folks!
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: October 27, 2015