Review: Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

In the books leading up to this one, I was deeply curious about how Lisa Kleypas would fashion a romance involving the youngest member of the Hathaway family. Beatrix was always painted as a strange bird, more interested in animals than people. I wondered what kind of hero would fit with her quirky personality. And I have to say, Kleypas didn’t disappoint. What better match for a woman who collects and cares for wounded animals than a man who so wounded, he needs her special blend of tender loving care?

It takes a while for the love story between Beatrix and Christopher to really get off the ground. That’s because for the first several months…years…of their relationship, Christopher was at war. They grew close through an exchange of letters over time. The thing was, he thought he was writing to someone else, a deception she perpetuated as a kindness, until she realized she was falling for him and he was was falling in love–with a lie.

At first, I worried that the Big Secret was going to be the main trope, but thankfully, the deception didn’t last very long. Ditto on a possible love triangle with the awful woman who Christopher thought he was corresponding with. (She was a piece of work!) The real problem was Christopher’s PTSD from the war and his fear that he would never be a fit husband. And it takes all of Bea’s patience and understanding to coax him into letting himself love her.

I really enjoyed this story. Kleypas managed to stay true to everything we knew about Beatrix and still make her…more. Christopher is definitely a tortured hero, but he is no quivering ball of need. He is still a strong man, striking just the right balance of toughness and vulnerability. Together, they are lovely. Beatrix loves Christopher for all of the right reasons and I loved watching her guide him into healing much the same way she did with his beloved dog.

This is the last of the Hathaway books, and while I felt the main couple got the attention they were due, I was also satisfied to see how all of the previous couples were faring in their Happily Ever After. It wasn’t overly sappy… it was all just right. I adored all of it. And though I am sad to see the series end, I’m walking away feeling satisfied and complete.

Would recommend these books without hesitation.

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Love in the Afternoon
by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

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