Review: Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

All hail Lisa Kleypas. Two books back, I had absolutely no interest in this couple whatsoever. It seemed like it was going to be a tired rehash of reformed rake in an enemies to lovers situation with an uptight governess. But somehow, Kleypas made it so much more. She made me root for Leo and Miss Marks to make it work. Not only that, but she piqued my interest by giving me a little nuggets and breadcrumbs to follow in their backstory.

When the last book ended, we knew there was some kind of secret between Lord Ramsey and his sisters’ governess. As this story begins, we learn that they shared a kiss in the aftermath of Leo’s discovery that Catherine was related to Harry, Leo’s brother-in-law. It doesn’t take too long to work that out, but what does develop over the course of the book is the story of why she has hidden herself away as a domestic servant when her brother has more money than King Midas. I won’t spoil the particulars, but I will say it’s pretty gnarly.

I had serious concerns that Leo could ever be a worthy hero. I downright loathed him in the first book. He was so wrecked after the death of his first love, he couldn’t even be roused to care for his own family. From there, he was basically smug and superior… but something happened to Leo when he became the main character of his own book… he became pretty awesome. He was almost like a new person. (But that’s ok because I didn’t like the old one.)

It felt like Catherine underwent a similar transformation, from the woman who seemed prickly and uptight to one who was constantly afraid. True, her backstory gave her plenty of reason, but I saw little evidence of the Leo and Catherine of this story in previous installments. But I’d rather have the characters as they were drawn here than the ones I thought I knew before… it made for a much better story.

This book strayed a bit from the familiar pattern of the earlier books in that A) we saw much less of the other Hathaways and B) the sexy times started early and repeated frequently. It was odd to see a heroine’s virginity fall away so easily with so little repercussions. And if I let myself think about it too hard, it was odd that the sex didn’t scare Catherine as much as a commitment did, but it didn’t bother me much in the moment. I was too busy thinking about how great New-Leo was. He realized that making a go of it with Catherine was the right move long before she did and I appreciated his patience and steadfastness in his efforts to woo her.

Overall, I thought it was a solid love story with just the right amount of action and danger thrown in to make things more interesting. I’m sad this series is almost over, and I am not sure how I feel about Beatrix as a heroine, but I have enjoyed these books enough to trust where Kleypas plans to take me. The lady obviously knows what she’s doing.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Married by Morning
by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

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