I know it has been said before about many other authors...but Lisa Kleypas has done it again! I couldn't put it down. I didn't want to put it down. If anyone had tried to make me I would have had to deck them!
Wow, I am completely blown away and one hundred percent impressed with the latest in her wallflowers series. How could we not love Lillian Bowman, the daring, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants American heiress? Her intro in Annabelle's story, Secrets of a Summer Night (book # 1), more than assured us that we would be getting an enthralling heroine in which to laugh along with, cheer on and delight in. Her first meeting with Marcus, Lord Westcliff, was priceless in the first installment (Remember the game of rounders played in their knickers?) and Kleypas starts this book with a bang as well, with another game of rounders no less. Yes, Marcus is more than an observer this time, but read for yourself to see how that turns out! It's pulse-pounding! It's steamy! It's - you get the idea.
Lillian is an original, completely individual young woman, seeking, as all young ladies of good standing did at the time, a suitable husband with which to settle down. She knows that her vulgar American tendancies will do her no favors in that arena so she is depending on her massive fortune to attract the right sort of man - a titled one of course. The book takes place almost entirely on Marcus's country estate, where, the confused lord is not quite sure why he's invited the irritating miss. Despite the possibility of business with her father, he'd much rather not have anything to do with her. Fortunately for him, Lillian is of the same mindset. Is it possible, though, that something could possibly change Marcus's mind? Could this confounding tom boy-ish young lady possibly have something to offer him? He'd like to think not, but circumstances seem to prove otherwise...
I found myself laughing in utter glee before I'd even hit the first chapter, the prologue itself being thoroughly amusing. I couldn't wait for Lillian and Marcus to go head to head. I couldn't wait to see her knock him down a peg or two. Marcus comes off as a complete and utter snob in the beginning, while Lillian is exactly as we saw her in the first book: opinionated, stubborn and a true friend to those she cares about. Marcus, thankfully does get his comeuppance and makes a turn for the better. Thank goodness too, because it would have been such a waste for such a fine speciman of a romance hero to continue with the uppity path he was on in the beginning.
Never have I encountered two characters that made me feel so satisfied the whole book through. We get a revisit from Annabelle and Simon Hunt, both incorporated into the story very well and don't take away from Lillian and Marcus's situation at all. It was a complete delight, too, to have so much dialog from Lillian's sister Daisy and their friend Evie (Evie's story is next, entitled Devil in Winter - I wish I was starting it tonight!!). Both promise to be great heroines in their own right. I couldn't have been any happier with this book, wouldn't change a thing and will most likely reread it for many years to come. I truly hope Lisa Kleypas continues to produce such marvelous romances.