Beatrix Hathaway has always felt more comfortable outside with the animals than in a ballroom crowded with people. Despite that, she still yearns for the kind of love and passion that will sweep her off her feet yet no man has ever taken her breath away or even seriously courted her.
Captain Christopher Phelan is a dashing, handsome soldier who has plans to marry Beatrix's pretty, flirtatious friend, Prudence, when he returns from fighting in the Crimea. But life on the battlefield has darkened his soul and he fears he is no longer the man he once was. The only light in his life are the regular, witty letters he receives from Pru. So much so that he's beginning to fall in love with his correspondent. So when he returns from the war, determined to claim the woman he loves, he's confused as to why he feels nothing for Pru and so much for Beatrix. But who really is his letter writing love and what will he do when he finds out he's been duped?
This is the last in the Hathaway series of books following Mine Till Midnight
, Seduce Me at Sunrise
, Tempt Me at Twilight
and Married by Morning (Hathaway Series)
. As with the other Hathaway books, you could easily read this book as a stand alone but you're more likely to understand the characters and the history of the family if you've read the other books before reading this one.
The first half of this book was an absolute delight. The story was fast paced, exciting with so much tension and potential conflict - I could not put the book down as the story had me hooked. And then it just seemed to peter out. The story slowed as it seemed to shift to a more character driven storyline. It wasn't bad but after such an exciting start, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. The story picked up right before the end and it was nicely concluded which is always a good thing!
I loved both Beatrix and Christopher. Beatrix is such a free spirit and smart too and I really liked and could identify with her. Christopher is a handsome soldier who is haunted by his past and could really do with the love of a good woman making him the perfect partner for Beatrix. The pair had good chemistry and I liked reading about them as a couple. Despite Christopher's problems in the aftermath of the war, the book never got bogged down in gory or depressing war detail.
The other Hathaway's appear in the book, but for a last book in the series, perhaps not as much as I had hoped.
And, surprisingly for Lisa Kleypas, there were a couple of Americanisms that cropped up throughout the book which annoyed me a little as they pull you from the story.
Overall, this is an enjoyable book that despite a few flaws, is still a good read and a really good end to what has been an excellent series. If you're a fan of Lisa Kleypas, the Hathaway series or just fancy a romantic, Victorian read then I would recommend this book to you. 4 stars.