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on 8 February 2009
I enjoyed this book immensely.The story was very romantic as always with Lisa Kleypas. The plot had plenty of action and drama as well as romance. I loved the main character Vallerand, a strong, handsome hero with a tormented past. All the characters were very much alive and the story kept my interest the whole way through. The story takes place in New Orleans. Lisa Kleypas describes the people and the unique atmosphere of bayou country accurately and charmingly. I wholeheartedly recommend the book. If you enjoy this book you should read "Only With Your Love" the sequel, which tells the tale of Vallerand's rebel son Justin who becomes a pirate before meeting the love of his life. A great read!
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VINE VOICEon 23 June 2006
This is a re-write and new title for LK's first published book, "Only in your Arms". I found it particularly interesting because, unlike subsequent books, it is set in New Orleans in America in 1805. New Orleans, with its traditional French Creole society, was very much like Georgian/Regency England in its societal rules and regulations, particularly those in respect of women's place in society. Women were under the rule of their fathers or their husbands and allowed little freedom.

Maximilien Vallerand is a rich Creole with two teenage sons. His first wife was murdered, strangled, and it has been assumed by Creole society that Max was responsible even though there is no proof. Max's first wife was having an affair with Etienne Sagesse, a former friend of Max's and that is enough proof for Creole society, who largely shun Max.

Ten years after Corinne's murder, Max meets Lysette, a young society beauty who is being forced into an unwelcome marriage with Sagesse. Max decides that in revenge for Sagesse's affair with Corinne and her subsequent murder, that he will keep and marry Lysette himself as he is very attracted to her and her to him. The lonely Max allows his new wife far more freedom than is usual with the wives of Creoles and there is horror when she starts mixing with the American wives in New Orleans. For these are allowed a lot of freedom and actually air their opinions and, heavens forbid, actually contradict their husbands.

There is the mystery hanging over the Vallerand family of who did kill Corinne, as Sagesse has an alibi. What is also interesting is the sub-plot of political machinations over New Orleans joining America as a state and those opposed to it. I, perhaps like many other readers, know little about the history of America apart from the Revolution and the Civil War and know nothing about the history of individual states.

I have often wondered why American authors choose to set their Georgian/Regency novels in England, rather than in say Boston, New York or St. Louis, all of whom had similair societies, minus the titles of course. New Orleans makes an excellent subsitute for London, with its rigid Creole society. An enjoyable read.
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on 16 August 2010
On a recent visit to America, I was given a Lisa Kleypas book to read and I was hooked. I then read three others and on returning to the U K, I searched Amazon for any others by this author. I bought this one and as usual found it very entertaining. Thank you Amazon for having such good Authors among your lists. I am about to buy another Kleypas book!
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on 5 January 2006
This is one of the greatest book Lisa Kleypas has written. Max and Lysette are perfect for each other. The chemistry was instant, the passion and the need that they have for each other are just perfect. Add the plots and twists it makes for an exciting and one of those "can't put down" read. Max reminded me of Brett in Gone with the Wind. Lysette reminds me of Scarlett but without the sillyness. This lady knows what she wants, accept the realities of things and takes responsibilities for her own actions. Their relationship is very much a partnership and their love, passion and loyalty to each other are what each of us secretly hope and wish to have. Talk about soulmates!
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on 4 January 2016
This was a really fun book to read on the airplanes on the way to New Orleans. It's a great example of a (not too explicit, although there is certainly still sex) lighthearted romance. One thing that was really fun—and that I really enjoyed—was that there is no nearly insurmountable obstacle to the couple getting together or misunderstanding between them, they get together and then tackle a variety of problems and mysteries together.
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on 16 December 2013
It was refreshing to find an American author writing a historical novel set in her own country rather than in the UK. I enjoyed learning about the rules of etiquette in Creole society in the very early 1800's and the additional touch of politics was equally welcome. Lysette and Max were both likable characters and the book was generally well-written.
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on 6 March 2013
A book I would not hesitate to recommend. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and could say it did not disappoint me.
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on 23 June 2014
Very enjoyable. It had a lot of excitement that kept me reading and good characters that you wanna root for.
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on 14 October 2014
very entertaining with lovely characters. I really enjoyed it.
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on 5 September 2012
I've read most of Kelypas' books on kindle and this is just as good as the others. The setting is New Orleans and the old Creole society which I found really interesting because most historical romamces are usually set in England. The book almost has a rich atmosphere, the Creole society is very olde worlde and feels quite alien to the modern reader. However, the puffing prideful males, duels and gossiping wives add to the romance of this novel. I loved the world, and there is also a book with Max's son Justin playing lead which is set partly in Creole society. There is abuse and it's obvious from the start that women aren't worth much, their fathers and husbands are considered their masters and legally may do as they like with them. This is a little unsettling but I think Lysette is a brave main character, but not annoying or perfect and I truely liked her.
Overall this is a charming novel, the whole thing is very engrossing. I read 'When strangers marry' in a single day.
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