April 25, 2011

With Love, Dear Heart • Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon book cover
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways #5
Previous Books: Mine Till Midnight, Seduce Me at Sunrise, Tempt Me at Twilight + Married by Morning
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. She has never been swept away or seriously courted…and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. That is until she starts writing letters to Captain Christopher Phelan on behalf of her friend Prudence - and something begins to develop between them.

Love in the Afternoon is the second book from The Hathaways series by Lisa Kleypas that I read - and I loved it. I was so excited that I had purchased both this and Married by Morning on the same trip to the bookstore, so I went straight into reading it. If it's possible, I've grown to love the Hathaways even more after this tale - and I think (though I haven't read the other three, and don't worry, I'm definitely planning too) this is going to be my favorite story.

The love affair between our war-torn hero Christopher Phelan and our vivacious, quirky heroine Beatrix Hathaway begins with a series of letters. Even though Beatrix was writing the letters masquerading as her friend Pru, I still felt myself falling in love with their love affair. The letters were beautifully written and it was apparent how well the two of them could relate to one another over the course of their letter-writing. Plus, the letters definitely added a romantic bent to the story that appealed to my writer's nature.

Beatrix is such a quirky heroine though, especially with her love for taking in animals. I immensely enjoyed the fact that she had such an interesting assortment of pets and that she wasn't afraid to go out and be immersed entirely in nature. Her way of thinking is childlike, but also very mature at the same (and that will probably make sense only if you've read the book). She does seem like a little sister (which she is amongst the Hathaways) and her personality made her endearing and made me want to take care of her all at the same time.

Christopher Phelan is a character that I would never have expected to fall in love with. It's no question that I expected to feel compassion for him and his traumatic experiences in the war, and that I would appreciate his feelings for Beatrix - but I ended up loving his character, especially as his more romantic and sensitive side appeared in the book.

As always, the other Hathaways and their spouses provided extra entertainment in the book. I feel like book is a fitting ending to the series, probably because I'm a huge fan of happily-ever-afters and everyone gets one.

I could keep gushing about Love in the Afternoon, but all I'm going to say is - if you love romance, then read it!


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