NEW REVIEW: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
Published by Harper Collins
Published on October 13, 2009
Genre Historical: Romance
Pages: 384

Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing -- and persistent -- admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition ... but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon -- and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses ... and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.

I read Secrets of a Summer Night right after I'd finished Again The Magic, and let me tell you this was such a sweet story! I'm in love with the Wallflowers, again I wish I'd picked this series up sooner but better late than never!

 “I love you dammit,"
she brushed her lips teasingly against his.
"How much?" 
He made a slight sound, as if the soft kiss had affected him intensely.
"Without limit. Beyond forever.”

This is Annabelle and Simon's story. After the death of Annabelle's father, her mother was left with dwindling finances and a mounting number of debts to be paid. Annabelle is on her last stretch, she couldn't possibly attend another season, which is why she has to find a husband. With the security of a rich husband she can make sure her brother's schooling is paid for and that her mother can live comfortably in her family home. But unfortunately she has no dowry and even the most beautiful woman loses allure without a dowry. As the season gets closer and closer to finishing, Annabelle begins to receive more improper propositions. Society already sees her as a lost cause and with the state of her family's finances there's only one option for a girl like her. To be a gentleman's paramour. 

“Where are we going?” Annabelle asked, resisting his hold on her wrist.
“To the house. If they’re not willing to be witnesses, then it seems I’ll have to debauch you in front of someone else.” 

Enter Simon Hunt, probably the richest man in London but without a title, it means nothing to the peerage. He's been after Annabelle since he first met her 3 years prior. For a man like Simon, marriage is not on the cards and even if it was he doesn't see himself as the marrying type. The joining of these two characters is filled with many obstacles, quite a few laughs and some very embarrassing moments. The main reason this book was a 4 star and not 5 was probably because of the focus on the peerage and the changing of societal value because of the industrial revolution. I loved the connection between the wallflowers Lillian had me laughing out loud so many times!

One thing I have to mention is my sympathy for Annabelle's mother, what she had to go through to maintain even a semblance of genteel living for her children was so heartbreaking. I loved how Simon and Annabelle realised their strengthening emotions for each other, I especially loved the growing protectiveness and possessiveness Simon had towards Annabelle. I won't go into detail but I did get choked up near the end because of an incident I shall not mention. I loved how it forged an even stronger bond between Simon and Annabelle. This is the thing about Lisa Kleypas, her books just bring out all my emotions!

“I'm coming to believe that there are two kinds of people... those who choose to be masters of their own fate and those who wait in chairs while other dance. I would rather be one of the former than the latter.”

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