Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

Book Description:
The Wallflowers are four young ladies in London who banded together in their wild and wickedly wonderful searches for true love. Now happily married, they join together once again to help one of the world's most notorious rogues realize that happiness might be right under the mistletoe...

It's Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren't for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart. With her trademark charm, sensuality, and unforgettable characters, there's no one like Lisa Kleypas to make you believe in the magic of Christmas.

This is a sequel to the Wallflower series, which I just finished a few days ago. I must admit, my timing worked out wonderfully to read this book at this time of year, only days before Christmas! I enjoyed this short novella (213 pages) and it was nice to catch up with the Wallflowers and their respective husbands and find they are all still blissfully in lust love with their husbands and vice versa! Lillian redeemed herself in this book for me, I was getting annoyed with her in the last 2 books, but she did a lot of good turns for Hannah, who was the star of this book.

Hannah is the wallflower companion to the incomparable Natalie Blandford who is being considered as a bride by the rakish and oh so good looking American Rafe Bowman, brother to Lillian and Daisy Bowman (now Lillian, Countess of Westcliff and Daisy Swift).

Rafe's father has ruled he must marry Natalie or forfeit his fortune and future inheritence of his father's soap factory. At first, Rafe arrives in London with the intention of going through with the courtship until he meets shy and unassuming Hannah. It's love at first sight. There is no other accounting for it. Rafe is instantly smitten by her (though, frankly, I don't see why). Hannah is sweet and demure, not overly attractive, so it's not clear what Rafe sees in her, so it must be something chemical or he just wants to see if he can seduce her within 20 minutes of first meeting her. He loses no time in kissing her - deeply - and she doesn't stop him. She knows it's wrong, but he's irresistible and this kissing business (and more) continues while they are together at Stony Cross Manor in Hampshire (where most of the Wallflower series takes place) for the Christmas holidays. Rafe is torn, does he obey his father, do the "right" thing and ask Natalie, who's vivacious and a beauty and a daughter of the peerage (as his father puts it) or throw cares to the wind and seduce, bed, and (maybe) marry Hannah instead and thus lose his father's money (which he doesn't really need anyway.)

Rafe certainly seems hell bent on seducing her and Hannah is just too defenseless to put him off. I kind of had a problem with this. At times I felt like he was forcing himself on her when he really shouldn't have been - it was ungentlemanly and unseemly. Yes, yes, I know, it's a romance! But, I have my standards and I felt sorry for Hannah. She wasn't gorgeous or rich and didn't know what to do. She was falling for Rafe (against her own good judgment) and because of that, she turned down an honest - albeit unromantic and in writing, no less - marriage proposal. She believes that Rafe may love her (based on an indiscreet love letter he wrote and then tried to burn unsuccesfully), or he may just want her for a mistress. What to do? Choose him and turn down the only marriage proposal she may ever get, or refuse to let him "do things" to her since he's probably going to marry Natalie (who I didn't like at all, btw - meow.) Rafe and Hannah seem to be kissing all over the place, it's a wonder they never get caught!

I felt because of the brevity of the book, things were rushed. Rafe and Hannah kiss way to soon, there is no build up. They get hot and heavy very soon too and I just kept thinking, "Hannah, you shouldn't be doing this with him!" Still, I give her credit, she kept her virginity intact until the end of the book, although they weren't married yet. That bachelor annex at the Manor has gotten a lot of mileage in these books!

Without spoiling the ending, I can assure you it all ends tidily and Lisa Kleypas throws in a couple of hot sex scenes with her new and her old characters from the past books to make everyone happy. This was a fun and feel good Christmasy romance that is a must to read for everyone who has read her Wallflower series. I hope she writes a few more!


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails