Monday, December 22, 2008

Lisa Kleypas: A Wallflower Christmas

A Wallflower Christmas: A
Hannah Appleton & Rafe Bowman

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... (amazon)

YAY for Lisa Kleypas!

It's a little strange singing praises for Ms. Kleypas, especially when I haven't read all of her novels. However, she has become one of my most favorite authors, who is unlikely to disappoint through her charming and sensual novels.

A Wallflower Christmas is perfect for the HOLIDAY SEASON (and upcoming Christmas, in a scant three days!!) and also perfect to start off my I-Love-Lisa-Kleypas extravaganza!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Wallflower series, it is a story of four young ladies who were the outcasts - the wallflowers - during their debut. They quickly befriend each other and strive to marry, and coincidentally fall in loooove.

The Wallflower series are as follows:
1. Secrets of a Summer Night
2. It Happened One Autumn
3. Devil in Winter
4. Scandal in Spring

Reviews for these novels will be here in the days to come, however, in A Wallflower Christmas, we are introduced to Rafe Bowman, Lillian(book 2) and Daisy's (book 4) eldest brother.

He is a magnetic "rake" from the United States, as is the rest of the Bowman family, and comes to London to secure a marriage that his parents have deemed worthwhile and pleasing to them and everyone else.

The chosen bride is Lady Natalie, beautiful but uninteresting. Rafe quickly loses interest in her, but acknowledges the fact that she would be a "good match" because of their dull compatibility.

He, however, meets her chaperone and a common woman, Hannah, and is utterly intrigued with her wit and personality.

They try to resist each other, however, sparks fly and the chemistry between them in intense.

Rafe is left to make a difficult decision: marry Natalie and live without the one whom he loves, or marry Hannah and be cut out from his family (aka parents).

It is surprising that I was able to relate to these characters since the novel itself is quite short.
Unsurprisingly, one of the qualms I had with this story was that it was too short. Too short too short too short! Boo!! If I have to wait another several months for her next contemporary release, she might as well have made the story some five-hundred pages, or something along those lines...

But I digress. In a meager two-hundred something pages, I fell in love with "common and plain" Hannah and the devilish Rafe.

I loved how Rafe loved Hannah and how Hannah loved Rafe.

And, ohmygosh, I'm a total sucker for heroes who write passionate love letters to or about the woman they love.

Rafe did so and the letter was magical.
If I was Hannah, I pretty much would have been like, "See ya! I'm going to elope with Rafe." or maybe even, "Sure Rafe, I'll sleep with you. Right now? Okay, let's go!"

(um.. TooMuchInfo? Sorry folks.)

Anyway, this story was beautiful and Christmas-y, so it left me feeling all gooey and mushy and all holiday-seasony. I also loved seeing all of the former Wallflowers (especially Daisy and Matthew) and how (unrealistically) happy they are in their marriages.

What a (sigh) delicious read.

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