In A Nutshell

  • Genre: Regency Romance
  • Notes: This is one of the few books of this series that I believe could stand alone with no assistance from any of the other books in this series. I think many different kinds of romance lovers would be pleased with this book.
  • Recommended for: Kleypas fans and those who enjoy The tortured soulmate kinds of books.

It’s always the quiet ones . . . This is arguably my favorite of The Hathaway’s Series. The synopsis is:

Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation…and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.

Then, Win returns to England…only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for…

I almost didn’t read this book. A) Because, while I enjoyed the previous book (Mine Til Midnight), it wasn’t amazing and so I hesitated. B) Because after reading the back of this book I was afraid I was going to be re-reading Kleypas’ Again the Magic, which is a story of a titled girl falling in love with a boy servant and being separated for years only to come together again. I feared that I had just purchased the same novel with a different cover, but once again Kleypas defies the odds.

I’m extremely glad I took the time to read this book. It is arguably my favorite of the series – tied only with Love in the Afternoon. There are a wide range of romance lovers who will eat this book up. But I also acknowledge that if you aren’t able to get into the love-with-all-your-soul-angst-powerful-love kind of books, then you will not like this one.

Kev is an interesting Hero. He does “long for” Win, but he never tries to get her. After a childhood of much abuse, Kev holds himself in afraid of being a violent danger to those around him. He never feels worthy of Win. While I found this to be a key plot point, there were some moments when I felt his pushing Win away was overdone. It sometimes rode that line, but I was still able to enjoy it greatly.

As for Win, you can’t help but respect her. After suffering from Scarlet Fever years earlier and barely surviving she is left mostly an invalid. But unlike other people who would accept this fate, she fights it. She goes off to France to recuperate because she wants to live a full life. I think the best part about Win’s character is how relatable she is. At first you worry that she may be too perfect – but she’s not. She’ll do anything to get Kev to finally be with her – even crossing some moral lines. She’s overly stubborn and hates it when people treat her like the invalid she used to be. She’s a character that you can see exactly why she acts and does everything she does.

I won’t give anything away but I will say that the plot line following the “villain” of this story could have been resolved a little more clearly. I’m very much into hearing how the full weight of justice strikes the evil-doer in stories and I don’t like simply being told in a sentence that we don’t have to worry about them anymore. Like when Law & Order ends the episode in such a way as to let you assume what you will and instead of a satisfying ending you get that damn black screen with the name Dick Wolf in your face.

In the end I would say read this for fun, and be prepared for a powerful love. If you have trouble letting your imagination revel in that kind of romance. then you should skip it.