Book Reviews

Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1) by Lisa Kleypas

114162[1]“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.” ~ Goodreads

Many bookish friends ask for suggestions of good romance books. This is a genre where I am very picky. I am a hopeless romantic as much as the next person but have only a handful of romance authors who I am dedicated to. And then my snarky side comes out. There are numerous books that I have forced myself to finish as well as strained my eyes with the constant eye rolling. Romance novels tend to have a similar formula that becomes obvious but what holds my attention is the character development and ultimately the story behind all the swoon.

Secrets of a Summer Night is a series that I am enjoying right now. I needed something that was drastically lighter than some of the books I have read lately and Lisa Kleypas fit the bill. What I love the most about this series if the friendship of the four women involved: Annabelle, Lillian, Evie and Daisy. They are all young ladies in 1840s London who have no dowry or connections to land a husband. So after sitting on the side-lines (Wallflowers) at many social gatherings, they make a pact to help each other find a husband.

I can’t imagine living at a time where you had to sell yourself to find a match and aside from the many women who married simply for status, these women won’t settle for just that. Underneath the frantic search for a mate, they ultimately want to find a suitable partner who truly loves them. But what struck me with this series and found to be a breath of fresh air was the friendship angle dominating the storyline. Yes, there is smart and teasing banter, steamy scenes and a bit of drama but the friendship takes center stage. It reminded me of Sex in the City during the Regency Era. You do not have to read them in order but I would suggest it to become familiar with the blossoming friendship that sustains the novels. (And yea, the guys are swoon-worthy).

To learn more about Lisa Kleypas. her books and upcoming events, visit her site here.

*Secrets of a Summer Night is 375 pages and published in 2006.

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