A special book deserves special treatment and Katie and I have been planning this one for weeks! You get not one, but two reviews and then our chat.
So grab a coffee, something to munch on and sit back for a Very Long Post!
I’ve about five pages left in Seduce Me At Sunrise and I’m a bit baffled now as to what to do. Do I just sit and savour it? Do I reread it again since I gulped it down the first time? Or do I write a review.
Well, it seems the answer is evident – I’m writing a review.
I don’t know if many people know this or not, but Dreaming of You is my favourite all time book and Derek Craven my all time favourite hero since I first read Dreaming of You all those many years ago. There have been many heroes by many authors of many genres over the years that I’ve adored, but none have been able to topple Derek. Well, Merripen hasn’t toppled Derek, but for the first time I can say a hero has equalled Derek Craven in my many years of reading.
From the back of the book:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mine Till Midnight comes a dazzling novel about forbidden love and long-denied desire – the kind of passion that happens once in a lifetime…..
Seduce Me At
He has tried so hard to forget her
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 away from him by a devastating twist of fate.
Can she remember the man he once was?
Then, Win returns to
While mostly true, there are a few things that are different in the story then what’s written on the back cover, but for the most part, it’s fairly accurate.
If I had to describe this book in just a couple of words they would be heartbreaking and longing. Even without a single love scene I would give this book a hot rating because the longing between Merripen and Win is palpable. We can feel it seething on every page. It’s a rare book where I can feel everything the writer has written as vividly as I felt in this book.
While I don’t think it’s necessary to have read Mine Till Midnight before reading this one, I would recommend it. You get to see in MTM even then the longing Merripen – or Kev and Win have for each other. And you get
But I say it isn’t necessary because the author gives up enough of the background between Win and Kev that we get a sense that these two people really are destined for each other – they are soul mates. I know there are a lot of readers out there who don’t really care for this aspect, but I ask that they lay aside their judgment for this story. I guarantee they won’t be sorry. Even before Kev meets Win, he is captured by her. The Hathaway family finds Kev, alone and left for dead by his Rom family. He really had it bad before that, hated and despised by his Rom family, he is filled with anger and bitterness and at first hates the Hathaway family with the exception of Win. Gradually though he adjusts and becomes a part of the family, only if it’s on the peripheral edge – by his own choice.
Win has suffered a terrible case of Scarlet fever when she was younger and it’s left her an invalid. Merripen takes it upon himself to become her protector. At the end of the first section of Seduce Me At Sunrise, she has left for
And we again feel her pain when, returns from France and goes to see Merripen, only to discover he thinks she’s a ‘woman’ he hasn’t ordered but will use anyway (this isn’t a spoiler at it’s the scene posted on her website). Time and again, Merripen breaks her heart by rejecting her, even though she senses what he really feels for her.
For his part, Ms. Kleypas does an incredible job in letting us see into Merripen’s soul; to feel the longing he has for Win and his agony at not thinking he’s good enough for her. There are a few scenes where he breaks her heart and we would be angry at him, except his is breaking even more and the author makes us feel it. There is one scene in particular though where is almost hard to forgive what he does – or doesn’t do.
But least you think this book is all suffering and dark it isn’t. There were a number of very funny scenes that had me grinning. In one particular scene, Win is asking Merripen to apologize to the doctor who has helped make her better and he is insulting the doctor instead – only the tongue he uses is
And I can’t say enough good things about the role of the secondary characters in this book. Although it’s Win and Merripen’s story,
When last we saw Leo, the brother, he was a badly damaged soul without much hope of recovery. Well, I’m happy to say that he has turned a real corner in this one and while he still needs work – and his heroine, he is quite the charmer in this book now.
And also for those who read MTM, the mystery of the matching tattoos is revealed. I won’t say how, ‘cause I’m sure you want to read it for yourself.
If there was one thing a bit lacking in MTM, it was a sense of the Rom culture and
Something else I just have to point out about Lisa Kleypas books is how much I appreciate the fact that many of her heroes are ‘every day’ type heroes. Yes, there are titled heroes in some of her books. But I love the fact that she also writes books where the heroes are gambling hell owners, book publishers, sons of butchers. In this era of ‘titled’ heroes and heroines, it’s great to see some who are commoners. Not many authors do this and I wish more would.
As you are reading this, you might notice it’s a much longer review than I normally do, but I’m just so damn over the moon about this book. While there have been MANY books she has written since Dreaming of You that I’ve really enjoyed, for me, Seduce Me At Sunrise is equal to Dreaming of You for this reader. And you have to know that is really saying a lot! I now have a two-way tie for best book of 2008. And wouldn’t you know – they were both written by the same person. Blue Eyed Devil and Seduce Me at
Grade: 5+ out of 5
When Mine Till Midnight came out last year, not only did I enjoy the luscious love story Lisa penned between the gypsy Cam, who was a secondary character in her Wallflower books, and that of Amelia Hathaway, but all the wonderful new characters she had invented. Lisa wrote another amazing love story and introduced us to a whole new set of characters that I have grown to love, the Hathaway siblings. I can assume that most readers feel the same way I do. When I found out that the next book Lisa was writing was about Amelia’s sickly sister, Win, and the love she has for Merripen, the wild gypsy boy the family took in, I knew this was going to be another winner.
Merripen, the hero of Seduce Me at
Unfortunately, Win became very ill and that changed their relationship forever. If Win had died from scarlet fever, Merripen was ready to follow her into the afterworld. This is a man whose dedication and devotion for a woman was so very powerful, perhaps a bit obsessive and borderline deranged, but since Lisa is a pro at writing these complicated men, she makes sure never tohave Merripen cross that line passed the point of no return.
Seduce Me at
One final issue I do have with Lisa, is that her heroes have ruined me for real life men. And now Merripen has been added to my growing harem of Kleypas heroes.
4 stars out of 5 stars
And Now for our Chat
- how is you SMAS review coming?
KatieBabs: I am trying to get my thoughts in order. I would say it was a fun read, loved Kev and Win. Kev.. omg
KristieJ: I KNOW!! - But oops - we have to save this - unless you want todo a chat now *g*
KatieBabs: we can do that
KristieJ: I don't know 'bout you - I can do with some cheering up by thinking luscious thoughts about Kev! Let me get a beer and settle down for a nice chat then about the best damn historical I've read by Kleypas since DOY
KatieBabs: okey dokey *longs for a beer*
Pause while I get a beer
KristieJ: So - I'm ready. First off - I have to be shallow. I just loved the inside step cover!! The guy was hawt and if I was Win, I could see why she wanted him so bad. I opened it and went Whoa Mama! But that's cause I'm shallow about things like that *g*
KatieBabs: I do love the covers where you see the woman in the dress looking all demure and then open the cover slat and WHOA, sex and naked people!
KristieJ: That's the perfect cover isn't it? Tasteful on the outside - raunchy on the inside - just like me – bwaaahhhhaaaa. And *big grin* I'm thinking you think his hair is too long - cause it's a generational thing
KatieBabs: on the outside we are classy broads
KristieJ: Classy - yep
KatieBabs: I like men with short hair, much like Richard, yup, have to bring him up
KatieBabs: I can imagine a young Richard as Kev
KatieBabs: pretty good choice. Wouldn't throw him out of bed *G*
KristieJ: And now that we've had our shallow moment - how about the inside - what did you think of the book overall
KatieBabs: This is another great historical by Lisa. Luscious romance, to die for hero and a heroine who is so very special
KristieJ: Indeed! I. LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. I haven't been this pumped about a book since Dreaming of You. Kev just melted my heart
KatieBabs: Kev was one of the most darkest and angsty heroes Lisa has ever come up with. His pain was so real, enough to touch it; the love he had for Win was borderline obsessive much like Heathcliff had for Kathy in Wuthering Heights
KristieJ: That's what I thought too!!! I liked that you likened him to Heathcliffe in the Book Smugglers review. He was a lot like Heathcliffe without the cruelty. And Lisa wrote his character so perfectly that you COULD feel his pain. I can't remember the last time I felt that much emotion just pouring off a character. It was amazing
KristieJ: Just a sec and I'll send you my review. Warning though - it's the longest review I've ever done………….OK - it's on it's way.
KatieBabs: Wow almost 1500 words!
KristieJ: it took me a couple of days to do because there was so much I wanted to say - without giving anything away
KatieBabs: I especially liked how we became reacquainted with the Hathaways again and of course how
KristieJ: Oh me too!! I thought she blended them into the story perfectly. They were vital to the story - not just extras she threw in case we forgot them
KatieBabs: Just like The Wallflowers, Lisa writes great relationships with friends and family and the Hathaways have quickly become my favorite literary family
KristieJ: Mine too. They are so much fun and so vivid aren't they? And Leo - it was so good to see him doing so much better in this story. He's really come a long way in this healing process.
KatieBabs: I think I know who Leo will be with hee hee
KristieJ: I loved the scenes with Leo and the hedgehog and the garters
KatieBabs: I really like Leo also. He may have demons inside but is trying to live again and have fun
KristieJ: And maybe I'm just super aware because I know Lisa watched and loved North and South - but did you catch her mention of the Exhibition in
KatieBabs: Um, I was more in awe by Kev's lusty thoughts for Win. lol
KristieJ: ROTFL - what? Not machinery?
KatieBabs: Kev's machinery? lmao
KristieJ: He was a lusty one - Kev wasn't he? And just as refreshing so was Win. She wanted Kev - and she wanted him baaaadddd. I loved that about her character. No shrinking violet was Win. She didn't hesitate to make her thoughts and wants known to Kev. And I loved the little bit about how she got him to tell her his name
KatieBabs: I especially like the flashbacks how Kev came into the Hathaways lives and how Kev would only want Win to be in the room with him
KristieJ: I think there are few authors who can do love scenes as viscerally as Lisa Kleypas. In a lot of romances I just skip over them. But in her books I FEEL them
KatieBabs: and very dark, when he thought Win was dying, he was about to go with her if she did.
KristieJ: That was so tender wasn't it? This poor abused young man who hated everything was instantly tamed by this innocent young woman. That got me too - the depth of emotion he felt for her. That if she wasn't in his life - life wasn't worth living. And even at such a young age there was such a pull between the two of them. It was so wonderfully written
KatieBabs: Lisa sure can hit you in the gut with the passion her characters have for one another
KristieJ: That's what struck me most about this book - more than any other book she's written - including her contemporaries - which I love beyond belief. But there is something just gut punching about Seduce me at
KatieBabs: So you are a bigger fan of Kev over
KristieJ: Oh yes! Kev is now equal to Derek in my heroes. They are tied and I didn't think anyone would ever tie with Derek
KatieBabs: I found Kev to be a bit much darker than Derek
KristieJ: Oh much darker. He was obsessive in his love for Win. And so determined not to give into that love
KatieBabs: Oh, but when he gave in... ROWL!! Win did not give up!
KristieJ: I LOVED that scene. So Very Very Romantic - and what followed after - so Very, Very Hot. I've already started rereading this one. That's a sign of something special for me
KatieBabs: How Kev decides to "take" Win? And he takes her all over the place! heh heh
KristieJ: And her innocence at wanting to 'clean' up first. I can so see something like that happening with an innocent young woman who doesn't really know her own body. And his explanation *dreamy sigh* Even the epilogue in this book was special. She took what could have been a cliché and made it as important a part of the book as the rest of it. The scenes were again so vividly written
KatieBabs: He was so tender but so masterful. *fanning myself*
KristieJ: So where do you rate Kev on your hero list? I know Jack is your favourite
KatieBabs: I am to the point that rating Lisa's heroes are impossible because they are oh so good
KatieBabs: There is one major spoiler that I felt was contrived a bit and wish it didn't happen
KristieJ: OK - time out *g* - which scene was that - we will have to do spoiler here
WARNING WILL ROBINSON! WARNING – THERE IS A MAJOR SPOILER COMING. ALL CONTROL MEASURES WILL BE IN EFFECT, BUT WE MUST WARN THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO SKIP THIS PART TILL THE ALL CLEAR WARING IS GIVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE SPOILERS.
KatieBabs: Kev and Cam being brothers. did not like
KristieJ: Ahhh - I didn't dislike it - it certainly explains the tattoos. I thought they were like two sides of the same coin. Raised separately, they ended up so differently.
KatieBabs: but too cliché, a bit like the soap operas where two characters don't care for each other and BAM they are related! didn't jive for me
KristieJ: Well - I think
KristieJ: And I think it was certainly within the realm of possibility from the first book - the only 2 tattoos that matched exactly and neither knew where they came from. *g* it worked for me.
KatieBabs : I had no clue Lisa had this planned from reading Mine Till Midnight. She is tricky, fooling me! Lol
ALL CLEAR WARNING GIVEN. IT IS NOW SAFE TO RESUME
KatieBabs: on a scale of 1-10, 10 being scandalous, how would you rate the sex scenes with other Kleypas novels?
KristieJ: I'd give this a 10. Maybe not in the 'act' itself. But in the tension and the build-up and the attraction between the two of them. How about you?
KatieBabs: I would say between a 7- 8. Just steamy enough. Remember, I am still stuck on a certain OMG smoking hot scene from Suddenly You
KristieJ: LOL - I was thinking of you and that scene. I know it's one of your favorites
And overall - what would you give this book?
KatieBabs: I would give this an 8 or 4 stars
KristieJ: Really?? Is that all? I give it a 5+. I know it's going to be my favorite English historical for a long time to come - and that’s among some Very Good Books I've read this year. I think this one will probably crack my all time top ten of ALL Time
KatieBabs: I also found it be to a great book, and I am finding that this year has so many awesome books. I have no clue where to place them in my top list.
KristieJ: When does it come out so that everyone can rush to the store to get it? I'm lucky they released it early here in
KatieBabs: Why, it hits the shelves on Tuesday, September 30
OK - you heard Katie. The book should be out tomorrow. Our advice – get thee to a bookstore on the way to work, at lunchtime or on the way home and Buy This Book. I’d say tell them Kristie & Katiebabs sent you, but then they would go “Who?” and look at you funny.