Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thank God for Lisa Kleypas...

Man, am I finding it hard to get in the fall swing of things. I'm having a taste of the future I guess. H-Bomb is in Pre-K five days a week, plus I get to chauffeur him to Speech and OT three days a week. Plus work, storytime and various other educational and edifying activities. I also have all these "projects" planned, like organizing my photos and selling stuff on Ebay and weeding the file cabinets and shit. Add to that a LU induced reading funk and kids who take two hours to fall asleep and you have someone who's grumpy and not getting reading done. I did breakdown and get the DVR, though, because I've missed 4 episodes of ANTM and Ghosthunters. I'm in love with it, it's my new toy, though I've only taped kid's shows so far.

I have read one historical all year. Literally. And it was a mediocre one. I haven't even been re-reading old favorites. After reading Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas, I really have no idea why. They may be just the change of pace I was looking for. I feel like I've been doing so much moaning and groaning about authors skimping on creating chemistry and relationships, relying instead on mental lusting (although, to be fair, I have read some good books in the past few months). This book was able to accomplish so relationship development, though the time span is relatively quick, others should take note. All it takes is a few encounters, some banter, some conversation, where the h/h get to know each other, and we get to know them...and I am a happy camper. Lisa Kleypas is a very dependable author, IMO. Even her less memorable books have well drawn characters, good chemistry, great sex, and an HEA that leaves you with a big smile. And what more can I ask for? I would count MTM as one of LK's less memorable books, but it still gets a B+ from me, because I couldn't put it made me laugh and tear up...and hotness!

When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….

Those of you who read the Wallflowers Quartet will remember Cam Rohan from Devil in Winter (great book!). I quite like him. For all his Gypsy exoticism, he was a steady, strong, levelhead fellow. He was the sane one in the relationship. Heroine Amelia Hathaway was almost unhinged in her determination to control things and be independent. At one point in the book, she really bugged me. But her family had been through so much, it was a defense mechanism. They made a great pair, I thought that he would need someone with a strong personality, so as not to be overshadowed and she fit the bill. I enjoyed the Hathaway family, especially Beatrix, the youngest, with her mix of immaturity and intuitiveness. She brought tears to my eyes with the window story. I hope she eventually gets her own book. As a fan of the Wallflowers and Westcliff in particular, it was good to be back at Stony Cross Park. There were some funny moments, sexy moments and some emotional moments.

I found the incident at the end with Amelia's former suitor to be unnecessary. Didn't add to the story. I also disliked big brother Leo more than I should. Overall, I don't think this one will stick with me the way some of Kleypas' others do, but it was a satisfying read. If you enjoy Kleypas, it won't disappoint. If you haven't read her before, start with Then Came You or Dreaming of You. I went on to re-read Scandal in Spring. Am I the only one who really loves this one? I love taciturn, secretly obsessed heroes. Speaking of which, the sneak preview of her next historical at The Good, the Bad and the Unread, has me wanting to do a tap dance. I am so excited for Win and Merripen's book. Kleypas does surly, but seething with love so well, and paired with an invalid from a different class? You have a recipe for angsty, tear-jerky reader heaven. Go look. I think I'm going to go re-read Devil in Winter.


lisabea said...

Yea, those kids. It's beyond a full time job. I'm struggling with getting one into college (just fill out the forms, damn it), one starting high school (he's doing fabulously!), and one doing quite poorly in middle school (sigh). If I hear the term "academic testing" one more time you may see me on the 6 o'clock news.

I've had a box labeled "yard sale" for two years. It's kind of a joke around here.

Unknown said...

When we built this house 8 years ago, I was going to weed through everything as I packed up to move here. Well, I spent all day, every day at the new house during construction so everything just got thrown into boxes and brought over here. What that means is, we have an attic that is the entire top floor of a 3-car garage and it is so crammed with stuff that you can barely walk through it. And don't even get me started about finding time to organize all my books-- GAK!

Jennie said...

I'm reading MTM right now too. I'm not a huge Kleypas fan, but I do enjoy her books anyway. I find them very easy to read, if that makes any sense. Like you say, you can have a million other things going on in your life, but it's easy to fall into a Kleypas and forget about it all sometimes. ;)

Devon said...

lisabea--So it never gets easier? :)

QB--When we bought our house five years ago, it needed to be renovated top to bottom. We started with the downstairs. During the next two years our second floor became crammed with all sorts of stuff we didn't need, plus the family grew. By the time my husband started the second floor, it was a horror. He shoved a bunch of stuff into the crawlspaces. I'm still finding boxes of clothing we haven't worn since we moved.

jennie--LK is very dependable for a nice escape. I stayed up late rereading Devil in Winter last night. I haven't re-read it since soon after I got it. What a great book! So many scenes that I had to read twice just to savor.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've never read Kleypas. :(

Guess I'm missing out on some good reading, huh?

lisabea said...

I don't know about easier, but it's always a grand adventure and we have a great time as a famiy. As the kids get older, we do more: sailing, skiing, biking, travel, talking, playing games, working. It's fun. There are always hassles, of course, and there are times that exhaust me. But it is totally worthwhile 100%. It's the outside pressure that I detest. Inside our little family? It's a damn good time.

Uh.My word verification is POTDAY.

Kristie (J) said...

After a reread of DiW, I'm thinking a reread of DoY is also in order. There are so many great scenes in that one too. And Derek is just so yummy *sigh*. Of course this has nothing to do with The Rumble and campaining. Nope - not a thing. Nada.

Devon said...

Rene--You must read Dreaming of You and Devil in Winter, at least. Then you can take a side about your favorite hero.

Lisabea--I'm looking forward to when they're a bit older and we can have bigger adventures. Right now, stuff can be a real hassle. OTOH, they're growing up so quick I'm having those "maybe one more" pangs.

Kristie--I'll re-read. While I'm leaning towards Sebastian, there are some truly squee-worthy moments in DoY.

~ames~ said...

I love that Dracula too, all because of Gary Oldman. Did you see Dracula, Dead and Loving It? Soooo corny, but it makes me laugh everytime.

Buffy and Underworld and guilty pleasures too. :P

Anonymous said...

I too was getting miserably tired of not being able to settle into a really good romance novel. I decided to try something new and read from a male romance author. YAY! I am so excited by this book, Coinage of Commitment. This high literacy book is a top read. My misery is over, hopefully for a while at least.