Lisa Kleypas writes in a way that reminds me why I fell in love with reading romance. There was a simplicity to the story, while her way of expressing it was anything but. There were so many times I just stopped and stared at the eloquence of her beautifully descriptive writing, because it was just too good to not savor. I’ve read almost all of her books, and like with any author, you’re going to have some that hit a more resonant chord than others. I can honestly say that this book was one that worked in every way for me. It was so good that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterward.
Let’s start with Ethan. Formerly a Scotland Yard detective, currently a spy who slips through London unnoticed and alone, and isn’t afraid to break a few rules to achieve his directive. Raised in poverty, he fought and clawed to make it out of the gutter. But despite his drive to become a success, he never lost his moral compass or conscience.
He had been born to this city, nursed on it, until its violent rhythms were woven through him as surely as the network of his own veins.
There’s a vulnerability there that immediately makes you want to strip away the mystery surrounding him and learn everything there is to know about the man underneath. Not to mention the chemistry as he bantered with Garrett was completely addictive. He has such a devilish charm about him (That dimple and cheeky grin!) that Garrett tries to blow off, but she’s no match for the attraction that blazes between them.
Dr. Garrett Gibson was easily one of my favorite heroines that Ms. Kleypas has ever written. She was a feminine anomaly during that time that no one quite knew what to do with. As the first female doctor to practice in England, let’s just say that her career choice is not one that is accepted with open arms by the masses. She’s not the type of woman who places matrimony and a conventional life at the top of her priorities as was expected of women back then. She followed her dream, and she lives by her own set of rules with absolutely zero shame. What else did I love about her? She’s snarky, independent, smart as a whip, and let’s face it…a bit of a badass. In the opening scene, she faces three attackers on a dark London street without flinching. She doesn’t break under pressure, she shines.
Don’t get me wrong, she may be amazing, but like any genuine character with depth she has her faults. Her biggest one probably being that she has a difficult time allowing people get close to her. Losing her mother at a young age, and her time growing up in a boarding school molded her to be closed off and very private. I think this is why she and Ethan complimented each other so well, because his ability to speak from his heart in such a compelling way. That man…oh my. That man could charm the hardest of hearts in two seconds flat.
“A queen, you are,” he said softly. “I could travel the world the rest of my life, and not find another woman with half your ways.”
One of the things I loved the most about Ethan was that he looked at Garrett as his equal partner and treated her accordingly. He wasn’t intimidated or threatened by her strengths. No, instead he was even more hopelessly addicted to her, and drawn to this very capable beauty. And as tough as Ethan was, he needed a partner who would stand by his side and fight for him. Now tangled up in a web not of his making, he must find a way to extricate himself and bring proof of corruption and malice to the attention of the authorities before it’s too late.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I ADORED THESE TWO. I loved their heat, their passion, their dedication and need for one another. They were two totally unconventional people that fit seamlessly as if they were tailor made for each other. I was already a huge fan of this series, but this story bumped up my excitement to a whole new level for West’s and Phoebe’s book!! West has come such a long way from the spoiled and selfish character he once was. I got such a kick out of his scenes in Hello Stranger, and I can’t wait to read his HEA. All I can say is, Lisa Kleypas has done it again! You don’t want to miss the latest installment to the Ravenel series.
Every awareness converged as he went deeper and deeper into the mysterious soft depths of her, and there was no world but her, no breath, no language, no sun, no stars, nothing that didn’t begin and end with her.