Title: Someone to Watch Over Me
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Review number: 8
Genre: Romance, Historical
Stand alone or series: Number one of Bow Street Runners series, 3 books in total.
Summary: Back cover says A young woman awakens in a stranger’s bed, her memory gone, after being pulled from the icy waters of the Thames. Her rescuer and protector – the dashing and enigmatic Grant Morgan – insists she is Vivien Rose Duvall, one of London’s most scandalous beauties. He is the only man she dares to trust – but her heart tells her he has mistaken her for someone else.
Grant has known every kind of woman, and the one he now holds in his arms seems far too innocent and vulnerable to be the notorious lady he believes her to be. Intoxicated by her sensuality, Grant will not rest until he unravels the secrets of her mysterious lost past – for only then can they share the ecstasy of a pure and passionate love.
Why did I read the book: I read 7 Lisa Kleypas’ books and a friend told me this series should be next.
I adore Lisa Kleypas. She is one of my favorite Romance writers – I like her style, I like that most of her heroes are members of the working class and not only Lords of the Ton, I like the fact that she is able to take a much used plot and turn it something unique due exclusively to her amazing storytelling abilities.
I also adore her because she has given me my top two favorite Romance Heroes: St Vincent (Devil in Winter) and Derek Craven (Dreaming of You) . She has delighted me with interesting and spunky heroines such as Lawless Lily and Lilian Westcliff. And this is why it breaks my heart to say that Someone to Watch Over Me didn’t do much for me.
I mean, it’s not by any means, a bad book. Once again, she shows how good of a writer she is – this time she deals with the old amnesia + revenge scenario which, in the hands of a less qualified writer, would leave me wondering “why I am reading this”; but in her hands she manages to add something that gets me going. And that something is definitely the characters she invents.
Grant Morgan is a good man and a good hero. He works as a Bow Street Runner, a sort of police officer and as the story begins he is called to investigate a drowning. Once he gets to scene he recognizes the victim as Vivien Duvall, London’s most famous courtesan. She is barely alive and it is clear that the incident has been a failed attempt of murder – she has strangling marks around her neck. Grant takes her to his home so he can keep her safe and find out who is trying to kill her but when she regains conscience , they realize she does not remember anything, not even who she is. Which brings us to the revenge scenario – Grant has vowed to make her pay for some rumors that she had spread around the Ton that she refused his advances when they first met but it was actually the other way around. He sees the current situation as a perfect way of getting back at her by telling Vivien that he is her current protector – he plans to use her and dump her.
But of course, nothing goes according to plan as there is something about Vivien that is not quite right. She doesn’t behave as a courtesan; she has an air of innocence that is very puzzling and attractive to Grant. She is, in fact very adamant that she would not be capable of doing the things she is said to have done. She feels this connection to Grant because he saved her and as they go about investigating the mystery of who tried to kill her, Grant can not help but to feel utterly attracted to her and right from the very beginning he thinks that if he didn’t know that she was a conniving, ruthless woman he would be quite mad about her. And as they succumb to their attraction to each other they finally realize what is clear to us – that she is not who they think she is. And now, they must run against time to find out the truth, get the would-be killer who is still at large and to come to terms with their insecurities so they can get their happy ending.
There are amazing sequences in the book, specially the ones relating to Grant realizing his feelings and how important Vivien is to him but I also felt like there was something missing front his read and I am not sure what. Perhaps, the fact that towards the end of the story Grant became a bit too overbearing for my taste not giving Vivien the time she needed to get to grips with who she really was and what she wanted for her life.
In the end, it was a nice read but not the Amazing and Heartwarming that I have come to expect from Lisa Kleypas. I have high hopes that the other two books in this series will be better. If not, it doesn’t matter; she still is an auto-buy for me.
Notable quotes/parts: One of my favorite things about the relationship in this book is how they were attracted to each other not only physically but because they shared common interests. They both loved books and talked about poetry and philosophy and enjoyed being with each other and at one point Grant thinks:
“A beautiful woman, a fire on the hearth, a roomful of books, and a bottle of wine… It might not have been every man’s idea of heaven, but God knew it was his”.
As this is also my own idea of heaven (note: replace beautiful woman with Dear Partner) I could completely relate.
Verdict: Established fans of Lisa Kleypas will surely like the book. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, I would start with her Wallflower’s series
Reading next: The Sorrows Of Young Werther by Goethe. Yes, really.