7 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review: Tempt me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Tempt Me At Twilight

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: St Martin’s/Piatkus Books
Publishing Date: September 22 (US) / October 1 (Uk)
Paperback: 384 pages

Stand alone or series: Book 3 in the Hathaway series, but can be read as stand alone

Summary:Engaged to the very sensible Michael Bayning, Poppy Hathaway is content with her lot – having longed for a life of normality. That is, until she meets a mysterious hotel owner, Harry Rutledge – the most complicated and dangerous man she has ever met. Harry is wealthy and powerful, a collector of secrets, with hobbies more dangerous than Poppy could imagine. What Harry wants, Harry gets – and Harry wants Poppy, like he has never wanted a woman in his life. So when Michael breaks off their engagement and Harry makes his move, Poppy quickly learns that her life is destined to be anything but normal – filled with wild, passionate days and steamy nights …

Why did I read the book: I love Lisa Kleypas’ books and I love this series in particular. All the books have been keepers.

Review:

I am MOST relieved to report that Tempt me at Twilight is a good Kleypas. She is one of my favourite romance novelists and after her previous effort (Smooth Talking Stranger) disappointed me, I was a tad worried. But if there is one thing that this woman can write is Historical Romance and I am oh, so glad that we are back on track with another great instalment in the Hathaway’s series.

Ok, so the basic plot is one that we all have read a thousand times over. The hero, Harry Rutledge, is a ruthless, manipulative entrepreneur who as soon as the heroine crosses his path, decides he wants her, at any cost. The heroine, Poppy Hathaway is in love with someone else – someone she thinks will be the perfect husband in her pursuit for normalcy after growing up in a family of eccentrics. He manages to manipulate events so that the guy is eliminated from the race, proceeds to compromise the heroine and they need to get married. Trust issues ensue, until they both realise they have fallen in love. The end.

But the gist of it is this: Lisa Kleypas can write characters. It doesn’t matter that the plot is not the most original, it does not matter that things evolved way too fast. The fact is that the characters are lovable, both of them. This is a different Lisa Kleypas as there is less sensual tension, less foreplay than usual and I think that this is a good thing. I actually thought this book was a very mature story which dealt more with Harry and Poppy’s insecurities and need to be loved and cherished than anything else. Poppy hails from a family that is so different, all eccentrics, from two older sisters who are married to gypsies to a younger sister who adopts every single lost animal in the vicinity. Poppy is intelligent and can talk about anything and that is one of the things that have put her in the shelf after three London seasons. Plus, Poppy needs and wants some degree of independence from her family in order to create her own family unit. She thinks she found that with Michael, her secret fiancée but soon enough she discovers that he does not love her enough to go against his father who thinks the Hathaways are two low in the social scale.

Harry, on the other hand is someone who does not know the meaning of family: his mother left him with a father who left his well-being at the hands of the employees of the hotel he owned. Harry grew up to be a most lonely man who never thought he would or could be loved. He thrives in his work, in keeping his hotel and being apart and above people, is just who he is. As soon as he sees Poppy he realises that this is a woman worth having and if Michael doesn’t have the balls to fight for her, it’s his loss.

Although, even though we are told that Harry is ruthless, bold etc…really, whenever he is around Poppy, from the first time they met, he is nothing but a giant teddy bear who needs affection. Harry’s inner monologue was a delight to read and I just about melted oh, say, a thousand times.

Poppy got major heroine’s brownie points in my book for being able to recognise Harry’s shortcomings pretty soon, for dealing with the fact that he did something Really Bad in a very adult way and for being able to let go: if she is married to the guy, she needs to be able to make the most out of it. Yes, there is some drama of the “I shall never love you” kind but it is soon forgotten when Poppy, very reasonably, decides to be happy.

I also find that usually in Lisa Kleypas’ books there is ONE seminal scene that makes the hero stand out, that firmly moves him from being either stupid or unlovable, or a villain or a dumbass to the role of Hero That We Must Love. In Dreaming of You is the scene where we find out that Derek Craven has been carrying Sarah’s glasses in his pocket. In Devil in Winter is when Sebastian throws himself in front of a bullet and then we learn that he carries Evie’s wedding ring around his neck. In A Wallflower Christmas is that most poignant scene with the tin soldier (one, two, three, awwww). In Tempt Me At Twilight is the scene where Harry talks about Watch Mechanisms. I shall not spoil but trust me: it is a gooder.

On the low side, there is some info dump about previous books in the series, one Contrived Surprise (meh) and a very Unnecessary Suspense Subplot towards the end where someone gets kidnapped. This boggles and bothers me to no end. It is not the first time I find this towards the end of a book. I can almost picture the book’s editor going …’hummm…we need a random kidnapping just about “here” ‘ pointing to the final chapter. The one in this book is truly, totally random. The couple had ALREADY exchanged their “I love yous”, they had NOTHING to find out about each other, it had already being established that they could not live without the other. So why then? Why? This scene was completely unnecessary.

But never mind that: Harry and Poppy’s relationship resonated well with me. And let’s not forget that this is a Hathaway book and all of them have important roles to play. To see them is like visiting old friends and I love all the meddling that Amelia, Bea, Merripen and Cam did. AND, if you have been reading this series, chances are you are looking forward to Leo’s book, right? Well, let me tell you this: there are some VERY interesting developments in his relationship with his heroine and the last line of the novel is a total shocker. I need his book presto. Please Ms Kleypas!

The bottom line is that Poppy needs to work with (warranted ) trust issues, Harry needs to open up. They do and, that’s the beauty of the romance novels, I am there to see it happen and enjoy and sigh when their HEA is cemented. If you are not a Romance reader this book will not change your mind. If you are, and if you are a fan of Lisa Kleypas, you want this book, pronto.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: There is this one sequence when Poppy slips in the bathroom and Harry nearly goes insane with worry sending the entire hotel in errands to get her stuff he thought she would need, sends for not only one but two doctors and is unable to leave her side. Because of a sprained ankle.

Verdict: a good Lisa Kleypas, and a great addition to the Hathaway series.

Rating: 7 – very good

Reading Next: Demon Forged by Meljean Brook (yay!)

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25 Comments

  • Violet
    September 21, 2009 at 3:06 am

    This is my fav series by Lisa Kleypas and I really want o read this one. Sorry, I skipped most of your review bcoz I’ll most definitely be reading this. I’m just glad to know it was good 🙂

  • Stacy ~
    September 21, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I also pretty much skimmed because I’m wanting to be surprised. Glad you enjoyed it. Seduce Me at Sunrise was so wonderful, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Can’t wait!

  • Mandi
    September 21, 2009 at 3:42 am

    I love the Hathaways! Can’t wait for this one. So glad it received a good review!!

  • KMont
    September 21, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Ahhhh, so looking forward to this one. I’m a little apprehensive about the contrived instances and the unnecessary plot points, but still very much looking forward to the book. Kleypas’ historicals are just a must for me. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part. 🙂

  • April
    September 21, 2009 at 7:16 am

    What a great review. I haven’t read this author yet and it’s been a while since I have read historical romance (I use to read it all the time, but got away from it for some reason) so I am going to have to grab one of these and start in again!

  • katiebabs
    September 21, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Great review as always. Too bad I was less than amazed with this latest by Lisa. I will say is that I love, love how Lisa shows how loving the Hathaways are towards one another. Cannot wait for Leo’s story next.

    I also wished she didn’t go there with Harry and his secret relative that pops out of the blue.

  • AnimeGirl
    September 21, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Oh, great review!!
    I can’t wait to read it!!!
    *sigh*

    I’m loving the Hathaways so much!

  • Elaine C.
    September 21, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I so adore Kleypas, waiting between books kills me. She is one of my last authors that still writes historical roamnce most have jumped ship for contemporaries and paranormals. I love my contemps and paranormals too, but Kleypas feeds my Historical junkie fix.

  • Kathy H
    September 21, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I don’t read a lot of romance novels, but this one sounds pretty good!

    I have an award for you! I haven’t figured out how to do proper links in comments, so the link is below.

    http://bookwormnation.blogspot.com/2009/09/awards.html

  • Kathy H
    September 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I have an award for you! I haven’t figured out how to do proper links in comments, so the link is below.

    http://bookwormnation.blogspot.com/2009/09/awards.html

  • heidenkind
    September 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Phew! Well, that’s a relief. I’m looking forward to this book (as I always look forward to Kleypas’ books ^_^).

  • Rhiannon Hart
    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I wonder if that random kidnapping scene was to get the word count up–have you noticed that in series the books can get longer and longer but never shorter? Maybe it’s one of those written-in-stone editorial rules: though shalt not write book three shorter than book one.

  • Marg
    September 22, 2009 at 1:36 am

    The whole suspense subplot in historical romance is something that drives me a little crazy. It is always a pleasant surprise when it doesn’t happen! Oh well, this is a Kleypas so there is no doubt in my mind that I will be reading it sooner rather than later!

  • orannia
    September 22, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you Ana! I’ve been hanging out to read this book – I just love the Hathaways – and parts of your review have me all excited!

    And YAH that we get visits from the rest of the family. I just love Cam 😉

  • Renee
    September 22, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for the excellent review, Ana. You have whet my appetite! 🙂

  • Ana
    September 22, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I can’t wait for you all to read it! And I am sure the ending will make everybody go mental. Like I did. 😈

  • Pam P
    September 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I really enjoyed Harry and Poppy, great review. And after the end, all the more can’t wait for Leo’s story with Cat.

  • Veronica F
    September 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    hmmmm…I much prefer the UK cover to the one available here in the US.

  • dr.peppergirl
    October 1, 2009 at 11:14 am

    if you like this book you will love julie lessman a passion denied.This is an amazing book. If you are looking for a romance that will make your head spin this is for you. Julie has out done herself this is most definitely her best book to date. A romance centered on God, with a passion UN deniable it is sure to leave you wanting more. Since receiving this book I have read it 5 times, and believe me every time is worth while with adventure and more. This is a book that you will want to read over and over again. I have never been so blessed in simply reading a romance novel. Julie Lessman is the future of Christian Romance. 😀

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