Author: Lisa Kleypas
Title: "Love in the afternoon"
Book 5 in series The Hathaways
Main characters: Christopher Phelan and Beatrix Hathaway
You guys... I am definitely not ready to say goodbye to this awesome family... not at all... but unfortunately I have no choice since it was the conclusion to this charming and absolutely swoonworthy series... <sigh> why did it have to end?!? I wasn't ready... ;) but I am very pleased to say that this book was a very worthy ending to the series... :) it was quirky, charming, funny and lovely... just as the Hathaway family who stole my heart from the very first chapter I read about them... :) so let's dive into more details about this particular story, shall we? ;)
Let's start with our main couple... :) Beatrix is the youngest Hathaway sibling... and the most peculiar one... and that is an achievement all on its own when it comes to this family... :) cause they all are very... let's just say that they are a unique family... in the best possible meaning of course ;) she loves animals and being outdoors... she has a vast knowledge of all things biological, but society rules bore her... and are pretty much illogical for her... ;) she's the most wild and untamed of the Hathaways... and she's not really interested in changing... :) she always take care of a hurt animal and if it can't live on its own, she will add it to her evergrowing menagerie :) cause she already has a pet hedgehog... :) among lots of other animals ;) Christopher on the other hand... :) he was your pretty standard aristocrat... arrogant, charming, without a care in the world... before he spent two years abroad fighting in a war... that time changed him... and he comes back as a different man... and I don't mean just that his much harder, closed and definitely not as carefree as he was before... he comes home with a case of PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)... of course they haven't had a name for this back then... but after all that he's been through it's not a surprise...
They get to know each other through letters.... of course Christopher thinks that he writes with someone else... with Prudence to be exact, Beatrix's sort-of-but-not-really friend... :) since Prudence have no desire to write him back when she receive the first letter, Beatrix is appalled... and with her approval she starts writing to him... the exchange goes back and forth for months... with each letter more personal... more intimate... but Beatrix stops when she realizes that she may have developed much deeper feelings for him than she anticipated... another few months passes before he comes back... when he realizes that real life Prudence is nothing like letter version Prudence he's furious, thinking that it was all a jest... a mean deception... but all of that changes when he realizes that everything besides the name at the end was true in every letter... and that the woman who wrote them is real... :)
As to the secondary characters... :) as always we have all of the other siblings and their significant others, at least in a scene or two... :) not only that, we also get to see a whole new generation of Hathaways... ;) the kids :) I love how all family support each other, their friendly banter, the co-existance that now seems effortless between each sibling and their partners... :) but I do believe that my favourite secondary character is new... I'm talking about Albert... the dog ;) yes, you read that right... :) Albert is a dog that comes home with Christopher after the war and experience a change of its own... :) as a huge dog lover that I am, it was a delightful add to this book ;)
From the very first moment I met Beatrix I was wondering who she will end up with... :) the better I got to know her, the more questions I had about the future suitor for her... :) and I have to say even though Christopher wasn't what I expected, I think that they are truly perfect for each other... I mean those letters... <sigh> I can't quote them here for you, because if I start I would have to write all of them... :) and the beautiful words of devotion when all secrets are out in the open... <double sigh> :) not to mention the surprising twists and turns of events that I should be expecting by now, and yet they always make me gasp in shock... ;)
I absolutely adore Lisa Kleypas and her style of writing... this is like the tenth book of hers that I read and they were all written exceptionally well... :) I mean... the language just paints a picture in your head instantly... from the very first page... the dialogue makes you laugh, giggle, swoon and gasp in all the right places... not to mention blush... ;) I'm still amazed how much a scene with so few details can be so hot, sexy and sensual... <fans herself> ;) and the epilogues... :) most of the books, if not all of them, cause I can't really remember that particular detail at the moment, have this beautiful epilogues that always give us this bonus glimpse into the lives of our lovely couple... :) so if you don't know her books yet, you are seriously missing out... go! go read them now! :) you can start with this series or with the Wallflowers series, but do not waste another moment... you can come back and thank me later ;)
I have for you just a "few" quotes <--- that was sarcasm ;) because apparently I can't help myself when it comes to Lisa Kleypas and her amazing writing style... ;) enjoy ;)
Part of a conversation between Beatrix and Prudence :) Prudence first
"'How do you know so much about it?'
'From the Times. It's reported on every day. Don't you read the papers?'
'Not the political section. My parents say it's ill-bred for a young lady to take an interest in such things.'
'My family discusses politics every night at dinner, and my sisters and I all take part.' Beatrix paused deliberately before adding with an impish grin, 'We even have opinions.'"
The words of truth from a very young Rye ;)
"The boy looked up at Christopher. 'Who are you?'
The child's gaze sharpened with interest. 'Where's your uniform?'
'I don't wear it now that the war is over.'
'Did you come to see my father?'
'No, I... came to call on Miss Hathaway.'
'Are you one of her suitors?'
Christopher gave a decisive shake of his head.
'You might be one,' the boy said wisely, 'and just not know it yet.'"
A little something between Beatrix and Christopher at the beginning ;)
"'I'm fairly certain, Captain,' she said, 'that the more you discover about me, the more you will dislike me. Therefore, let's cut to the chase and acknowledge that we don't like each other. Then we won't have to bother with the inbetween part.'
She was so bloody frank and practical about the whole thing that Christopher couldn't help but be amused. 'I'm afraid I can't oblige you.'
'Because when you said that just now, I found myself starting to like you.'
Her decisive tone made him want to smile. 'It's getting worse, actually. Now I'm absolutely convinced that I like you.'"
Our main couple a bit later in the book ;)
"'I threw you on the floor.'
'Intentions don't matter when you've been knocked over by someone twice your size.'
'Intentions always matter. And I'm used to being knocked over.'
'This happens to you often?' he asked sardonically.
'Oh, yes. Dogs, children... everyone leaps on me.'"
What happens when Beatrix invites Christopher to the family dinner ;)
"'I've invited Captain Phelan to join us,' Beatrix announced. 'He doesn't want to talk. Do not ask him direct questions unless absolutely necessary.'
The rest of the family received this unorthodox pronouncement without turning a hair.
'Come in, Phelan,' Leo said easily. 'We love silent guests - it allows us to talk all the more. By all means, sit and say nothing.'
'But if you can manage it,' Catherine added with a smile, 'try to look impressed by our wit and intelligence.'
'I will attempt to add to the conversation,' Christopher ventured, 'if I can think of anything relevant.'
'That never stops the rest of us,' Cam remarked."
Beatrix and Christopher when they like each other a bit more ;)
"'I have been celibate.'
Crawling behind him, Beatrix began to brush at the straw clinging to his back. 'There were no opportunities to be with a woman?'
'Then why didn't you?'
Christopher twisted to glance at her over his shoulder. 'Are you really asking for the details?'
'Beatrix, do you know what happens to girls who ask such naughty questions?'
'They're ravished in haylofts?' she inquired hopefully."
And another one with our lovely main couple ;)
"'I'll take care of you.' Christopher looked down at her, his expression stern. 'Are you going to argue with me?'
Beatrix tried to sound meek. 'No, sir.'
A slow smile crossed his face. 'That was the worst attempt at obedience I've ever seen.'
'Let's practice,' she said, wrapping her arms around his neck. 'Give me an order and see if I don't follow it.'
And the last one with Beatrix and Christopher's grandfather about her cat :)
"'Why did you name her Lucky?' Annandale asked.
'I hoped it would change her fortunes.'
'And did it?'
'Well, she's sitting in the lap of an earl, isn't she?' Beatrix pointed out, and Annandale laughed out-right."