“No woman should be afraid to sparkle.”
This review has a been a long time coming mostly because I keep finding excuses to re-read the book. And any body who has read this will agree with me. Lisa Kleypas is a genius beyond comparison and this book will leave you confused about who love more, Sebastian and Evie or Phoebe and West.
The story follows the love and life of Phoebe, the beloved daughter of my all time favorite HR couple, Evie and Sebastian. Phoebe is a spirited young widow who married her childhood sweetheart despite knowing he’d die soon of a long-ailing disease. While their love was perfect, the marriage left her in the permanent role of the sole caregiver and though she doesn’t resent that, losing Henry and the subsequent hardships of being a single parent has caused her to question her own strength and wants.
“Phoebe felt a hollowing sadness inside. There was something melancholy about a train whistle, the twin notes bracketing the air like an empty set of parentheses.”
Twist arrives in the shape of the gorgeous West Ravenal, a man who’s nice, charming, loveable and also the bully who tortured Henry in boarding school. Past resentments collide with present attraction and naturally, Phoebe is left conflicted.
West, of course, is just as enamored but believes that he doesn’t deserve her and ought to stay away. The once-degenerate now-eformed rake has turned a new leaf in his life but the guilt of past misdeeds is too sharp to let go of.
“I don’t deserve her,” he mumbled, without intending to.
“Of course you don’t. Neither do I deserve my wife. It’s an unfair fact of life that the worst men end up with the best women.”
Fortunately, strong attraction has a way of ruining supposedly good intentions and things progress as they are supposed to.
“That was an accident,” Mr. Ravenel said over her head, breathing hard.
“Yes,” Phoebe said dazedly, “I understand.”
“The book was falling . . . I was reaching for it, and . . . your lips were in the way.”
Of course, what makes this book one of the best reads this year is that Ms. Kleypas feeds our souls by giving us so much of Sebastian and Evie! Let me assure you, Kleypas’ most beloved heroes has still got it and every word from his mouth made me drool [his nickname for Phoebe is redbird!]
This book had all the hallmarks that one expects from Ms. Kleypas. The woman could write a paper on tax reforms and I’d read it. It was funny, charming, angsty, emotional, sweet, sexy and everything else you can imagine. I loved West’s struggle of trying to be a better man, adored his relationship with Phoebe’s children and the fact that the boys played a crucial part in this romance. But more than anything, I loved Phoebe’s journey of coming into her as she unlearns to neglect herself.
“This man was the storm and the shelter, pulling her into a deep, encompassing darkness where there was too much to feel—hot soft firm sweet hungry rough silken tugging…”
If there’s one pet-peeve I have it’s that the book ended too soon and does not have an epilogue. It left me wanting more and I hope Ms. Kleypas will release a short story or something because I need more!
RATING: 5 BRILLIANT STARS!