Lisa Kleypas comes to the blog today with an older (originally released in 2001) late-Regency historic romance with a heroine that is sure to raise eyebrows as she becomes your friend. Narration for this book is provided by Beverly A. Crick. Please read on for my review of
A release of a story originally penned in 2001, and I have to say that Kleypas’ writing feels fresh and in line with her more recent historic romances. In this story, the heroine is Amanda Briars, a successful lady novelist with a flair for ‘passionate’ romance stories, yet as she nears thirty and is unmarried with no prospects on the horizon, she’s decided to take a bold and daring step. Inquiring of her friend and well-known madam, Gemma Bradshaw, she’s decided to hire a man for a night, one who will teach her and show her what all the ‘fuss’ is about this love and sex thing. There’s a no-nonsense streak in Amanda that is miles wide, but it is tempered with her sensible self, even as she is making decidedly bold and unconventional choices, she’s also thought through them, and truly, at her very core, wants what every other ‘conventional’ woman of the day wants: love and marriage.
Gemma Bradshaw is not above playing matchmaker when she feels a couple will suit, and she’s not only aware that Amanda is a writer, but another in her social circle (and it is a broad one) is Jack Devlin – Amanda’s publisher, and Gemma feels he is the perfect man to make all of Amanda’s wildest dreams (and deepest desires) come true. Jack isn’t above using a bit of subterfuge to get what he wants, he knows that Gemma is a woman with an encyclopedic awareness of people in her circle, and he uses the title of Amanda’s unfinished book to gain an introduction to the authoress through Gemma – because, in that day and age, Amanda could not put her own name as author to the title Jack has already published. And he’s both intrigued by the work and the mind that created it – so no harm done. Unfortunately he arrives at Amanda’s house and she mistakes him for her ‘request’ from Gemma. It doesn’t take Jack long to realize where the meeting is headed, and while he doesn’t reveal his actual identity, he also doesn’t ruin her and leave her – there are some scruples here after all.
Of course there is the whole “reveal’ where Jack needs to convince Amanda of his desire to publish her book, but he also has to work past her embarrassment and anger that he ‘tricked her’ initially, and then somehow forge a working relationship while ignoring his attraction to her. And there is an attraction that goes both ways, Jack is caring and gentle with Amanda, trying to balance his desire for her with her naiveté and allow her to experience their connection as a separate and independent entity – not reliant on his becoming her publisher. Amanda is daring and bold, and for one without actual knowledge of sex, she’s well-read and inquisitive, and has several desires that aren’t of the more ‘expected’ choices for a woman of her day. It was a bit of an up and down for me in terms of believing Jack and his ‘not deserving’ Amanda, and the twists that brought all of that to a head were frustrating – particularly as they resolved quickly – and that’s not something I felt was ‘true’ to Amanda’s character. He was worth her, was kind, gentle and accepting of her: and she wanted him – but his willingness to give her up should have provided more pause.
Narration for this story is provided by Beverly A. Crick, and I was impressed with her handling of the story and the character nuances. Subtle changes in tone and emotion placed behind the text were easy to glean as a listener, and it wasn’t difficult to pick out Amanda’s moments of boldness that were tempered with her shy nature and the restraint place on women in that time. Jack was clearly presented with only moments of his ‘second guessing’ becoming emotionally apparent to listeners, and Gemma Bradshaw was rich and held just enough mischief in her tone to feel her motives were leaning more to matchmaking even as she was ‘making an introduction’. Plenty to like and only a few moments that brought pause, here’s a ‘different from the norm’ historic romance.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: Suddenly You
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Historical Romance, Post-Regency, Setting: Britain
Narrator: Beverly A. Crick
Published by: Avon, Tantor Audio
Published on: 30 June, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 12 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
Bestselling author Lisa Kleypas creates a beguiling story, set in a world where appearance means everything, passion simmers just below the surface, and a respectable Englishwoman is willing to risk scandal for one night of love.
She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn't about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible, but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.
Jack Devlin's determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London's most notorious businessman, refused to live by society's rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected... but both soon craved.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: