Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

           Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers #1
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: Borrowed from Library 
Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing -- and persistent -- admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition ... but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.

Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon -- and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses ... and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.
So after falling in love with Again the Magic, I was eager to start the Wallflowers series. Kelly and Alexis both loved the series and I was ready to find out what all of the hype was about. Secrets of a Summer Night is one of those books I love to read when I’m bored or in a bad mood: well written, romantic, and a fun read. But I didn’t expect the one things that made me fall in love with the Wallflowers: the friendship between the four women. Secrets of a Summer Night, while not my favorite of the series, is worth a read for anyone and everyone.

It’s hard for me to figure out what kind of romance Secrets of a Summer Night. Even though Annabelle and Simon Hunt have known each other for a while, Annabelle wasn’t in love with him like Simon was with her. So it’s not a second chance romance nor is it a hate to love romance. But whatever it was, I loved seeing Annabelle open up to Simon and allow herself to be loved. Annabelle, like many women in the 1800s, has to find a husband before she becomes too old. Society people talk and it would ruin her reputation. Her family is also in need of money so an advantageous marriage is necessary. But Simon Hunt, no matter what he does to her when he comes close to her, is not the man for her. So Annabelle decides to fight her feelings. But that only goes that far, of course, and soon, Annabelle find that Simon is a wonderful man. The use of one of my favorite tropes, when one of the love interests gets sick and the other takes care of them, allows Simon and Annabelle to fall in love and truly understand each other. There was, however, some drama in about ¾ into the novel and I can’t figure out if I liked the drama or not. I guess that some drama is necessary in any novel and I have a feeling each novel will have a dramatic climax.

I think what I really loved about this novel is something people might find weird: I liked seeing how society in the 1800s still had a focus on birthright and linage. It’s interesting to see that regardless of how much money Simon has and how well known he is in an industry that is growing everyday, the fact that he has no title does not allow him into the home of the nobility. Annabelle, more into the nobility, no matter how low her rank is, has that over Simon. Seeing Annabelle and Simon understand what their love, what their marriage, will mean for their future. Annabelle has to understand that she won’t always be introduced to everyone’s home as she once would have. But in the end, I loved seeing that for Annabelle, her love for Simon was worth more than her standing in society.

Overall, I really enjoyed Secrets of a Summer Night. It was an excellent beginning to the Wallflower series (since Again the Magic is considered a prequel) and I can't wait for the rest of the series. I loved seeing Annabelle and Simon fall in love with each other. Seeing Annabelle find friends in the other three Wallflowers, however, was one of my favorite parts of this entire novel. There are not enough positive female friendships in books in general so I couldn't be happier.

This book is pretty great but it’s missing something that would make it extremely special. I might re-read this book, possibly more than once. I would recommend this book to lots of my friends and some of my colleagues.

I didn't LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE this so it couldn't get a LYLAS rating. However, I would recommend this series to lots of people and I will re-read this for sure. It's fun, quick, romantic, and just what I need from a historical romance.

Unlike many romance novels, she's doesn't have her back to the camera with her dress undone so that's a plus. However, it's still pretty similar to most romance novels so there's that.

SoaSN had an amazing blend of romance, fabulous female friendships, and a strong woman willing to do what she must for her family.

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