All business but contemporary fun!
I absolutely love Lisa Kleypas historical romance series. The wallflowers started off with a bang. Annabelle is beautiful, elegant, aristocratic, yet her family is penniless which put her in disadvantage for marriage. Simon Hunt, a self made business man is tall dark and yes dangerous and has tried to seduce her many times over the years until he finally gets his way. That is not the end, rather the beginning of Annabelles seduction by his masterful mind. Simon discovers he has feelings for her, feelings he never thought were possible for him and these come to a crushing crescendo towards the end of the book. The only reason I give four stars to this book is because I wished I got to know Simon a little better, to understand his actions and reactions easier, there was a tiny bit of a disconnect there, but otherwise it was very enjoyable read. The hathaways is by a far cry the best series of this author.
There were great reviews for this author and the series. I took a chance and was very disappointed. I am amazed readers gave it such high praise. The heroine is extremely spoiled and the story had no plot
She was very good at narrating
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I picked out this book just for a little fluffy romance reading. Which it most satisfactorily was, until it nearly nearly gave me a heart attack due to the last two chapters. It starts out well, setting up a typical period piece in 1880s London/Hampshire. The girls known as the Wallflowers were quite an incongruous but entertaining crew when they put their heads together. I quite enjoyed their plans and activities. I thought all of the characters were wonderfully drawn - though the focus was centered on a few, there was enough attention given to others, with the suggestion given a bit more plainly in the epilogue, to foreshadow the next books of the series. I foresaw much of the initial courtship and undesired (by Annabelle) complications, as well as the resolutions of the Lord Kendall plan and the ensuing events at the end of the season. Without any explicit spoilers, Annabelle is with the right man, and they are just finding happiness in their new life when the author saw fit to strike terror into my heart. I was so gripped by the violent imagery -terrifying and well depicted as far as I'm concerned- that I panicked and (thinking of the real world likelihoods) I failed to anticipate the fictional story wrap-up. Luckily for me, I was reaching those events just as my fiancé was coming to bed... Unluckily for him, as I held his had so tightly and crushed his fingers for a solid half-hour. Aside from my horror at that, the first 24 chapters was a fun fanciful Victorian romance, just what I wanted. Just enough hot-n-bothering scenes. Bonus, it was read by Roslyn Landor, who has never let me down in the several novels I've heard her narrate. She has a wonderful flowing voice, and can sufficiently distinguish enough voices (even male characters'!) to avoid any dialogue confusion. Those of fainter hearts might skip most of the last two chapters, read the last few pages/minutes and epilogue and be no worse off story-wise.
Audible addicted love mystery,lately stuck on love story. Mother of 1 Labrador and 1 perfect man. Work way too hard, and so ready to be retired
Thank goodness for a writer that listens. I was pleasantly surprise i must admit I was beginning to believe this book was like all the rest man chase woman love hate relationship and than they come together finally than the end. It had become so frustrating to listen to the drama the couples had to go through and than no information hardly ever when they are finally together just a few loving making spots but Lisa pull it off trying not to give the story away but for me I enjoy the way she put it together there was a few frustrating parts but well blended. A good listen.
Your mileage may vary
If you have read anything else by Lisa Kleypas, such as the Hathaway family books (such as Seduce Me At Sunrise) you will be charmed by the Wallflowers! I don't read a lot of historicals, but these are gems. Good narration also.
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
This novel is pieced together so wonderfully, so magnificently that my only mistake in approaching it was listening to this audiobook before bedtime. Lisa Kleypas beautifully intertwines the characters of Annabelle and Simon Hunt and their developing romance in this novel that you just can't stop listening to. There are so many perspectives that captivate the reader.
1) Society's impact on the characters: Annabelle is beautiful and if she had a dowry she would be highly sought after by eligible bachelors in the upper class. Yet, something interesting is revealed about how the aristocracy functions. Because of Annabelle's dire financial circumstances, the men in her class act like vultures, as they follower her progress in her attempt to find a husband. Both single and married men in her class believe that she is highly unlikely to marry well. In their view, she is destined to be a scintillating and coveted mistress.
2) Simon as the hero: Although he is handsome, tall, rich, intelligent and hugely successful, because his lineage is from commoners, he is not completely accepted among the aristocracy. Simon represents a new breed of rising social juggernauts....he is an entrepreneur. I had mixed feelings about Simon. He came across as just another vulture who was also going to benefit from Annabelle's financial and less-than-fortunate social situation. First of all, Simon is quite alluring and the chemistry between Annabelle and himself is electrifying. You get the impression immediately that although he is physically desirous of her, that his feelings for her run deeper; that he truly loves her. Yet, I could not understand why he also was seeking her as a mistress. If I thought Simon's character was alluring at the beginning, throughout the book I was just so curious and interested in seeing what kind of man he really was. And, OH MY GOODNESS.....He is just a dream come true, and I'm so glad it worked out.
3) Women in society: Annabelle and her mother's relationship was so touching to me. I wanted to cry for her mother when she became a mistress of an old, fat, ruddy man who used to actually be a friend of her husband before he died. Annabelle's mother gives herself to his man because of the financial benefits to her family. She tries to hold on, until Annabelle can make a reasonable marriage and save their family's financial situation. I also loved the relationship Annabelle establishes with the wallflowers; her friends.
Oh, I could go on and on because this book touched me and captivated me. The author did a superb job in thinking about the reader. This book delivers in each level of the characters relationship phase: when they are acquaintances, falling in love, marriage life and the grand ending. The best way I can describe this book is absolute perfection!!!
Rosalyn Landor is wonderful!!! She is so talented and enhances the listening experience. I can't believe how well she is able to portray the variation of voices for both men and women. What a treat to listen to her!!!
Yes...and listen to it over and over...
I read reviews for the next book in the series and some are saying that it is better than the first book; which I find hard to believe. Yet, I'm excited to decide for myself. This author may just become one of my favorite if she delivers on the following books in this series.
Say something about yourself!
Not your traditional regency romance! Loved the twists and the ending! Can't wait to read/hear the next one in the series.
I read so many good reviews on this series I thought it would be a good purchase. While it was not the worst it was by far not what I expected. I will not be ordering any more from the series.
Lisa Kleypas is a wonderful story teller, she cuts to the chase and creates characters you want to get to know.
Listen to book two. I'm starting book 3 today. Check out her Hathaway series; it brought me to the Wallflowers. Love them all.
She made me not want to stop listening. I've stayed up all night listening to her read.
I always feel emotions when I listen to a Lisa Kleypas story; Ms Landor brings it to life.
I think it was well worth it.
I couldn't wait to purchase the 2nd book as the first one was so "wow". It is the first time that i listened to the 2nd book of a series directly after the first one - i usually take a break and listen to a different author. Ros Landor is an EXCELLENT narator, the story is realistic and gripping and it really sucks you into the lives of the characters. I am however very disappointed that the other books aren't recorded yet - i cannot WAIT to hear how the other wallflowers find their matches! I highly recommend both the first and the second book!