When Strangers Marry (Vallerands, #1) by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Only Vallerands #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 1st 2002
Genres: Historical Romance
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Nearly a decade ago, I published my first novel with Avon Books, Only in Your Arms. Since then, romance has changed-and so have I—so I decided to give the book a makeover—and a new title, When Strangers Marry. I have two reasons for changing the title. First, it is in keeping with the new spirit of the book; second, no one—including my own mother—found the original one memorable!
In When Strangers Marry, I had a great time rediscovering the story of Maximilien Vallerand and his stolen bride, Lysette. The promise of this handsome, though mysterious, man's love proves irresistable to her, but she doesn't know the secrets he hides.
I hope you will enjoy revisiting the Vallerand family, or perhaps meeting them for the first time. And, as always thank you for your support and encouragement, as we escape together into the magical world of romance novels.
Wishing you love and happiness,
I must admit, Lisa Kleypas knows how to tell a story like no other. Her stories are always refreshing, sweet and passionate. I enjoyed this book very much, so much so that I finished it in one sitting, which is a feat for me. I get really antsy in the middle of a book and no matter how good a story is, I’ll have to put the book down after a couple of hours and “rest my eyes” before returning to the story but this story just zipped right through for me and I enjoyed it very much.
Is it my favorite story? No. It was a great story and I enjoyed the characters but in this book, I enjoyed the secondary characters more than the main ones.
Max Vallerand was a good hero, I really enjoyed reading him and Lysette’s little journey to love, but for me it was all about his younger son, Justin Vallerand. No, not like that you crackheads out there with your minds in the gutter (yeah, that’s directed to you Holly, LOL) but I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Lysette and Justin evolve. It was really great to see Justin’s character find out for himself that his father was innocent and I loved that as soon as he did, he threw himself into being a better man for everything that he’s gone through. I was more drawn to Justin than Phillippe, not because he was the better son but because he was the one that needed love more.
He was so lost and having to grow up the way he did, couldn’t have been easy for him and it was so easy to see how much he needed guidance and just a serious “sit down” with. I think Lysette had the right way of thinking when she told the family that he needed to quit being compared to Phillippe and I loved Phillippe’s constant defense of his brother.
The bond between Phillippe and Justin was what I enjoyed a great deal and then toward the end, the bond between Justin and Max was what I enjoyed the most. It was great that they got to that place at the end because all of the hurt that these guys went through in their lives, they deserved a bit of unconditional love and happiness.
I’m so glad that this is a romance and LK gave it to them! =)
As for the villain in this book, he was a dispicable punk ass that I could not friggin’ stand but I knew, I knew something was off about that one so it wasn’t a great big surprise when I found out that he was the big bad wolf in this book.
One thing that annoyed the hell out of me, which is of no fault to the author was that Max didn’t make Alexandre grow the hell up and be his own man, work and just have a backbone. Alexandre was okay with letting his big brother take care of everything and I don’t like that kind of spineless crap from my men…I don’t understand how Henriette was okay with Alex letting Max take care of everything from talking to her father to orchestrating their whole courtship thing. It annoyed me that Alexandre didn’t want to take more charge of his own destiny and make things happen for him the way Max did.
This book was a great story to read on the weekend, it made my weekend fly by and I really enjoyed it, just like I do all LK’s, I swear she’s fast becoming one of my top auto buy authors, I haven’t read an LK book that I didn’t like yet and I’m glad for it.
Great great stuff, the reason this book didn’t get a smashing A was because I wasn’t as engrossed in the main characters as I was in the secondary characaters and I felt like for me, the sons stole Max’s thunder…because this story has me hoping that there’s a story either out or in the makings for Justin Vallerand. =)
Grade: 4 out of 5