Married By Morning by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways #4
Also in this series: Tempt Me at Twilight, Love In The Afternoon
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: May 25th 2010
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Victorian, General
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For two years, Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters—a pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges' older brother, Leo Hathaway, is thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response—and even more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.
Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine's respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But to Leo, Cat is intriguing and infernally tempting, even to a man resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to separate them forever—unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires...
Kleypas is always a favorite and I was especially looking forward to this book. The tension between Cat and Leo has been building for 3 books now, and I was very interested in seeing where she was going to take them.
Cat has a secret and Leo wants to know what it is. He wants to know all of her secrets, especially the ones hidden under her clothes. But he knows it’s a bad idea. She is scared to death of Leo finding out her secrets, because she knows once they’ve been revealed she’ll have to leave..and she isn’t ready to give up the Hathaways just yet.
But they both surprise each other. Cat isn’t the uptight spinster she pretends to be, and Leo isn’t as callous and shallow as Cat has always thought him. I really liked that the twist here with Leo wasn’t that he was afraid of falling in love because he knew he’d be bad at it, but because he knew he’d be too good at it.
“And you still love her.” Catherine’s voice was bleak. “That’s why you’ll never marry.”
“No. I have an extraordinary fondness for her memory. But it was a lifetime ago. and I can’t ever go through that again. I love like a madman.”
“It might not be like that again.”
“No, it would be worse. Because I was only a boy then. And now who I am, what I need … it’s too damned much for anyone to manage.” A sardonic laugh rustled in his throat. “I overwhelm even myself, Marks.”
No one is more surprised than Cat when she realizes Leo isn’t the man she’s always thought him.
“Poor Darling. It’s all right. Nothing fearsome down here. Take a deep breath. You’re safe.”
Catherine continued to lie in his arms as she caught her breath. She tried to take in the fact that Leo, her enemy and tormentor, was calling her “poor darling” and petting her. His lips brushed her temple and lingered gently. Holding still, she absorbed the sensation. She had never been attracted to men of this size, preferring those of less intimidating stature. But he was strong and comforting, and he seemed so genuinely concerned, and his voice was like dark velvet wrapping around her.
Although this wasn’t my favorite Kleypas, I did enjoy it quite a bit. The end bothered me, mostly because I felt like it was thrown in almost as an after-thought, just to add conflict. Plus, the conflict so paralleled that of Tempt Me at Twilight it was like I experienced deja vu.
That aside the book was very well done. I loved the banter between Marks and Leo and how they constantly surprised each other. The way he teased her and got her all riled up was hilarious.
“What about fidelity?” Catherine asked in outrage.
“Fidelity is so passe. It’s laziness, really, not bothering to go out and seduce new people.”
I also liked that Kleypas included the other Hathaways in a believable, yet unobtrusive way. They didn’t take over the story, but enhanced it with their natural flair.
“You seem to think you have a choice,” Cam said. “but you have it backward. Love chooses you. The shadow moves as the sun commands.”
“How I enjoy Romany sayings, ” Leo marveled. “And you know so many of them.”
There was also quite a bit of general humor laced throughout, which at times had me laughing out loud.
“Ahhh…” The innkeeper made an ominous sound and bent to write in the registry book. “Don’t give in, sir. They never leave when they say they will. When my mother-in-law visits, the mice throw themselves at the cat, begging to be eaten.”
While this wasn’t my favorite Kleypas, it was still an entertaining read. The strong character development and witty banter is what we’ve come to expect and the romance was well done.
4 out of 5