Book review: ‘Secrets Of A Summer Night’ by Lisa Kleypas

secrets_summer Here we go — my first serious foray into the romance genre! I picked up Lisa Kleypas’s A Wallflower Christmas this past December, wanting to read a holiday-themed novel to get me in the spirit. After some light research, I realized my sister andI had inadvertantly stumbled into a full-blown series — and just read the final book! That’s what I get for not looking it up on LibraryThing first. Regardless, I picked up Kleypas’s Secrets of a Summer Night, the first book in the Wallflowers series — and loved it!

Annabelle Peyton has a serious problem — after the death of her father and the collapse of the family’s finances, she, her mother and brother Jeremy are in a desperate situation. In her mid 20s, still unmarried and part of an illustrious group of “wallflowers” who seem to be shunned by the upper echelons of English society, beautiful Annabelle has some hard decisions to make: will she continue to attempt to snag the affections of a mawkish, geeky lord, or is she doomed to become the well-paid mistress — and unwed maid — of another?

Enter Simon Hunt — the wealthy, handsome and charistmatic businessman who remains on the outside of well-to-do British society himself. While Annabelle and fellow Wallflowers Lillian, Daisy and Evie hatch a desperate plan to win the attentions of a wealthy, if timid, lord at the estate of Lord Westcliff, Simon has plans of his own — namely, to finally win over Annabelle, a woman he’s admired for years. Annabelle is used to deflecting Simon Hunt’s attention, however — until she’s forced to admit there’s something tender to him she hadn’t perceived before.

Secrets of a Summer Night was a fun, interesting peek at Regency England, and I loved the character of Simon — even though he did seem a bit of the archetypal “bad boy” with a heart of gold. It was fun to watch the bonds of friendship form between the Wallflowers, and I thought those friendships progressed naturally and reasonably. I also felt the romance between Simon and Annabelle was mostly natural, without one seeming to magically “fall” for the other overnight. I can’t stand books with main characters who taunt and despise each other one minute, then start kissing passionately two seconds later. And then they’re cooing the “I love yous” before you even have a chance to say, “Wait! Seriously?!” It wasn’t like that for Simon and Annabelle — as natural as it can be in a Regency romance, I found it authentic.

The book had plenty of twists — and I definitely didn’t see the over-the-top final scenes coming — but it didn’t bother me too much. I have to admit I did roll my eyes a bit during some of the love scenes, but that’s probably my own prejudice more than anything else! And what were the “secrets” mentioned in the title? I couldn’t really tell you. That seemed a bit cheesy, but I largely ignored that, too!

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel for what it was — a uniquely plotted, sweet romance. And I’m definitely grabbing book two, It Happened One Autumn, in the future!

4 out of 5

ISBN: 0061259349 ♥ Purchase from AmazonAuthor Website
Personal copy purchased by Meg

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