As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted…and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?
He is a world-weary cynic.
Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix’s friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it’s becoming clear that Christopher won’t come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru’s disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru’s letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep…and when Christopher comes home, he’s determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix’s innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can’t be denied…
I was a bit worried about starting Beatrix Hathaway story. She seemed such a different type of heroine that I wasn’t sure if Kleypas would ever find a hero worthy of her. But having enjoyed all the other books I thought I would pick it up at least to see all the Hathaways again.
I did like the first half of the book very much. The letters between Beatrix and Christopher were a treat to read, funny and poignant I think they really were destined to fall in love with each no matter their first impressions. I can't say that I enjoy mistaken identity plots but I wasn't too bothered with it in here. What bothered me was that Christopher, who didn't exactly seem like a nice guy towards Beatrix before going to war, positively dislikes her on returning. Poor Beatrix loves him to death and he just seems to hate her and save all his good feelings to Prudence, who we know had no interest in him before his return as a war hero.
So Beatrix loves Christopher but is unable to tell the truth because she promised Prudence. And Christopher actively dislikes her just for being unusual and has no idea that she was the one writing to him. When he discovers that he has been deceived he is very angry but to be honest I was expecting a bigger confrontation between them. And they never mention the episode, before the war, that made Beatrix realise Christopher did not like her.
I thought there was great tension between Christopher and Beatrix and the potential for a really good story but I think along the way Kleypas decided to do something else with it. And then the action is all about Beatrix helping Christopher heal and dealing with PTSD. Nothing wrong with that of course, she loves to heal animals so it would make sense that she would help the man she loves. But I was hoping for something different. Maybe something darker and filled with angst and despite Christopher's problems I didn't feel that I getting that.
The second half of the story also sees more of the other Hathaways and that was nice. Kleypas wraps this story by making everyone happy and I suppose one can't really complain when one is reading a romance novel. My verdict is that this is a very readable story but far from being my favourite.