Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
“Having regrets is the only sign that you’ve done anything interesting with your life.”
The first book in the Wallflower series, Secrets of a Summer Night is about Annabelle, a beautiful woman searching for a husband, but her family’s financial troubles prevent this. No man wants to marry a woman with no dowry, but Annabelle must marry soon to prevent her family from being put out on the streets.
Annabelle’s only luck seems to be with Simon Hunt, a man not of the nobility, but one who mad a great deal of money is business. He’s unrefined, blunt and even worse, he does not want Annabelle for his wife but as his mistress.
Befriending three other wallflowers at a ball, they make a pact to help get every single one of them married, and first up is Annabelle as this is her last season to find a husband. They concoct a plan, and hopefully they’re mischievous ways will work!
“I spent most of my youth hauling sides of beef and pork to my father’s shop. Carrying you is far more enjoyable.”
“How sweet,” Annabelle mumbled sickly, her eyes closed. “Every woman dreams of being told that she’s preferable to a dead cow.”
Historical romance is not my go to genre, but it’s so fun to dabble in from time to time. Lisa Kleypas is an author I really click with because I don’t end up rolling my eyes at the language or actions of the characters. She does her research really well, and is able to make a smooth transition into whatever time period she places her books in.
I also normally don’t like Cinderella stories, and the rags to riches trope. But I loved Annabelle as a character, she was strong but had morals and pride. Her relationship with Hunt was a hate to love kind of story where over time the two get to know each other and fall in love, rather than love at first sight and it worked for me.
Beautifully written, I cannot wait to read the rest of the Wallflower books (disclaimer I’ve read Devil in Winter and Again the Magic, but I still really want to read the other two books). This book was exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time.
“I’m coming to believe that there are two kinds of people… those who choose to be masters of their own fate and those who wait in chairs while other dance. I would rather be one of the former than the latter.”