April 7, 2017
I see hordes of crazed villagers with their pitchforks
Before I get tied to a stake by some irate Kleypas fans, I insist on letting everyone know that
Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite authors and has been responsible for some truly swoon-worthy heroes. But, come on guys - not every single one of her books is extroadinalicious! I would have to say if there is a Kleypas book which you could check out of the library it would be A Wallflower Christmas. Yes, I know that books written for the holidays are fast, short stories usually created to add joy and cheer to our holiday season - blah - blah - blah. But for me, this story was not one I will remember or even want to.
Here's the good thing about this book - we may breathe a sigh of relief because it seems that after a couple of years of marriage and a few scattered children, our Wallflowers and their husbands are still humping and pumping.
Why even bother? Why would one even bother writing about a new hero and heroine when most of the book is being taken up by characters from the previous books? I would have been perfectly happy with the previous couples. I'm sure Ms. Kleypas could have put some tension into the story. After all, she tried to put some silly plotline about Lillian (of all people) doubting Westcliff's fidelity. Puleese. How goofy was that? But she didn't ask for my advice about how she should write her itty-bitty holiday story - so we have the romance between Rafe Bowman and Hannah Appleton.
Rafe Bowman is Lillian's brother and the son of that horrible, cold, hard Mr. Bowman. I still want a better explanation as to why the Bowman father and mother are the way they are. Rafe wants to be a partner in his father's business. Not sure why - he's doing fine on his own. I can only assume that he is in need of some pats on the back from his overbearing father. I really wish Ms. Kleypas had come up with some kind of story about these parents. I tried to understand them, but failed. I also couldn't understand why the Bowman siblings allowed their father to get away with his tyranny for so long. Anyway, Rafe is struck by the lust-bunny when his eyes fall on Hannah. Which doesn't say all that much for the character of Rafe considering that he is courting the woman Hannah is chaperoning. There's numerous scenes of Rafe attempting to seduce Hannah and not with honorable intentions. Rafe is pretty cavalier in his treatment of both women. I'm not really a big fan of a hero assaulting one woman while all the time he is thinking about marrying another. Not all that Christmassy, I'm thinking.
There is also Kleypas' trademark heavy throbbing, bumping and finger puppet shows. Page after page. When we are not watching Rafe and Hannah moan and groan we get to see allllll the Wallflowers crash against the wall. This book was a pretty short book made even shorter by me skipping over the plethora of boinking.
While I understand the need to check-in on favorite characters from a series and this should have been a nice holiday treat, it wasn't. It was rushed, had a dishonorable hero, a silly secondary plot surrounding trust, and a father who is not explained. Even though this is part of a series, I really don't think it adds anything to the Wallflowers and I really cannot recommend it.
Time/Place: 1840s England