Title: Secrets of a Summer Night (The Wallflower Series, Book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Early Victorian
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: Avon, 2004
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband.So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle’s most intriguing—and persistent—admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition . . . but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.
Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon—and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon’s passionate embrace and tempting kisses . . . and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.
Annabelle is in a panic at the end of her fourth Season to marry and save her family from financial ruin. Simon is enthralled with Annabelle ever since he stole a kiss two years earlier. Annabelle is the daughter of an aristocrat and feels she must stay within the confines of her class. Simon is nuvo riche, very wealthy, the son of a butcher. When these two spend a house party together at Lord Westcliff’s estate they have a chance to get to know each other but Annabelle is still determined to land a lord with the help of her wallflower cohorts.
Kleypas shows us the dilemma of women in the mid 19th century. They had little recourse but to marry in order to have a roof over their head. There were especially little opportunity for an aristocratic daughter to do anything other than marry within her class, for going outside of her class meant social ostracism. On top of the social and political comments in this novel we are treated to a lovely development of sensual tension, characters that leap off the page and the delicious romance of two unlikely lovers.
The author weaves a net around us until we are drawn into the story and feel like participants in a grand scheme to marry off four wallflowers.
This is a favorite book of mine. I highly recommend it and the entire series. Coming tomorrow, A review of It Happened One Autumn.
The Wallflower Series:
Again The Magic- full length prequel (Reviewed by Deet on July 9, 2015)
- Secrets of A Summer Night- Annabelle and Simon
- It Happened One Autumn- Lillian and Marcus
- The Devil In Winter- Evie and Sebastian
- Scandal In Spring- Daisy and Matthew