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The Hathaways #5

Love in the Afternoon

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She harbors a secret yearning.

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's 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.

332 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 29, 2010

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About the author

Lisa Kleypas

108 books28.4k followers
LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 21 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,071 reviews
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,641 followers
April 15, 2018

I had things to do this weekend, but instead I mistakenly started this series and spent four days straight sitting on my couch. Laundry? Fuck it. Pets? My fiancé can feed them. Grocery shopping? That would require me to change out of sweatpants. Cleanliness? Who cares? I’ll shower when I’m good and ready, damn it.

Up until this point I haven’t even been able to properly review these books. Well, I probably could have BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO BECAUSE THERE WERE MORE HATHAWAYS TO READ ABOUT. And then we have this book. I have to review it. It focuses on Bea, the youngest, most eccentric, and by far my favorite Hathaway.

Bea is an animal lover (like myself), she rescues creatures big and small and brings them to the dinner table (like myself). Everyone around her puts up with it because she doesn’t give them a choice (like myself). She’s also the youngest of five children (like myself), and she’s not afraid to speak her mind and challenge social conventions (like myself).


Bea’s best friend Prudence is a thundercunt. And so when the young man she was flirting with departs for the Crimean war, she moves on. Because she’s a thundercunt. When he writes her a letter from the front lines, clearly shell shocked and in need of some normalcy, she decides not to write back, because who wants to read about someone complaining about losing their best friend? Or being penned in by enemy soldiers and barely escaping? Also, she’s a thundercunt.

She gives Bea the letter to read. Bea, who is the opposite of Prudence in every way imaginable, decides that it can’t go unanswered. She writes Captain Christopher Phelan back in Pru’s stead, pretending to be her. So begins two years of correspondence. Bea becomes his lifeline, his guiding star, his reason to survive the hell he’s living in.

And hell it is. I loved that Kleypas didn’t sugar coat the Crimean war. You can feel Christopher’s pain, his horror, his loss of humanity. What was even more impressive is how she handled his PTSD. I have friends with combat related PTSD and I can tell how much research Kleypas put into it. Several of the scenes in this book could have been taken straight from their lives.

The Christopher sent home at the end of the war a decorated hero is a drastically different man than the one that left. His mission is to find the woman who he’s come to love, Bea, but who he thinks is Prudence, the thunder cunt. Bea knows that she should have confessed the truth to him but was too terrified of outing herself because before he left for war, Christopher didn’t like her. Prudence, the thundercunt, is fine with keeping up the façade because the recently returned war hero is now a national treasure, he’s set to inherit a fortune, she might even get to dine at Buckingham palace if they marry! I hate her.

This is where everything could have gone to hell. Kleypas could have dragged out the pseudo-love triangle. BUT SHE DIDN’T! This book isn’t made up of that type of petty drama. This book is made up of two people that love each other, trying to make it work when one of them is just a shell of their former self. It’s a story about recovery, self-discovery, acceptance, and above all, LOVE.


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Profile Image for peachygirl.
268 reviews675 followers
February 13, 2022
Give me a dozen more Hathaways and it still won't be enough!
Love in the Afternoon was just as good as the other books in this series.
Of all the Hathaways, Beatrice has always been quirkier and bit of a wild child. And that reflected in her love story too. Her relationship with Christopher had its rough patches, but for the most part, these two were compatible and for a Hathaway, that's saying something. Her devotion to animals, her family and Christopher *in the same order* (Although there could be a tie between her beau and family) was so darn sweet.
Wish this lovely series never ended.
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,550 reviews4,575 followers
November 3, 2019
Re-read Nov'19:

I've thoroughly enjoyed rereading this series. Still big 5 stars! I really hope Lisa Kleypas revisits these characters some day. I'd love to read books about their kids!

Favorite book order this time around:
1. Seduce Me at Sunrise
2. Mine Till Midnight
3. Married By Morning
4. Love in the Afternoon
5. Tempt Me at Twilight

Original rating/review July'2010:

5+ stars – Historical Romance

The vivacious, eccentric, loving Hathaways have utterly, irrevocably stolen my heart, and it’s with bittersweet affection that I wish them all a fond farewell as they live out their HEAs. *wipes eyes, blows nose into hanky*

What I loved most:

--Beatrix...She’s one of the funniest, most spirited, nonconforming, okay...peculiar, and lovable heroines, ever!

--The poignant letter correspondence between emotionally lost, haunted Christopher and compassionate, steadfast Beatrix was deeply moving and achingly romantic.

--Albert...The rambunctious, fiercely loyal man’s best friend nearly stole the show.

--The volatile, often humorous battle of wills, explosive sexual tension, and lusciously sensual, deeply passionate romance between Beatrix and Christopher.

What I didn’t like:

--That it ended much too soon. *wipes eyes, blows nose into hanky again*

But in all seriousness, I thought the issues facing Beatrix and Christopher, especially his PTSD, were wrapped up rather abruptly, and I wanted a more detailed, longer epilogue involving the entire family. I’m really hoping Kleypas will write a Hathaways novella, similar to what she did with A Wallflower Christmas, at some point in the future. Still, big 5 stars!

Hathaways series summary/list of favorites:

Favorite books:
1. Seduce Me at Sunrise, Tempt Me at Twilight, & Married By Morning (all tie for 1st place)
2. Mine Till Midnight
3. Love in the Afternoon

Favorite heroes:
1. Cam
2. Leo
3. Harry
4. Merripen
5. Christopher

Favorite heroines:
1. Beatrix
2. Winnifred
3. Poppy
4. Catherine
5. Amelia

Favorite animals:
1. Dodger (The adorable little rascal and cunning troublemaker is one of my favorite things about the series!)
2. Albert
Profile Image for Auntee.
1,296 reviews1,393 followers
September 12, 2010
I'm stumped. Writing reviews for books you enjoy is soooo much harder than for books that were a disappointment. Phrases like "I loved it" seem so inadequate. So I'm sort of dragging my feet figuring out what to say. I'm also delaying because this was the end of a wonderful series, and I feel like I'm leaving a bunch of good friends behind, and that makes me a little depressed.

What sort of surprised me about this book was how much I loved the character of Beatrix. I've always liked her, but in the previous books there was something about her that made me think...she wasn't all there! Maybe she seemed a bit too immature, too quirky, too much of a free spirit, too "in her own world" for me to see her ever having a chance for a HEA. Boy was I wrong. In Love in the Afternoon Beatrix Hathaway came into her own, and she proved to be an intuitive, charismatic, engaging, compassionate force to be reckoned with! She was the kind of girl who you would want as your best friend (although why she was ever friends with shallow Prudence Mercer is beyond me!)

Anyway, to sort of summarize, Beatrix (now 23) is the last remaining unmarried Hathaway, living at the family estate in Hampshire with oldest sister Amelia's family. And with her menagerie of unusual pets that no one else wanted (hedgehog, three-legged cat, mule). Beatrix, although quite beautiful and charming, knows she's headed for a life of spinsterhood, because although she doesn't want for male admirers, none are eager to propose marriage. Her family background is suspect (being on the fringe of society), and most people find her a bit unusual, if not downright strange. But that's okay with Beatrix, because she much prefers the company of animals over humans. She has a few close female friends, and one of them is a shallow, vain girl named Prudence Mercer.

Prudence is on the hunt for a husband, and the richer, handsomer, and more popular the better. She begins corresponding with one of her suitors who's off to war in the Crimea, and one of the most popular bachelors in Hampshire, Captain Christopher Phelan(age 30). But Prudence is bored with Christopher's rather melancholy letters about the war, and she shows one to Beatrix. Beatrix knows Christopher, but ever since she overheard him telling a friend that she's better suited for the stables than the drawing room, she has a grudge against him. She thinks he's the most arrogant man in England. But after reading his letter, something touches her heart. She feels great compassion for what he is going through on the battlefront, and urges Pru to write back to him. Prudence has no interest in doing so, and insists that Beatrix does it. Bea knows it's wrong, masquerading as the beautiful Pru, but she can't help herself--Christopher needs someone to care about him! So Beatrix and Christopher correspond, with Christopher telling about how the war has changed him, and damaged his soul, and Beatrix reminding him of what's waiting for him back home. When Christopher relates a story about his loyal battlefield companion, a scruffy terrier named Albert, the reader knows that Beatrix and Albert are destined to meet.

My vision of 'Albert'

All this gets a bit tricky, when Beatrix feels herself falling for Christopher, and Christopher declaring his feelings for who he thinks is Pru. Christopher is surprised that there is a deeper side to the superficial Pru, and he's delighted, never suspecting that it's really Beatrix Hathaway who he's writing to. When Christopher makes it home from the war, eager to court the woman who stole his heart and gave him a reason to live, will it be Pru waiting for him (who takes a renewed interest in him when Chris becomes a war hero), or Beatrix?

I have to say that Beatrix stole the show in this one. Don't get me wrong, I liked Christopher, and by the end of the book I loved him, but he was rather uptight and a bit stuffy in the beginning. I didn't like his attitude towards Beatrix and I wanted him to realize that it was Bea who he loved and not that airhead Pru! It sure took him long enough to figure out that the woman he was courting was not the same as the one who wrote such heartfelt letters. But to his credit, when he came around, he really came around!

Christopher was quite the tortured hero, suffering from some post traumatic stress and survivor's guilt regarding a terrible choice he had to make in the heat of battle. War was a lot different in the 1850s--more up close and personal, so my heart broke for what Christopher went through. And Christopher absolutely detested being regarded as a war hero--he grieved for the lives that he took in battle. It would take a very strong, loving and patient woman to help Christopher deal with his problems, and I was so happy when he finally realized that Beatrix was the woman he was looking for, the woman who would stand by him always, make him smile again and be able to put the past behind him.

I also enjoyed all the scenes with Beatrix and her cast of unusual pets. Beatrix would be a hot commodity in this day and age because she has all the makings of an outstanding "pet whisperer"! I loved how she was albe to turn poor Albert around from a fearful, on the edge dog (even dogs can suffer from PTS), into an obedient, happy pet. I thought it was interesting that she could use these same talents on Christopher to help calm and center him.

The love scenes? Very hot and well done (although not as hot as Married By Morning). Although Beatrix was a virgin and a bit naive, she was an eager and willing pupil, ready to learn all that Christopher could teach her! I just loved their romantic honeymoon night (I think that's when I really fell for Christopher), and I was hoping that Chris would really open up and trust Beatrix like she so desperately wanted him to. It took a while before Chris was ready to take that final step, and there were a few bumps in the road and a bit of suspense thrown in, but the reader knows that this couple is in it to the end.

Once again we get a return or the mention of all the Hathaways and their offspring. Amelia and Cam get the most page time, followed by Leo (God this guy is witty!) and Catherine, a mention of Harry and Poppy (who contributes something sinful for the wedding night), and a late arrival from Ireland of Merripen and Win. I just love when the quirky and irreverent Hathaways get together--I think LK should do what she did with the Wallflowers and write A Hathaways Christmas. She did leave us with a couple of cliffhangers that could surely be resolved in a Christmas novella!

So I finished this series with a lot of sadness, knowing that I may never read anything about them again. IMO, each book in this series was a winner, filled with plenty of humor and romance, each hero sigh-worthy, each heroine feisty and likable. It would be very hard for me to recommend one book over another, or one character over another, but of all the Hathaway sisters, it was Beatrix who won my heart. And that totally surprised me. 5 big stars for the entire series!
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
May 24, 2022
BEATRIX AND CHRISTOPHER WERE PERFECTION. Seriously!!?? First, this starts as an epistolary romance where Beatrix is writing to Christopher as her friend, so he has no idea who he is really writing to. Beatrix has always had a unique reputation around town because she loves animals and prefers animals to people. But she feels a connection to Christopher, so when he returns home from war, he finds himself drawn to Beatrix and can't explain why. He is still recovering from what he went through, and has his dog he brought home from war with him. This dog was SO CUTE and I loved how Beatrix helped the dog adapt to normal life again. She grew closer to Christopher as they spent more time together and I was just obsessed with them. I loved how we got to see the previous couples in this book and I just loved everything about this book. The romance was so perfect and this is probably my favorite book of the series now. I'm sad it's over, but I'm so happy I loved this last book!
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
July 16, 2021
“You’ve made me realize that words are the most important things in the world.”

Can’t even begin to describe to you how happy and content this series has made me. One of the best reading experiences I’ve had this year. Non-stop enjoyment with great characters and great writing.

Why did it have to end?!
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,636 followers
July 5, 2010

Ok, this book has many of the things I love most in the books I read, regardless of the genre. To help keep from rambling on and on, I’m going to lay it out for you like this:

What I loved:

1. A fantastic start! It was pure writing genius on Lisa Kleypas’ part to let us read the correspondences between Christopher Phelan and Beatrix Hathaway because in just a few short pages we were able to see their relationship grow from one of dislike to one of deep love. Granted, Christopher didn’t know he was writing to Beatrix, which was a good thing because it allowed him to see past his preconceived notions of the kind of woman she was and get to know the real her. And the sketch of Albert that was included in the letters was just too, too cute. Seriously, when I turned the page and there was this adorable terrier looking back at me, I said, “Ohhhhhhh, how sweet!”

2. An incredibly tormented hero! Christopher came home from the war a changed man. He had seen too much death, too much brutality, to remain the carefree 2nd son that he was when he left. Nightmares that haunt him during both his sleeping and waking hours have left him certain that he can’t be a man loved, or in love. But doesn’t he know that this is a Lisa Kleypas novel, so anything is possible.

3. In this book we were blessed with two tormented souls. Albert was just as messed up as Christopher was and needed every bit as much love, attention and healing, as his master did.

4. A great supporting cast! The Hathaways were, as always, a real treat to revisit. They bring such down to earth, humorous insight to just about any situation and they were no different in this book.

5. Cute scenes throughout! Funny, endearing moments that had me smiling and even laughing at loud from time to time.

6.A nasty bitch who gets her comeuppance! I didn’t like Prudence from the beginning, and was thrilled to see her kicked to the curb. I only wish it had happened sooner.

Ok, so now what I didn’t like so much.

1. I had expected there to be a little more tension when Christopher discovered “the lie” that Beatrix and Prudence had perpetrated on him. While I didn’t want him to hate Beatrix, I had expected a bit more turmoil and it somehow didn’t feel “right” the way it worked out so quickly. But then again, Christopher was no dummy, so likely he wasn’t about to let Beatrix, a woman he loved as he had no other, get away.

2. The abrupt ending. I felt some loose ends were left hanging, but I’m going to hold on to the hope that they’ll be tied up when/if she continues a series that begins where Hathaways left off, like she so often does.

3. The thing that upset me the most? Not a single mention of Dodger. I had so hoped he’d find his happily ever after in this book, but alas, he did not and I’m quite saddened about it.

Now, what I’m hoping for.

I’d love to see Lisa Kleypas begin a new historical romance series, posthaste, picking up where Hathaways left off. I want to see the story of Marcus Bennett and Audrey Phelan be the start of the next series because I really, really want to watch Audrey “cure” Marcus’ war “injury”! LOL Marcus has the makings for an amazing character.

Favorite scene: There were so many, but this one brings a smile to my face each time I think of it:

“Last chance,” he said in guttural voice. “Get out, or get in my bed.”

“Is there a third option?” Beatrix asked weakly, her breast throbbing beneath his touch.

For answer, Christopher picked her up with stunning ease and carried her to the bed. She was tossed to the mattress. Before she could move, he had straddled her, all that sleek, golden power poised above her.

“Wait,” Beatrix said. “Before you force yourself on me, I would like to have five minutes of rational conversation. Only five. Surely that’s not too much to ask.”

His eyes were pitiless. “If you wanted rational conversation, you should have gone to another man. Your Mr. Chittering.”

“Chickering,” Beatrix said, squirming beneath him. “And he’s not mine, and—“ She swatted his hand away as he touched her breast again. “Stop that. I just want to—“ Undeterred, he had gone for the button placket of her shirt. She scowled in exasperation. “Alright, then,” she snapped, “do as you please! Perhaps afterwards we could manage a coherent discussion.” Twisting beneath him, she flopped onto her stomach.

Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?”

“I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.”

Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?”

“Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over his shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask, “Isn’t it?”

His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?”

“No, but I’ve read about it.”

Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?”

“Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals and—“

She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement.

Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing.

“Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all—“ she broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?”

Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m… I’m not laughing at you.”

“You are!”

“No, I’m not. It’s just…” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels…”

“Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.”

That set him off again. In a display of rank insensitivity to the reproductive rights of small mammals, Christopher had buried his face in a pillow, his shoulders shaking.

“What is so amusing about fornicating squirrels?” Beatrix asked irritably.

By this time, he had gone into near apoplexy. “No more,” he gasped. “Please.”

“I gather it’s not the same for people,” Beatrix said with great dignity, inwardly mortified. “They don’t go about it the same way that animals do?”

Fighting to control himself, Christopher rolled to face her. His eyes were brilliant with unspent laughter. “Yes. No. That is, they do, but…”

“But you don’t prefer it that way?”

Considering how to answer her, Christopher reached out to smooth her disheveled hair, which was falling out of its pins. “I do. I’m quite enthusiastic about it, actually. But it’s not right for your first time.”

“Why not?”

Christopher looked at her, a slow smile curving his lips. His voice deepened as he asked, “Shall I show you?”


So there you have it. Short and sweet… well, maybe not short, but Love in the Afternoon is most definitely a very sweet book, with a happily ever after worthy of Beatrix and Christopher.
Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,371 reviews85 followers
September 12, 2015
What a lovely conclusion was that???
I'm really sad that this series came to an end, but i'm really happy because they ended with a magnificent story!!!

For the last time, i will tell you that i love the Hathaways and i enjoyed every single moment of their stories...
And finally i can inform you that even though i love all of them for different reasons, my favorite couple is this one...

Beatrix and Christopher...
Their beginning was odd but lovely...
Everything started with a letter...

Beatrix's friend, Prudence received a letter from one of her suitors... Christopher Phelan.
He was a soldier on the war and he was a man that Beatrix dispise... since he heard him tell nasty things about her and her unusual pets in the past...
But when Prudence show her his letter, Beatrix was touched by the ugly conditions that he was living somewhere away fighting for the country...

Since Prudence wasn't plan to answer him back, Beatrix ask her to write him herself but with Prudence's name... And with that action, started a lovely communication which lead in unknown and scary paths...
Those two fell in love with each other by the words... And what words were they!!!
They made you melting and sigh heavily...

Beatrix discovered a different man.
A man that wasn't cocky and arrogant as he used to be...
A man that he had lived too many tragedies and he was suffering silently!!!
And those letters took by surprise Christopher because of the depths of Prudence's character...

He didn't think that she actually could talk about other things except dancing, gossiping etc...
And he was right about that, but he just didn't know it, yet!!
After a while, Beatrix was afraid of her deception so she stopped the communication with him since her feelings were having take a dangerous turn and she knew very well that Christopher will never become hers.

(That was her last letter to him...)

When Christopher returned, his path collided very often with Beatrix Hathaway's... and the reason was a lovely dog, named Albert.

Although he couldn't admit it, he was drown by her, but he was determined to marry the woman who wrote him those letters and that woman wasn't Beatrix...
He needed a right honorable woman by his side and peculiar Beatrix Hathaway wasn't what he was seeking for...
But his heart had a different opinion from his mind...

So, as you can understand a weird story of passion and love had started...

I have to say that i loved fiercely Beatrix...

She was lovely, kind, passionate and very sweet.
She was bound with nature and with all the creatures upon the earth.
Every miserable animal was finding protection under her wings...
She was brave, clever and she had her own opinion...
And when she was loving someone she was utterly devoted to him... And her greatest love of all became Christopher...

A man that he used to snob Beatrix and her oddly manners, but after all those things that he had to witness in the battlefield, Christopher became a different man...
After his return Christopher looked like a wild wounded animal and Beatrix's ability with all the creatures made her to approach him right and to provided him the calmness that he was needing so badly... With her by his side he managed to control his demons and to banish the nightmares that they hunting him ruthless all the time.
She was the only one who had the power to save him!!!

I loved Christopher fiercely also and i think that together was a perfect match...

This is a great, lovely and passionating story...

This is a wonderfull story that will make you laugh and cry, but above from all it will make you believe that there is hope out there...

Lisa Kleypas, your characters in those books were unique and admirrable...
I will miss them so badly but i'll always remember them with love and a warm smile on my face...

Thank you for these shiny gems!!!

***Guys, you should really try this series!!!
They will remain unforgetable in your minds!!!***

Profile Image for Alp.
736 reviews374 followers
June 19, 2018
“Love forgives all things.”

Dearest Christopher,
I can’t write to you again.
I’m not who you think I am.
I didn’t mean to send love letters, but that is what they became. On their way to you, my words turned into heartbeats on the page.
Come back, please come home and find me.

Finally, I finished this series! Love in the Afternoon is the fifth and the final installment of The Hathaway series. It was an unforgettable love story of Beatrix Hathaway, the youngest of five siblings, and Captain Christopher Phelan.

Their love story started with a letter…

Christopher joined the military at the age of twenty-two and then he went off to war. With his marksmanship skills, he was promoted to a captaincy in the Rifle Brigade. During that time, he had to experience the cruel of war and it definitely impacted his life. He felt distressed and miserable, so he wrote to Prudence, Beatrix’s friend, in hopes that she would write him back a few lines of comfort. But Prudence wasn’t interested. She was shallow and cared too little about his letter so she gave it to Beatrix and asked her to write him instead.

At first, Beatrix didn’t want to do that considering she had no liking for him. She once overheard him tell his friend that she had more suited to the stables than the drawing room. She was angry with him and since then, she had tried to stay away from him. But after reading his letter, she felt great compassion for him. What he said in the letter didn’t seem like something that came from an arrogant man she used to know. All she could feel was his need, his fear, and his vulnerability.

Finally, Beatrix decided to write Christopher a letter, pretending to be Prudence. She thought that at least he deserved sympathy and he needed to know that someone cared for him. From then on, they began to correspond, sending letters back and forth to each other. Christopher never once doubted that it wasn't Prudence who wrote him. As their correspondence continued, their feelings for each other grew deeper and stronger with each passing day. Beatrix felt guilty for deceiving him and then made a decision that it was time to stop this masquerade. She couldn’t pretend to be Prudence anymore.

When the war was over, Christopher returned home and looked for Prudence, a woman whom he was longing for. Every letter she sent him was the only thing that saved his sanity during those depressing months. But before he got a chance to see Prudence, he ran into Beatrix. He had always thought that she wasn’t the right girl for him. She preferred the company of animals to people and she would rather spend time outdoors than dance or chat with people in the ballroom. She would never be able to cope with the sophistication of the women who had been raised to be the aristocrat. But the more he got to know her, the more he began to feel attracted to her.

However, the war changed him completely. What he experienced during that time left deep scars in his soul. But with Beatrix’s kind heart, she understood how he felt and knew that whatever he had been through totally broke him inside and only time could heal his mental wounds. Although she knew it with every corner of her heart that she loved him, she already gave Prudence her word that she would never tell him about the letters and she certainly wouldn’t break her promise. So what would happen if Christopher found out the truth? And how could she fix this broken man?

I loved almost everything about this book. Lisa Kleypas never fails to impress me with her excellent writing. Her characters are always endearing. Beatrix is so adorable and she is one of the most straightforward heroines I’ve ever read. Christopher is such a sweetheart despite his agony of PTSD. The romance between them was beyond beautiful!

My only complaint was the lack of excitement and heartbreaking drama. I expected the drama that could move me to tears but sadly, it didn’t happen. In my opinion, there weren’t enough heart-wrenching moments.

The ending wasn’t what I thought it would be, yet I was satisfied with how the problems were all solved. I can tell that it was a very, very happy ending.

Even though this wasn't my favorite in the series, I did enjoy the book for the most part, and it was absolutely a good and captivating read. Epistolary romances are my thing so I’m very happy I picked up this one. Fans of historical romance novels shouldn’t miss out on this series!
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,524 reviews366 followers
March 13, 2018
*** 5 Cartas de Amor STARS***

Ya se terminaron mis Hathaways

Cuando leí las sinopsis de todos los libros de esta serie ésta fue la que más me llamó la atención y me moría de ganas de leerlo y debo decir que no me decepcionó, Bea es mi personaje femenino favorito de esta serie y obviamente su libro tenía que ser digno de ella, lindo, sentimental, amoroso y una dulzura.

Me encantan todos los libros donde los protagonistas empiezan a interactuar con cartas, mensajes mails etc., y así es como comienza esta bella historia de amor, Beatrix le comienza a escribir a Christopher que es un soldado y está en la guerra, haciéndose pasar por su amiga Pru que por cierto la odié y en cada carta van abriendo su corazón con cada palabra, frases y experiencias se empiezan a conocer y van enamorándose

Pero que pasará con Beatrix al darse cuenta que Christopher se ha enamorado de la persona equivocada? Aparte de que regresa siendo otro arrastrando demonios y traumas que le dejó luchar en la guerra y va a ser otro obstáculo que se va enfrentar Beatrix, pero ella siendo una chica paciente y que le gusta tratar animales lastimados y ariscos no se va a dar por vencida.

Me encantó la personalidad de Bea, que es una chica tan intuitiva y sus comparaciones de las personas con animales fue muy bueno, su vena salvaje aventurera y su alma dulce y sabia, creo que es su mejor cualidad y sus mascotas me encantaron desde Lucky a Medusa que así me la imagino.

Christopher por otro lado es desconfiado y nada amable es un alma torturada y hasta cierto punto un poco frio, pero que poco a poco como un animal lastimado empieza a confiar y sanar hasta convertirse en un ser dócil Me encantan este tipo de hombre torturados pero que poco a poco se van transformando
June 17, 2016
I took a multiple year break between this and the rest of the series. It was intentional. This was the last book before Ms. Kleypas started her hiatus from historical romance. I didn't want to not have one if I needed an LK fix. Even after all those years, I fell back into the world of the Hathaways, like a worn in pair of shoes. They feel like real people to me, just as quirky as real relatives. Beatrix earns a special place in my heart as heroine. She is such a wonderful, sweet person, but has a very thoughtful and wise beyond her years core. Many times I didn't feel like Christopher deserved her in the least. I love animals much in the same way as Beatrix, so I really connected to her in her animal and nature love.

The romance seduced me, even when I didn't really like Christopher. I felt bad for his experiences, but his superior and somewhat shallow behavior initially was a turnoff. I like that he did evolve as a character. I was sorry for the way he suffered in the war, and it took that to help mature him. I am sure it didn't help that his mother was so mean to him and made no mistake about favoring John (his brother).

As always, the Hathaways charm the socks off me. It was lovely to see how the years have evolved the various siblings and their spouses. I did miss seeing Harry and Poppy. It was awesome to see the next generation of Hathaways.

Lisa Kleypas has such a wonderful voice and her historical romances are sensual in a way that goes beyond sexuality. Her descriptions of the setting stimulate all the senses in a delightful way. And the letters that Beatrix and Christopher exchange are heartfelt and deep.

Other than Christopher starting out as a jerk, I can't say I disliked anything about this book. I love that he realizes before it's too late what a treasure he has in Beatrix, and he truly is like many of her charges, wounded and striking out in anger, but deep down in need of love and care.

Another wonderful Hathaway novel by Ms. Kleypas. A treasure to read.
Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews135 followers
October 18, 2022
I seriously forgot how charming this book was, and Beatrice and Christopher were Fab main characters.

There is a nice layer of gentle humour laced throughout, and the moments of intensity that existed were nicely done.

Christopher was very believable as a hero, and I loved how the author depicted his struggles with coming to terms with his actions during the war and his PTSD. The fact that he was not magically cured by the love of a Beatrice, as can be the trope in some books, was a nice dimension to the book.

Again, it was fun seeing the rest of the Hathaways in this book, and little Rye was adorable.
April 12, 2017
4 Mistaken Identity Stars

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“From the Times. It’s reported on every day. Don’t you read the papers?” “Not the political section. My parents say it’s ill-bred for a young lady to take an interest in such things.” “My family discusses politics every night at dinner, and my sisters and I all take part.” Beatrix paused deliberately before adding with an impish grin, “We even have opinions.” Prudence’s eyes widened. “My goodness. Well, I shouldn’t be surprised. Everyone knows your family is . . . different.”-Bea and Pru

Love in the Afternoon is the last book in the Hathaways series......NO! I don't want it to be over. As far as ending a series goes this book was great, but I really am not ready to let go of my Hathaways. I am abnormally attached to this series and this fictional family.

Families are grieving for the lives I’ve taken. Sons, brothers, fathers. I’ve earned a place in hell for the things I’ve done, and the war’s barely started. I’m changing, and not for the better. The man you knew is gone for good, and I fear you may not like his replacement nearly so well.-Christopher in his letter to Pru

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You ask if there is a peaceful place in the world, and I regret to say that it is not Stony Cross. Recently Mr. Mawdsley’s donkey escaped from his stall, raced down the road, and somehow found his way into an enclosed pasture. Mr. Caird’s prized mare was innocently grazing when the ill-bred seducer had his way with her. Now it appears the mare has conceived, and a feud is raging between Caird, who demands financial compensation, and Mawdsley, who insists that had the pasture fencing been in better repair, the clandestine meeting would never have occurred. Worse still, it has been suggested that the mare is a shameless lightskirt and did not try nearly hard enough to preserve her virtue.-Bea acting as Pru to Christopher in her first letter to him

While visiting her friend Pru, Bea Hathaway found out that the man that had been courting Pru, Captain Christopher Phelan, wrote Pru a letter of his changes since going to war. Pru being the shallow person she was decided she wouldn't write Mr. Phelan back since he wrote about ugly and boring things that she cared nothing for. Bea ask to see the letter as it spoke of a dog the Captain found. While reading the letter her heart ached for the once shallow Captain who was much changed and hurting from all the ugliness of war. So she ask Pru if she could write him to try to help cheer him up and sign it as Pru. Pru agreed but didn't much care either way. What started out as kind gesture turns into deep feelings of love. When Captain Phelan returns from war will he find out that it wasn't Pru writing him? Will he hate Bea for tricking him?

“Captain Phelan and I dislike each other,” Beatrix told her. “In fact, we’re sworn enemies.” Christopher glanced at her quickly. “When did we become sworn enemies?” Ignoring him, Beatrix said to her sister, “Regardless, he’s staying for tea.” “Wonderful,” Amelia said equably. “Why are you enemies, dear?” “I met him yesterday while I was out walking,” Beatrix explained. “And he called Medusa a ‘garden pest,’ and faulted me for bringing her to a picnic.”-Bea, Christopher, and Amelia

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“I don’t think you should blame yourself,” she said. “But it doesn’t matter what I believe. You’ll have to come to that conclusion on your own. It wasn’t your fault that you were faced with a terrible choice. You must give yourself enough time to get better.”-Bea

Bea I adored. I loved all her little quirks. She had a true love for animals and nature. She was outspoken, opinionated, and a little wild. Bea had a sense of humor and she was very sweet. I love the way Bea was with Christopher. I loved that she would use her dog training voice on him. Christopher I loved at first. Then I got a little pissed at him . Then I loved him again so uh yeah! Me and Christopher had a up and down relationship. I ached for all he went through in war, but when he first got home he would act rude or judgmental to Bea and it made me want to thump him. I love that when he realized it was Bea that had wrote the letters that he told her it was her he loved. I also loved that he wanted her before he knew she wrote the letters.

“No, it wasn’t a game . . . Pru showed me your letter, and she said she wasn’t going to answer it. And I had to. I felt as if it had been written for me. It was only supposed to be once. But then you wrote back, and I let myself answer just once more . . . and then one more time, and another . . .” “How much of it was the truth?” “All of it,” Beatrix burst out. “Except for signing Pru’s name. The rest of it was real. If you believe nothing else, please believe that.”-Bea and Christopher

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“Talk to me. Would you really have let me marry Prudence?” “If you seemed happy with her. If she was the one you wanted.” “I wanted you.” He kissed her, his mouth strong and punishing. “It nearly drove me mad, looking for the things I loved in her and not finding them. And then beginning to see them in you.”-Christopher and Bea

Bea and Christopher had a powerful connection. Bea was able to heal his battered soul and bring him peace. Christopher was able to accept and love Bea for who she was. He made her feel safe. I want to say that I hated Pru with a deep passion. I wanted her suffer. She was such a selfish, shallow, air headed bitch that every time she showed up in this book I wanted to scream. I was glad that Bea stole Christopher from Pru. I wish she would have did worse. I know, I'm mean. Sorry not sorry! I loved how the series wrapped up. Love seeing all the other couples and their growing families. I loved the HEA that Bea and Christopher got as well. It has been a really long time since I got a book hangover, but I have one now. I finished this book yesterday and put off writing the review because I wasn't ready for it to be over. Now I feel like I am having Lisa Kleypas withdrawal. I can't believe there will be no more Hathaways. How will I know if they have more babies????? I loved every moment of this series, loved this family , and I love Lisa Kleypas.

“I know that she steals things unintentionally. She wears breeches, and references Greek philosophers, and has read far too many veterinary manuals. I know that she keeps the kinds of pets that other people pay to have exterminated.” Thinking of Beatrix, he felt an ache of yearning. “I know that she could never reside in London, that she could only thrive by living close to nature. I know that she is compassionate, intelligent, and brave, and the only thing she truly fears is being abandoned. And I would never do that, because I happen to love her to distraction.”-Christopher

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Profile Image for Princess under cover.
589 reviews247 followers
May 13, 2018
I absolutely LOVE this book! This is my fav in the entire Hathaways series, which I believe is Lisa Kleypas best work in her entire opus. The story between Win and Merripen might be my second fav, and Leo and Catherine my third fav. But I do love all of them. So unique and memorable.

What I loved about this one:

The Heroine is my fav historical heroine. Innocent, good, so fresh and real you want her for a best friend.

The Hero is wonderful. Unlike some contrived stories, he knows who's real and who's not almost right away. He's a fundamentally good man, and a true hero.

The letters. I love romances that involve letters, tho of course the letters must be well written and convey the right emotions and have the right pace to move the story along. This is definitely one of those cases. I was in love with the book within the first few chapters because of the letters. Heck, if I got those letters from Christopher, I'd be in love with him too!

the humor fornicating squirrels anyone? hedgehogs? mules? So many wonderful gems of humor. I absolutely love Beatrice for these reasons, probably why Christopher loves her too

Still one of my all-time favs. Perhaps I haven't read this author in recent years because none of her later works could top this one. Sigh. Still hoping she'll find that magic again one of these days!

HIGHLY RECOMMEND to all historical/regency/victorian romance lovers
Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
1,028 reviews925 followers
March 12, 2023
Absolutely delightful and (to my surprise) my favorite Hathaway book

Lisa Kleypas' latest novel is absolutely delightful; she has woven a wonderful and rich tale of love, and has done so with a great deal of skill and depth. I've been a great fan of the Hathaway clan and their stories, but for some reason was never very interested in Beatrix's. The sneak preview at the end of Married by Morning completely changed my opinion and I was ecstatic to only have to wait a month ... as well as a little nervous - my anticipation for Married by Morning had been (like every other sane romance reader out there) almost unbearable and had ended in something of a disappointment. That was *not* the case with Love in the Afternoon!

[England, 1854-1855]
It all starts innocently enough - Beatrix Hathaway's (23) friend, Prudence Mercer (a horrid girl), has received a letter from one of her suitors, Captain Christopher Phelan (29). Prudence finds the letter boring and tedious and has no intention of replying. Beatrix has no great fondness for the man: he's somewhat shallow and conceited, and she overheard once at a picnic a very rude comment he made about her. However reading his letter makes her feel an odd connection to the man who has written it and when Prudence refuses to write him back and urges Beatrix to pretend to be her and write a response, Beatrix decides that she will. After all, he's in a war zone and he's found a dog with behavioral issues ... what else is a compassionate and animal-loving person to do?!

One letter becomes two, which become three, and before she knows it, they are exchanging what almost amount to love letters. What started out as a desire to help has turned into something completely unexpected, and Beatrix feels guilt over the kept-up pretension that Prudence is the one writing the letters and is conflicted with love for this man whom before she only felt dislike for. When Christopher returns a war hero, hailed by all society and having newly inherited substantial property, Prudence becomes interested in him once again and though their friendship ends with difficult parting words, both she and Beatrix agree that neither will reveal the truth to Christopher and the masquerade will continue.

Christopher comes home a broken man, having survived two years of intense war and now forced to deal with the reality of his older brother's death. He has changed from the foolish, vain, and shallow society-darling he used to be. The one thing that has kept him going through all the difficulties has been the thought of "Prudence," the woman he's been exchanging letters with. She is in London when he finally feels ready to reengage with the world, but before he is able to leave and see her he has several encounters with his neighbor Beatrix Hathaway - who is annoying, frustrating, contrary, odd ... as well as intriguing, compelling, attractive, and undeniably appealing.

He remains committed to meeting the woman of his dreams though - the woman who wrote him such beautiful letters and whom he is determined to marry. He therefore travels to London to meet this paragon and is confused when, after spending some time with Prudence, he finds it increasingly difficult to believe that she is the woman behind his treasured letters. If not she, however, then who? Was it all a game, some prank that was being played on him? And if it is the woman whom he has begun to suspect ... Well, she *could* be everything that he had hoped for and dreamed of, but does he deserve her? After everything he's been through and done in this horrible war, will he ever truly be happy?

MAIN CHARACTERS, Beatrix (23) and Christopher (29):
Love in the Afternoon tackles the very serious issue of the difficult war experiences soldiers have and what we now refer to as PTSD. Christopher and Beatrix both feel like outsiders; they watch others at a distance and feel their difference when compared to the rest of society. Christopher has changed so much and bears so much guilt, sadness, and despair, that he is no longer sure where - or if - he fits in. Beatrix has always been unusual - even for a Hathaway! - and is more interested in animals than people. She also used to have a problem with kleptomania, though this was dealt with mostly in the series’ first book.

Christopher and Beatrix each remain their own person, but they are essential to one another and exactly what the other needs - and neither of them resists admitting this, which was **SUCH** a welcome change in this historical romance reader's opinion! To not have to wait till the last page for both people to say "I love you"? Now that's just MasterCard priceless. A lot of times with romances, we're hankering at the end for more of the happily-ever after and have to content ourselves with the epilogue, if the author is kind enough to include one. Here, even though they still have the very large obstacle of Christopher's PTSD and his fear of hurting/sullying Beatrix because of it, they readily admit their feelings for one another. Once they're "together," all the exchanges between them read so smoothly that it feels like they've been together forever, understand each other extremely well, and best of all - you've had a front row seat to the whole thing!

The intensity of emotion between Beatrix and Christopher *leaps* off the pages and is somewhat similar to Merripen and Win, though not with such intense physicality. Don't get me wrong - although there is not as much going on as early in the book as Kleypas usually writes, the chemistry and tension between Beatrix and Christopher is fabulous throughout. Their connection also has a deep emotional and almost spiritual quality, which is often hard to find in romance books and I'm sure even harder to write, so hats off to you, Lisa! The way that Christopher talks about Beatrix - both the letter-writer and the woman - will have you swooning and grinning like a madwoman. Her passion and feelings for him are equally intense and ... well they're just so perfect for one another!

This truly is a fabulous book - the two main characters are intriguing and complex and their relationship comes alive within these pages. Also, there were thankfully no errant murderers on the loose, no gun-crazed kidnappers, no evil almost-mothers-in-law who try to pawn off the unwanted heroine on a possible rapist who ends up being a hero in another book (I love St. Vincent as much as the next Kleypas fan, so before you revolt, that was not a slight towards him!). There's a little surprise twist at the end, but in this case it was not at all superfluous and helps deal with one of the big issues that has been dominating the entire book.

That the masquerade doesn't continue on until the end, but is instead revealed far before that, was simply perfect in my mind. Christopher and Beatrix have already fallen in love with another through words on a page, but for a real relationship to work they also have to deal with the actual human being and everything out in the open. Kleypas realizes this, and as a result, doesn't make the letter-writing charade the central figure, but instead truly makes it a love story about Christopher and Beatrix finding one another, both literally and figuratively.

Book 1 - Mine Till Midnight, Amelia Hathaway and Cam Rohan (4 stars)
Book 2 - Seduce Me at Sunrise, Winnifred (Win) Hathaway and Kev Merripen (4.5 stars)
Book 3 - Tempt Me at Twilight, Poppy Hathaway and Harry Rutledge (3.5 stars)
Book 4 - Married By Morning, Leo Hathaway, Lord Ramsay and Catherine (Cat) Marks (3.5 stars)
Book 5 - Love in the Afternoon, Beatrix Hathaway and Christopher Phalen (5 stars)

(1) England’s Perfect Hero (Lessons in Love, Book 3) by Suzanne Enoch - hero suffers from PTSD (5 stars)
(2) The Rake (Davenport Family, Book 2) by Mary Jo Putney - hero has to overcome alcoholism; heroine is a misfit (5 stars)
(3) The Matchmaker (Maker Series, Book 1) by Rexanne Becnel - hero suffers from PTSD and alcoholism (5 stars)
(4) Lord of Ice (Knight Miscellany, Book 3) by Gaelen Foley – hero suffers from PTSD (5 stars)
(5) Till Next We Meet by Karen Ranney - hero and heroine first fall in love through their letters; hero is not writing as himself (5 stars)
(6) Seven Secrets of Seduction by Anne Mallory (4.5 stars)
(7) And of course the rest of the Hathaway series if you haven't read it already (the Hathaway family characters are heavily featured in this book)
Profile Image for Ms. Smartarse.
604 reviews260 followers
November 29, 2020
I've never seen the appeal of Victorian love letters, not that I have read too many. Mostly my idea of such a letter involved sheltered little ladies, penning beautifully calligraphed epistles, letting loose the odd sigh or two. But then, those ladies of course weren't Beatrix Hathaway.

Never having quite managed to feel at home in high society, Beatrix has given up on trying her luck at yet another season. Given how much happier the Hampshire countryside made her, the family has also quietly relegated her to eternal spinsterhood. However, as we have seen from the prequels, our crafty heroine is always ready to throw life a curve ball, and thus ends up corresponding with a lovesick soldier under an assumed identity. But she didn't really mean any harm, you know?

Victorian Christmas Cards

Instead of the love-filled epistoles, we get some very interesting insights into taming depressed dogs, some lovely descriptions of the Hampshire countryside, and this totally cute and heartwarming Christmas card.

And my excitement continued when Christopher returns from the war, intent on wooing Beatrix's friend, yet finding himself oddly attracted to Beatrix, with all her peculiarities.

Score: 3.3/5 stars

Barring a much too lengthy ending, and some annoying quirks in Beatrix's character, I couldn't really find any fault in this book.
Profile Image for S.
384 reviews91 followers
November 20, 2015
“I didn't mean to send love letters, but that is what they became. On their way to you, my words turned into heartbeats on the page.”


What a wonderful book! Magical, charming, endearing, funny, heartwarming and absolutely amazing. Beatrix is the best heroine ever. And Christopher is perfect for her.

The book starts with their correspondance and I thought it would be dull - and I couldn't have been more wrong! Christopher is a charming rake before leaving for war. War changes people, and it changes him. There is definitely a serious note to a very charming novel. It has a Pride and Prejudice-feeling, and it is awesome.


This book is so much fun! Beatrix is an adorable heroine who takes care of wounded animals and wounded spirits. She is the youngest of the Hathaways sisters, and in a way the most odd. No one would match her with Christopher - but despite it all they are a match made in heaven.
“I haven’t decided yet.” Leo frowned and took a sip of port. “He’s not someone I would pair Bea with.”
“Whom would you pair her with?”
“Hanged if I know,” Leo said. “Someone with similar interests. The local veterinarian, perhaps?”
“He’s eighty-three years old and deaf,” Catherine said.

The Hathaways are adorable! I just love the Hathaways siblings and it is very sad that this series is coming to an end. I want Lisa Kleypas to start a new historical romance series that revisits the Hathaways! And Cam. He is my favorite hero of all times.
"Captain Phelan,” Cam asked, choosing his words with care. "Have you come to ask for our consent to marry Beatrix?”
Christopher shook his head.
“If I decide to marry Beatrix, I'll do it with or without your consent.”
Leo looked at Cam. “Good God,” he said in disgust. “This one’s worse than Harry.”

Who else has a pet hegdehog? Go read this wonderful gem - but if you are new to Lisa Kleypas you have to pace yourself. I would really recommend that you start with the Wallflower series: Secrets of a Summer Night because they feature in this series too and they are equally awesome. If you are incredibly impatient - I am sure this is awesome as a standalone too.


“I’m fairly certain, Captain,” she said, “that the more you discover about me, the more you will dislike me. Therefore, let’s cut to the chase and acknowledge that we don’t like each other. Then we won’t have to bother with the in-between part.”
She was so bloody frank and practical about the whole thing that Christopher couldn’t help but be amused.
“I’m afraid I can’t oblige you.”
“Why not?”
“Because when you said that just now, I found myself starting to like you.”
“You’ll recover,” she said.
Her decisive tone made him want to smile. “It’s getting worse, actually,” he told her. “Now I’m absolutely convinced that I like you.”
Beatrix gave him a patently skeptical stare. “What about my hedgehog? Do you like her, too?”
Christopher considered that. “Affection for rodents can’t be rushed.”
“Medusa isn’t a rodent. She’s an erinaceid.”
Profile Image for Annie .
2,449 reviews819 followers
April 29, 2011
I started Love in the Afternoon a few hours ago and couldn’t stop until I turned the last page. As you can probably tell, I’m suffering from the Kleypas Craze again, because I can never get enough of her writing. There is this ease with her writing that I can’t really explain. It’s effortless, but still engaging and highly entertaining.

The first part of Love in the Afternoon is written in an epistolary fashion and I can’t rave enough about how much I loved that. I haven’t read many books recently that are told through letters anymore, so this was a great thing to see again. It was unique and highly successful in conveying the blooming romance between Bea and Christopher. That first page already got an “Aww” out of me!

Some of my friends were a less than impressed by the hero of his book, and as a result, they didn’t like Bea and Christopher together as much as some of the other happily-ever-afters in this series. But I could not find any faults in him, other than the reoccurring war nightmares and his occasional resistance. After his time in the war, Christopher changed and the deaths he witnessed then still haunt him even after his return. In addition to that ongoing internal battle, Christopher realizes the one thing that was keeping him together in those tough times were his letters to Prudence er, Beatrice. Realizing the truth and the deception, I didn’t blame him for being angry. Chris was different, but still worthy to be part of the Hathaway clan I think.

There were some tender moments in this book, as well as some hilarious bits as well. Leo never fails to make me laugh out loud with some of his remarks. I do wish there was more of Kev because I absolutely adore that Rom! Also, it was great to read about Rye running about and giving his two cents here and there. He is such a cutie!

I’m so sad to have finished the Hathaways series, though it’s been a thrill to read. I’m hoping some half-brother or sister will appear out of nowhere and LK can write a book about them! But until that happens, I guess I’ll just have to deal with rereading these lovelies over and over again!

Favourite Quote:
After a universal silence, Leo was the first to speak. “Did anyone else notice-“
“Yes,” Catherine said. “What do you make of it?”
“I haven’t decided yet.” Leo frowned and took a sip of port. “He’s not someone I would pair Bea with.”
“Whom would you pair her with?”
“Hanged if I know,” Leo said. “Someone with similar interests. The local veterinarian, perhaps?”
“He’s eighty-three years old and deaf,” Catherine said.
“They would never argue,” Leo pointed out.

Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,321 reviews285 followers
June 22, 2020
Reread 6/21/20
Original review:
Ahem...I had...expectations. Many of my most trusted friends have this as a favorite.
And I....

am no different. The epic struggle to get here by reading a series that was more family drama than romance and wavered between ok and, sweet, and maybe kind of irritating ended in an incredibly powerful romance.

Kleypas beautifully developed Beatrix over the course of the series, as a wise and odd completely endearing human person. She did a wonderful job capturing a family's love and devotion to their youngest sister. And there's no Leo I love more than Leo letting his sisters be who they are unapologetically ( So we all knew that the expectation was she would be well and truly loved by the man who could take her on--along with her animals. And how much love she had to give. She's absolutely one of the most adorable, charming heroines. I kind of want to be her when I grow up.

Enter Christopher....My, my, my. From the letters that transported you into his world not to mention deep into his soul...well who couldn't love these two. I mean, I do have a lot to say about them, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Needless to say, I just had a conversation on a thread here about the excellent and delightful A Girl Like Her with Bubu about how she loves her heroes for how they love their heroines. Very easy to see why she's 'called' Christopher. I echo that, it is without a doubt my favorite thing about a couple-them being the best and worst versions of themselves and being loved for it. Both characters accomplish that in this book, and the dynamic rung true to my own relationship-which is always quite nice if you ask me.

I think reading the entire series makes this book richer, even if it irritated me or didn't engage me all along the way. It was worth it to have the depth in this wonderful, charming romance. To feel like you really knew and loved the family was a special treat. And in the end, these two give us the best dialogue, the best obstacles without being too caught up in them, and the best moments overall. Even the mudery part was better in this one.

It was happy-making. In fact, I'm off to scatter flowers and skip through meadows for a bit.
Profile Image for edith (semi-hiatus).
55 reviews34 followers
June 16, 2023
Wow, just wow. Miss Lisa really makes me feel deep emotions I've never felt before. This made my heart feel so warm and oh, I love this book so so much❤️

I can't explain how happy this story made me. Christopher is the best tortured hero EVER. No one comes close to him. His words, his love (ohhh myy godd😩) everything about him was just PERFECCTT!!!

“Never. You could run to the farthest corners of the earth. There’s no place you could go where I wouldn’t love you. Nothing you could do to stop me.”

Oh, he could be sweet, very sweet. But at some times he was the version of himself that he wanted to change. Even though he was ashamed of himself Beatrix never stopped loving him.

"I love you, she thought. I am madly, desperately, permanently in love with you."

She opened up to him, knowing she would not meet judgement. As for him, he knew he could tell his wife everything too. Their mutual trust
to eachother was magical.

AHHHHHHHH😍😍 Even while writing this review I feel so happy...

“I want to be yours.”
“You are, God help you.”

Yes, God. Please help me. Because I'm
desperately in love with a fictional man🧘🏻‍♀️
Profile Image for Merry.
640 reviews85 followers
June 16, 2023
Really enjoyed this story. The letters and falling in love by writing to each other was a wonderful story device. I have not read the other books in the series, and it did not feel like I missed anything by not having done so. Now my thoughts....this book could have ended at the 60-70% mark and I would have enjoyed it every bit as much as the last 30% tied up some loose ends but other readers may differ.
Profile Image for boogenhagen.
1,982 reviews710 followers
March 28, 2017
Medusa is excellent! Now I need a hedgie to wander around my halls and take on picnics. Tho my cats will NOT approve. This book was worth the wait and worth the build up from the previous four books. Hector the flower mule, Penelope and of course Albert were all the greatest. I am a total pushover for animals.

However LK really surprised me with the whole letter situation resolution. In any other book that would be good for at least five chapters of huge misunderstandings. I really, really liked how she brought all tension in and then BOOM, it was over in positive flash and nobody ran off screaming like banshees.

Christopher and Beatrix are my absolute favorite couple in this series, with Win and Kev and then Poppy and Harry tied for second. I think this book and Devil in Winter are my favorite LK's and now have a permanent spot on my reread over again shelf.

Much gratitude to everybody who told me these were good books, I just did not know what I was missing. :)
Profile Image for Beatriz.
834 reviews721 followers
May 19, 2020
Tenía pendiente la historia de la menor de los Hathaway hace muchísimo tiempo. Como la serie comenzó cuando Beatrix era apenas una adolescente, me costaba imaginarla como la protagonista de su propio libro, pero al fin le llegó el turno.

La historia tiene el sello Kleypas, sin duda; es muy tierna pero bastante exenta de drama, lo que quizá le juega un poquito en contra a la hora de mantener el interés del lector. Todo el asunto de las cartas que se anuncia en la sinopsis queda resuelto apenas pasada la mitad del libro y sin mucho conflicto, para luego pasar a la consolidación de la relación de Beatrix y Christopher (donde ella se queda con todos los créditos, me encanta). Por lo mismo, la primera parte me mantuvo al vilo y sin despegarme del libro, para después pasar a una lectura más calmada, en que lo que se disfruta es el maravilloso estilo de la autora que, además, nos regalonea con la familia Hathaway al pleno.

No fue mi preferido de la serie, pero sin duda es una muy buena lectura. Ah, también estoy en desacuerdo con la sinopsis, en el sentido de que se puede leer de forma independiente; si de verdad se quiere disfrutar de esta serie, hay que leerla en orden.

Reto #20 PopSugar 2019: Un libro con la palabra “amor” en el título
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,243 followers
August 6, 2018
4.5 stars!

Gosh I just fell in love with this wonderful story!!! Beatrix is the Hathaway sister I wanted to read about the most, and her story was so wonderful! Exceeded my expectations. And I love a wounded hero.

If you haven't been reading Lisa Kleypas, I honestly don't know what you're doing with your life.

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Profile Image for Sarah MacLean.
Author 31 books13.3k followers
July 1, 2010
A gorgeous book. Flat out my favorite of the Hathaway series...just lovely.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,882 followers
January 20, 2018

Why in the world would you want to read this book?

You have to meet The Hathaways : that's the last book of the series but if you don't already know them I can't stressed how much you're missing : here's an unconventional, hilarious, fun, heartwarming family whose each member has his story to tell. Actually, it reminds me of my slightly crazy family and it made me smile so big. No, mum, I'm not saying we are crazy. Sort of.

Beatrix was my favorite from the beginning of the series and she didn't disappoint here. Afraid to face a dull lady? Try independent, peculiar (haha), strong-minded. Oh, and you have to know that Bea has a thing : she's a sucker for animals - she takes care of A TONS OF THEM. Like, every each of them, despite the misfortunes she's going through because of them sometimes : hedgehogs, ferrets, horses - they all belong to her story and offer us some deliciously funny moments.

Christopher is a broken former soldier and lives in broodyland. Do I need to add something? No? That's what I thought.

Letters are the best way to know someone, aren't they? What I didn't tell you was the fact that Beatrix and Christopher meet under strange circumstances : indeed all begins with Beatrix's friend, Prudence I don't really know if friend is the best word to use because maaan, what a selfish little bitch she was, who receives a letter from Christopher who writes her from war. Does Prudence want to answer him? Naaaah, of course she doesn't, because balls and gown you know? So, what could Beatrix do? Let this lonely soldier losing hope? Of course not! As an altruist woman as she is, she answered. Well, she didn't expect to fall in love with him in the process ← I'm sure you see the problems it will cause at Christopher's return, right?

No drama all over the place, but real people who fall in love and try to deal with their problems the best way possible. Now, that is quite awesome for an historical - and for a romance in general, actually.

Albert. I'm such a fan of this dog.

Okay, OKAY, I have to explain why I'm not giving it 5 stars. In a word : pacing. As enthralled I was in the Hathaways family, I must admit that I found the story dragging during the last 30% and even if it was necessary to handle correctly all the issues, some parts could have been cut in my opinion.

And because I love you people and that's Valentine's day, here's your quote I can't even manage to cut - because SQUIRRELS ARE AWESOMENESS PEOPLE.

“All right, then,” she snapped, “do as you please! Perhaps afterward we could manage a coherent discussion.” Twisting beneath him, she flopped onto her stomach.

Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?”

“I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.”

Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?”

“Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask, “Isn’t it?”

His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?”

“No, but I’ve read about it.”

Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?”

“Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals and-”

She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement.

Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing.

“Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all—” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?"

Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m . . . I’m not laughing at you.”

“You are!”

“No I’m not. It’s just . . .” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels . . .”

“Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.”

You're welcome.
March 19, 2019
I was mulling over my rating but this book decides it.


Yet, it's still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better than most historical romances, in fact, it's one of the best.

GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYYYYYYYYSS you need to read Kleypas books. If you don't you aren't part of the cool crowd. The cool crowd reads AMyzing books disregarding hype or lack thereof. Oh yeah!
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