Historical Romance Review: Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas

historical romance review
Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: 1998
Illustrator: Max Ginsburg
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Historical Romance Review: Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas


The Book

Stranger in My Arms was the first Lisa Kleypas romance I read, and found it to be quite enchanting. Although I was already familiar with this kind of plot, the book came off very fresh, if a bit improbable.

The Plot

If you’ve seen the Richard Gere and Jodie Foster movie, Sommersby, you’ll know the basic story. Instead of Reconstruction Era American South, this romantic tale takes place in Regency England.

Lady Lara, Countess of Hawksworth, is happy to be a widow. Lara had a horrible marriage to a man who was a monster to her. Her husband Hunter was cold, dispassionate, and unfaithful.

Hunter was pronounced dead, having been presumed drowned at sea, the body never recovered. Now Lara is a widow, free to live as she desires.

Then the worst imaginable occurs when Hunter mysteriously reappears.

Although he looks exactly like her dead husband, this man doesn’t always act like it. He doesn’t seem to know or remember certain things, which could be due to an injury from his accident at sea.

Stranger in My Arms, Lisa Kleypas, Avon, Max Ginsburg cover art

More likely, as Lara suspects, he’s an imposter. How else to explain the desire she feels for this man? He’s sweet and caring to her and makes her feel things he never had in the past. Lara doesn’t believe he’s her dead husband. He can’t be.

Even Hunter’s former mistress doesn’t believe it’s him.

But how to explain how this man seems to know so much about Hunter and Lara? Who is he, really?

This new Hunter is so wonderful. He makes erotic, passionate love to Lara. Slowly she falls in love with the man she once hated.

As noted, we’ve seen this story before, and it’s very similar to the film.


Yes, this Hunter is an imposter. He knows all about Hunter because they met each other, and Hunter shared much information about his personal life with him. No, the truth is not revealed to society. Lara loves this man, whoever he is.

Final Analysis of Stranger In My Arms

I adored reading Stranger in My Arms.

I recall being so delighted by the fine quality of Kleypas’ writing that I was convinced I had finally found a new favorite author. It had been a long time since I had been so excited to read a romance novel. (This was in the late 1990s when I was beginning the second romance-reading phase in my life)

Stranger in My Arms was a fantastical story in the truest sense of the word. It demands a considerable suspension of disbelief because most people do not have secret identical copies of themselves walking around.

The writing was empathetic and moving. This wasn’t Kleypas’ best work, which says a lot about how good she is.

Stranger in My Arms is a romance that stayed with me, with lingering feelings of joy.

4.5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.7


“Lady Hawksworth, your husband is not dead…”

With those words, Lara’s life turned upside down. Hunter, Earl of Hawksworth, had been lost at sea. Or so she’d been told. Their unhappy marriage—with its cold caresses and passionless kisses—was over. But now a powerful, virile man stood before her, telling secrets only a husband could know, and vowing she would once again be his wife in every way.

While Lara couldn’t deny that this man with the smoldering dark eyes resembled Hunter, he was attentive and loving in ways he never was before. Soon she desperately wanted to believe, with every beat of her heart, that this stranger was truly her husband. But had this rake reformed—or was Lara being seduced by a cunning stranger

Stranger In My Arms by Lisa Kleypas

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