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then came you lisa kleypas

Historical Romance Review: Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

book review historical romance
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1993
Illustrator: Max Ginsburg
Book Series: Gamblers Duo #1
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era Romance
Pages: 371
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Historical Romance Review: Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

MILD SPOILERS 😉

The Book

Then Came You written by Lisa Kleypas is easily one of my favorite romances. It has all the key elements to make this one I would adore. There’s a strong-willed (but charmingly so) heroine, a hero in my all-time hall-of-fame, steamy love scenes, and a magnificent love story.

Not to mention a captivating side character who earned his own book and would show up in about a dozen Kleypas novels.

A Heroine to Remember

The heroine of Then Came You was, at the time of the book’s initial release, a unique female protagonist. Today, Romancelandia is replete with hoydenish, unmarried non-virgins who thumb their noses at conventional rules. Back in 1993, the wild Lily Lawson was most unusual for a historical romance heroine.

The novel begins with Lily aboard a fancy sea vessel for a daytime event that bores her senseless. She allows her hat to fly off into the waters of the Thames in an attempt to prod her male admirers into fetching it for her. The reserved Lord Alex Raiford looks on, disgusted by her antics.

Lily is on the fringes of polite society as she is estranged from her family for her shocking behavior. Many years ago, she was involved in a love affair with an Italian gentleman who turned out to be a cad.

Now, she takes pleasure in shocking the ton. Upon hearing that her dear sister has been forced into a betrothal to the stuffed-shirt Lord Raiford and cannot marry the man she loves, “Lawless” Lily Lawson–as she is called–is determined to save the day.

She will use all her will and wiles to stop Raiford from marrying her sister.

A Hero to Die For

When Lily does succeed, Alex vows revenge and in scene after memorable scene, his vengeance turns to passion. (I admit to fanning myself to Alex’s reaction when Lily is painted with a serpent on her flesh!) Then passion yields to love when he realizes that Lily’s outward behavior is just a cover for the dark secrets that torment her.

Lord Raiford is a responsible man. He has a little brother to care for and estates to run. He was looking for a responsible bride to round out his life.

Alex’s first fiancee died in a horseback riding accident, so Alex is hesitant to get close to anyone, especially a woman of such a free spirit. If you know me and my reviews, you know where I stand on that trope, but here it’s no ghost who’s part of the conflict.

Lily has gained even more notoriety as the only female allowed to gamble in a gaming hell belonging to Derek Craven. Lily even shares a bit of chemistry with the sexy, snaggle-toothed proprietor.

Many Kleypas fans prefer Derek, the hero of this book’s sequel, Dreaming of You, as their favorite Kleypas MC. (Or Sebastian from The Devil in Winter which I haven’t read yet.) As for me, I think Alex Raiford was the better man. He’s strong, kind, intense, and deeply loyal.

Although, the scene where Alex confronts Craven about being Lily’s lover does make Derek look amazing!

There are more obstacles preventing Lily and Alex from being together besides being polar opposites who butt heads.

But Alex’s surprising love will make Lily’s impossible dreams come true. I can’t help but gush over a hero like Alex. He’s principled, a little uptight, beautiful, and great with kids!

Final Analysis for Then Came You

What to say about Then Came You? Lisa Kleypas proved herself to me as one of the best writers in the modern era of romance.

There’s so much to appreciate here: an assertive, unconventional heroine, a virtuous hero I adore, and a wonderfully plotted affair. This is one of my all-time favorites!

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4
Overall: 4.8

the magic of you

Historical Romance Review: The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey

historical romance review
The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1994
Illustrator: Elaine Duillo
Book Series: Malory & Anderson #4
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era Romance
Pages: 406
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonThriftBooksAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Historical Romance Review: The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey

SPOILER FREE REVIEW 😊

The Magic of You and No Time for Romance

By the time Johanna Lindsey‘s The Magic of You was published by Avon in June 1993, I was a rising Junior in high school.

From 7th to 9th grade, I had been obsessed with romance novels, reading everything from Lady Chatterley’s Lover to category romances to thick, door-stopper historical epics.

So at that time, I was not as fanatical about reading for fun due to a full course load at school, with no lunch period and little time for extra-extracurricular activities.

On the day I came upon that blue Elaine Duillo and Fabio step-back paperback at a Waldenbooks in the local mall, I squealed in delight. It was a sequel to one of my favorite Lindsey books Gentle Rogue.

I excitedly plunked down $5.99 plus tax (oh my, how expensive books had gotten; only 3 years earlier, a mass-market paperback could go as low as $4) and hurried home to read it.

To this day, The Magic of You remains the only book I have ever read and finished TWICE in one day.

the magic of you
The Magic of You

The Heroine in Pursuit

The heroine-in-pursuit plot seems like such an unusual trope in historicals. If it isn’t, it’s at least rare in the romance novels I read.

More often, it’s the hero pursuing the heroine, if not out of love, because he wants her body.

Here, Amy wants it all from Warren: his body, his love, and his laughter.

A free-spirited, confident heroine in pursuit of an uptight, stuffed-shirt hero who tries his best to resist her is my absolute favorite trope. I don’t think I’ve seen it done better in any book than this one.

Lady Amy Malory is female, but that doesn’t mean she’s distinct from her libidinous Malory uncles. And she’s much more so than flirtatious cousin Regina.

Amy might be a 17-year-old virgin, but she knows what she wants. That would be Warren Anderson, the brother of her uncle’s James wife. The dour American is much older at age than her at (I think) 36.

Yes, there’s a considerable age gap between the two, but it doesn’t make any difference in The Magic of You.

Amy is strong-willed, determined, witty, and utterly charming.

Warren is the complete opposite: a stick-in-the-mud type who was deeply hurt in the past by the woman he loved. Now the only woman he has any feelings of consideration for is his sister, Georgina, and his newborn niece, Jacqueline.

“I want you, Warren Anderson.”

The Magic of You

The Hero in Flight

Warren hates the Malory family. In particular, his brother-in-law, James.

When James Malory compromised his sister, Georgina, it took all five burly Anderson brothers to take turns beating James into a pulp to force him to marry her. James has never forgotten that.

Nor have the Andersons forgotten that James was a pirate who plundered some Anderson family ships. Not to mention that he’s a blasted Englishman, while the Anderson are American.

The blood feud runs strong between the two families, despite George and James’s marriage.

So it’s no surprise that Amy’s uncles are vehemently opposed to any union between Warren and Amy. But Amy doesn’t care. She will use all her feminine wiles, all her charm, all the magic of her love to transform bitter Warren into a happy man.

And because she’s a Malory, Warren has met his match.

Final Analysis of The Magic of You

The Magic of You is an imperfect book, I know. It’s not one of Johanna Lindsey’s most well-written historical romance novels.

Doesn’t matter. I loved this one. Loved, loved, loved it.

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
4.5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
5
Overall: 4.8

Synopsis

As wild and reckless as the most incorrigible of her male cousins, Amy Malory has reached a marriageable age and has set her sights on a most inappropriate mate: the straight-laced American ship captain who once nearly had her Uncle James hung hanged for piracy.

Warren Anderson is shocked by the brazen advances of his despised enemy’s beautiful niece. Though determined to resist her, he burns for the enchanting British minx. And an impassioned heart implores him to surrender to a love that could stoke the smoldering fires of a family feud into a dangerous, all consuming blaze

THE MAGIC OF YOU by JOHANNA LINDSEY

jinxed

Category Romance Review: Jinxed by Day LeClaire

Jinxed, Day Leclaire, Harlequin, 1990, cover artist to be determined

Harlequin Romance #3028

4 1/2 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Day LeClaire’s Jinxed has the honor of being the third romance I read. I recall my first four romances so vividly since they arrived free of charge in a package on my doorstep when I was about 12. There were 4 Harlequin Romances: Game Plan, Arafura Pirate, Spell Of The Mountains, and Jinxed. Jinxed was the best of the bunch.

The Plot

The character of Stephen was the precursor of what would be my favorite type of hero: blond, blue-eyed, with an icy demeanor and stuffed shirt attitude, who, because of the burdens put upon by his family, took life way too seriously, and just needed some wonderful, outrageous woman who would make him loosen up and have some excitement.

The heroine Kit was a total klutz. But she was also was intelligent, great at her job, lots of fun, and loved by her nieces and nephews. I so adored her character because I, too, was quite clumsy (who am I kidding, was??) and she was the most relatable heroine I’d come across so far.

Kit worked for Stephen at his toy company in the development department where she’d create lots of amusing games for kids and an occasional messy explosion.

I remember Kit getting into an accident after accident, ruining both her clothes and her boss’s white silk shirt. Fortunately, Stephen was such an anal-retentive type that he had a closet filled with backup white shirts in his office, plus a shower in case he got dirty on the job. (As this was a mild Harlequin Romance he never got dirty doing the dirty!) But then Kit ruined his backup shirts as well. That shameless hussy Kit just wanted to see him shirtless! 🙂

Final Analysis of Jinxed

Jinxed was so funny, and sweet; a real screwball romp. This book must have been fairly popular because I see it was eventually retold in manga form! I’m upping my rating on this one because I’m sure I’d enjoy it today as much as I did back then.