Author: Lisa Kleypas
Date of Publication: November 28, 2006
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon.com
Synopsis: 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.
Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite historical authors, I just love her characters and the romantic regency world she always pulls me into. When I read the 4th book in the series (since I never end up reading the first book first!) I didn't remember seeing much of Annabelle but I loved getting to know her in this novel. She was so fun to read about and I can't wait to see cameos of her and Simon in future novels!
I ended up reading almost this entire novel with a goofy little smile on my face because I just loved the interactions between Annabelle and Simon. Though Annabelle starts of hating him Simon's quirky charm shines through and I loved watching Annabelle come to the realization that she loved him. I've always been a sucker for romance novels where the heroine hates the hero but he just won't give up on her, and this was a perfect example of one of my favorite devices. Simon was the perfect hero, even when he heard the worst about Annabelle his feelings about her refused to be swayed. Romantic and charming I fell in love with Simon right along with Annabelle and I couldn't help but swoon with every stolen moment.
Not only did this novel have a good romance but I really enjoyed the side story about Annabelle's difficulties regarding finances and what her mother had to go through to pay for Annabelle's season. Full of drama and compromising situations, not to mention the absolutely perfect villain, it was a little sad to read about, but made for a really good story. Plus the blossoming friendship between the Wallflowers was so fun to watch, since I ended up reading the 4th book in this series first I liked seeing how their friendship began and seeing each of the girls from a new set of eyes.
One of the things I loved the most about this novel was that Kleypas included the story after the happily ever after. So often romances, especially historical ones, that end in marriage rarely continue with the characters after that point. However, a good fourth of Secrets of a Summer Night focuses on the time after the marriage between Annabelle and Simon. I loved reading about the time after their marriage, especially since it wasn't the blissful happiness most romance novels make marriage out to be. Annabelle and Simon had their share of problems, from fights to fitting in with each other's friends and family, but I really enjoyed seeing the story that comes after what we consider a "happily ever after".
Kleypas is one of the most talented historical romance authors out there and I just can't get enough of her novels. I would highly recommend any novel by Kleypas to those looking for a good historical read or looking to try out the historical romance genre.