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 is 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.
ON THE FAVORITE SHELF IT GOES!
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).
IT’S LIKE I HAVE MY VERY OWN HR!
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.
YOU SHOULD READ IT BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING AWESOME.