Title: Marrying Winterborne
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #2
Date: May 31, 2016
A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
As promised, today we take on Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenel Series book 2, Marrying Winterborne.
Not too many days ago I introduced this series when I reviewed book 1, Cold-Hearted Rake. Now I bring you the sequel, and what a joy it is. This book took me back to the good old times of Kleypas and filled me with hope of great things to come. Hopefully, the significantly higher quality will continue on to the rest of the books in this series, and Kleypas will keep on delivering Historical Romance jewels like this for a very, very long time.
The Ravenels’ next installment, Devil in Spring, hits shelves February 2017, and I for one am looking forward to it.
More information, visit the author’s page: www.lisakleypas.com
So, the review! ———-
Marrying Winterborne is a novel with many echoes. Frequent readers of Kleypas will find allusions to earlier novels by this author such as Secrets of a Summer Night, Tempt Me at Twilight, and Where Dreams Begin. The industrial tycoon who falls in love with the high-born lady is a strategy Kleypas has employed several
times during her career, and has always brought her success. This book is no different.
The main characters are Rhys Winterborne and Lady Helen Ravenel.
We met Rhys before during his foray into Cold-Hearted Rake. Rhys is the son of a small grocer of Wales, who, through his own effort and determination, grew his father’s business to a world-wide empire. He is ruthless, harsh and regards the aristocracy with cynicism due to the contempt they showed him while he was still poor. There are few gentlemanly traits about him, and he has no intention of changing. However, he happens to fall in love with Helen, a high-class lady if there was ever one, and this throws the ordered life of Rhys into chaos. Unlike other heroes in his same situation (see novels above), Rhys didn’t actually held the control of his attraction fro Helen. I liked that. Kleypas tends to give us really assured heroes that know how to manage the girls like little puppets. Rhys is not like that. At the beginning of the book he is frustrated, confused and bewildered by his own attraction, and these feelings only intensify as the book goes on. His vulnerability is both endearing and surprising, especially because he accepts it and shrugs it off early on, as something inevitable. It was not hard to like this character, to be honest, and I kept rooting for him the whole way because, despite the ruthlessness and roughness of his personality, there is never any doubt from the beginning that he loves Helen dearly and would never do anything to hurt her.
Helen, on the other hand, was not what I expected. I thought she was going to be the kind of shy bride that would evolve into a more assured wife as she realized her power over this really strong, really powerful man. And she did. However, she went further than that, developing a personality and a set of morals completely separate from her relationship with Rhys, which is rare in most Romance novels. Normally the leads evolve due to their respective influences on each other but Helen was able to separate herself as a character and make meaningful and important contributions to the plot, without having to rely on her fellow lead for this. Even though she never quite looses the shyness and sweetness we were introduced to during Cold-Hearted Rake, she is able to put these aside and find a moral code to guide her actions that sets the base for her personality. As a result, I ended up liking (and respecting her) as a single character, and not a part of the couple. Her determination to stay true to herself, even when it may cost her happiness and the love of her life, was really believable and gave the character a strength I had not seen in a Romance novel in a while. It made me think of other leading girls such as Eleanor Ramsay, from The Duke’s Perfect Wife, Christine Derrick from Slightly Dangerous, and Evangeline Jenner from Kleypas’ own Devil in Winter.
Marrying Winterborne is a magnificent new novel by Lisa Kleypas. It fills my heart with hope to know that our favorite authors as always still have a lot left in them to give, and this book is definitely an example of that. I, personally, will be counting the days until the release of Devil in Spring, so we can see what new Historical Romance delight this author will deliver to our doors.
“Grab ‘n Go!”
The Altar! The crème de la crème. The book that ’ll revisit several times a year, just so I can re-read my favorite part. It’s not easy to get that coveted fifth star, so if you did, rest assured: you’ve definitely earned it!