Review Round Up (2): The Hathaways Have Arrived

Monday, February 4, 2019

I have been a big fan of Lisa Kleypas for years. Her Wallflowers series is one of my all time favorites and I re-read the books often. While I've read several of the books that mention the Hathaways, my library just got all five of the books so I knew it was time to dive in. Little did I know that I would fall endlessly in love with the Hathaway siblings and their love stories. I read all five books in about forty-eight hours. If there was one thing that shines through all of these books it is the family dynamics of the Hathaways. I would recommend these books for the Hathaway family alone but their love stories are just as great! 

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kelypas | The Hathaways book 1 | Rating: 4.5/5 

This book features the oldest sister Amelia Hathaway and Cam Rohan, the Roma that works for St. Vincent (featured in Devil in Winter). From the instant I met Cam in the Wallflowers, I knew I wanted more from him. He was so mysterious and I love reading about a good bad boy and nothing made me more intrigued to read this than hearing that he was going to fall for someone like Amelia. As the second oldest sibling of the five Hathaways, she's taken on the role of the mother. To see someone who has to always be put together and look out of the welfare of her family lose herself to someone brooding like Cam made for an incredibly entertaining read. Cam and Amelia really had to fight society and its expectations to come together and I loved reading their love story. 

In all honesty, the Hathaway siblings are the true wonders of this book and I know they will be for the rest. The simple presence of each family member is what I loved about this book. The siblings fight and argue and don't always get along but love each other regardless. Unlike many members of society, they are vastly different and unique. Lisa Kleypas gave each sibling their own personality and it all really showed in this book. 

Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kelypas | The Hathaways book 2 | 3/5

I did not think it was possible for a romance book--a historical romance at that--to have too much angst but that was before I had to read about Kev Merripen and Winifred Hathaway's love story. I am no stranger to angst when it comes to romance novels but I think that Merripen was the downfall of this story. I couldn't get past his constant battle of wanting to be with Win and not wanting to be for her. After a while, the will-they-won't-they narrative grated my nerves and I fell out of love for this romance. It's a shame because I love a good angsty hero but Merripen was far too much for me. In the end, I got extremely frustrated at the conflict that was placed for the two characters. 

Kleypas was able to redeem this book because of her impeccable characterization of the Hathways. I love how present each of the siblings was in this story and the little bits we got of Cam and Amelia really warmed my heart. This, in my opinion, is what stopped me from not finishing this book: I have become so invested into the lives of these siblings that I will trudge through this book of them. It's not to say that I didn't like Win, however, but I liked her far more than I liked Merripen. In the two years she was gone, Win grew up into a more assured woman who was able to fight for what she wanted. I'm happy that she's happy regardless of how I felt about her love interest. 

Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kelypas | The Hathaways book 3 | 4.5/5

The hate to love trope is one of my all time favorites in any genre and when I learned that it was the premise for Poppy Hathaway's story, I was beyond excited. As I read this book, I found myself connecting to Poppy in a way I hadn't with Amelia and Win. Even though I am very maternal, there was so much about Poppy I saw in myself: spouting random facts when it's not appropriate, exploring new inventions and having a deep love and appreciation for knowledge of all kinds. 

From the moment she meets Harry Rutledge, I was taken in. By this beautiful, awkward girl and this closed off yet charming man. I loved that from the beginning, Harry loves Poppy's mind and her imagination and her thirst for knowledge. He never looks down at her unlike others in society. Harry challenges Poppy to think even more and allow herself to explore to her hearts content. Poppy, in tern, forces Harry to examine what he wants for their future and how he might need to change to get there. This change, which he isn't happy about in the beginning, is not a negative aspect of their love but something so incredibly positive. 

In the trademark way, Lisa Kleypas puts the Hathaway siblings front and center in this story and we see how much they love Poppy. The contrast to the loving, caring environment Poppy was raised (and still lives in) contrasted to the harsh childhood that Harry had was exceptional. I loved that Poppy and the Hathaways saw through Harry that their family, different as they are among the peers, is not the kind of family everyone is lucky to have. 

Married By Morning by Lisa Kelypas | The Hathaways book 4 | 4/5

I can not give an accurate number of times I wanted to reach in and give Catherine Marks a hug. Since meeting her in the series, I loved her and I really wanted to know more about her background. I was able to guess several aspects of her background and as the details were revealed in this book, I felt for her even more. Even Leo, who wasn't always easy to like in the firs book, grew to be a sexy, charming--if still a rake--man throughout this series and I was ready for him to fall in love. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Cat and Leo together. I knew that their banter would turn into love from the pervious books but I didn't know the manner in which it would happen. The slow decent into trust and love that Cat and Leo went on in Married By Morning left me cheering for them. Cat has not had an easy life and as I learned more about her, and knowing what we know about Leo's past, I wondered how they were going to get past their walls. Instead of simply breaking down walls, Cat and Leo chipped at their walls and only broke off chunks as the other opened up. Cat didn't  push for more about Leo and he didn't push her of more information. When trust was built and unwavering, both Cat and Leo gave in to their feelings. 

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kelypas | The Hathaways book 5 | 5/5

Falling in love through letters, mistaken identities, a hero who believes he's broken beyond help and a heroine that's trying to find her footing in this world is all that Love in the Afternoon has to offer. My favorite book in this entire series, I have been eagerly waiting to know even more about Beatrix Hathaway. In many ways, I have a mix of Beatrix and Poppy and it was their love stories that I connected most to. I love how Beatrix tries so hard to fit into society and be a "normal" woman of propriety but she prefers the company to animals than humans no matter what she does. 

I love that Beatrix didn't expect to fall in love with Christopher Phelan and that their love blossoms through letters about dogs and what is happening the war. In an attempt to give Christopher something positive to look forward during the war, Beatrix innocently begins a correspondence that ends of changing both of their lives. Plus, there is something so intimate about writing a letter and seeing two peoples personalities and connection through words. Attempting to convey emotions through words is such a reveling act and one of my favorite tropes in books. 

Beatrix Hathaway has to be the most endearing and different Hathaway sibling. Her love for animals is so present and such a big part of who she is and I have loved that she hasn't changed throughout the past four books. She's very strong in her convictions and her rebuttal with Christopher were so perfectly sweet but also realistic. Christopher is not the same man he was before war and all he wants is to find the woman who gave him so much comfort in extremely dangerous times. Realizing that his preconceived notions about who people are and what they have to offer the world was keeping him from happiness was a very powerful aspect of this book. 

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