Title: Seduce Me at Sunrise
Author: Lisa Kleypas (Goodreads/Twitter/Website)
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: September 2008
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series or Stand-Alone: The Hathaway Series Book #2
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Powerbooks
Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation…and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.
Then, Win returns to England…only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for.
Win had always thought Kev Merripen was beautiful, in the way that an austere landscape pr a wintry day could be beautiful.
I’m a self confessed Lisa Kleypas die herd fan. She’s one of the few writers whose books I’ll buy on the basis of her name alone. Even the few books written by her that didn’t receive 4.5 or 5 star ratings from me were still at par or even better than some of the historical romances I’ve read.
I was so excited when I heard that Lisa Kleypas started writing another series after The Wallflower Quartet and I loved that the new series revolved around a family of misfits- The Hathways. Although the first book in the series titled Mine Till Midnight didn’t make a lasting impression on me compared to other books written by Kleypas, the little snapshots of Kev and Win in MTM had me intrigued on how their story will go.
Seduce Me at Sunrise tells the passionate love story of Winnifred Hathaway and Kev Merripen. After escaping death from scarlet fever, Win had never fully recovered. She’s weak, fragile and tired of being treated like an invalid. She wanted to embrace life and enjoy the things that a lot of people had taken for granted so she decides to go to a French clinic for medication that, if successful, will restore her full health.
Kev Merripen to put it simply was a very complex man. As a young gypsy boy, Merripen was savagely beaten and left for dead by his uncle, the head of the Romany tribe, until the Hathaway family had taken him in. His past in the camp was haunted by violence. Kev was like a wild animal - who had endured unbelievable cruelties from his uncle and doesn't want any form of kindness and affection from others. He was in the very essence a tortured hero who believed that the cruelties he had done in the past made him undeserving of happiness and true love.
As I’ve written in most of my reviews of romance novels before, I’m a fan of romance stories which revolved around the theme of forbidden love. Seduce Me at Sunrise was a completely heart-warming tale of forbidden love with the perfect mix of tragedy and passion that made the journey to happily ever after more touching. The romance between the two characters was tender, difficult but then at the same time very moving. I couldn’t help but shed tears every time Kev would try to push Win away from his life.
One could argue that Kev and Win are your typical Lisa Kleypas characters, but in my opinion, she was able to delved deep into the mindset of both Kev and Win which made you feel a connection with them. I give kudos to Lisa Kleypas for writing about Merripen’s struggles towards his love for Win because I believe it’s human nature especially after being treated like a savage creature by someone whom you knew as family. The love that both Kev and Win shared was very vivid that even from the beginning of the story, they made me felt each other’s longing for one another.
I admire Win from the beginning of the story because she was a heroine with a backbone. A heroine who was incredibly compassionate and loving and someone who fought for her love until the very end. She was very honest to her emotions that even when she knew that society may frown upon her for loving a gypsy, she didn’t care because what was more important to her was her and Kev’s happiness. I can’t help but admire her determination to fight especially in the face of Merripen’s determination to push her away.
The back story of how Kev and Win first met was for me, very vital in the story because in a sense you saw how their relationship had grown, from learning how to trust one another, to being friends and caring for one another, and then to finally realizing the depth of love that one feels for the other. It made their journey to happiness even more special and I appreciate how Kleypas managed to write it.
Aside from the wonderful story of love between Kev and Win, Seduce Me at Sunrise also reacquainted us with The Hathaway family, the endearing and charming bunch that we all came to love. I loved the depiction of their relationship towards one another because it made Seduce Me at Sunrise, not only about a story of love but also about a story of a family.
A little bonus for me from this book was the character of Leo, Lord Ramsay. From being a total jerk, and my least favorite Hathaway sibling, he had become one of my most favorite Lisa Kleypas character. I savored every moment he was in especially the part where he was talking to Kev who was in the gallows. His emotions while he was talking to Merripen about Laura melted me and I could feel the agony and longing he was going through. The tension and the spark between him and Catherine Marks, the governess, kept me excited and thinking until now about how their love story would go. From Seduce Me at Sunrise, Lisa managed to create a foundation for a potentially wonderful love story between Leo and Catherine.
I would have easily given Seduce Me a Sunrise a five just by the points I mentioned above. However, the weakness of the story came from the villain. I never really had a grasp of Julian Harrow’s motives on why he wanted to marry Win and I thought the book could have been better without him.
Nevertheless, Seduce Me at Sunrise had proven to be one of Lisa Kleypas most wonderful romance novels to date. Kleypas remains to be a master storyteller of romance because despite the story’s weakness, I still found myself happily turning the pages with anticipation for Win and Kev’s happily ever after.
I recommend this book not only to the Lisa Kleypas fanatics but also those who relish reading a good romance.