Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Love In The Afternoon

Friday, January 25, 2019

Love In The Afternoon (2010) Lisa Kleypas

Set in England in 1854.

Beatrix is the youngest Hathaway sister, and the least tame of the family, preferring to spend most of her time with animals. But when a friend is going to dismiss a letter from a soldier without responding, Beatrix asks to reply in her friends name, feeling that the gentleman desperately needed a response.

Captain Christopher Phelan is a second son, and a bit of a rake, living for pleasure while leaving the responsibilities to his older brother. But when he is moved to the Rifle Brigade, and sent to war in Russia, his life changes dramatically, turning him from a wastrel to a soldier.

This was actually a very sweet story.

As I was reading, I kept fearing it was going to go into one of those bitter and angry places that I really don’t like stories to go, and although it veered that way a couple of times, it did NOT go there, which was lovely.

First, the misunderstanding. Bea acts out of kindness. Christopher returns home angry and traumatized and wanting the woman with whom he corresponded. This bit I think made a huge difference to how things went.

Audrey shook her head slowly. “There is something I want to tell you. But it’s going to become more obvious over time. And you wouldn’t believe it if I told you, or at least you wouldn’t want to believe it. This is one of those things that must be discovered for oneself.”

I also think that the reaction of Christopher’s family is important as well. PTSD was definitely not a thing back then, and men were expected to act as if nothing was unusual when they returned to England. That his mother is suffering from the loss of her son doesn’t excuse her, but it does explain why Christopher was the way he was when younger.

“It’s not decent,” Mrs. Phelan said heatedly, “this lack of respect for him. Your brother deserves to be mourned, or at least be given a show of it, by the man who has profited so greatly by his death.”

Christopher had stared at her in disbelief. “I have profited?” he had repeated in a low voice. “You know I never gave a damn about inheriting Riverton. I would give everything I have, if it would bring him back. If I could have sacrificed my life to save his, I would have.”

“How I wish that had been possible,” she had said acidly.

I also loved the bits thrown in for those who’d read the previous books.

“It’s personal,” Christopher said quietly. “And it concerns your sister.” He looked from Cam to Leo. Ordinarily there would have been no question concerning which one of them to approach. As lord of the manor, Leo would have been the first choice. However, the Hathaways seemed to have settled on an unconventional sharing of roles.

“Which one of you should I talk to?” Christopher asked.

They pointed to each other and replied at the same time.


As I said, there were several points where I thought the story was going to go to an angrier place than it did, but both characters managed to talk about their problems, and to respect each other, and understand that Christopher’s problems were not going to be solved overnight.

I think that last was most important. The realization that only time and patience can solve some problems.

So it was a lovely conclusion to a lovely series.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 8.5/10

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