I discovered Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway’s series (historical romance) which spans five books and the lives of each sibling – Amelia, Winnifred, Poppy, Leo and Beatrice some years ago. The perfect escapist reading filled with social commentary and plenty of romance.
The orphaned siblings are raised beyond their middle class lifestyle into aristocracy when a distant family curse sees Leo the eldest of five, turned into a Viscount. As they struggle to find a place for themselves amongst the elite of society each Hathaway finds themselves facing new difficulties. Each story deals with different issues faced by those at the turn of the twentieth century. There is of course romance, quite heavily placed in the first two novels but lessens in the later three to find a better balance between the two elements.
The books are in chronological order but can be read separately. Kleypas is a lazy reader’s dream, her rhythm is simple and chatty allowing very little thought but a significant amount of social commentary and colourful characters to fill your imagination. Perfect couch/beach/public transport reading.
In chronological order:
Mine Till Midnight – Amelia Hathaway, the anchor and self-confessed ‘old maid’ who holds the family together.
Seduce Me At Sunrise – Winnifred Hathaway, left delicate after a bout of severe illness but refuses to be treated so.
Tempt Me At Twilight – Poppy Hathaway, second youngest of the lot and all she wants is a normal family life after marriage.
Married by Morning – Leo Hathaway, a cad, wastrel and insistent on not fulfilling any of his duties as the only male of the family. Loves his sisters dearly however.
Love in the Afternoon – Beatrice Hathaway, an expert on all living creatures, the Hathaways’ find themselves with multiple pets due to Beatrice’s caring nature.