The fifth book in the Hathaway series.
As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted. And she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man - just to avoid spinsterhood? Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul - and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep, and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love - and a passion that can't be denied.
I have been wondering what kind of man Lisa Kleypas would find for Beatrix. A man who would tame her, put up with all of her animals, and her zest for live. Her need of freedom, and her compassion. Never would I have thought of a soldier. I would have thought of a man loving animals like she did, kind and soft. So that is why I am the reader, and she is the author. The story is much told from the point of view of Christopher. The hardness of life on the battle field, and the effects of on his soul, his life when the war is finally over. How he suffers from nightmares, bouts of anger, how unsuspected sounds make him go for his not-there-anymore-gun.
But Beatrix understands him. She has tamed numerous wild beasts, and she understands Christophers pain, how difficult it is for him to be in polite society once more. He has been trained to react to danger for years, of course it is difficult to become untrained again. To safety. They are good for each other, and the difficulties aren’t just gone like that, because they are in love with each other. It takes time, and patience, and understanding.
A really great story, I loved it very much. It starts out really different than I am used to. The letters they write to each other (without Christopher knowing it is Beatrix), in which he tells the stories of the battlefield, the hard decisions the has to made, the wounds he suffers, and the falling in love they do when they come to know each other through their words, their thoughts. Of course Christopher thinks it is Prudence writing to him, but when he meets her again, he finds nothing in her, of the traits he fell in love with. So he has to find out who wrote those letters! And then he will marry her. At first he is very angry for the betrayal, thinking he has been played with. Played for a fool.
But after rescuing and taming his dog Alfred, who went to war with them, and cannot conform to civil life and behave like a proper dog, Beatrix manages to tame Christopher just as well. Christopher also has to accept he is a war hero, and people want to talk to him about it, when all he wants, is to forget the horrors. His brother died, and how he is the heir to his grandfather’s estates and riches, and he will have to learn estate management, take care of his tenants and all that. But with the help of his (future) brothers in law, he will learn.
I do recommend this book, with all my heart. I just know you will love it. So please let me know.