Title: Seduce Me at Sunrise
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Hathaways/ Book 2
She's leaving and he won't stop her. He knows what to do to keep her from leaving but being a stubborn cuss he refuses to say those simple words. That's all it will take. Just a few simple words. She even tells him this but he thinks he knows what's best for her so he lets her go...without saying the words or saying good-bye.
Thus starts the bumpy, sometimes frustrating journey to a Happily Ever After for Win and Merripen, the heroine and hero of Lisa Kleypas' current historical. Readers of Kleypas are probably familiar with Win and Merripen or Kev, as we find out his first name is, from the first book in the Hathaway series Mine Till Midnight. In MTM we see how Kev watches Win and longs for her but refuses to give in to his less than brotherly feelings for her. In Seduce Me at Sunrise the denying continues for Kev with everyone else around him knowing how he feels for Win. Even Win is aware of his feelings but can't get him to admit them.
SMaS starts a few months after MTM ends with Win's sister Amelia happily married to Cam (They were the H/H in MTM). Win is about to travel with her brother Leo to a clinic in France where it is hoped that she will recover her full health. She contracted scarlet fever a few years before and is still recovering. It was Kev who nursed her back from death and who now watches over her like an avenging angel ready to assault anyone who dares hurt her.
Kev came to the Hathaways as a young boy broken and abused by his uncle the leader of the Gypsy camp where Kev grew up. He was raised to be an asharibe. They are the warriors of the tribe and are made to fight other boys for sport. Kev is neglected and treated like an animal by his uncle. Being found and taken in by the Hathaways was the best thing possible for him. Kev has always kept himself somewhat separate from everyone, not quite family not quite servant. He has loved Win for so long but is afraid he will hurt her because of his violent upbringing.
Winnifred (Win) is the third eldest of the Hathaway siblings. She is the middle child and like many a middle child has become the peacemaker of the family. She is soft spoken but with a backbone of steel. She doesn't want to give up on Kev and the chance of having a more intimate relationship with him. When Kev tells her he doesn't want her she calls him a liar. She doesn't mince words with him and tells him that she loves him and she know that he loves her. She sees their relationship as "Forever together and yet apart".
Two years have passed when Win and Leo return from France. They bring with them Dr. Julian Harrow. It was at his clinic where Win received treatment and under his care that she regained her health. He has begun to shown more than a doctor/patient interest in Win and this is cause for no end of irritation for Kev.
Kev's feelings for Win are not the restrained love from a far that he thinks they are. He pretends he can't have her but he can't let her go either. Letting her go would be the equivalent of letting part of himself go. He may think he can let her go to another man but deep down inside he knows he can't. His fight is not with Win but within himself. The wild boy who wants to hold on to Win no matter what and the grown man who thinks he knows what's best for her.
"You don't know me. You think you do, but you don't. The things I've done, the things I'm capable of - you and your family, all you know of life comes from books. If you understood anything -
"Make me understand. Tell me what is so terrible that you must keep pushing me away."
He shook his head.
"Then stop torturing the both of us," she said unsteadily. "Leave me, or let me go."
"I can't," he snapped. "I can't, damn you." And before she could make a sound, he kissed her. page 151
There is also the developing relationship between Kev and Cam, a Gypsy and the wonderful hero of MTM. Cam keeps referring to Kev as phral, which in Roma means brother. Kev gets irritated and keeps telling him to stop calling him that. Cam being Cam, continues to call Kev phral. Cam is the calm that Kev needs. Kev acts as if he doesn't like Cam but there is respect for him whether Kev wants to admit it or not. Cam continues to show his love for his new family and also how important family is to him.
And there are the Hathaway siblings who are well developed secondary characters. Leo continues to become less the sad, broken man from MTM and more of the brother that he once was. The years in France did him well. I see him becoming an un-hero hero. You know the type that keeps insisting he's not a hero but continues to act a hero.
We see Poppy and Beatrix growing up into young ladies who still maintain the their precociousness. The new character of a governess joins the family. Miss Marks is hired to teach Poppy and Bea how to conduct themselves in society. She is an interesting character who acts as if she has something to hide. I do see her appearing more as the series progresses.
Amelia and Cam's relationship is still in the honeymoon stage with all the cuddling and loving you would expect. And who wouldn't want to love Cam? Yes, I have a thing for Cam. Can you blame me? He's adorable. Amelia and Cam are the parental influence in the family. Guiding with love and intelligence.
I did enjoy Seduce Me at Sunrise. After reading about Win and Kev in MTM I was anxious to read their story and get to know them better. I do think it got a bit tedious with Kev continually pushing Win away. He loves her so desperately yet would let her go to someone else whom he has serious doubts about. That got on my nerves and I found myself wanting to smack him.
When Kev tells Win "You're mine", she thought "Finally" and I did too. It was about damn time! After they've slept together Kev is holding Win while she sleeps. He begins to kiss her ~
He loved every part of her. It occurred to him that he had not yet kissed the spaces between her toes... page 271
Only a man in love would think of that.