Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review: Married by Morning

Married by Morning
Lisa Kleypas

Historical Romance (London/1852)

Hathaways/Book 4

St. Martin's Press/June 2010

Library book

From the back cover ~

He is everything she wants to avoid...

For two years, Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters - a pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges' older brother, Leo Hathaway, s thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response - and even more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.

She is not at all what she seems...

Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine's respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But to Leo, Cat is intriguing and infernally tempting, even to a man resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to separate them forever - unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires...

Leo's book - finally! I have been so very curious about Leo since we first met him. He gives off this attitude of ready to indulge in whatever pleasures takes his fancy but there is so much more to Leo than his public persona. He is clearly devoted to his family. His sisters are the most important people in his life and he only wishes for their happiness. His happiness however, isn't truly important to him. He' d rather give off that rake hell attitude while denying himself what he really wants which is Marks.

Catherine Marks comes across as a very staid and proper governess. She is demure and knowledgeable in the ways of deportment. She is also very good at irritating Leo. I don't think she means to do it so much as Leo tends to drive her to it. He brings out this side of Marks that in turn irritates her. LOL They are quite amusing in their banter. It's obvious to everyone that there is something more than employer and employee between the two. It's also obvious that neither one wishes to act on the attraction that has been simmering for some time.

It isn't long before circumstances force Leo to confront his growing feelings for Marks, as he calls her. I liked how he called her Marks - in some ways it's more intimate than calling her by her first name. Men often call each other by their last names instead of first names, implying a closeness and camaraderie. Maybe that's what Leo was doing by dropping the Ms. and simply calling her Marks. Implying, whether he realized or not, that there was something more to their relationship than what was on the surface. He did have occasion to call her Cat as well. That certainly showed an intimacy but at that point Leo had acknowledge his need for her.

At times the story was a fairly standard romance - governess with secret past falls for lord, both resist, outside influences force h/h to confront feelings, give in to feelings, HEA. It's the in between parts that make it stand out and be more than typical. The way Leo and Marks (sorry, only way I can think of her) talked, yes talked, about their needs and wants and how they didn't let the other get away with less than the truth, that's what made this an above average romance. I liked how, when Leo would try to avoid serious conversation, Marks would call him on it. Leo has a tendency to use his dry humor to diffuse what he considers an uncomfortable situation. Marks didn't let him get away with that but instead made him feel comfortable talking with her.

It was good to have the Hathaway sisters and their spouses (except for Beatrix, who is unwed) in the story. I liked hearing Cam and Merripen's words of Rom wisdom and seeing how Poppy and Harry were faring. The main thing that caused this to be, while a good read, not a great read was the lack of warmth I felt for Marks. For Leo, I adored him. He is the type of historical hero I enjoy reading. He doesn't take himself or his position in society too serious but does care about the people he feels responsible for be they family or tenet farmers. And he has that dry humor that I love. With Marks, I don't know if it was her closed off, secretiveness that put me off from her but I found myself far less interested in reading what was going on in her head than when she was interacting with Leo. Perhaps the fact that I liked Leo so much overshadowed anything Marks could have done. Whatever it was, I did start to warm up to her by the end but by then, well, the story was pretty much over.

Even with the lack of warm fuzzies for Marks, Married by Morning was still a well written (hey, it's Kleypas) and entertaining romance. I'm looking forward to reading the last in the Hathaway series - Love in the Afternoon. It's Beatrix story and I'm intrigued by Beatrix. I feel we know so little about her - her animals seem to take center stage and Beatrix is merely their handler. It should be interesting to see inside her head.

Rating: B+


  1. I haven't read this one yet, but I've adored Leo in the past books. The humor - so great. And the few glimpses of his past made me hurt for him. Even with a lot of lackluster reviews for this one, I'm still looking forward to reading it!

    Great review :)

  2. I just finished reading this one and barely remember what happened. Not good.

    I felt a bit let down actually, the Leo & Marks from Seduce Me At Sunrise & Tempt Me At Twilight had way more spark & chemistry. Marks who was so snarky (in a good way) & strong became so...average, very forgettable. It's probably just me.

  3. Lori ~ Leo is what made the book for me. Definitely the best part.

    Scorpio ~ I didn't really like Marks in previous books - no connection. For me, in the hands of a less gifted writer and no Leo, it would have been forgettable for me too.

  4. I really loved this one - I've loved every book in this series. I can't always say that about every book she's written in every series, but I can with this one.
    Love in the Afternoon is also very good!

  5. "talked, about their needs and wants and how they didn't let the other get away with less than the truth"

    Very true - that made it a truly great romance.

    I love Kleypas, she can do no wrong in my book!

  6. Kristie ~ It’s been a solid series. Gldd to hear Beatrix story is very good.

    Danielle ~ Even Kleypas’ okay reads are better than so much out there. If she writes it I’ll read it.

  7. I don't know. I'm trying to write a buddy review with Ames for this book and all I can say is I never liked Marks and this book doesn't change that ^_^; Leo was great... but Marks, meh.

    True, they talk... but Marks also run away... Actually, my favorite parts are probably the ones with Harry and Poppy. LOL, the BIL squared :P

  8. Nath ~ Leo made the book for me. Now that you mention it, I did like Harry/Poppy and even Harry and Leo had some funny moments. Marks was just too little too late.

  9. Oh how did I miss your review! It was great! I also just loved, loved Leo in this book. But I warmed up to Marks earlier than you did. :D I liked her snipping and the way she was vulnerable but called out Leo at the same time.

    Definitely a nice series by Keyplas.