Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
“Let me spoil you,” he whispered. “Let me take care of you. You’ve never had anyone to lean on, have you? I’ve got strong shoulders.”
Four young ladies at the side of the ballroom make a pact to help each other find husbands… no matter what it takes
Proud and beautiful Annabelle Peyton could have her pick of suitors—if only she had a dowry. Her family is on the brink of disaster, and the only way Annabelle can save them is to marry a wealthy man. Unfortunately her most persistent admirer is the brash Simon Hunt, a handsome and ambitious entrepreneur who wants her as his mistress.
Annabelle is determined to resist Simon’s wicked propositions, but she can’t deny her attraction to the boldly seductive rogue, any more than he can resist the challenge she presents. As they try to outmaneuver each other, they find themselves surrendering to a love more powerful than they could have ever imagined. But fate may have other plans—and it will take all of Annabelle’s courage to face a peril that could destroy everything she holds dear.
Trying to piece my thoughts together on Secrets of a Summer Night has been tough. I enjoyed it. I can see why people hype it up so much and claim that it is a must read. However, it wasn’t without it’s faults, and really just one fault, but one BIG fault in my opinion.
First I’ll share the pros of this book: It has an awesome heroine as the main character. Anabelle and her mother, Phillipa, have been trying to make ends meet since the passing away of her father. They are trying the best they can to keep Anabelle’s younger brother Jeremy in school and not have to pull him from his education to assist financially.
Phillipa and Annabelle’s main focus is to find Anabelle a husband to help provide for the family even though Anabelle has no dowry. Anabelle and three other young women basically in the same situation build a friendship, call themselves the Wallflowers and make a pact to assist each other in finding husbands. The friendship between Anabelle and the other three ladies is probably the biggest pro of this book for me. It felt really genuine. It also reminded me how much I enjoy reading female friendships rather than the narrative of women being catty towards one another.
“True friends never mind holding your hair back while you cast up your crumpets.”
Early on in the story, Anabelle meets a gentleman by the name of Simon Hunt. Simon isn’t necessarily a man with a title but he has money due to his work which really symbolized how much the world was changing at the time for me and how the old way of thinking and being born into money was in a way phasing out. Simon and Anabelle meet one night at the theater and Anabelle really can’t stand him from that night forth.
The two end up at the same party that is taking place over the course of a few days where single women are vying for the attention of Lord Kendall and throughout the course of her stay, Anabelle’s feelings toward Simon begin to change.
“As she stared into his warm black eyes, she reflected that this was perhaps the first evening of her adult life in which she was wholly happy to be exactly where she was.”
So let us venture into the con of this book. I know this is a much loved book, and I really liked it too and probably would’ve loved it had it not been such a drag in the second half. I felt as though we got our happy ending; the girl gets the guy, or in this case, the guy finally convinces the girl his intentions are real. This happens and there is still a little over 100 pages left. This didn’t sit well with me. For about 30 or so pages, I felt like I was just reading about Anabelle and Simon as newlyweds. Then you add in a plot twist, which I felt could have been written into the story before we get the happy ever after. The pacing in this story was off for me. I was on a high, really enjoying it, then it went downhill. At the same time, I enjoyed the friendship, I loved the romance enough to give it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I honestly just wish I could move the last 50 pages to another location in the book and start over.
Those are my thoughts on the beloved, Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas. Have you read this book? Have you ever experienced this with a novel, where you felt in a way things were written out of order?