This book, like all other books that I have ever read by Lisa Kleypas, is wonderful. Kleypas has a way of writing that causes the characters to come alive off of the page. The plot was interesting enough, but the brilliance of Kleypas' writing lies not in her plotting genius, but in her ability to sculpt compelling characters with depth and substance. I was charmed by both Harry and Poppy, both of whom have very unique personalities. I definitely give Kleypas full points for her ability to create new personalities for all of her characters. It is nice to read about new heroes and heroines that are uniquely themselves and not stenciled versions of characters from previous novels.
This book is fun and light. It is a perfect book to curl up and unwind with after a long day. I admit that I prefer contemporary romances, but Tempt Me At Twilight was good enough to make me overlook that. A warning, though: TMAT ends with a cliffhanger. I, for one, am already eager for the next installment in the series.
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I loved, loved, loved this book. Harry & Poppy are such a great couple & the book was so interesting from start to finish. I'm not sure why no one ever picks this hero as one of the best in Kleypas' arsenal but in my opinion, he ranks at the top. This was not one of those books that you read and feel like obstacles are so small that it's hard to believe they would be obstacles at all...seems like a great, genuine love story. Such a good book & an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
109 of 116 people found the following review helpful
The best Hathaway tale to date!Sept. 22 2009
J. D. Witt
- Published on Amazon.com
If you thought the Hathaway series got off to a slow start I can assure you it is full steam ahead now. As far as I'm concerned this is the best of the series by far. Tempt Me At Twilight is one of the most romantic romances I have read in a very long time. Poppy Hathaway is up to bat in this one and she already has her heart set on the Honorable Michael Bayning. They have courted all season long and Poppy is just waiting for him to pop the question so she can live happily ever after.
Enter wealthy hotel owner Harry Rutledge. He owns the hotel where her family spends the season in London. If you follow this series you will remember Beatrice of the many animal menagerie? Her ferret, Dodger, is loose in the hotel and Poppy must catch him before a love letter he has stolen causes a scandal. This clever opening to the story will have you laughing out loud as Harry and Poppy definitely "meet cute." Beatrice approves Harry immediately when she finds out he has been ferret approved. She is even more impressed when she finds out Dodger chewed a hole in his chair and Harry didn't even blink. The rest of the family is not so easily impressed.
In fact the entire family wants to murder him when they find out just how far he'll go in order to have Poppy for his wife. Believe me, he is a very bad boy. Oh, but to have a man love you like he loves Poppy? Yes, ladies, we would all give a favorite body part for a delicious man like Harry Rutledge. This is some of the best writing I have seen from Lisa Kleypas ever. It is truly a romance where we aren't just told that A loves B, we SEE it. In living color we see and hear the hero lose his heart to Poppy. I fell in love with Poppy too. She really shines in this tale and is perfect for Harry in every way.
I could go on and on about how well written this book is but don't take my word for it. You will definitely want this one on your keeper shelf so run out and get it right now so you can spend as many pleasant hours as I did. That is my only complaint about this book. It wasn't nearly long enough. Oh, and Leo is up next. This book gives us a few teasers and it looks to be another wonderful story. Unfortunately we have to wait until Summer 2010 for Leo's story. But if it is even half as good as this one I'll be satisfied. Well done, Ms. Kleypas. Very well done.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Pleasantly SurprisedSept. 22 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Initially, I wasn't drawn to reading this novel. It's been a while since I read Seduce Me at Sunrise (which I definitely preferred over Amelia and Cam's book), and Poppy was the one character I couldn't really remember. However, my mind was quickly changed once I began reading.
Tempt Me at Twilight has your classic heroine: Poppy is your smarter-than-average female who has trouble fitting in with the British ton. Harry is the enigmatic and slightly villainous hero. The predictability ends there because this novel is full of surprises. Unlike Amelia and Win's marriages, Poppy and Harry's occurs quite early on and under very different and difficult circumstances. What I predicted to be a problem down the road for them was actually addressed on their wedding day. Also, Harry is quite evil (I say that with a laugh and a grain of salt). On a serious note, I believed him to be the anti-hero that Sebastian should have been in Devil in Winter (though I love that book as well). He manipulated people into getting his way, but what was refreshing was that Poppy is able to handle him on her own terms. There are also introductions to interesting side characters who I hope play a part in later books, including Harry's assistant.
For those of you, like me, who were disappointed that Leo's story wasn't next after Win's (they had plenty of chemistry in her story), you won't be sorry that LK skipped them for the time being. Our favorite sparring couple has plenty of fun scenes that further develop their tempestuous relationship. We also learn a lot more about Miss Marks' mysterious past and Tempt Me at Twilight even ends on a cliffhanger for the two.
Why did I give Tempt Me at Twilight 4 stars? I felt a small bit unsatisfied with the development of Poppy and Harry's relationship. I got a little of the we-fight-to-make-up feeling from it, but overall, I think they are a passionate and fitting couple. I highly recommend this book and can't wait until the summer for Leo's story!
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
A solid Kleypas read with a wonderful "villain" hero and another charming Hathaway sister (3.5 stars)Sept. 22 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
At last!! Another Kleypas novel - now we all just have to survive the wait for the story we've all been waiting for: Leo and "Marks" (or Catherine/Cat, which we learn in this novel is her first name). I completely agree with the reviewer Luckee that this book was definitely satisfying and enjoyable, but there was just a little something missing. Is it worth rushing out to your nearest bookstore and buying though? Yes. Will you be left feeling giddy after you read it? Yes. And are there the classic characters we all love, the chemistry Kleypas excels at writing, and the humorous and witty scenes we adore? Yes. So basically: yes, buy it, steal it, whatever, but read it!
MAIN CHARACTERS, Harry Rutledge and Poppy Hathaway: Harry (early 30s) is a wonderful hero - the kind of bad-guy-whom-we-love-to-love hero that Kleypas created for Dreaming of You, The Devil in Winter, and Where Dreams Begin. Harry is ruthless, complex, very emotionally closed-off, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants - which usually comes very easily to him now. However he's also fair, humorous, extremely hardworking and intelligent, intense, passionate, loyal, and can be extremely tender and sensitive.
Here LK has created a "hero" à la Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent (from DEVIL IN WINTER), because as Harry himself says in the scene that was being used as the teaser-excerpt: in this story, it's the villain of the fairy-tale who gets the princess, not the prince. Harry definitely does some questionable things, though I would say that Kleypas does a very good job of having her character toe the line, but never quite crossing it - and writing him in such a way that one can't help but understand why Poppy is so attracted and drawn to him, because frankly what woman wouldn't be?! Basically, you know him ... he's the bad/cold guy who just secretly (even unconsciously) wants to love and cuddle / be loved and cuddled but was - surprise, surprise - just waiting (even if he didn't know it) for the right woman to come along. Let's not even pretend that we don't all (or okay, to be fair, *most* all of us) absolutely **LOVE** this type of hero, lol.
Poppy (23) is a great counterbalance to Harry - as he so eloquently puts it in one scene in the book when he compares her to a clock mechanism ;-). She's charming, friendly, outgoing, loving, intelligent, and a wonderful conversationalist (sounds like a mundane attribute, but really isn't in this case) who is interested by almost everything and everyone. All Poppy has ever wanted is a calm and quiet life - something not often found in the Hathaway household - with a partner whom she loves, and though she thinks she has found this in the form of Michael Bayning, Harry maneuvers everything so that ... well, let's just say that path becomes somewhat obstructed for Poppy.
I liked Poppy's freshness and honesty - there is no guile with her and it's easy to see why someone like Harry (or anyone, for that matter) would be drawn to her. One of the things I loved best about Poppy was that she wasn't written as being so perfect that it was almost hard to like her or feel any kinship with her; she has flaws - though admittedly not as many as Harry, lol - and there's one scene in particular where after speaking with Leo about something, she decides that she was in the wrong and is going to apologize. If you want to know what other LK heroines she's most like, I would probably say a combination of Sara Fielding (DREAMING OF YOU) for her honesty and friendliness, Daisy Bowman (Scandal in Spring) for her simplicity and positivity, and Charlotte Howard (Worth Any Price) for how her relationship with the hero is portrayed and in the way that he needs/wants her.
OTHER COMMENTS: We see lots of the whole Hathaway clan (and are given great teasers about Leo and Marks, see P.S. for more details) and the staff of the Rutledge Hotel are great additions to the book. They really add to the story, as well as giving further depth to Harry and the relationship he develops with Poppy. They also provide some wonderful humor, which is always a great thing for any romance book, and this book definitely has some of the LOL scenes that I always come to treasure in LK's novels - one of the greatest ones is when the hotel top-staff are in the kitchen discussing the intimate side (or lack thereof) of Harry and Poppy's relationship and the chef is making all these vegetable metaphors. :-))) Couldn't stop laughing!
CRITICISM: The "there's-something-missing-but-I'm-not-exactly-sure-what" factor is hard to describe because, yes, I'm not exactly sure what it is. The whole relationship feels somewhat rushed to me and takes place over a shorter period of time than I feel is usually used in Kleypas' books (at least in her historicals). Because they know each other for so little time and the period (time-wise) that the book covers is somewhat on the short side, I think that the development of their relationship seems a little rushed or stilted, not containing as much plausible depth as some of Kleypas' other main characters, and problems that dog the story and their marriage seem to conclude almost too quickly right before the end.
Also, although the chemistry between Harry and Poppy is definitely there, it's not AS shimmery/practically-tangible as in some of her other novels. Compared to a lot of other authors out there, it's still absolutely wonderful and excellently written when it is there and you definitely will NOT feel like you were short-changed on the romance part - however compared to the first two Hathaway books (Mine Till Midnight and Seduce Me at Sunrise), it just was not as "charged."
Finally, most authors have to include some mystery/villain twist at the end and LK provides this obligatory plot twist. I myself thought it seemed a bit superfluous and could have been done without, but no more details since then I would have to include spoilers.
BOTTOM LINE: It's still a great read, and I definitely do NOT regret rushing out this morning and buying it at the nearest bookstore (my apologies, Amazon.com). We're teased at the end that Summer 2010 will see - get this - TWO NEW HISTORICAL ROMANCES by LK. Yes, I know, take a moment to sit down, take a deep breath, and collect yourself (... or was that just my reaction?). They are the remaining two books in the Hathaway series: MARRIED BY MORNING and LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON.
P.S. FOR ALL THE LEO AND MISS MARKS FANS (i.e. everyone in existence who is aware of them): The rumor is that MARRIED BY MORNING is Leo's story (and Marks/Catherine/Cat's, because really, it's just too cruel to even IMAGINE she's not his heroine) and will be the next Hathaway book released - I don't know about the rest of you, but even the thought of the Leo/Cat story has me jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store (but no pressure LK, lol). As other reviews mention, this book is choc-a-bloc FULL of little teasers and further developments in their relationship (plus some new and *very interesting* disclosures about Cat's past - though still not everything, of course). Whenever their book finally DOES come out, it will be an absolute must to reread the previous Hathaway books first so the anticipation can really build ... and then we can just wallow in enjoyment, lol. I can (seriously) barely contain my excitement - good to know I have a whole ~10 months to work on it ::sigh::.
For mini-micro-spoilers about both books (though really mini when it comes to LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON) go to this interview with Lisa Kleypas that was posted the day after this book came out (Amazon took out the link, so I posted it in the comments section). Thank you to L. ROACH for the post about it; the spoiler for MARRIED BY MORNING is absolutely great and is a definite must-read if you're left wondering about a certain exchange between Leo and Cat at the end of the book.
UPDATE, 6/4/2010: Reread and am changing my rating to 3.5 stars; agree with my criticisms and saw all these points as way more of an issue this time. I think the first reading I was somewhat blinded by my excitement to have a new Kleypas book.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Hathaways Are Out of Control!Oct. 8 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I would have given this book 4-5 stars if not for Harry's disorienting personality change.
What weird power do the Hathaways have? They are extremely entertaining, affectionate, and funny. I LIKE the Hathaways. A lot! And yet they annoy me too. Why? Because they have the power to suck the soulfulness right out of any decently angst-ridden hero. No, bad Hathaways! Leave Harry alone!
You see, the Hathaways are too good at reforming husbands. (Small disclaimer: Cam was always a happy guy, and he actually changes his wife for the better.) But then came Merripen and now Harry. Kleypas does a great job doing angst in a refreshing way. Both men started out brooding, myserious, alluring, and just cranky enough to be interesting. But toss 'em into the Hathaway brood and they're smiling, whistling, sleeping through the night for God's sake!!!
Lisa, my dear, I love your books. But the Hathaways are becoming a cult. They brainwash your hero! In Tempt Me at Twilight, as in your previous book, the hero's personality goes out the window. He doesn't seem like the same guy. Harry is stormy, sweet, conflicted. He goes out to the Hathaway homestead and he's....perfected. And not in a good way. Suddenly he's taking a long vacation, super-chummy with his estranged sister, and then, worst of all, he's nuzzling his wife in front of the help. I know Harry's loosening up, but what the heck?
Don't let the Hathaways ruin another hero!!!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
It could have been more...Sept. 30 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
After reading all the great reviews, I rushed out to purchase a copy of this book. After a few pages, I fell asleep...not to say it was completely boring, but it was a slow start for me. There was one part...when they were trying to lure the monkey down the shaft, Poppy tried to help, but Jake brought Harry's gun, and Poppy got scared...it was kinda cheesy for me...I mean she was suppose to be angry with him for stealing a kiss, but she went straight into his arms becasue she was scared of guns?? Maybe I'm missing something. Another thing that bothered me was how crazy possessive Harry was...he had been alone most of his life, but suddenly he became so attached to Poppy? And they never once discussed his childhood, she found out from his half sister, but Harry and Poppy never talked about it, it was alittle strange. Also the book felt rushed, the second half of the book went too quickly, I never really understood how Poppy's feelings towards Harry changed and developed into something deeper.
I'm not saying this book was horrible, there were just a few inconsistences. I gave it 3 stars because I liked some parts of the book, e.g., when Michael crashed the wedding and told on Harry and I liked the story around the hotel staff.
Overall, it wasn't the best I've read and it wasn't the worst. Many of you will disagree with me, I'm sure...but I'm glad I read it, it was somewhat entertaining.