Release Date: May 31, 2016
Rating (out of 5):
Synopsis:Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . .
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss.
Lisa Kleypas' newest historical romance, Marrying Winterbourne, is a brilliantly engaging book, returning us to London in the late 1800s. The more traditional landed gentry are clashing with the nouveau riche, trains get one places instead of long rides by horse, and Winterbourne's giant department store has become the place to shop for rich and poor alike.
Self-made department store tycoon Rhys Winterbourne has it all: money, power, and success. What he wants now is an aristocratic wife, and Helen Ravenel, in-law to his friend Devon, fits the bill perfectly. She's beautiful, accomplished, and can trace her family's heritage back for generations. It doesn't hurt that Rhys is fascinated with her and desperately wants to possess her. Rhys is dark, arrogant, far to used to getting his own way, and has learned to approach life in terms of buying and selling, bargains and favors. Helen is his exact opposite. Shy, quiet, unworldly, Helen is used to being ignored by her parents, taking care of others, and always trying to see the best in people. You would think that a marriage like this would be disastrous. You would think that Rhys would steamroll over Helen. However, Kleypas is a master at taking two complete opposites and creating a strong and deeply loving relationship, and she does so again here. It was wonderful watching Helen become confident in herself, not only with Rhys but eventually with others as well. She blossoms into a woman who is no less strong for being quiet and discovers who she is and what she wants out of life- whether or not Society says that she should. Rhys undergoes his own transformation into a man completely in love, who is forced to question some of his own motives and preconceived ideas about life and what he wants. The two are definitely among my favorite characters- Rhys is one of those devils you just can't resist and I loved every interaction between them.
Kleypas excels with close-knit families of unconventional siblings, and the Ravenels will remind longtime readers of the Hathaway family. They are learning to try and fit into the world of their birthright, but still hold on to the qualities and ideals that make them unique.
Marrying Winterbourne picks up where Cold-Hearted Rake left off. While a new reader probably doesn't need to have read Rake to enjoy Winterbourne, it would definitely help. Kleypas continues to create a seamless world around excellent characters and readers will get lost in this newest book and be desperately waiting for book 3. As Devil in Spring won't come out until February, I suggest reading Kleypas' Wallflowers quartet, since the teaser chapter promises that we'll be seeing some familiar Wallflowers, their rakes, and rakish descendants come Spring!