Desert Isle Keeper Review
Seduce Me at Sunrise
October 2008, European Historical Romance (1850s [Victorian] England)
St. Martin's, $7.99, 384 pages, Amazon ASIN 0312949812
Part of a series
I've been wanting to read this book since I first noticed gypsy Merripen's silent adoration of Winifred in Kleypas's previous book, and Seduce Me at Sunrise did not disappoint with its tale of longing and hopeless love.
Kev Merripen has lived with Winifred Hathaway's family since they found him on the brink of death, beaten in an attack on the gypsy camp and left for dead by his family. Even as children, Kev and Win had a special connection and the gentle Win can calm Kev and keep his restlessness at bay. When Win was a young adult, scarlet fever devastated the family and almost took her life, leaving her delicate and fragile. As the book begins, she has learned of a physician in France whose radical ideas and healthful regimens have had great success in treating the chronically weak, and Win is determined to go to him to get better and stronger, so she and Kev can finally admit their love for each other and have a life together.
When Win returns three years later, she is much stronger and robust, and ready to do all those things she had been prohibited from doing by her health - from simple things like dancing and taking walks, to finally having that physical relationship with Kev. She has underestimated Kev's powers to deny himself happiness, though. Far stronger than his concern over her health is Kev's knowledge of his own black past and belief in his complete unworthiness of her love.
While Win's health has been fragile, there's nothing weak about her personality or her will to get what she wants - and she wants Kev, she always has. She knows him like no other and knows just what buttons to push to get him to open up to her in a way he cannot with anyone else. While Win has her frustrations with him and his refusal to take the happiness within his grasp, he cannot resist her love and complete acceptance of him - even with all his secrets laid bare.
Kev is one of those tortured, angsty, hopelessly-in-love heroes that Kleypas does so well. He was a mysterious figure in the last book - Mine Till Midnight - and as we learn his story, it only makes his dreams of a life with Win seem more impossible. In the previous book, we discovered that he had the same tattoo of an Irish pooka - a mythological demon-horse - that Cam (the hero of MTM) has. Their relationship is explored and we finally discover some answers, and while those answers are somewhat clichéd, the relationship between the easy-going Cam and the taciturn Kev is one of the highlights of the book.
I almost gave this book a grade of B+ for the admittedly clichéd resolution to Kev's problem and a bit of a personality reversal he undergoes near the end of the book. But my number one criteria in a DIK is: Will I read this book again? The answer to that question is a resounding "yes," so I am happy to give DIK status to Seduce Me at Sunrise and will be looking forward to more of the Hathaway family.
-- Cheryl Sneed
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