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Book Reviews of Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5)

Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5)
Love in the Afternoon - Hathaways, Bk 5
Author: Lisa Kleypas
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780312605391
ISBN-10: 0312605390
Publication Date: 6/29/2010
Pages: 352
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 403 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

21 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

philippaj avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9

Lisa Kleypas' latest novel is absolutely delightful; she has woven a wonderful and rich tale of love, and has done so with a great deal of skill and depth. I've been a great fan of the Hathaway clan and their stories, but for some reason was never very much interested in Beatrix's. The sneak preview at the end of MARRIED BY MORNING completely changed my opinion and I was ecstatic to only have to wait a month ... as well as a little nervous - my anticipation for MARRIED BY MORNING had been (like every other sane romance reader out there) almost unbearable and had ended in something of a disappointment. That was *not* the case with LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON!

[England, 1854-1855]
It all starts innocently enough - Beatrix Hathaway's (23) friend, Prudence Mercer (a horrid girl), has received a letter from one of her suitors, Captain Christopher Phelan (29). Prudence finds the letter boring and tedious and has no intention of replying. Beatrix has no great fondness for the man: he's somewhat shallow and conceited, and she overheard once at a picnic a very rude comment he made about her. However reading his letter makes her feel an odd connection to the man who has written it and when Prudence refuses to write him back and urges Beatrix to pretend to be her and write a response, Beatrix decides that she will. After all, he's in a war zone and he's found a dog with behavioral issues ... what else is a compassionate and animal-loving person to do?!

One letter becomes two, which become three, and before she knows it, they are exchanging what almost amount to love letters. What started out as a desire to help has turned into something completely unexpected, and Beatrix feels guilt over the kept-up pretension that Prudence is the one writing the letters and is conflicted with love for this man whom before she only felt dislike for. When Christopher returns a war hero, hailed by all society and having newly inherited substantial property, Prudence becomes interested in him once again and though their friendship ends with difficult parting words, both she and Beatrix agree that neither will reveal the truth to Christopher and the masquerade will continue.

Christopher comes home a broken man, having survived two years of intense war and now forced to deal with the reality of his older brother's death. He has changed from the foolish, vain, and shallow society-darling he used to be. The one thing that has kept him going through all the difficulties has been the thought of "Prudence," the woman he's been exchanging letters with. She is in London when he finally feels ready to reengage with the world, but before he is able to leave and see her he has several encounters with his neighbor Beatrix Hathaway - who is annoying, frustrating, contrary, odd ... as well as intriguing, compelling, attractive, and undeniably appealing.

He remains committed to meeting the woman of his dreams though - the woman who wrote him such beautiful letters and whom he is determined to marry. He therefore travels to London to meet this paragon and is confused when, after spending some time with Prudence, he finds it increasingly difficult to believe that she is the woman behind his treasured letters. If not she, however, then who? Was it all a game, some prank that was being played on him? And if it is the woman whom he has begun to suspect ... Well, she *could* be everything that he had hoped for and dreamed of, but does he deserve her? After everything he's been through and done in this horrible war, will he ever truly be happy?

MAIN CHARACTERS, Beatrix (23) and Christopher (29):
This book tackles the very serious issue of the difficult war experiences soldiers have and what we now refer to as PTSD. Christopher and Beatrix both feel like outsiders; they watch others at a distance and feel their difference when compared to the rest of society. Christopher has changed so much and bears so much guilt, sadness, and despair, that he is no longer sure where - or if - he fits in. Beatrix has always been unusual - even for a Hathaway! - and is more interested in animals than people. She also used to have a problem with kleptomania, though this was dealt with mostly in the series first book.

Christopher and Beatrix each remain their own person, but they are essential to one another and exactly what the other needs - and neither of them resists admitting this, which was **SUCH** a welcome change in this historical romance reader's opinion! To not have to wait till the last page for both people to say "I love you"? Now that's just MasterCard priceless. A lot of times with romances, we're hankering at the end for more of the happily-ever after and have to content ourselves with the epilogue, if the author is kind enough to include one. Here, even though they still have the very large obstacle of Christopher's PTSD and his fear of hurting/sullying Beatrix because of it, they readily admit their feelings for one another. Once they're "together," all the exchanges between them read so smoothly that it feels like they've been together forever, understand each other extremely well, and best of all - you've had a front row seat to the whole thing!

The intensity of emotion between Beatrix and Christopher *leaps* off the pages and is somewhat similar to Merripen and Win, though not with such intense physicality. Don't get me wrong - although there is not as much going on as early in the book as Kleypas usually writes, the chemistry and tension between Beatrix and Christopher is fabulous throughout. Their connection also has a deep emotional and almost spiritual quality, which is often hard to find in romance books and I'm sure even harder to write, so hats off to you, Lisa! The way that Christopher talks about Beatrix - both the letter-writer and the woman - will have you swooning and grinning like a madwoman. Her passion and feelings for him are equally intense and ... well they're just so perfect for one another!

This truly is a fabulous book - the two main characters are intriguing and complex and their relationship comes alive within these pages. Also, there were thankfully no errant murderers on the loose, no gun-crazed kidnappers, no evil almost-mothers-in-law who try to pawn off the unwanted heroine on a possible rapist who ends up being a hero in another book (I love St. Vincent as much as the next Kleypas fan, so before you revolt, that was not a slight towards him!). There's a little surprise twist at the end, but in this case it was not at all superfluous and helps deal with one of the big issues that has been dominating the entire book.

That the masquerade doesn't continue on until the end, but is instead revealed far before that, was simply perfect in my mind. Christopher and Beatrix have already fallen in love with another through words on a page, but for a real relationship to work they also have to deal with the actual human being and everything out in the open. Kleypas realizes this, and as a result, doesn't make the letter-writing charade the central figure, but instead truly makes it a love story about Christopher and Beatrix finding one another, both literally and figuratively.

Book 1 - MINE TILL MIDNIGHT, Amelia Hathaway and Cam Rohan (4 stars)
Book 2 - SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE, Winnifred (Win) Hathaway and Kev Merripen (4.5 stars)
Book 3 - TEMPT ME AT TWILIGHT, Poppy Hathaway and Harry Rutledge (3.5 stars)
Book 4 - MARRIED BY MORNING, Leo Hathaway, Lord Ramsay and Catherine (Cat) Marks (3.5 stars)
Book 5 - LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, Beatrix Hathaway and Christopher Phalen (5 stars)

(1) ENGLANDS PERFECT HERO (Lessons in Love, Book 3) by Suzanne Enoch - hero suffers from PTSD (5 stars)
(2) THE RAKE (Davenport Family, Book 2) by Mary Jo Putney - hero has to overcome alcoholism; heroine is a misfit (5 stars)
(3) THE MATCHMAKER (Maker Series, Book 1) by Rexanne Becnel - hero suffers from PTSD and alcoholism (5 stars)
(4) LORD OF ICE (Knight Miscellany, Book 3) by Gaelen Foley - hero suffers from PTSD (5 stars)
(5) TILL NEXT WE MEET by Karen Ranney - hero and heroine first fall in love through their letters; hero is not writing as himself (5 stars)
(6) SEVEN SECRETS OF SEDUCTION by Anne Mallory (4.5 stars)
(7) And of course the rest of the Hathaway series if you haven't read it already (the Hathaway family characters are heavily featured in this book)
Jerseygirltoo avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 442 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I loved this book. Just to add my two cents to Juliana K's extensive and excellent review, this was so much better than the previous book in the series(Leo and Catherine's story), and one of Kleypas's more emotionally intense stories. Which is not what you would expect, because the younger Beatrix and her animals played sort of a comic relief role in the earlier books. She grows up to be a true original and I loved the way her and Christopher fell in love just through the written word. I also loved how he instinctively recognizes, even though he can't figure out how it happened, that Prudence could not have been the woman who wrote the letters to him. Yet he does feel that inner connection to Beatrix even though he tells himself in the beginning that he doesn't like her. I give it 4 1/2 stars. The little drama at the end of the book, which I will not give away, came out of nowhere and was not very well developed, so that kept it from being a perfect 5 stars.
It was a lot of fun to see some of the other Hathaways again, and I'm sorry there won't be more books about them. Oh, and I also loved the hero's dog, Albert. He was quite a character. I'm not quite ready to put this one on my bookshelf, I think I'll have to read it at least once or twice more.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 929 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I wasn't sure I would like Christopher in the beginning because even when he came back from the war, he was still a rather pretentious SOB. But I guess that was the point of the book, for him to find a place he belonged and slowly let go of what he thought was important.

Beatrix was a great character. I loved that she didn't really care about others and did her own thing. And I'm glad the storyline doesn't drag out the Cyrano/Roxanne theme. Christopher figured out who really wrote the letters rather quickly. I'm also glad I didn't have to spend about hundred pages on why Christopher felt he wasn't good enough to marry Beatrix. He knew it but was going to take her anyway. As with most of Kleypas books, it seemed to be about how they overcome obstacles to become a closer couple rather than the fairy tale happily ever after marraige ending.

The added PTSD and clepto issues were interesting. But again, we had the death by illness theme that Kleypas seemed to put in every book. Gets a little old.

So it was a good, easy read. I especially loved the scene with the whole Hathaway family. They are the ones that really make the book worthwhile.
curlyk avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on
Helpful Score: 2
Just a simply sweet romance. Not much of any conflict which is nice every once in a while. Nice end to the Hathaway series. They must be the most fertile family ever in novels. My lord...
sonnet avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love the Hathaways and so far all of the books in this series has been a wonderful read. That being said this one was not my favorite, sad really because I have loved Beatrix and all of her charming quirks from the start and I enjoyed Capitan Christopher Phelan, but for some reason I felt this book fell flat. It was a bit rushed, and given all the possibility that the characters presented I was surprised that the book was so subdued. Then it ended and I felt like there should have been more.
ra7 avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 943 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great entry in The Hathaways series. I love this family. You know a book is good when it's difficult to put down (and you have something else you have to do).
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on
Great story and character development. The best of the series, I thought.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 503 more book reviews
The book starts with letters between Bea and Christopher - he not knowing it is she who is writing - and her falling in love with him. It was painfully romantic. Then he treats her so badly when they meet again, it is heartbreaking. He's a great broken hero and she is an amazing antidote to what ails him. His PTSD isn't "cured" but you can see how she helps him and it's believable. I thought it was beautifully romantic. A wonderful end to my favorite series. I've read them three times.
ex-chunky avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 2 more book reviews
I wondered what kind of man Beatrix would end up with. this is a wonderful book. I absolutly loved it !!! Pat A
liebe4christus avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 82 more book reviews
An emotional and beautiful ending to this series. Beatrice is a very romantic character and is my second favorite to Leo. I'm going to miss the characters...lol. A beautiful romance. 5 stars.
splage avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 76 more book reviews
Good ending to the series. Beatrice was always bizarre to me with the kleptomaniac thing and the exotic collection of animals- I can't say I was anticipating her story, but i wanted to finish the series. I was proven wrong, I thought the letters to each other were beautiful. It was perfect for Beatrice because he loved her for what was inside, not just her beauty or sex appeal, which she had plenty of as well. There were some slower parts in the middle, mainly war related stuff. Also I enjoyed the scene where Christopher asked for her hand from her brothers, but didn't really know if he wanted it.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 52 more book reviews
Loved the book, loved the character. One of my favorites in this series and by this author.
jilld avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 156 more book reviews
Grade = B

Love in the Afternoon is the fifth and final book in Lisa Kleypas's Hathaway series. Beatrix, the youngest Hathaway sibling, finally gets her story. It all began innocently enough when Beatrix's friend Prudence reads her a letter from Captain Christopher Phelan. Beatrix never could resist a wounded soul and insists on writing Christopher after Pru callously disregards his letter. Over the course of the next few months Bea becomes Christopher's shining light amid the dark war. After the war ends he plans to come home and clam Pru as his own. Only he doesn't realize it's not Prudence he's in love with, its Beatrix.

Love in the Afternoon while not my favorite in the Hathaway series is still a pleasant read. Beatrix who has always marched to the beat of her own drum prefers the company of animals to that of most people. She is known for her ability to tame almost any wild creature, which is exactly what she does with Christopher once he leaves the war and has to integrate back into society. His gruff and rude behavior is no match for Beatrix's stubborn patience.

For some reason I am having a difficult time pin pointing why exactly I didn't like Love in the Afternoon as much as I did the other books in this series. It could be little things, like the fact that Bea and Christopher are apart in the beginning of the book. They exchange a series of letters which establishes their relationship. Then I think that coupled with the fact that it takes Christopher a while to realize that it was Beatrix who wrote the letters and not Pru. Pru is a selfish twit of a girl and Beatrix is obviously a much, much better person and the fact Christopher doesn't see it right away is a big mark against him. Overall it is a cute story. I mean its Lisa Kleypas. Its still an enjoyable read, just not my favorite.
Catherine1 avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 60 more book reviews
For me, this series went out with a whimper instead of a bang. After reading Leo and Catherine's book I had high expectations of this one. Unfortunately, I never connected to the story and found my attention wandering frequently.

One of Beatrix's friends, Prudence, has received a letter from one of her suitors, Christopher, who is away at war. When Prudence decides she's not going to write back, because that would only encourage him to include more boring details about what he's going through, Beatrix insists she must. When Prudence still isn't interested Beatrix takes over the task herself, with Prudence's approval, and signs Prudence's name. Christopher and Beatrix exchange multiple letters back and forth until it becomes too much for Beatrix to continue the charade. What started as a way to comfort him during his time away turned into love. Beatrix breaks off her connection to him with a final letter asking him to find her.

I really liked that we got to read some of the letters going back and forth between them. It much more engaging than simply being told about it. The drawing that was included in one of the letters was a very nice touch too.

When Beatrix and Christopher finally meet in person, after he comes back from the war a hero, he's pretty rude to her. He wasn't impressed with her when they had met in the past, and time hasn't improved her. I thought the premise for this story was clever, but when it got to the reality of it I wasn't too pleased. I didn't enjoy reading about Christopher longing for Prudence while Beatrix was stuck longing for Christopher. It wasn't just the longing that bothered me. He was condescending and rude on pretty much every occasion they met. Whenever he discussed her with his sister-in-law, Audrey, he had nothing nice to say - unless it was about her appearance. It was a bit off-putting.

I wasn't that attached to Beatrix in any of the other books, so I had no real expectations of her going in to this book. What I definitely didn't expect was the historical dog-whisperer. Not only does she enjoy nature and animals, she seems to be an expert in everything about them. Hearing her constantly lecturing Christopher on proper care of his dog got a bit old. I agree he needed help, but he didn't ask for her opinion. She just barreled over him and spoke her authoritative opinion ad nauseam. She even stole his dog once. It was the best for the dog, yes, but it just emphasized her more unattractive personality traits. She's insanely bossy and managing.

Another thing that bothered me about Beatrix was this: She is the biggest Mary Sue. Everyone loves her. She's kind to every person and animal alike, she instinctively knows how to handle everyone she encounters, she's bright and cheerful and beyond the shallow pursuits of the ton. The only person who really ended up disliking her in the story was Prudence. Beatrix even managed to get Christopher's mom to tolerate her. It was all just too much.

Christopher wasn't a character I really enjoyed. He was either brooding or over dramatic in his love/lust. It wasn't compelling, it was just kind of silly. I did like the way his PTSD was handled, until the end of course. He had a very real problem adjusting once he came back from the war. Once he met Beatrix his problems didn't magically disappear. I thought it was a very realistic portrayal.

The ending kind of came out of nowhere. All of a sudden, bam, unexpected event. Then, it was solved and everyone was happy in just a few pages. It seemed like it was just a plot device to "fix" some of Christopher's issues.

I think my favorite parts of the book were when Beatrix or Christopher interacted with the Hathaways or Audrey. They sparkled in comparison to my ho-hum attitude toward the protagonists. Leo and Cam had great dialogue. When they started bickering about who had to talk to Christopher I couldn't stop giggling. Leo's mocking of Cam's Romany sayings was also fun.

This book was readable, but in spite of the PTSD it felt really light to me. Toward the middle it felt reminiscent of a farce. It reminded me of my reaction to most Julia Quinn books. I'll keep this book (because I have to keep series intact), but I doubt I'll reread it anytime soon.
alishiaz avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 60 more book reviews
I love Lisa Kleypas books. I have never been disappointed.

This was a great read. It is about the youngest sister in the Hathaway family, Beatrix. She is an animal lover and that had the family concerned that no one would ever love her for that, until Christopher comes along. Great love story.

There was lots of humor in this book that I don't remember being in previous Hathaway books.

A definite read.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 239 more book reviews
Loved the ending of the Hathaways book~! Beatrice is the most eccentric of the siblings and meets her match in Chistopher. I'm sad to see it end but I can't wait for the next story.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 20 more book reviews
I'm a tough critic on these books and I enjoy her earlier books much better. Not much depth in character or writing.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on
This series is probably one of my all time favorites. My teenage daughter would often come down stairs to see what I was laughing at. Well written, heart fluttering romance.
wrestlingmom avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 51 more book reviews
i really love this series! great romance to get lost in!
robinmy avatar reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 1944 more book reviews
Beatrix Hathaway's friend, Prudence Mercer, tells her that she has been corresponding with Captain Christopher Phelan while he is fighting abroad. Prudence mentions that Christopher has found a dog in the middle of the carnage and asked for advice on training it. Prudence is bored with the whole subject and doesn't plan on writing back to Christopher, so Beatrix asks if she can answer the letter under Prudence's name. This starts a series of letters between Beatrix and Christopher where they get to know each other and fall in love. The biggest problem is Christopher still believes he is writing to Prudence and has vowed to marry her. Now Christopher has returned to London and is confused by Prudence's general attitude. He discovers that Prudence was not the woman who wrote those letters and swears to find the person who deceived him.

I thought this story started off a little slow. Thankfully it picked up the pace when Christopher came back to England. Of all the Hathaways in this series, Beatrix was never a favorite. In this book she shines as the woman who loves a man from afar but can never admit her deception to him. Christopher came back from war suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. After discovering the Beatrix is behind the letters, he is afraid he will somehow hurt her and keeps his distance. It's a satisfying ending to an excellent series. My rating: 4 Stars.
reviewed Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Bk 5) on + 8 more book reviews
Excellent book.
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