This review contain’s some spoilers.
Tempt Me at Twilight is the third book about the unconventional, but loveable Hathaway family. This time, it’s Poppy’s turn in the lovestakes. Poppy wants normalcy the most, which includes finding a quiet husband whom she can love and who will love her in return. Poppy seems to have found this with Michael Bayning, who also seems to return her feelings. Michael, though, is the only son and heir to a Lord who is very strict regarding social status – especially in a wife for his only son.
Poppy is in London with her family, awaiting the time until Michael tells his father about his intentions so they can finally be together. But, while awaiting and staying in the famous Rutledge hotel for Michael to do this, Poppy encounters the mysterious but enigmatic owner, Harry Rutledge.
In a chance meeting, due to a rascally ferret, Poppy is dismayed by
the intense sensations Harry brings about in her, despite the love she has for Michael. Harry, himself, knows what he wants instantly and after this chance meeting, Harry wants Poppy to be completely his and nothing will stop him from having her.
I admit, I’ve been looking forward to this book muchly. Lisa Kleypas is an auto buy for me, and while this wasn’t a perfect read, I liked it. This book is very quirky and it has a lightness to it that makes for easy reading.
Poppy is a very likeable heroine who knows what she wants and she doesn’t want to settle for less in her husband choice, especially after her two older sisters, Amelia (Mine Till Midnight) and Win (Seduce Me At Sunrise) married for love. Poppy can be awkward, but she’s very smart and she wants her ideal husband. Unfortunately, poor Poppy doesn’t get her idealistic prince charming. She gets the scheming and super clever, Harry Rutledge.
Harry, for me, wasn’t a very likeable hero for the first part of the book. His manipulations and cold precision to have Poppy in his life, despite knowing how much heartache it would cause her, bothered me. Even though I knew Harry was the hero, in the beginning and even towards the middle of the book, I wished Poppy would give him the boot.
Poppy sees through Harry and a sort of bumpy ride
ensues between the both of them, where Harry is dismayed about the protective feelings that Poppy brings about in him. Poppy is also very straightforward in her dealings with him, and she soon sees through him which shocks Harry. Harry and Poppy have a forced marriage, on Poppy’s part, and it takes time for her to get over the resentment of that. Harry is blinded by his need to have her, and doesn’t truly understand why Poppy is so resentful. He gets very jealous and upset whenever she mentions Michael, her ex betrothed. I thought Harry was very childish regarding this, and at that point in the book, I felt that Poppy was something he required, like an object, rather than his wife.
An important aspect in this book is the whole Hathaway family. The love and fierceness they have for one another was wonderful to read about. Poppy didn’t have to stay with Harry, and her family, many times, told her that she could come home whenever she wanted. Instead of doing this, Poppy stays with Harry and weathers it out until she realises she actually needs to escape from her husband, for a short while, so she can come to love him. Harry of course, is hopping mad when he finds out she has gone, and goes after Poppy to the Hathaway home where a new turn for both begins, as Harry learns about the Hathaways, and what having a family means and feels like.
Harry, until that moment, is very troubled about the feelings he shouldn’t be having for his wife. We find out about his history where his father left him literally to the care of the servants to be raised, and while it explains why he acts as he does, I still didn’t feel Harry had that likeability that the other not-so-perfect heroes had, especially Sebastian St Vincent (Devil in Winter) who also, originally, had the villainous traits stamped onto him. But, with St Vincent and his heroine, Evie, there was this lush, intensity between them that lingered on the pages and it was so very believable But, I had a problem with Harry’s transformation to the loving husband of Poppy. I didn’t find it believable and it seemed to fall flat. I just didn’t ‘feel’ that Harry had changed.
Kleypas, as always, brings to the pages beautiful love scenes without going into very descriptive details, and somehow manages to keep the intensity. There weren’t many love scenes in Tempt me at Twilight but when they did appear, it was beautifully done.
There is one thing I want to mention and that’s the revelation regarding Miss Marks. I won’t say what and with whom, but since it was never hinted at in the previous books, it just popped out of the blue for me and I was left thinking, huh? Where on earth did that come from? I do like Miss Mark’s character and I can’t wait for her and Leo’s story next year. Leo, again, is a character that really shines and the ending of Tempt Me at Twilight… OMG! What a cliff hanger!!
Overall, I enjoyed Tempt Me at Twilight but it’s not one of my favourites. I wasn’t too keen on a direction the book turned to at the end, which I felt served no purpose to the story. But, with the appearances from the rest of the Hathaway family, including the scenes between Leo and Miss Marks, I do believe this is a book that Kleypas fans should definitely pick up.