Title: Marrying Winterborne
Series: The Ravenels #2
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Historical Romance
Edition/Pages: Paperback, 400 pages
Rhys Winterborne is wealthy, successful, and always gets exactly what he wants. He thought his engagement to the beautiful Lady Helen was over until she shows up and declares she still wants to marry him. He’s determined to have her, even if he must take her virtue to ensure it happens.
Their one night together awakens something in Helen and she believes she’s the only one who can tame her soon to be husband. But Rhys’ enemies are conspiring against them and Helen is keeping a secret that might ruin it all.
➸ POV: 3rd Person
➸ Helen Ravenel: 21, Quiet, Shy, Innocent, Cousin to the current Earl Devon, Oldest Ravenel sister
➸ Rhys Winterborne: 30, Welsh, Owner of massive department store in London, Self-made
➸ Content Warnings: Classism, Sexism
I didn’t love this one as much as book 1 – which is apparently an unpopular opinion! This had elements that I absolutely loved, but this missed the mark in other aspects.
I flipping love Rhys Winterborne. I don’t know why, but there is something about a gruff, rough around the edges hero that just works for me. I loved that Rhys didn’t fit the societal norm for this time period and that he so unabashedly didn’t care.
I liked Helen enough, and I thought she had a good character arc. She definitely grows a lot throughout this book!
Just a note: this kicks off with -hands down- the most uncomfortable sex scene I’ve ever experienced. I started this during a zoom call with my book club – do not do what I did! I love my books dirty, but this was so awkward… 80 pages of the hero explaining how sex works to the virgin heroine is not something I needed.
But mostly this story was just really oddly paced to me…
The romance itself was wrapped up by the 30% mark. So the majority of this book lacked conflict and was simply a play by play leading up to their wedding. It was fine and I enjoyed reading about the characters and their day-to-day life, but I missed the tension. Then the very end turned everything on it’s head and became an overly dramatic soap opera with a mustache twirling evil villain. While I appreciated what the final conflict was trying to do, it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the late addition of the villain and I didn’t like that he was just so flatly evil.
Overall this sequel was just okay. I flew through it because Lisa Kleypas’ writing is so engaging and digestible. But the romance lacked tension since it wrapped up so early and I didn’t particularly care for the external conflict that was introduce at the end.