Having read Lisa Keyplas on and off since I first stumbled upon ‘Stranger In My Arm’, I thought I was well acquainted with her unconventional pairing of opposites and refreshing focus on a Regency society outside the aristocrats’ circle. Well, I was wrong.
I was reminded of her uncanny ability to capture the mood of the period and make it come alive for the reader when I read ‘Secrets of a Summer Night’, which launches her Wallflower series. The series follows four young ladies who, tired of being relegated to the sidelines, made a pact to help each other find their dream match. (Go visit her website for a peek at the trailers, and while you’re at it, have some fun with the Wallflower Quiz).
Against the backdrop of a Victorian England on the cusp of industrial modernisation, Lisa has brilliantly evoked the subtle tension and conflicting emotions surrounding an impoverished genteel lady, Annabelle Peyton, and an ‘upstart’ commoner with the Midas touch, Simon Hunt, when they fall for each other in ‘Secrets’ … and rather unwillingly on Annabelle’s part I might say. The story doesn’t end at the altar though, Lisa went on to give her readers a glimpse of their married lives and the shifting of their mindsets as they adjust to a world where the ranks between nobility and commonality are slowly being blurred by the advent of industrial revolution, such as the invention of the steam locomotive.
Lisa’s heroes are usually forceful, forward-thinking characters whilst her heroines are spirited and independent. Annabelle and Simon are no exception, so the development of their character made for compelling reading. I couldn’t put it down without learning what’s going to happen to the two protagonists. I am already looking forward to reading the adventures of the two impudent American girls, Lillian and Daisy, and the bookish English heiress Evangeline (Evie). Mark my words, the wallflowers, as they’ve so self-depreciatingly dubbed themselves, are going to take the Season by storm.
‘ By turns amusing, sensual and sober, but always compelling,’ Publisher’s Weekly pronounce this ‘a first-rate offering from a truly talented storyteller.’ And I couldn’t agree more.
My other Lisa Keyplas must-read are ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, ‘Somewhere I’ll Find You’ and ‘Worth Any Price’.
Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer’s year – it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. ~Author Unknown
Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow