I was a little wary when I bought Lisa Kleypas’ Scandal in Spring. This is the final book which closes the story of the four wallflowers, and since she’s already indicated that she’ll be taking a break from romance writing, it became even more of an imperative that I like the book. I mean, leaving on a high note and all.
Anyway, I was concerned because Bam thought the hero was ‘just so ordinary and kind of boring’ and
“He does and says everything a Kleypas hero would say and do, but he didn’t make my panties melt”.
Now, we all know how important the main characters are in romances. There’s got to be enough chemistry to engage you. So, of course I felt a little iffy after reading Bam’s review.
Holly’s review gave me some courage although SIS only got a 3.5 rating out of 5 from her. But it was Devonna, who professed to ‘truly like Matthew’ who tipped the scales for me.
I’d already read the synopsis for this one even before reading Devil in Winter, so I was already clued in to the fact that the hero won’t be Cam Rohan. Amongst all the wallflowers, my favourites were Evie and Daisy, so naturally I was very curious about the men Kleypas would eventually pair them off with.
Sooooo …. yeah, I picked up the book with an open mind about Matthew’s character, and wasn’t too disappointed. I don’t expect another Sebastian, so it’s great that Kleypas isn’t modeling Matthew after any of the other girls’ mates, although one can see shades of Marcus and Simon in him. It sort of makes sense that when his BIG Secret (which I’d already guessed halfway through) was revealed, Daisy would stand by her man and support him all the way. She has a vivid imagination and would be the best person to appreciate how much grit, determination, not to mention, creativity it’ll take to reinvent oneself.
You have to hand it to Matthew for persisting and crawling out of the hellhole he’s got thrown into, even if being doggedly constant in his affection and loyalty (he’s dreamt of Daisy returning his love for yonks!), dependable (I had a good laugh when he dragged back a vet for Lillian’s delivery) and unwavering in his pursuit of a better life may make him seem sort of boring. It’s a different kind of rags-to-riches success story that somehow doesn’t seem too far-fetched when you consider the setting and how less advanced investigative work can be in those times. I dunno if such a stunt is possible in today’s world, but then again with so many cases of identity fraud that one hears of nowadays, maybe it isn’t too much a stretch of the imagination.
But I digressed … This book is still a pretty good read for me although it pales in comparison to the romantic tension and the drama that DiW brings, not to mention the two key characters development. There is a certain tenderness and fierceness of emotions in DiW that’s been watered down a little in Scandal, although I did shed a tear or two towards the end when Daisy stood firm in her love for Matthew and refused to believe the worst of him. Still, it was a satisfactory conclusion to the wallflowers for me. I’ve developed a fondness for them, and could even tolerate brassy Lillian when one witness the kind of anxiety she works herself into for those she loves.
I fully agree with Romancelover. This is one of the sweetest romances I’ve read of Kleypas thus far, and yes I would recommend it because it rounds off the ladies’ journey to love in a very sweet, heartwarming way. You also can’t help but be touched by the ladies’ friendship with each other.
So, even as I bid a fond farewell to Annabelle, Evie, Lillian and Daisy, I’m already looking forward to Kleypas’ next book, and where that takes me.