I picked up Secrets of a Summer night By Lisa Kleypas which is book one in the Wall Flowers series. Like most books I randomly buy I loved the blurb and thought the cover was pretty. I was however pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the story and just how Charming Simon Hunt was.
It starts off with Four wallflowers meeting and becoming friends. Two of the girls are ‘brash’ Americans which puts them on the outs automatically and Annabelle is poor and Evangeline has a stutter which made her and then Lillian my favorites. So the girls decide to help each other find husbands starting with the oldest that means Annabelle. Annabelle knows she needs to marry for money, since her fathers death her family has struggled to maintain ..well everything. So by marrying a peer she knows it will not only clear her families debts but give her a sense of security, but you know what they say about the best laid plans…
Enter Simon Hunt. Hunt who once long ago stole a kiss from Annabelle in a dark theater is now one of the richest men in England and has his sights set on Annabelle but not as a wife, Which if it was me I am totally fine with that. However Annabelle is not, and she has her heart set on marrying not only for money but a peer, while Simon is the son of a butcher and is in his own right a self made man, that coupled with the fact that he outright tells her he just wants her for his mistress makes her dislike him. As the story progressed we see the bond the Wallflowers start to have with each other and I for one would love to see more books that have this kind of friendship, it just the made the book a little bit more better in ways that I can’t really explain. There were time when I felt the book had lagged slightly and even though (SPOILER)the author was trying to show how married life to a middle class person was different than being married to a peer. What a middle class family was like compared to a “well bred” family. I found it interesting even with thought that maybe it should have ended ten pages sooner, But it still worked in the end pulling the story to a perfect full circle and hitting a HEA perfectly and leaving this reader emotionally satisfied.
Now for the bad part because sadly there is a small one. This book while I loved it and am eager to read the next book, did trouble me, it might also be a trigger for some. Not to go into a full on spoiler but Annabelle’s mother had been selling herself to a Lord who use to be a friend of the family now he just a filthy scumbag, but he growing tired of her mother and wants Annabelle. This does escalate slightly beyond lude comments and it’s obvious how distressful the situation is to her mother and what she has to do/does. It could honestly be a complete turn off for some.
All in All Secrets of a Summer night – the wallflowers book 1 is well worth the read. and I gave it 4 stars on goodreads .