When I finished reading Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas, I closed the book with a smile and sigh thinking that this installment is a great addition to the Hathaway series. The Hathaways were captured in all their glory by Kleypas -- their eccentricities, capability for love and manipulation, sense of humor, vulnerabilities, family concerns and passions. Kleypas took those Hathaway characteristics, wrapped them up and gave them to us in Leo.
For two years, Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters — a pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges’ older brother, Leo Hathaway, is thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response — and even more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.
She is not at all what she seems…
Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine’s respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But to Leo, Cat is intriguing and infernally tempting, even to a man resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to separate them forever — unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires…
The story of Leo Hathaway and Catherine Marks is really developed throughout the series. These two people dislike each other first, mistrust each other always and bicker at all times. Everyone knows that there's a possibility for more to their bickering, fighting, and mutual torturing except them -- until they share a mind-blowing kiss in the garden.
This kiss serves as a catalyst, the sensual dance begins between Leo and Cat -- the thrust and retreat -- and the real characters emerge. Leo emerges as a wickedly passionate, irreverent and fun character full of determination and, as we already know, a sad and flawed history that contributes to the conflict. I'll say it here, I adored Leo!
Cat, although still the snippy Ms. Marks who gives Leo a run for his money, emerges as a vulnerable and likable young woman with trust issues and a past history that also contribute to the conflict in this story. The witty dialogue, sensual tension and passion between Cat and Leo were the most enjoyable parts of this book for me.
There's a bit of suspense that goes with Cat's storyline that I thought worked well as it afforded her the opportunity for closure. However, the storyline pertaining to Leo's need to marry and produce an heir within a year seemed to be almost a non-issue and I thought was thoroughly underdeveloped. New secondary characters were introduced with a light touch and did not overwhelm the storyline. Kleypas highlights Harry and Poppy, integrates the other Hathaways, Cam and Kev while maintaining the focus firmly on the main couple.
Overall Married by Morning was a winner for me. I enjoyed the quick pace, witty dialogue and the ever bickering / loving / lust-filled couple in this story, together with the loving and eccentric family dynamics. I'm looking forward to reading Love in the Afternoon, the story featuring the intriguing Beatrix.
Gender: Historical Romance
Series: Hathaways (Book 4)
Release Date: May 25, 2010 - Kindle Edition
Visit Lisa Kleypas here.