McKenna & Aline: 3 stars
Gideon & Liv: 5 stars
I guess I'm in the minority when I say this was my *least* favorite LK book. *ducks head* And by least I mean only by a margin cause Kleypas's writing is so damn good. Some parts I loved, wanted to cry, was a blubbering mess mentally, other parts I had to put the book down and walk away cause it was making me angry. I was stuck on how to go about rating this because there were things I really enjoyed and things I hated. Loved some of the characters but the overall story and how it progressed was what I had trouble with.
This book was recommended to me by several people and a fav among many on here that I know of. While it was a great read it was very VERY frustrating to get through. The only reason I'm giving this a 4 star is because of the side story of Aline's sister falling in love. That to be honest saved the book for me entirely. This would have been a 3 star if the side love story wasn't in there. Hell if the story was just on Livia and Gideon I would have seriously given it a 5 star without hesitation. I adored them so so much! lol I was way more enthralled by them then Aline and McKenna.
*SPOILERS*McKenna & Aline
I loved the hero McKenna. He broke my heart, I was rooting for him from the very beginning. I understood him but the heroine Aline, is who I had issues with and big part of why I wasn't fan of this book. I could not understand her and her hellbent decision on lying to McKenna and letting him go on thinking for years the worst of her over some silly 'secrete'. Let me be clear and say what happened to her is not silly but the way she went about keeping it hidden from McKenna is what made the whole situation silly for me and made me want to throw the book against the wall several times. What happened to her was awful, yes but her 'woe is me' attitude and getting defensive about her decision got a tad bit on my nerves. I'm sorry to say but I was not a fan of hers. She got high and mighty when others tried to talk her into telling the truth about her 'secrete' and too proud over it. She almost came off immature at times and played the martyr one too many times. I don't know but I just didn't find myself relating to her and I kept getting irritated with her and her actions instead of sympathizing. I honest to g-d wish I could say I loved this story and loved the heroine in this but I didn't. I LOVE tortured couples and love stories but I found myself connecting and sympathizing more with McKenna than Aline.
Their teenage love affair was sweet and endearing but it's everything that follows years later that just derails for me. I understood Aline's need to protect McKenna when they were teens but after their reunion years later to continue on with the lie just because of her secrete was just ridiculous and stupid to me. Her truly believing that 'perfection' is what would matter to a man who loved her was just idiotic to me and made her look so ridiculous and shallow. And yes I know given the time-frame and limits and expectations set on women in the English peerage I could understand that but the way she went about continuously lying to him and firmly believing McKenna would turn away from her, I just wanted to throttle the girl. I really wish LK picked a better plot point for 'angst' for this couple because I probably would have enjoyed it more and got the connection maybe? Aline's constant lying and refusing to reveal the truth to McKenna over pride and insecurities was too much and after a while it became childish. My main issue is if it wasn't for her sister or brother interfering, McKenna would have NEVER found out about Aline's big secrete. That was aggravating to no end. I'm sure many were going about 'freaking time!' when he discovered the truth, as did I, but I really felt it was something that Aline should have come forward and told him HERSELF considering it was the thing that set everything in motion and kept them apart. It really bothered me how she dug her heels in and refused to tell him the truth and was willing to let him believe lies about her only for her brother to interfere and back her into a corner. That bugged me.Gideon & Olivia
These two were just....adorable
. So adorable it hurt. Sweet, intense, playful, sexy and so very angsty. Their very first encounter by the fountain?....PERFECTION. I could just re-read their parts of the story over and over again and never get tired of it. I wish Kleypas did a separate book for each sister. Livia and Gideon grabbed at my heart from the very first scene where they met and would not let go. Gideon had some similar character traits to Sebastian from The Wallflower series in both looks and caustic snarky personality. Me loved it! :D LK really knows how to write steamy illicit romance with a bunch of angst and tortured characters thrown in there. It's one of the reasons why I couldn't rate this lower than 4 stars because the writing quality is superb and my adoration (and near obsession) with Gideon and Liv. They are a couple who is full-novel worthy, front and center where they belong. I wanted to see Gideon fight his addiction and fight for his love and relationship with Liv on the page, not off. *sigh* Anyways, aside from my gripes with the book I still thought it was a great read just wish my favs were lead characters in this not secondary.