You can find the first part of the Kleypas Lightning Reviews here.
Somewhere I’ll Find You: In one word: SNORE. C-
Because You’re Mine: In three words: SNORE SOME MORE. C-
Stranger In My Arms: Yes, yes, yes, this is very blatantly a rip-off of The Return of Martin Guerre with an HEA tacked on at the end. I still loved it, incredibly contrived ending and all. Does this make me some sort of pea-brained, intellectually bankrupt fan of bodice-rippers? (Wait, isn’t that a redundancy?) Yeah, whatever. Bite me. A-
Someone To Watch Over Me: Oh great. A book involving an amnesiac who’s apparently also a whore and the Bow Street Runner who’s all pissed-off because she refused to let him get in her pants. The second bit doesn’t bother me, but brain damage so severe that it causes somebody to completely forget all of their past, including their name, would very likely causes other problems too, like, ohhhh, incontinence and general drooling idiocy. But then I guess a heroine suffering from uncontrollable ass-pee who is capable only of gurgling incoherently when spoken to is not sexy, unless you have certain types of unspeakable fetishes. Regardless of the tiresome retrograde amnesia plot, it’s still very readable, so B-.
Where Dreams Begin: Derek Craven, a lower-class gutter rat who clawed his way to the top falls in love with a gently-reared… Oh wait. Wrong book. No, I assure you, Zach Bronson is a different hero entirely. Snort. And it contains yet another re-tread of Kleypas’s patented “Put either the hero or heroine in some sort of health crisis so the partner’s love is crystallized in a way it never has been before.” Oh, also features a Kleypas “Sexy and Significant Dream Sequence.” No, no, I swear any resemblance to Dreaming of You is purely incidental. *snicker* Regardless: Loved, loved, loved the book, even though it features that most improbable of romance novel creatures, the Orgasmless Widow. My heartstrings were tugged at mercilessly, and damn her eyes, it worked. It worked. A-
Suddenly You: OK, I really, really dig how the heroine is a plain Jane and the hero still can’t keep his hands off her. But the conflict was contrived and the book lacked complexity and vitality. B-
Lady Sophia’s Lover: Book Two in the Bow Street Runner trilogy that started with Someone to Watch Over Me and really, what a terribly ho-hum book. The hero is too good to be true, the excuse for a conflict is pretty damn stupid, and the one plot twist could be spotted a mile away. This book’s still on my keeper shelf, though, and I don’t know why. Must be the hot, hot sexx0r. Gotta have my prurient sexual titillation on hand. (Hee hee, “on hand,” geddit?) C+
When Strangers Marry: A truly pointless re-working of Only In Your Arms. So pointless, this is the only Kleypas book I haven’t bothered finishing. D
Worth Any Price: Hero beats off to picture of heroine, there’s a flimsy excuse of a suspense plot, and everybody in the book sweats constantly and profusely. No, seriously: everybody seems to remain in a perpetual state of moistness in this book. There, I believe I covered everything of note. No, wait, one more thing: the hero’s excuse for why he has problems with physical intimacy? Incredibly stupid. So stupid, I actually said out loud “THAT’S IT? Get over it, ya goddamn pussy.” The third installment of the Bow Street Runner trilogy. C-
Again the Magic: I’ll repeat for the heroine of this book what I said about the hero in Worth Any Price: GET OVER IT, YA GODDAMN PUSSY. I really dug the prologue, thoughâ€”pity the hero transformed from a genuinely sweet beta type into another cookie-cutter growling asshole alpha, indistinguishable from the ocean of growling asshole alphas that chokes romance novel-dom. The secondary romance involving the heroine’s younger sister single-handedly saves this book, despite its very, very modern take on alcholism. B-
Secrets of a Summer Night: I really, really liked this book, and I really, really liked the heroine. I don’t get why people were all, like, “OH MY GOD the heroine is such a bitchy snob!” How ‘bout this for an idea: people back then were incredibly, bitchily snobby about meaningless shit like social position. People today are incredibly, bitchily snobby about meaningless shit like social position. The heroine grew out of it and learned to love the hero despite her assheaded prejudices, which is pretty damn awesome. Also: I appreciated how the heroine likes pretty, shiny things. I am heartily sick of the swarms of saintly heroines whose complete lack of materialism is somehow an indication of superior moral fiber. Feh. B+ (verging on A-)