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Read my Book Review
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Hello Stranger is the 4th novel in the Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas. This book CAN stand alone from the other books in the series, however they are interconnected and characters from previous books do make appearances in the ones after them. Don't worry too much about this if you decide to read them out of order as they only play very MINOR roles. With that, I enjoyed reading this one even though it wasn't my favorite of the series. I certainly preferred the previous two books to this one but that doesn't mean I didn't like it. One of my main conflictions is Garrett's character. We have met her briefly in previous books as being an independent female of her times who works in the medical profession even though it is frowned upon. While I think this is fabulous in it's own right, Garrett just didn't hold my heart hostage like Helen and Pandora did. She was a bit too feisty for my tastes in historical romances and couldn't have cared less of what others thought of her. Normally, this wouldn't bother me BUT it doesn't feel historical when the females aren't acting like the ladies that these times call for. With this aside, I did like the romance that occurred between Garrett and Ransom- he is totally swoon worthy and dangerous, and I could feel their undying love for one another. Lisa hit the nail on the head with it, truly.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
Garret, a woman ahead of her times, has no desire to settle down with a man. She runs a lucrative clinic, and prefers tending to patients rather than going to balls and canoodling with men looking for wives. But then she meets a man who shoots straight to her heart. At first, she doesn't care much for his broody ways and dangerous lifestyle, but the attraction she feels towards him is so strong that she has a hard time fighting her feelings for him.
Ransom is a man who lives for danger. He doesn't feel the need to settle down and prefers to take out the bad people who are threatening his country. But when Garret needs help, he can't stop himself from stepping in. Feelings for her blaze from here and Ransom needs to decide if it worth it to live a life of danger and silence or spending his time with the woman who captured his heart.
As with most of the books in this series, there are suspenseful pieces that leave readers hanging on the edge of their seats in hopes that things will change for the better. That is no different from this book and there were times I literally wanted to cry for the injustice of it all. Want to know what these injustices are? Well, you would have to read the book to find out!
OVERALL THOUGHTS OF THE BOOK
Overall, I enjoyed Hello Stranger and would recommend it to fellow readers who enjoy historical romances. Normally, I don't read this genre, but something about the way the author tells these stories is pure beauty and makes me WANT them. That's saying a lot about the books themselves.
Now, as I mentioned above there were small things I didn't care for within the book, but that didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the whole story. I just wished I could have connected a bit more on an emotional level with the heroine.
Read an Excerpt
He heard her muffled chuckle. She continued to lean against him while the trio of constables expressed sympathy for the unfortunate patient. Eventually the men departed with a chorus of hearty farewells. Ethan discovered that his other arm had stolen around Garrett. Making himself let go of her was like trying to uncoil a steel spring.
“You should go up to your father now,” he said with difficulty.
“Eliza will look after him while I take a few minutes to show you some slides. I have insect wings . . . pollen grains . . . flower petals . . . What would you like to see?”
“The inside of a hansom cab,” he said softly. “I can’t be alone with you, darlin’.”
Garrett touched the edges of his vest, fingers clamping on the thin leather. “Ethan.” A blush rose in her face, like light glowing through pink frosted glass. “I don’t want to end this. We . . . we could meet in secret, now and then. No one would have to know. We would make no claims on each other. We’ll just . . . do as we please.”
The way she fumbled with the words, so unlike her usual precise way of speaking, devastated Ethan. He could only guess what it cost her to lay open her pride like this. He wasn’t certain what she was offering, or even if she knew. Not that it mattered. He wanted, craved, needed anything she was willing to give. But he had to make her understand that it was impossible. And even if it were, the idea was beneath her.
“Have you had that kind of arrangement with a man before?” he brought himself to ask.
Her eyes were the green of deep summer and lush growing things. “I’m a woman who makes her own decisions and handles the consequences.”
“That means no,” Ethan said softly. At her silence, he continued, “You’d be risking your reputation. Your career.”
“Believe me, I understand that better than you.”
“Have you ever shared a bed with a man? Even once?”
“Why is that relevant?”
Her evasive response sent a pleasure-pang down to the pit of his stomach. “That means no,” he said again, his voice even softer than before. He took a slow breath, trying to steady himself, while his blood sang with the knowledge that she’d been waiting for him. She was meant to be his. God, he wanted her beyond any reckoning of earth or heaven. But her well-being mattered a thousand times more than his own desires.
“Garrett . . . I’m a man full o’ trouble. When I vowed to let nothing harm you, I included myself on that list.”
A frown crimped her forehead. She closed her grip on his vest until her fists were tight as pine knots. “I’m not afraid of you, or your trouble.” Her green eyes were narrowed and intent as she tugged him closer. “Kiss me,” she urged in a whisper.
“I have to go,” he said shortly, and pulled back while he was still able.
But Garrett moved with him, her hands reaching up to grip his head on either side, the way he’d taught her at Baujart’s. The strength of her fingers electrified him.
“Kiss me,” she commanded, “or I’ll break your nose.”
The threat startled a ragged laugh from him. He shook his head as he looked at her, this fearsomely capable woman who loved geese and was afraid of spaghetti, and could either wield a scalpel in a complex surgical procedure or use it as a throwing-knife.
There had always been a cold streak in him, but he couldn’t seem to find it now, when he needed it most. He was breaking apart inside. He would never be the same after this.
“Christ, you’ve ruined me,” he whispered.
His arms went around her, one hand gripping the heavy silken mass of her braided chignon. She guided his head down, and he lost the battle, all his will vanquished as he began to kiss her as if the world were about to end.
For him, it was.
About Lisa Kleypas