Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine's respectable demeanour 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 for ever - unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires ...
Comment: This is the 4th book in the Hathaway series by author Lisa Kleypas. This is the book I've been looking for to read the most since book #2, when Leo, this book's hero and Catherine, the heroine, first met and clashed. I have been wanting to see their story just by the promise it offered.
This is the story of Leo Hathaway, the single man among the 5 siblings and someone who has loved and suffered for love and lost his way until his family finally brought him to peace again. Leo thought he would never love another woman but there's something about miss Marks, his younger sisters' governess that appeals to him.
Catherine Marks has a shameful secret in her past and she only wants to experience what a bonded and loving family looks like. The Hathaways might need help with their etiquette but when it comes to union and love no one can't beat them, Leo included, although Cat feels he is too unstable for her nerves. But after a kiss, everything changes.
This is the book I've been waiting for the most. In the end, I liked it, but I expected a lot more tension before they admitted their feelings. Most of their antagonism happened in previous books which was quite clever to wet our appetite but now that I envisioned more fireworks, it all seemed too bland. Yes, the author had to show them falling in love but it seemed too easy and too fast compared to all the "fights" they had before. I guess I wanted things to come to a higher sexual tension so everything could look even more intense and heartfelt after. Oh well...
The plot continues after the actions of the previous book. We already know, when this book begins, that something in Cat's past will cause her problems. Wen we do learn what she had to live through as a young girl, it's quite sad. Then we have Leo's issues with lost love and his mental state. It's good that they found one another, especially because Leo isn't always serious and Cat is too strict so they can balance one another. Their relationship could have been so much stronger and it almost promised that, but after the whole book is finished, I got the feeling they weren't as passionate as they could have been or hinted at.
Cat is an intriguing character but always had the idea she would try more to be independent, to protect her heart from Leo. She always acted aloof and now suddenly she's insecure in a way I wouldn't expect. It seems all her antagonism to him was just to makes us want to read their story and not a real part of her traits. I'm glad for them, but their romance wasn't as "romantic"a that (if I can say so).
Leo had to change a lot through the books. In the first book he wasn't that appealing as a future hero, but with time he got more and more promising. But somehow his personality seemed to have turned less intense with time and he didn't wow me as much as I'd hoped.
The plot has a positive end, there's a HEA and bad people get what they deserve. This is obviously a story for romance and not plot because some things didn't seem well solved to me, especially when it comes to Cat's actions and the fact she didn't act more decisively before. I mean, I suppose it wouldn't be easy but that just made her look weak.
The writing seems fluid and easy but somehow the emotions we are being told don't seem as thrilling as they could be. Maybe this is just my personal impression.
All in all, this was a good installment but I really wanted something super romantic and amazing. I know the author has done it, so it was slightly disappointing after all the previous books expecting so much more. But, all things considered, a great story nevertheless...