Historical Romance is often a genre I forget that I absolutely adore until I’ve jumped back in, and Hello Stranger was just the one to remind me. Both smartly written and tightly structured, it had the perfect blend of charmingly witty characters to keep it interesting and light while maintaining a forward-moving plot of steamy romance and cloak-and-dagger intrigue.
Garrett was a strong-willed heroine possessing the brains and unshakable gumption of a woman not of her century, and she truly came alive on the pages. I admired her mind and force of will to be a physician in a time when men didn’t allow it, and how she managed to still have the ability and strength to show vulnerability to those closest to her. But it wasn’t just that; it was that stubborn fire in her that refused to be cowed even when confronted with opposition. Her connection with Ethan was fed from that part of her, and watching him fall for that fire was magnificent. He was a rare man for that time–his openness of his attraction to her and his need to protect and not stifle just to name a few–and his want for her to succeed made it so easy to fall for him. Kleypas’ portrayal of the her medical profession–depicted brilliantly and effortlessly–encapsulated the reader into Garrett’s world and her everyday life with aplomb. It was so seamlessly woven into her character that I was ravenous to follow along and watch her work. I daresay that Garrett was a rare heroine to come across and I couldn’t help but love every bit of how she was written.
I’m embarrassed to admit this was my first time reading a Lisa Kleypas book (even though I own many of her books), and I realize that I’ve been missing out on a fantastic writer and storyteller. Hello Stranger‘s boldly beautiful romance and enigmatic suspense had me glued to its pages, and I didn’t want it to end. Though it stands on its own, I look forward to reading its predecessors and continuing on with this series. This is a writer and story not to miss.
Also, just to add, West was probably one of the most effortlessly hilarious secondary characters in a book and I’m dying for his story so I do hope it’s next.
This book gets 5/5 stars.
A woman who defies her time
Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.
A man who breaks every rule
As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.