Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (The Ravenels #2)
Released: May 31, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
I enjoyed this book more than book one, so yay for that! We meet Rhys and Helen in book (although this can be read as a standalone). They fall in love in book one, they get engaged in book one. What’s left for this book, right? Well, at the end of book one (omg I’ll stop saying “book one”) they have a fight and they break up. This is where book two starts.
Rhys was born without a title – without much of anything, but he now owns the largest department store in London, among other things. He is extremely wealthy. He is also big, loud, and a bit arrogant (the good kind of hero arrogant). He gets what he wants and that’s that. What he really wants is Lady Helen Ravenel, a shy, beautiful woman who cared for him when he was ill in the previous book. He doesn’t feel worthy of her, but he wants to shove all of his money at her, and then shove his naked body at her and say, come and get it. (except more romantically). And he had her – until he kisses her, Helen starts weeping, falls ill with a headache and then has the wife of her late brother tell Rhys she never wants to see him again. But it’s all a misunderstanding! Helen never said that! Kathleen saw how upset Helen was and assumed she wanted nothing to do with Rhys. Helen started crying and came down with a headache because she was SO attracted to Rhys, and this being her first kiss etc she didn’t know how to process her emotions. Needless to say, the book starts with Rhys is a very bad mood, and a determined Helen comes to get him back.
She does get him back – the beginning of the book is adorable and one of the strongest parts of the book). Once they communicate their previous misunderstandings, Rhys wants to get married immediately. He has manly needs and the thought of not having Helen in his bed drives him mad. But…Helen wants a big wedding with her family. BUT, there is also the fact that Helen’s family doesn’t like Rhys since he made her cry. So they come up with this plan – Rhys will ruin Helen. Right here and now – he will take her to bed, ruin her, and Helen will then have to marry him, no matter what her family says. So he does.
From this point it’s just getting these two to the altar. Before that though, Helen learns of something regarding her past that she keeps as a secret from Rhys, because it involves a man who Rhys hates with every fiber of his body. She holds onto this secret and frets about it for a lot of the book. The secret was okay but I would have rather had more page time with Rhys and Helen together, than this secret to muddle things up. Rhys and Helen don’t necessarily have a conflict over it, Helen just is afraid it will cause one.
Rhys is super romantic in a cave-man type of way. If he could beat his chest and make love to Helen ten times a day, I think he would be satisfied. He doesn’t like the fact that they have a long engagement. He doesn’t like anyone keeping them apart. He likes to teach her about making love, as she is a total innocent their first time together (like – doesn’t even know what parts a boy has). While she is naive about sex, she isn’t naive about life. There are things that have happened in her past, and loss she has had to endure that has made her a strong person. She may be a little shy, but she knows what she wants and she knows how to stand up to Rhys (who would beat his chest but totally melt under her gaze).
There is a bit of conflict at the end, as the secret inevitably comes out – and guess what? Rhys is so damn sweet and romantic about it, I actually liked that there was a secret to be mad about!! I wish I could quote what he says, but it would spoil. Just know the end made me smile.