Review on: When Strangers Marry by Lisa Kleypas
When Strangers Marry is about Lysette, a young girl who runs away from a fiancee (Etienne) she doesn’t want to marry, and finds herself in the clutches of 2 young boys who introduce her to their widowed father Max, who just so happens to be Etienne’s enemy. Though she has been promised sanctuary at Max’s place, Lysette does not yet know that she is the root from where Max will take his revenge on Etienne.
While on his property, Lysette catches a deadly illness from which she almost doesn’t recover. Also, Lysette finds her reputation being fought for by Max, against Etienne, and soon finds herself as Max’s new wife. As Max’s new wife, she discovers that there are many secrets behind Max’s past, especially with his first wife. As she tries to fill out her new role as both a wife and step-mother, she is caught in a past that seems to chase after her, and a future that seems to threaten her very life.
An interesting and mystery-filled romance novel that just keeps you guessing throughout the story.
One thing I didn’t like about the story was the distance in age between Max’s sons and Lysette. They aren’t even 10 years apart from each other, which at first makes the story somewhat questionable. Parts of the book also had dialogues in French which I could not understand, so that was a bit frustrating for a reader like me.
What I liked about the story though was the flow of the story in relation to the relationship between Lysette and Max. The story wasn’t too quick as to quickly hasten a relationship between strangers. You could clearly see the struggle both Lysette and Max had towards each other, their struggles with their pasts and their future. It was interesting to see them grow as their feelings for each other developed, especially when you have contrasting personalities that seem to sizzle when they’re around each other.
I especially loved the fatherly personality that Max exuded as he took care of Lysette during her illness. Sometimes, romance novel characters just show a personality that you don’t expect them to, and it leaves the reader listless and dreaming of that kind of character to appear in real life. Strong on the outside, but willing to show a soft side when it comes to people they care about the most.
The unexpected ending also comes as a surprise, since the subtle hints throughout the story aren’t distinct enough to leave the reader with an ending easy enough to foretell.