"I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be."
~ Charles Dickens
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Publishing Date: October 2009
She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn′t about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible...but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.
Jack Delvin′s determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently-bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London′s most notorious businessman, refused to live by society′s rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected...but both soon craved.
It starts off as an honest mistake and heats up very quickly. Believing she will be a spinster for the rest of her life, Amanda Briars, decides to hire a prostitute for her 30th birthday. She goes to a Madam, Mrs. Bradshaw, to discuss the services she's looking to acquire and is assured her needs will be met. On the day of the male prostitute Amanda believes she hired refuses to leave her home, even though she no longer wants his services. Quickly realizing her error, Jack does not hesitate in acting the part. Amanda doesn’t realize he’s not the hired prostitute but he somehow convinces her to let down her inhibitions. Although Amanda didn’t get the night she imagined she still made a memory she wouldn’t forget. After that night she never thought she would run into Jack again, but of all the places to run into him, a literary gathering, was the furthest from Amanda's mind. She finally realizes Jack is prominent in the literary world and owns a publishing agency. Demanding to know what he was doing at her house that night, Jack discloses he bought the rights to her first manuscript, Unfaithful Woman. They also realized that by design Mrs. Bradshaw told Jack the day and time to go to Amanda's house. Naturally Amanda feels she has been made a fool of by both of them and is resistant to work with Jack. However, in order to get Amanda to cooperate he convinces her, with a teasing threat, to go his office the next day to discuss the manuscript. Amanda is not too pleased with Jack's plans for the manuscript but he convinces her to become an author under his publishing agency and do a series of books. Mr. Fretwell, Jack's store manager and friend, went to Amanda’s house to drop off her contract and during the time he was there she inquired about Jack and their school years together. She learned that Jack protected the younger boys from being physically abused (e.g., boxed ears, whipping, starvation) by the teachers and headmaster. Throughout the time Jack and Amanda worked together he opened up about his life in school, who his parent were and how he started his publishing business. Slowly but surely they start flirting and enjoying each other’s company.
As Jack's special guest at his Christmas party it was pretty evident he didn't want Amanda spending time with any other gentlemen and grew very jealous when she spoke to children's book author, Charles Hartley. Soon thereafter Amanda and jack became intimate but not before Amanda set some rules for the liaison: 1) can’t last longer than 3 months; and 2) they must be discreet. They not only got to know each other’s body but each other’s minds too. They respected each other because they grew to know each other as intellectuals. Jack wasn't intimidated by a strong woman who didn't need a man to earn a living and Amanda wasn't intimidated by a him when he tried to use his male prowess over her. They listened to each other as equals. It wasn’t until Amanda’s sister, Sophia, came to visit that Amanda realized she couldn’t continue the tryst because it was going to end and she would have to swallow her feelings for Jack. She believed he was just having fun and nothing more would come from it. Amanda ended the arrangement with Jack and he took it like she thought he would. Amanda missed him and found it hard to see him luckily, Charles offered his time and friendship. Unlike Jack, Hartley is a safe bet for Amanda whereas Jack would never offer her more. Realizing she couldn't continue to live there in England and face Jack, Amanda decided to move to France. Charles didn’t want her to leave and offered to marry her and she accepted. Hartley, however, wanted Amanda to tell Jack of her decision but she decided against it since Jack showed her indifference. When Jack found out about the impending marriage and the reason for it he finally divulged his feelings for Amanda. Happily, they got married, but with any happy ending tragedy struck which led them both to figure out why they really are together.
Suddenly You wasted no time getting down to the nitty gritty. Within the first few pages you're immediately engaged in a passionate embrace with Jack and Amanda. You can barely catch your breath with how quick it happens. But like any book that starts on a high the only place for it to go is down. This wasn't necessarily the case with Suddenly You. While this isn't my first time reading a book by Lisa Kleypas I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. However, I tend to like my books to have a build up...not necessarily a slow one but I need to feel like I want to know what's going to happen next. With Suddenly You the hooking up happened early so now what? This is when Kleypas does a good job of filling in the meat of the characters. The basic gist of the story is simple, Amanda is a 30 year old author who doesn't need a man for money or stability which is already uncommon and Jack is the handsome rogue with a terrible past and trusts no one. So far so good. While the plot of the story is good I found that there were certain parts that made me feel uncomfortable. For example, quite often Jack would always make everything sexual. Yes, I know it is a romance book and there's going to be sex in it or else why are you reading it but there was just something off about it. When Amanda would try to have a conversation with Jack about things that bother her here he would come and just want to have sex as though all the problems or issues would go away once they had sex. Even though we're led to believe that part of the reason Jack liked Amanda is for her mind it didn't always come across that way. There were times when Amanda said no or wasn't into it but he would convince her by rubbing/touching her lady bits as though he knew better and everything would be solved with sex. Quite frankly it felt a bit demeaning at times. Overall, I like Kleypas' style of writing, the plot of the story and the sexytime parts were good but I would change Jack's tactics.
Have you read any of Lisa Kleypas's books? Did you read Suddenly You? What did you think of the story? Did you like the characters in the book? Is there anything you would add or change in the story? Would you do what Amanda did for a particular birthday? Who would you choose Jack or Charles? Why? Did you like how the story ended?