Love in the Afternoon - Lisa Kleypas

I had things to do this weekend, but instead I mistakenly started this series and spent four days straight sitting on my couch. Laundry? Fuck it. Pets? My fiancé can feed them. Grocery shopping? That would require me to change out of sweatpants. Cleanliness? Who cares? I’ll shower when I’m good and ready, damn it.

Up until this point I haven’t even been able to properly review these books. Well, I probably could have BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO BECAUSE THERE WERE MORE HATHAWAYS TO READ ABOUT. And then we have this book. I have to review it. It focuses on Bea, the youngest, most eccentric, and by far my favorite Hathaway.

Bea is an animal lover (like myself), she rescues creatures big and small and brings them to the dinner table (like myself). Everyone around her puts up with it because she doesn’t give them a choice (like myself). She’s also the youngest of five children (like myself), and she’s not afraid to speak her mind and challenge social conventions (like myself).


Bea’s best friend Prudence is a thundercunt. And so when the young man she was flirting with departs for the Crimean war, she moves on. Because she’s a thundercunt. When he writes her a letter from the front lines, clearly shell shocked and in need of some normalcy, she decides not to write back, because who wants to read about someone complaining about losing their best friend? Or being penned in by enemy soldiers and barely escaping? Also, she’s a thundercunt.

She gives Bea the letter to read. Bea, who is the opposite of Prudence in every way imaginable, decides that it can’t go unanswered. She writes Captain Christopher Phelan back in Pru’s stead, pretending to be her. So begins two years of correspondence. Bea becomes his lifeline, his guiding star, his reason to survive the hell he’s living in.

And hell it is. I loved that Kleypas didn’t sugar coat the Crimean war. You can feel Christopher’s pain, his horror, his loss of humanity. What was even more impressive is how she handled his PTSD. I have friends with combat related PTSD and I can tell how much research Kleypas put into it. Several of the scenes in this book could have been taken straight from their lives.

The Christopher sent home at the end of the war a decorated hero is a drastically different man than the one that left. His mission is to find the woman who he’s come to love, Bea, but who he thinks is Prudence, the thunder cunt. Bea knows that she should have confessed the truth to him but was too terrified of outing herself because before he left for war, Christopher didn’t like her. Prudence, the thundercunt, is fine with keeping up the façade because the recently returned war hero is now a national treasure, he’s set to inherit a fortune, she might even get to dine at Buckingham palace if they marry! I hate her.

This is where everything could have gone to hell. Kleypas could have dragged out the pseudo-love triangle. BUT SHE DIDN’T! This book isn’t made up of that type of petty drama. This book is made up of two people that love each other, trying to make it work when one of them is just a shell of their former self. It’s a story about recovery, self-discovery, acceptance, and above all, LOVE.