“You’re in luck,” my boss said, handing me a book. “It’s the first in one of the series I was telling you about.” The series in question was Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaways series, beginning with Mine Till Midnight, which came to me highly recommended when I mentioned a craving for some fun, fluffy historical romance. And this fit the bill perfectly.
Sensible Amelia Hathaway has her hands full taking care of her family, including a brother determined to drink himself to death and dependent younger sisters. Between those responsibilities and a previous heartbreak, Amelia has no interest in romance, denying the chemistry that sizzles between her and half-gypsy Cam Rohan upon first meeting. But fate, as Cam believes, has other plans for them, and in spite of obstacles like a house fire, bees, and a suicidal heir who may well leave the Hathaway girls penniless, Amelia and Cam are continually drawn into each other’s orbit.
Many of the tropes of romance are present and accounted for: two love interests between whom sparks fly at first meeting, a difference in socio-economic stations, an independent heroine, and of course, sizzling sexual chemistry. However, what made this a delightful read were the characters populating the pages. Like Austen’s timeless Bennetts, the Hathaways demonstrate that while family can be loud and embarrassing, they are above all family, and the bonds between siblings ring true. The supporting characters have distinct personalities; from dour Merripan, the gypsy taken in by the Hathaways as a child and raised like their brother, to youngest sister Beatrix, with her fondness for befriending small critters and bringing them with her to dinner, the tale is peppered with humor and heart. Details like Amelia trying to be rational about fate and attraction while Cam calmly accepts that this stubborn woman is his fate lend charm to the story as well, a cute reversal of emotional-woman-rational-man stereotypes.
As part of a series, Mine Till Midnight does offer resolution to the main pairing (as expected), while still leaving tantalizing threads dangling for future resolution (I already have Seduce Me at Sunrise checked out to see how the next pairing plays out, a level of investment I was not expecting from this light read). Fans of Kleypas’s Wallflowers series also have the extra treat of guest appearances by familiar friends. This was a fun foray into the world of historical romance, and it will not, I’m certain, be my last.