Hello! We are once again doing our little Romance Week posts. We hope you enjoy all the romance-themed activity, and if you’re interested in previous years you can find them here!
I rarely read historical romance series in order. You usually don’t have to and typically I don’t own all the books anyways. But for some reason at the end of 2022 I decided to read all of The Hathaway books. I didn’t really mean for it to happen. I read book one during Owned October and figured I would do a series review post and I figured it would take me months, but then I read book two and just didn’t stop.
This reading experience was more like my experience reading Bridgerton (see my mini reviews here). I read most of the books very quickly which I am realizing I really enjoy. It is very fun to jump from one book into the next the day after you finish the previous book.
As a note, I do want to say that these books were published prior to 2010 so some of the content is a little dated (re consent) and two of the male main characters are Romani which I am not entirely sure Lisa Kleypas should have done, but either way these books exist and I had a good time reading them, but I do discuss some of the content I found to be a bit problematic or made me a tad uncomfortable in my individual reviews.
Anyways. So here are my thoughts for the five Hathaway books.
BOOK ONE – MINE TILL MIDNIGHT
First of all, I am not sure Lisa Kleypas should have written a Romani hero since I don’t think she is Romani? A friend told me they were updating the content a bit to remove some of the g*psy slurs and making it less “rape-y”. This historical did come out in 2007 and anything prior to 2010 isn’t considered modern (I believe).
But, when I was able to forget about that I really enjoyed this one! What I am looking for in a historical is always a fun time and this one was a blast. Cam was *fire emoji* the man has an earring and some longer hair (which is literally mentioned in every book) and Lisa Kleypas loves a self made man so he isn’t a duke or anything. But, ugh love the chaos of the Hathaway family and how Cam wants to support Amelia so much that he is willing to have four in laws who are A LOT. As the series goes on you really see him support the Hathaway siblings and I loved that so much.
There is a weird paranormal thing in this book which was not needed, but I didn’t mind it. But, this truly is an excellent start to the series and made me want to dive right into the next books. I also enjoyed listening to Plot Trysts’ episode on this book. 4/5 stars
TW: death of a loved one (fiancée, parents, both prior to novel), grief, suicide mentions, fire, injury
BOOK TWO – SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE
Once again, I am not sure if Kleypas should’ve written a Romani hero.
Overall, I had mixed feelings about this book. I love the Hathaway family and can’t wait for the rest of the books in the series and Kleypas can write. But some things just didn’t work for me.
Even though this is Win and Kev’s book, we spend a lot of time in other people’s heads. Which I didn’t hate and I know Kleypas head hops a lot, I just would’ve liked a bit more of a focus on them earlier in the book. That being said, their conflict is very much “we want each other, but Kev needs to get it together” which I’m sure would’ve been repetitive if we were only in their heads. Win’s suitor also was not my favorite and I didn’t feel like he was needed (plus his plot line was lowkey pretty dark). This book mainly made me very excited to read Leo’s book which I thought was next, but is actually book four.
I loved seeing how Kev and Win cared for each other, but didn’t like how most of their interactions ended since Kev just kept pulling back.
I don’t have much to say about this book, except I did enjoy it, but had some qualms with it that made me not LOVE it. But I am so excited to continue with this series. I also loved Plot Trysts’ episode on this book. 3/5 stars
TW: illness, injury, traumatic childhood
Also, I now own all the books in this series with STEPBACKS and I am hyped.
BOOK THREE – TEMPT ME AT TWILIGHT
Okay first of all there is some gray area in the consent topics here. At least for my modern historical reader brain. I was uncomfortable with the first sex scene bc the consent was there…but only sort of.
I’m once again not sure how I feel about this one, I loved how Poppy and Harry met, but I did not like how he basically forced himself into her life. And sure it all worked out, but he didn’t suffer enough for me to truly be okay with how he treated Poppy.
Harry was an okay love interest and personally I wanted him to be less jealous/controlling which I guess goes against who he is, but isn’t the type of love interest I enjoy.
I still did enjoy this book and this series as a whole is excellent, but parts this book (and the series as a whole) do rub me the wrong way and don’t sit right with me.
I loved seeing Leo grow in this book and enjoyed him trusting Poppy, but still being around her for support. Cam and Amelia were great, loved more Beatrix on page, and wish Kev and Win had been here a bit more. So basically, loved this one for the siblings more than the main couple lol. Win dropping that ~ news ~ right at that moment was iconic. And she truly was excellent during the final conflict.
I love the Hathaway family so much and I’ve never wanted to read a series back to back like this (well since I read Bridgerton) and despite some of the iffy things happenig, I can’t help but enjoy them. The podcast Plot Tryst mentioned in their episode about book two that certain things would not work if it was a different author and I truly agree, Lisa Kleypas can handle a lot and some of these grayer areas didn’t work for me, but in a less talented author I think would’ve made me DNF.
I cannot wait for Leo and Catherine’s book and the fact that none of my libraries has it available is hurting my soul!!! 3/5 stars
TW: gun violence, child abuse (past)
Ooops! Just realized I am not putting the plots for any of these books!!! Sorry folks!
BOOK FOUR – MARRIED BY MORNING
I have been waiting for this book since Leo started to get his act together and Catherine Marks was introduced in book two. Kleypas does an excellent job setting them up in the prior books and I would highly recommend reading this series in order solely to get here. They are enemies to lovers, but most of the enemies takes place in previous books which honestly worked for me because it felt more natural and allowed for a bit of a slow burn without slowing the book down.
I really just loved Leo’s character development and how Kleypas set him up as a hero. We meet him and he is overcome by grief and in the next books he is slowly coming out of that haze and learning to live again. And Catherine Marks is the perfect heroine for him. She is so guarded and protecting herself so much that it takes someone like Leo who doesn’t care and will opening spar and flirt with her to get her to open up. I’m a sucker for a character with walls who falls for someone who slowly encourages them to open up, so obviously, this worked for me.
This book could’ve had more angst and a bit more of a plot in the middle, but the ending was intense in the best way and I loved how it all worked out. 4/5 stars
Also all of these books have someone almost dying or getting hurt in the last 20 or so percent and I’m like yeah we get a third act break up AND something truly chaotic and honestly I don’t mind it at all. (This truly is a way that historical works better than contemporary bc I don’t like it in contemporary but in the past it was so easy to die that it seems more believable!!)
BOOK FIVE – LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON
This one was so good!! It starts as an epistolary romance with Christopher and Beatrix writing letters back and forth. Beatrix is pretending to be someone else for reasons so there is some deception, but it worked for me here.
I loved Beatrix’s quirkiness and how she just sort of lives her life and is starting to realize that she is the only single person in her family, but it doesn’t matter just yet. I also loved Christopher and his war hero background. I don’t usually like military plots/heroes, but Kleypas does it in a way that it worked for me.
I loved how Beatrix trained his dog (against his will) and ignored propriety and the servants just let her because they didn’t know was else to do.
My only qualm is that Beatrix does so much for Christopher in this book (in terms of supporting him) and I don’t see him give her the same support back. I believe he will once he has a bit more of a handle on his PTSD, but I wish we had a few moments on her being low and he being a support system.
Overall, this is my favorite of the series and yet when it comes to words I’m just like ??? It good??? 4.5/5 stars.
TW: PTSD, Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, death of family member, grief, discussion and details about war, guns, and death
I loved this reading experience so much. I was so invested in these books I and read books 2 – 5 in the span of a week and a half and it just reminded me how much I love reading and love books. I hadn’t sat and read a series like this in years and it was so nice. This series is flawed and imperfect, but I really loved it as a whole. Lisa Kleypas can write and I can’t wait to read more of her books.
If you made it this far, THANK YOU!!
What historical romance series should I read next?? If you want to see my thoughts on two other historical romances series, I’ve done this with Bridgerton and one of Sarah MacLean’s series.