Tuesday, February 27, 2018

ARC Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Series:     Ravenels #4
Pub. Date:Feb. 27, 2018
Publisher:Avon
Length:384 pgs
Source:Publisher

Hello, Stranger is a much-anticipated book in the Ravenel series featuring an unconventional heroine and a dark and dangerous hero. I was captivated from the first page to the last, and now I want to read it all over again in audio.

Beg pardon, miss . . . but why are you a doctor? It's not as if you was a horse face. Why, I know at least two blokes in my division who'd be willing to tied the knot with you... If you could do some cooking and mending, that is.
Dr. Garret Gibson has been a favorite character of mine since Marrying Winterborne, and I was so excited to see that she was getting her own story. She is such a unique and practical heroine - an educated physician during a time when women in England weren't even allowed to go to medical school. Not only is she educated, she also knows how to take care of herself and doesn't hesitate to wield her walking cane against would-be attackers in the seedy streets of lower-class London. I totally have a girl crush on Garret. At a time when most people thought too much intelligence and learning would cause females to become enfeebled, Garret went above and beyond to live her life as she wished. I loved that she bucked the trend and persevered despite the opinions of society. Garret underwent some personal growth in this book... a transition from the workaholic career woman to one who realizes she doesn't have to sacrifice her professional passion for a personal life.
A stranger emerged from the shadows, cool darkness spun into the form of a man. He was tall and well-proportioned, his athletic form clad in a plain shirt, gray trousers, and an open vest.
I just love it when the hero emerges from the shadows! Ethan Ramson (awesome name) was a delicious hero and that imagery of him melting out of the shadows just got to me. Ethan was a detective rising quickly through the ranks of Scotland Yard before he left to carry out dangerous and mysterious work for the Home Office. He is intrigued by our unconventional heroine, and we often finding him following her through the streets of London's underbelly. I felt sorry for Ethan. He was torn between his attraction and respect for Garret, and his own issues regarding his dangerous lifestyle and poor upbringing. I loved seeing Garret coax him out of the shadows.

The pace of this relationship unfolded perfectly with the pace of the storyline and length of the book. There was a good buildup and great chemistry before we got to any intimacy, and the pair absolutely smoldered when they were together. Ethan had some very special abilities that he put to good use to educate our heroine in the amatory arts, so this book got a bit more steamy than I expected. 

There was also a nice suspense plot that unfolded with the story and helped advance the plot along. Ethan and Garret made a great team and I liked that he didn't coddle her overmuch in an effort to keep her safe. Secondary characters from the prior books made appearances, including the Ravenel brothers. West Ravenel had a sufficient amount of page time in this installment and it has me excited for his story now. I loved his positive and flippant attitude and am sure to fall in love with the reformed rake... but it will be very tough to top Ethan Ransom.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Avon.


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