Series: Ravenels #4
Published by Avon on February 27, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Marrying Winterborne, Devil in Spring, Devil's Daughter
Also by this author: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, Rainshadow Road, Dream Lake, Crystal Cove, Cold-Hearted Rake, Marrying Winterborne, Devil in Spring, Devil's Daughter
A woman who defies her time
Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.
A man who breaks every rule
As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett's skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he's ever known.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Lisa Kleypas triumphs again with her latest Ravenels novel! Hello Stranger pairs physician Garrett Gibson with the mysterious bodyguard/investigator Ethan Ransom. Series fans will remember both of them from Marrying Winterbourne and Devil in Spring. I loved their romance, as well as the strong element of suspense and danger in the book, which is stronger than in any of the other Ravenels novels so far.
It was clearly going to take an unconventional man, as well as a supremely confident one, to prove a match for the capable Garrett: someone who can accept and appreciate her skill and talent as a doctor, her straightforward practicality, her self-assurance—someone willing to marry a woman with her own career. Such a man would have to be very secure in his masculinity and sense of self (given the time period), but flexible and forward-thinking in his views. Bear in mind that the book is set in 1876, an era in which women were increasingly entering the workforce, but generally as servants and factory workers, rarely if ever as businesswomen or professionals…and after marriage they were expected to stay home, at least in the middle and upper classes.
Fortunately, Ethan is more than up to the challenge. Their wooing of each other is charming, reluctant, playful, hesitant, humorous, and sensual by turns, and I was utterly captivated! Though neither was looking for love, they are truly perfect for one another.
There are so many wonderful moments and scenes, many of which I can’t even mention without spoilers. I loved the scene where Ethan takes her out on the town, and the one with her fencing instructor. I also appreciated her relationship with her colleague and mentor, Dr. Havelock. The brief scene in which Garrett’s servant tries to explain that she’s with a patient, complete with hilariously garbled medical terms, had me howling with laughter. But it’s not, on the whole, a humorous book; although there are light moments and occasional witty banter, there’s also considerable danger that gives the book a darker tone than the previous installments. Garrett’s determination is critical on several occasions; she proves once again that she is an exceptional young woman as well as an exceptional physician. (Be forewarned; there’s a fairly graphic medical scene, if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing.) We also learn more about Ethan’s profession, and the mystery of his background and connection to the Ravenels is finally cleared up. (Not a spoiler; that happens fairly early in the book.)
We also get to see a bit more of West Ravenel, whom I’ve liked since the first book. According to a 2017 interview Lisa Kleypas gave Cosmopolitan, she is planning two more Ravenels books after this one. Book five will pair West with Gabriel’s sister Phoebe (Devil in Spring), while the sixth will feature Pandora’s twin Cassandra and (probably) the unemotional but highly successful railroad magnate, Severin. West and Phoebe strikes me as a perfect pairing, and I can hardly wait for their book to come out! Cassandra and Severin, on the other hand, will take some selling—but Kleypas has demonstrated her skill at selling me on unlikely couples before, and I trust her judgement. (I’m still hoping for a book for Gabriel’s younger brother Raphael, though… even though we’ve only met him in absentia.)
If you’ve enjoyed the previous Ravenels books, I think you’ll find this one just as wonderful as I did. If you haven’t read the previous books, you could certainly start here…but I guarantee you’ll want to go back and read the previous books anyway, just because the series is so good. I’ve read the first three twice now, once when each came out, and all three just before reading Hello Stranger—and I’ll probably reread the series again before the next one comes out. Yes, Kleypas is that good.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m having a strong urge to reread the Wallflowers and Hathaways series again…
Avon is giving away a paperback copy of HELLO STRANGER to one lucky reader of this blog! To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below. Make sure your Rafflecopter email address is correct, because that’s how I’ll contact the winner!