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Hello Stranger: The Ravenels, Book 4 Kindle Edition
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of an unconventional beauty who finds passion with the spy who can’t resist her
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.
Another winner in Kleypas' Ravenels series, with elegant prose, a fascinating heroine, and a Victorian London constructed with compelling historical detail.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred reviews)"
Kleypas makes you feel every intense moment; each heated kiss and all the thrilling action as you race to the perfect ending. There is nothing quite like a Kleypas romance.-- "RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!)"
Kleypas' elegant, assured prose and attentive characterization adorn every page of Hello Stranger. This is a fabulous love story with a perfectly matched pair at its heart.-- "BookPage"
Narrator Mary Jane Wells delivers the author's depiction of late-1800s London and the romance between Dr. Garrett Gibson, England's only female physician, and Ethan Ransom, a former detective with Scotland Yard. Wells does a wonderful job with Ethan's light Irish brogue, which grows thicker at times. Kleypas describes his voice as 'dark velvet, ' and Wells delivers...Wells effectively brings Wes Ravenel, the Earl's brother, to life, especially his sense of humor...Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.-- "AudioFile"
Unforgettable, beautifully etched characters; a flawless sense of pacing; and a perfectly executed plot imbued with an abundance of desire and danger are the outstanding literary hallmarks of the latest splendid addition to Kleypas' Ravenels series.-- "Booklist"
Witty, often hilarious, and delightfully passionate, this compelling, thrill-laced Victorian romance is another superb series entry.-- "Library Journal (starred review)" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Back Cover
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.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B06WP9LSMV
- Publisher : Avon (27 February 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 3637 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 405 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #67,115 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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All my 4 star reviews for LK are actually 4.5 and I hold out the 5 for the ones that are really special – otherwise how would I elevate them?
Another really good by LK, lots of positives to mentions and a few negatives but none that really took away the enjoyment of the story.
Garret’s character is great! I’ve liked her all through the series but I was worried that I when we got to her book she would be prim and reserved, maybe unfeminine and unwilling to yield to Ethan. I was expecting the storyline to be that she would resist her attraction to him and giving up her independence and Ethan would have to spend the whole book convincing her to marry him. But thankfully LK didn’t go down that route. She was feminine but badass at the same time. It’s really hard to take a feminist character and soften them without losing their character so I appreciated this. Some other reviewers have disagreed and said she became to simmering but I think a woman can be a feminist and still be feminine.
I liked Ethan too – I have been spoiled in the series by Rhys – none of the other heroes are quite swoon worthy for me but I feel Ethan could have been if it weren’t for Rhys. Every LK series seems to have one swoon worthy hero that stands out and whom I then compare all others too. The Wallflowers have St. Vincent, the Hathaways Cam Rohan and the Winterbourne’s have Rhys. But I really liked his character none the less. The fact that he had met Garret before and had already developed a tenure for her made the pace of the book seem believable. They fell in love quite quickly but he had already been half way there for a while! I liked the fact that he wanted to protect her but also realised he couldn’t try to control her – going as far as to teach her self-defence. The last three books in this series have all followed a similar pattern in that the couple fall in love about half way through the book so the second half of the story ends up being about something that keeps the couple apart or some issue that needs to be resolved. I felt the pacing was good and believable in this story. I also liked how Ethan came to like and accept the Ravenels and bond with West - that was a nice journey to see him go on.
West! I freaking love West! I’m pleased he featured in this book because he hasn’t featured much in the series since early on in Marrying Winterboure and I’m glad we had a chance to reconnect with him before his own book which I am starting at lunchtime and I cannot wait! I hope it doesn’t disappoint – I’m trying to control my expectations! He reminds me of Leo in the Hathaways who’s character I loved but his book wasn’t my favourite…
Favourite moments from West.
‘Touch me again,’ Ethan growled, ‘and I’ll kill you with this.’
West drew his band back instantly, his gaze falling to the utensil in Ethan’s grip.
‘That’s a Spoon.’’ 😊
‘Better yet if she were educated. A sense of humour would be icing on the cake. Red Hair isn’t a requirement, but I do have a weakness for it.’
We all know who he is talking about…
I really appreciate the level of research LK has done into the medical practices of the time – I was really interested to find out blood transfusions were pot luck until the different blood groups were discovered. I also enjoyed the note about the real Dr. Anderson – I might have thought the character unbelievable if I didn’t know she were based on a real person.
I’m not blaming LK for this but when you’ve written as many books as she has it is impossible not to end up repeating yourselves in some ways. There were a few things in the book that I noticed have been recycled from other books. i.e. Ethan having a pet name for Garrett in his native tongue (see also Cam and Rhys.)
I know we are all here for Happy Ever After and when reading this genre you should probably suspend all belief and just enjoy the ride buuuut did he really need to be rich? Like, he’s got a decent job by then end, Garret has a job why do they need to be stinking rich too? I just don’t think it added to the story. Also a minor thing but we never find out what he does with his inherited estate – does he actually sell it to the Ravenels? Was that merely a plot device for him to be in possession of West’s card? Maybe it will get mentioned in the next book.
I do wonder if it would have been more interesting for LK to write in more detail about all the hardships and prejudice Garret would have faced – maybe a storyline where she was constantly up against the type of adversity she would certainly have faced everyday and Ethan was the only one to build her up. Or would that be tedious? Or maybe at first he was one of her adversaries but slowly changed his opinion across the course of the book.
But the best thing is that Garrett and Ethan are HAWT together. I like a bit of tortured longing in my romances, and that's the main thing that the Ravenels had been lacking for me. This book brings it back with a vengeance.
I also enjoyed the hints we got that West's story would be next... if it's anything like Garret and Ethan's I can't wait to read it!
Ms Kleypas has created some of the most memorable heroes ever and Ethan certainly deserves to join that illustrious group. He is everything I look for in a hero – strong, flawed, passionate, smart, intriguing, honourable, loyal, tender and prone to saying the most heart-melting words. I love how, from the first moment he set eyes on Garrett two years earlier, he was totally bewitched by her…
She was sunlight and steel, spun into a substance he’d never encountered before. The mere thought of her left him like a stray coal on the hearth.
and is determined to protect her from harm during her weekly rounds to dangerous parts of London. Garrett is far from defenceless as she is taking fencing lessons, but I enjoyed seeing Ethan castigate the fencing master, Monsieur Baujart, for not instructing Garrett how to defend herself properly against the likes of himself.
“I suppose when she’s lying on the street with her throat slit, at least she’ll be able to console herself that she didn’t score any illegal points.”
Not only that, but he arranges to have all the locks on her father’s house changed because they are inadequate.
I love how he accepts Garrett for who she is, admires and respects her abilities and encourages her to be herself.
I couldn’t help but love Garrett from the moment she said these words to Severin in MARRYING WINTERBORNE…
(Severin) “This is Mr. Winterborne. The one with the department store. He needs to be treated by a real physician with experience and proper training, not to mention—”
“A penis?” she suggested acidly. “I’m afraid I don’t have one of those. Nor is it a requirement for a medical degree. I am a real physician, and the sooner I treat Mr. Winterborne’s shoulder, the better it will go for him.”
She had to be tough, resilient, independent and determined to succeed in a male dominated world. Her medical career has been the main focus of her life and she has steered clear of any emotional attachments which might have interfered with her work. At boarding school, she learnt endurance and self-reliance which has always made her keep people at a distance, afraid to let her guard down and trust anyone. She has always yearned to experience what it is like to be desired and loved but Ethan is the only man who has ever tempted her into such a relationship. I enjoyed seeing her throw caution to the wind and experience everything she has been missing.
Ms. Kleypas often pairs the most unlikely couples but the romance always works so beautifully. She can make a simple kiss feel so sensual…
His head dipped lower, until she felt a soft, hot pressure at the side of her neck. A shiver went through her, as fine and distinct as the vibration of a harp string. His mouth found an unbearably sensitive place and lingered in an erotic caress that made her toes curl inside her sensible walking boots.
and include lovely touches of humour…
Ethan lifted his head and gave her a questioning look.
“Your trapezius and deltoids are remarkable,” she said dreamily, her hands wandering over him. “And your latissimus dorsi are so perfectly defined.”
Ethan is the bastard son of the old Earl of Treanor and has always hated the Ravenels because of the way his mother was treated. I enjoyed seeing his attitude gradually soften towards the Ravenels when he realises that Devon and West’s lives have been far from easy. It was heart-warming to see Ethan feeling part a family for the first time in his life.
They exchanged grins. The grip of their hands felt warm and solid. Safe. This must be a brotherly feeling, Ethan thought, this sense of camaraderie and connection, this unspoken understanding that they would always take the other’s side.
I have a HUGE crush on West Ravenel (so looking forward to his book) who always brings a smile to my face with his irreverent humour. Here are two of my favourite examples.
“Mrs. Abbot, I’m going to the kitchen to wash. You’ll want to warn the housemaids to shield their eyes from the sight of my manly torso.”
“I’ve always been skeptical when people say, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’ It’s only true if the pen is glued to the handle of a German steel cutlass.”
The extent of Ms. Kleypas’ research is always impressive and I was fascinated by the details of the medical procedures carried out in the 1870s, as described in the book. I was interested to discover that Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to openly qualify as a physician and surgeon in Britain as well as becoming the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain, was Ms. Kleypas’ inspiration for Garrett.
The suspense and drama never overshadow the romance but do highlight Ethan’s moral dilemma when he has to choose between betraying his mentor, the man who has been like a father to him, and saving innocent lives.
I’m ending this review with my favourite, swoon-worthy, romantic quote.
“The first moment I saw you, I knew you were my share of the world. I’ve always loved you. If I could choose my fate, I’d never be parted from you. Acushla… pulse of my heart, breath of my soul… there’s nothing on this earth more fair and fine than you. Your shadow on the ground is sunlight to me.”
MY VERDICT: HELLO STRANGER combines everything you could wish for – a deeply romantic story, unforgettable characters, humour, passion and drama. Highly recommended.
How this unfolds is told very well, with neither of the main parties backing off from their commitment to each other, or to their respective career paths. It is Ransom who has to make the tougher choices, and seeing him slowly coming to accept his 'family' is heart-warming. I did wonder whether Lisa Kleypas has something further for Ransom in later stories - he is the last true blood heir of the Ravenel line, and was left some property by his uncaring natural father [this is told early in the story, so I'm not giving away any secrets].
A really charming, heart-warming story - perhaps because I have read so many books in this genre, I now much prefer stories which explore situations beyond the love interest without eclipsing it, and as usual the author gives us an insight into life in London, the Irish problem at that time, and the medical developments, such as blood transfusions, and the teachings of Lister, who lectured about hygiene in relation to operations and sickrooms. Fascinating, and LK does excellent research.