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Married by Morning

The Hathaways #4

by Lisa Kleypas

genre: historical romance

Synopsis from Goodreads

He is everything she wants to avoid…

For two years, Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters—a pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges’ older brother, Leo Hathaway, is thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response—and even more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.

She is not at all what she seems…

Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine’s respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But to Leo, Cat is intriguing and infernally tempting, even to a man resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to separate them forever—unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires…


From the description, I thought it would be a whirlwind romance or a marriage of convenience where love would come later.  I was pleasantly surprised; I much prefer stories where the characters either clearly have a past foundation for a relationship or have time to develop feelings for one another.  I do not care for books about lust masquerading as love.  I will admit, I had a moment of “okay I’m over it” waiting for the characters to get together when you know they are.  You don’t read romance novels to find out if they are going to end up together, you read them to find out how and get swept up in the romantic gestures.  However, as the story wrapped up, everything was tied up in a nice bow and I realized they weren’t ready to be together when I wanted them to be.  It’s just a hard balance between keeping the reader’s interest in a will-they won’t-they struggle while giving the characters a chance to mature and fall in love.

It’s okay to start with book four.
I didn’t realize it was part of a series until I looked it up on Goodreads to get the synopsis. I was chuckling almost as soon as the book started and never felt like I was dropped into the middle of the story.

Not for all audiences.
There are some very detailed scenes later in, but overall it’s comparable to reading Persuasion by Jane Austen.  You know what’s going to happen and you’re just waiting for the characters to figure it out.  It was dirty without being raunchy, a welcome change after reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  For example:

Blood pooled in inconvenient places.  Muscles tightened.

It’s not really your land until you put some of your blood own and sweat into it. Oh, is that all? … I’m sure I can find one or two other bodily fluids to donate if it’s that important.

You would be too busy looking at her… dress measurements!

-Quotes on disc one; I listened to the audiobook.

At least it started out that way.  It may as well have been Fifty Shades of Grey (without the Red room of Pain) by the end.

Themes in Married by Morning

A pleasantly unexpected theme in the novel was that your past does not define you.  Just because violence was done to you does not mean you are destined to be violent to others.  Yes, an abused child is more likely to become abusive, but our future is not decided by our past.  Even though things may have been done to you as a child, as an adult you have the free will and decision making abilities to end the circle of violence and provide a better future for the children in your care.

Overall, it was a good book.  It was slipping toward a 3 in the middle, but the end was good and brought it back to a 4.  It’s not something I would reread, but it made a great audiobook and made me realize just how much time I spend in a car.

You might like Married by Morning if:

  • You enjoy historical romance and don’t mind descriptive love scenes, or don’t mind skipping over them.
  • You appreciate stories that build the relationships slowly.
  • You like character and conversation driven story-lines.

You might not like Married by Morning if:

  • You prefer plot and action driven story-lines.
  • You would rather “Prince Charming” be free of any marks on his moral report card.
  • Dramatic irony, knowing something before the characters do, annoys you.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne