SCANDAL IN THE SPRING
Author: Lisa Kleypas ISBN: 0060562536 8/2006 HISTORICAL Publisher: AVON
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
Now this is Kleypas just as I like her, strictly vintage. I could probably write the review entirely with these words alone: "It's wonderful. Go buy it." But of course, that's not what I'm supposed to do so I'll just have to bore you with a few of my minor mumblings.
SCANDAL IN SPRING is the last offering in Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series, and it takes this series out on top. Whether you've read the previous books or not (I'll admit to having missed the one before this, DEVIL IN WINTER), there's just enough background and returning characters to keep you in the loop. Think of it as watching a soap opera where you've missed a few weeks, and when you do tune back in to watch, by the end of the show you know exactly what's happened to all the characters. Kleypas has the ability to do that here, which makes SCANDAL IN SPRING great stand alone fare on its own.
The diminutive Daisy is looked upon by her stern Victorian father as a liability with no purpose—"a parasite," to quote his own words. Giving her to his American business protégé, Matthew Swift (a member of the Boston Swifts), seems the perfect answer to his dilemma even though he thinks he'll have to sweeten the offer with stocks, money and a business inheritance. Daisy, however, is determined to find a husband on her own, anyone other than Matthew, whom she hasn't seen in at least five years and she remembers as being too much like her father. Matthew also has no plans to marry—not because he doesn't love Daisy, because in secret he always has—but because of an event in his past life that, if it ever came to light, would mean his complete and total ruin. He refuses to take Daisy down with him.
One of the things Lisa Kleypas conveys so well early on, and one of things I love about the historical backdrop of this book, is the Victorian attitudes and contrasts between doing things the American way versus the British. The electrifying relationship between Daisy and Matthew as the two compete, spar and slowly fall in love is wonderful and sexy; both characters I really liked and enjoyed as people. All the secondary characters, their offspring and appearances here and there are well blended—it was just like visiting old family. Add to the character driven plot the mysterious elements of Matthew's secret, a dab of the sinister and the rallying of Daisy's family around him, and well, there's not much more that I can say other than what a wonderful story.
In a nutshell, I'll stand by these words from my opening paragraph: "It's wonderful. Go buy it." 'Nuf said.