Louisiana in the mid 1700!

When Strangers Marry - Lisa Kleypas

By far the biggest highligh of this book is the fact that Kleypas wrote it set in New Orleans before Louisiana was purchase by the United States in 1812. She has obviously done extensive research into the Creole customs and political atmosphere of the time. There are various reference to how people behave, dress and conducted their day to day affairs in the book. This book is of course a romance but it is so very beautifully into rich cultural setting of New Orleans at the time that it just reads really amazing. 

 

Max, the male love interest, is a bit of an asshole in the beginning. He wants to use Lyssete as tool for revenge but Kleypas has always excelled at giving her heroes a personality transplant that is both palatable and plausible. So I was charmed when he later on nursed her back to health from a fever. I really liked Lyssete, she was fiery and wild and appropriately demure when the time called for it. Their relationship unfolded slowly and I was touched by Max acceptance that Lyssete wanted time to get to know each other better before she allowed him to have sex. It was touching that in a time when a man had absolute power over his wife body he had the sensibility to give her time. 

 

The ending was so, so but then again Kleypas is not known for her explosive ending at all.