Review + Excerpt: Hello Stranger - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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.

Series:

The Ravenels

Book 4

Can be read as a standalone

Book Type:

Historical Romance

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This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

Review + Excerpt: Hello Stranger
By Lisa Kleypas

Review + Excerpt: Hello Stranger

“Garrett Gibson… as long as I’m on this earth, I’ll want to be wherever you are.”

Lisa Kleypas once again delights with her new historical romance—HELLO STRANGER. This next highly anticipated installment in The Ravenels series brims with danger and suspense, longing and romance. It’s everything I hoped it would be and more. Kleypas never disappoints.

The story centers on a character we’ve met before—the talented and tenacious Dr. Garrett Gibson, who is in fact inspired by real-life Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon.

At twenty-eight years old, Dr. Gibson is happy funneling all her energy into her practice… her work leaves time for little else.  She’s responsible and cautious, not one to be known for softness and romance. One night, however, an unexpected encounter with former detective Ethan Ransom leaves her rattled and unsettled in more ways than one.

Ransom is all rough edges and secrets. He’s chosen an anonymous life hiding in the shadows, sharpening his espionage skills. His true loyalties are unknown, but by all accounts, he’s a dangerous man from whom Garrett should stay away.

“… she was tired of being cautious and responsible. She yearned to fling herself headlong into the experience of being loved, desired, possessing and possessed.”

But Garrett may be Ethan’s only weakness, and for Garrett, he’s been the only man she’s truly desired, danger and sense be damned. And despite Ethan wanting better (than him) for the beautiful, intelligent doctor, she makes it impossible to stay away.

Before too long, Ethan finds himself on a precarious edge and only Garrett can save him. They’re both caught in a web of treachery that threatens their lives. They must help each other, and trust the family Ethan has shunned, if they are to come out of it all alive.

Their story is fascinating, engrossing, exciting and sensuous. The suspense really fueled the narrative’s momentum and there was never a dull moment. Scintillating banter, murder plots and espionage, near-death experiences and best of all, late-night rendezvous in the shadowed streets of London… what more can you ask for?!

Understanding the grief that awaited her, knowing she must always be aware of it looming in the not-too- distant future, Ethan wanted to reach for her. He wanted to hold her and promise he would be there to help her through it. That fact that he couldn’t struck a note of anger—always the most easily accessible of his emotions—and he felt all his muscles tighten.

They both glanced toward the closed surgery door as they heard the creaks and thumps of heavy feet descending the stairs. Multiple voices filled the entranceway. From the sound of it, the men who’d been playing cards with Garrett’s father were departing.

“Eliza,” one of them asked, “why didn’t Dr. Gibson come up to visit as usual?”

“The doctor came in late tonight, sir,” came the maid’s reply.

“Where is she? I should like to bid her good evening, at least.”

The maid’s voice ratcheted to a higher pitch. “Oh, you can’t, Mr. Gleig, she’s with a patient.”

“At this hour?” another man asked, sounding disgruntled.

“Indeed, Mr. Oxley.” In a moment of inspiration,

Eliza added, “Poor lad broke ‘is tiblin bone.”

Upon hearing the unfamiliar word, Ethan gave Garrett a questioning glance.

“Tibia,” she said, dropping her forehead to his shoulder in a defeated gesture.

Ethan smiled and curved a loose arm around her. She smelled like freshly laundered things, with a faint salty coolness beneath. He wanted to follow the fragrance along the tender warmth of her throat and down beneath her bodice.

Outside the door, Eliza proceeded to explain the dangerous nature of “tiblin” injuries, which, if not treated properly, could lead to “knee gimps,” “ankular hitchments,” and even “limputations.” Garrett fidgeted in annoyance at the maid’s authoritative lecture.

“She’s giving us cover,” Ethan whispered, amused.

“But they’ll go out and repeat her gibberish,” she whispered back, “and before long I’ll have a waiting room full of patients with tiblin complaints.”

“It’s a new field of medicine. You’ll be a pioneer.”

He heard her muffled chuckle. She continued to lean against him while the trio of constables expressed sympathy for the unfortunate patient. Eventually the men departed with a chorus of hearty farewells. Ethan discovered that his other arm had stolen around Garrett.

Making himself let go of her was like trying to uncoil a steel spring.

“You should go up to your father now,” he said with difficulty.

“Eliza will look after him while I take a few minutes to show you some slides. I have insect wings . . .pollen grains . . . flower petals . . . What would you like to see?”

“The inside of a hansom cab,” he said softly. “I can’t be alone with you, darlin’.”

Garrett touched the edges of his vest, fingers clamping on the thin leather. “Ethan.” A blush rose in her face, like light glowing through pink frosted glass. “I don’t want to end this. We . . . we could meet in secret, now and then. No one would have to know. We would make no claims on each other. We’ll just . . . do as we please.”

The way she fumbled with the words, so unlike her usual precise way of speaking, devastated Ethan. He could only guess what it cost her to lay open her pride like this. He wasn’t certain what she was offering, or even if she knew. Not that it mattered. He wanted, craved, needed anything she was willing to give. But he had to make her understand that it was impossible. And even if it were, the idea was beneath her.

“Have you had that kind of arrangement with a man before?” he brought himself to ask.

Her eyes were the green of deep summer and lush growing things. “I’m a woman who makes her own decisions and handles the consequences.”

“That means no,” Ethan said softly. At her silence, he continued, “You’d be risking your reputation. Your career.”

“Believe me, I understand that better than you.”

“Have you ever shared a bed with a man? Even once?”

“Why is that relevant?”

Her evasive response sent a pleasure-pang down to the pit of his stomach. “That means no,” he said again, his voice even softer than before. He took a slow breath, trying to steady himself, while his blood sang with the knowledge that she’d been waiting for him. She was meant to be his. God, he wanted her beyond any reckoning of earth or heaven. But her well-being mattered a thousand times more than his own desires.

“Garrett . . . I’m a man full o’ trouble. When I vowed to let nothing harm you, I included myself on that list.”

A frown crimped her forehead. She closed her grip on his vest until her fists were tight as pine knots. “I’m not afraid of you, or your trouble.” Her green eyes were narrowed and intent as she tugged him closer.

“Kiss me,” she urged in a whisper.

“I have to go,” he said shortly, and pulled back while he was still able.

But Garrett moved with him, her hands reaching up to grip his head on either side, the way he’d taught her at Baujart’s. The strength of her fingers electrified him.

“Kiss me,” she commanded, “or I’ll break your nose.”

The threat startled a ragged laugh from him. He shook his head as he looked at her, this fearsomely capable woman who loved geese and was afraid of spaghetti, and could either wield a scalpel in a complex surgical procedure or use it as a throwing-knife. There had always been a cold streak in him, but he couldn’t seem to find it now, when he needed it most. He was breaking apart inside. He would never be the same after this.

“Christ, you’ve ruined me,” he whispered.

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One Comment:


  1. Jennifer | Mrs Q Book Addict said:

    I’ve read only one Lisa Kleypas but I should read more. I do enjoy a historical romance book.

    Reply

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