Suddenly You - Lisa Kleypas My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

After my 3rd reading...

Umm Jack. Call me something in that lilting Irish brogue and I’ll come running to you. You’re such a big, strong, manly man of a man! Ooh! Seriously, I actually went to some Irish language website just to know how ‘a chuisle mo chroi’ and ‘mhuirnin’ are pronounced. I didn’t find both but I got close. God, I’d do anything to have Jack calling me his little ‘mhuirnin’. *sigh*

My 3rd reading of the book was proving to be a little slow at first and I got a little scared. My re-reading of Judith McNaught books has been a traumatic experience for me. I was like: NOOOOO, can’t be happening that to LK books. But, thankfully, it isn’t. I’ve identified, maybe since I already knew some of the information of the first chapters, I felt a bit bored. But, it’s NOT because the book is bad. I never thought that, I still don’t. And, Jack is ... ummm, Jack! Funny thing is, when I read it for the 1st time, I was younger than him. Now as I re-read it, I’ve grown older ... I know this sounds like random ramblings but seriously, this time around, I could identify myself with Amanda, with the ‘age thing’ at least! :p And, Jack (yah, I’m back to him again, inevitably) makes me wanna become an author, just to find a hunky, BIG publisher like him. ;)

So, when the almost 30 and a confirmed, on the shelf, ‘dried out’ spinster like Amanda goes to an establishment of questionable reputation and asks for a male prostitute to relieve her of her virginity, I wasn’t really surprised; I was feeling the prickly sensation of excitement all over me. LK books tend to do that to me, so did this one. The Madame, one Mrs. Bradshaw, a recurring character in some of LK’s other books, is very professional, even polite in her inquiries. It’s like Amanda asked for a cup of coffee and she’s asking for her ‘preferences’. I absolutely loved the way these two talked and Amanda’s thought that she might be making the mistake of her life!

Birthday of Amanda:

Nobody’s home; one cook, maid and footman is out for a day off. Amanda what’ve you done! *think think*

Knock Knock! ... OMIGAWD! Is that a God at my door? Zeus, Poseidon ... Hades? Seriously, who’s that hunk? Tall, broad, good looking ... has the pair of most beautiful blue eyes! Oh Amanda, you naughty girl, you shouldn’t be thinking of such things. It was a mistake, make him go away!.... But can Amanda make someone like ‘Jack’ go away? Hell no! That rogue is so charming; you can’t but fall for him on the first scene (I DID). And, he knows how to get his way. Even the ‘stiff spinster’ gets flabbergasted by his charming ‘ways’ and Amanda is NOT immune to that. ‘Jack’ even knows she’s a published author, read her books and seems like very interested in them! WOW, kinda odd but nice to know that. And, then didn’t he just have his ‘way’, hmm? Almost.....

Hmm, he makes her wanna sigh and feel odd. She won’t see him again. That Mrs. Bradshaw does have good choice or what! Now, after 30 yrs of ‘dry and dutiful’ life, one encounter and she’s a gone case. Oh Amanda, I understand. I do. Jack’s just like that.

A few days later:

A party given by Amanda’s publishing lawyer Talbot. She’s tried to look her best for it. She goes there, has some drink, meets some people and hears gossips. And then, she hears of John T. Devlin, the devilish publisher everyone seem to be jealous of. Amanda doesn’t care for the guy since he doesn’t abide by rules or anything but sales like hell! She decided she’ll never give a damn about that man, if it ever comes to that... Oh, huh? Who? ... *gasps* Omigawd, was that....? Oh, it is. IT IS! ... HIM! *odd stare* The male prostitute ‘Jack’, with his charming smile and that intense stare he likes to ‘bestow’ upon her. Right, he called her beautiful, mhuirnin, peaches but whadda heck is he ... WHAT? It’s Devlin? Amanda finds herself into a nightmare, however sexy, hunky that ‘nightmare’ is! She’s scared, words might get out and her career might get ruined.

I mean, she’s worked hard to come to this far. Two older sisters got married and moved on with their own families. Taking care of two elderly parents through their last years all by herself can’t be a good experience. And, when relatives say, this is ‘why’ God didn’t mean her to get married, what does one do? No, Amanda just shrugged those off; she’s that courageous and instead, picked up her pen and let her imagination run wild. It started out as diversions from her father’s illness but by the time he perished, Amanda has already published and kinda famous. Then, amidst her sisters’ opposition, she sold Briars House, which she got from her father and moved to London with her long time maid Sukey and footman George. She hired a cook, Violet and now, Amanda’s really cozy in her life. Future seems quite nice. But, wait a minute! What to do about this little ‘situation’ now, when you find yourself in a delectable ‘nightmare’ and the aforementioned nightmare is pursuing you with all his might. Hmm, the thought of it makes me rather w.... ahemm *cough cough* Excuse me!... Anyway, Devlin or Jack tells her he wants to publish her first novel, one she sold very early in her career and never hoped it’ll see the light of the day. Jack wants to print it as a series, oh the horror! What kind of author publishes ‘series’? Only the depraved, cheapest ones. And, Amanda won’t give in. But, grrrr, he’s blackmailing now. (trust me, Jack gave me all sorts of butterflies just with his very thorough perusal of Amanda.)

So, she goes to his office to say ‘NO’ but can’t do that. I don’t blame her at all. That man is so DAMN HOT, how can one say no, hmm? So, they’re having a talk with hot stares and eying when a lord barges in, attacking Jack because he published the famous Mrs. B’s memoir (I wanna read that memoir, Jack PLZ! :p). The altercation leads to an injury on Jack’s midriff and Amanda’s taking care of it with a heavy dose of fantasizing. Oh, I so understand Amanda. Looking at hard, ripping abs can do that to a woman, even if that abs has a gash on it! So, the encounter has some other splendid outcome as well, like Amanda getting an offer of her lifetime. Oh, not it’s not ‘that’ (although it’s something under consideration) but a great offer for her book ‘An Unfinished Lady’. Jack’s secretary, Oscar has fun seeing these two together. Jack has no idea what’s so funny in their banters. Ah that blockhead! :p

And, off they start working (and flirting and kissing each-other senseless) together (man, where can I find Jack, aaaaaaaa?). He says ‘yes’, she says ‘no’; he smiles in his charming way and stalks her, then.... Ahemm. In between, Oscar has been in Amanda’s home with the paperwork and talked about Jack’s wretched past in a school called Knachford Heath and how the boys there were horribly treated; that Jack’s illegitimate (like Oscar himself), father a lord, mother was an Irish maid (hence he’s half Irish). He tells her how Jack saved boys from being beaten, took the beating himself instead and how a few of his loyal friends followed him to London after graduation to help him with his dream; to become a publisher. Amanda is amazed, not only hearing Jack’s life story but also with the fact that he doesn’t seem at all like the bookish sort. She feels for Jack.

In the meantime, while they work on her novel, Jack is an almost regular and uninvited guest to Amanda’s house. He pops in whenever his mood strikes and takes lunch/dinners with her. I found this TOO ADORABLE. Also, the scene where Amanda jokingly tells him that she doesn’t take ‘strays’ in. This scene leads to some conversation that inevitably leads to their first encounter and then Jack getting all emotional and divulging some of his secrets, like how he became a publisher, his school (in more details); also that he was indebted to his father, who never wanted anything to do with Jack, for money, until he repaid it with interests. And, then Amanda gets a through kiss with the invitation for the Christmas party in his town house. She is excited; for once her ‘predictable life’ won’t be predictable anymore. She won’t have to visit her sisters and their broods and make the punch only her mother knew how to make.

Christmas party was fun to read. All of Jack’s activities concerning Amanda were funny, so possessive, that man! And, he wants her bad. After one such ‘kissing each-other senseless’ encounter, Jack asks again and this time Amanda knew she has to give in. I LOVED the carriage scene, and her words afterwards that she wants to see how a ‘ravished’ woman looks like. I decided then, I adore Amanda too. So, their affair starts; with some conditions such as total discretion and end it sooner than later, before becoming bored with each-other. But, Jack can’t keep his hands off her; neither can he act as Amanda isn’t his. This leads to a HAWT scene in a shadowy parlor ... against the door, while they were attending a party. Amanda is a bit worried about their affair. And, it proves right. Her sister visits a few days later, since she ‘predictably’ didn’t visit them on Christmas; not even 2 months after it. Amanda gets to know that the words of their affair reached even in the small town of Windsor. So Amanda decides, even though she’s already in love with him, it’s time to end it. And, she does that, telling Jack she won’t just get married to him to ‘save’ her reputation and she won’t become a ‘milestone’ around his neck. Jack is hurt, in denial but he relents; with a lot of anger and a very sexy ‘it’s not over!’ *shivers*

Amanda is miserable, feels lost without him. She knows she’ll have to meet his sometimes and she does, in a party. It was kinda hilarious to read how Jack saved her from a pompous a$$. I was glad to see that Jack was still the charming rogue, even after all that’s passed between them. They dance and Amanda sees that Jack’s grown thinner and has dark circles. Oscar told her that Jack’s been driven by some inhuman urge to acquire ‘more’ in his business. Amanda knows Jack’s insatiable and this concerns her. Then, her slipper comes undone and Jack immediately checks on it, while people look at them and titter behind their fans. Amanda can’t take it anymore; the yearning she feels, the way she wants to feel him everywhere. I believe I’ll quote something from here:

“The smell of starched linen mixed with the scent of his skin, salty and clean and spiced with a hint of cologne. Amanda hated it that Jack smelled so much better than any other man she knew. If only she could bottle the essence and pour it on some other man.”

Hmm, well, afterwards, she asks him to go away. One Mr. Hartley comes in, she met him at Talbot’s party, and talks to her. Amanda thinks, maybe she’d found someone to divert herself from a charming rogue with twinkling blue eyes. But, things didn’t go this way for long. Though Amanda and Charles Hartley formed a nice friendship and a possible marriage proposal was forthcoming, she finds out she’s pregnant. Well, no surprise there! Amanda was pretty much into marrying Charles for obvious reasons but this news made her alternate her plans; she’d go to the Continent, won’t tell Jack, who might not want this baby. And even after knowing about her condition, Charles proposes her. That guy was honestly a gentleman. Amanda goes to see Jack afterwards, tried to tell him about it but somehow didn’t. Jack, who was spending a restless time after knowing of Amanda’s relationship with Charles, was doing some physical works with his workmen at the shop. I liked it extremely! And, the way he just jumped to see Amanda. Afterwards, his father’s solicitor comes to him to tell him that the Earl has passed away, leaving him an ancient family property. Oh, Jack’s realization that in so many ways he was like his father (more so in looks than any of his half-brothers) was such an ironical, yet heart tugging thing to read.

Jack, against his better judgment, goes to the party thrown by Talbot where Charles and Amanda’s engagement was supposed to announced. But a little slip from Charles and he got to know what Amanda was keeping a secret from him. Boy oh boy, the scene afterwards ... let me fan myself a bit! Phew!! He takes her in his house and makes her say ‘yes’ to his marriage proposal (with my ‘approved’ stamp on it!). And, they marry. The newspapers were already gossiping feverishly about their whirlwind marriage. And then, I was like what? What? WHAT??? Yah, a gossip column implies that Jack was younger than Amanda. I’ve never (in my 1st read) read a younger male/older female lead before so I was surprised. I so understood how Amanda felt and I ADORED the scene afterwards. Jack is such a sexy darling! He confesses that he lied to her on their first meeting and it was logical at that time (or the way he ‘charmingly implied’ that it was). The things he says to her afterwards *sigh*, accompanied with some hot and fast lovin’ before office. I believe I’ll quote something, again:

“It has to be now,” he insisted, a flick of amusement in his voice. He nudged his burgeoning loins against her. “After all, you can’t allow me to go around like this all day.”

“From what I’ve learned so far, this is your natural condition,” came her pert reply.

Good lord! hahahaha

So, it goes on, afterwards; their marriage life seems to be the most amazing one, so thoroughly perfect. Jack does everything to support her work, asks for her opinions on his own work. He takes her everywhere with him. It seems like they’re never apart. At night, he seduces her so thoroughly (sorry but this is Jack’s word, I’ve discovered), something Amanda never even imagined in her life. Next, one particularly beautiful scene was the necklace scene, where Jack ‘makes’ *fan please!* her see that she’s beautiful just the way she is. I loved these following lines by Jack:

His expression was infused with lust and adoration as he lowered his head to kiss her throat, his tongue venturing into the little spaces between the diamonds and round opals. “Why can’t you see yourself as I see you?”

Amanda’s career was flourishing as well under Jack’s capable hands. She was on the verge of stepping out as the first woman editor of a journal when it all changed. Amanda lost her baby. Oh, such a sad event! I felt for these two. I was mad that Amanda pushed Jack away, when he was trying everything to help her, to get her attentions. But, I understood Amanda’s grieving of her loss. Jack was clearly lost himself; he couldn't come to terms with the fact that the Amanda he knew might be lost forever. He even sent for Amanda’s sister to console her, though they couldn't stand each-other. When the sister left, Jack almost begged Amanda to talk to him. I understood her fear that she might not conceive again but why the talk of leaving Jack? She was under impression that now that she’d lost the baby, there’s no point in being married to him! Huh? Hello?! This pissed me off again but thankfully, Jack didn’t let the idea fester her mind for long with a little ‘raspberry’ demonstration. Hmm. Well, even in this read Jack, I draw lines at food and finger in places I’m not comfortable with, *cough*. My delicate sensibilities and all that, babe.

Anyway, the epilogue was sweet and sigh worthy. And, I finished the book with this feeling of contentment, again. So, no surprises there that I’m keeping my happy 5 stars this time around as well. :D