Aug 21 2017 11:00am

Meet Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaway Family (in Reading Order)

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Almost a full year has passed since I picked up my first Lisa Kleypas historical romance. Since then, I'm thrilled to say I've caught up on just about all of her series and even fell completely in love with It Happened One Autumn in the Wallflowers series. It's such a delight to discover a new-to-you author with an impressive and sizable backlist to binge!

After reading Dreaming of You, I decided to dive into the Hathaways series, but when I started, I realized something strange—the place we meet Cam Rohan, the hero of Mine Till Midnight, is the same place we see in Dreaming of You. And even though I had never read Kleypas before, the lore and legend of Lord St. Vincent rang throughout romance. Seeing him in Mine Till Midnight but not understanding why he was there puzzled me...until I realized I wasn't reading in order. 

I'm a pretty big stickler for completing a series in order even if I don't love the first installment, even when someone tells me to get to the “best” book in their opinion, but for the Hathaways journey, at least at the start, it's especially important to have a basic understanding of the Wallflowers—especially since we meet Cam for the first time in Devil in Spring. While it's not absolutely necessary that you read The Wallflowers first, doing so will make you appreciate the little hat tips to the series and the readers who love it. (Speaking of which: The Hathaways Hampshire neighbors happen to be Marcus and Lillian from It Happened One Autumn, my favorite Wallflower story!)

So allow me to introduce the Hathaways—and their respective books—in reading order...

Meet the Hathaways

The Hathways are their own unique group.  The family is made up of Amelia, Winnifred, Poppy, Leo, and Beatrix—and although he's not a Hathway in name, Kev Merripen is very much a part of the Hathaways as well. 

Amelia (Mine Till Midnight)

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We're introduced to all the Hathaway children in the first book of the series. Their quirks and eccentricities—like Beatrix's love of animals and “sticky fingers”—paint such a vivid picture of a family of many differing personalities whose love for one another is never in question.

For example, the first book starts off with Amelia, twenty-six and considered a “spinster” by the standards of the time, going to Jenner's—the infamous gaming hell that shows up in many Kleypas tales—to find her wayward brother Leo. She has an encounter with Cam Rohan, a half-Romany, half-Irish man who helps Lord St. Vincent run Jenner's.

Leo has inherited the family viscounty and with it a crumbling Hampshire estate. He gambles and drinks a bit too much, and Amelia, ever the worrier and keeper of the family, sets off with the help of Merripen to find her brother.

What she finds instead is the elusive Cam Rohan. Their romance is a tug-of-war with Cam doing his best to get Amelia to think of her own happiness, while Amelia tries to be the anchor for her family.

Cam is all the wonderful things you come to expect of a Kleypas hero—including some incredibly swoon-y lines:

“I find you thoroughly, deeply interesting. I want to open you like a book and read every page.” A smile curved the corners of his lips as he added huskily, “Footnotes included.” 

Win (Seduce Me At Sunrise)

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Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa KleypasThe second book of the Hathaways series belongs to Win and Merripen. Kev Merripen is half-Romany, half-Irish—quite the coincidence, eh? ;)—and has been in love with Win since coming to live with the Hathaways at a very young age. 

Win suffers from poor health and has her entire life, but fight valiantly to get the things that she wants—to get the man she wants, but Kev is convinced he's not for her. 

Their love is a little tortured, suffering from misunderstandings and Merripen's struggles from a child, but trust me, Merripen is absolutely a keeper.

“All the fires of hell could burn for a thousand years and it wouldn't equal what I feel for you in one minute of the day. I love you so much there is no pleasure in it. Nothing but torment. Because if I could dilute what I feel for you to the mil­lionth part, it would still be enough to kill you. And even if it drives me mad, I would rather see you live in the arms of that cold, soulless bastard than die in mine,” Merripen said to Win.

Poppy (Tempt Me At Twilight)

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Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

Poppy's story takes center stage in this third Hathaway title. Poppy Hathaway, after being found in a rather compromising position with hotel owner and inventor Harry Rutledge, is conscripted into marriage with him.

And okay, I have to admit, this particular trope is one of my favorites in historicals. I know, I know—so many problems—and yet if you give me the option of reading one with this premise, I'm going to do so immediately. We all have our failings.

Poppy's hero, Harry, is kind of ruthless and cunning—he sets out to sway Poppy away from her intended and succeeds in doing so. Of course, this makes him extraordinarily unpopular with all the Hathaways—most especially Poppy—who are more than aware of his ways.

I don't know if you could put this under the marriage of convenience heading, but I think it's safe to call this an enemies-to-lovers least as far as Poppy's changing feelings toward Harry go.

“I have so much love for you, I could fill rooms with it. Buildings. You’re surrounded by it wherever you go, you walk through it, breathe’s in your lungs, and under your tongue, and between your fingers and toes...” His mouth moved passionately over hers, urging her lips apart.

And of course...there's that cliffhanger that leads up right into Leo's story.

Leo (Married by Morning)

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Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

Leo Hathaway breaks my heart. 

He didn't at first. When we first meet Leo by way of Amelia's book, I hated him. Truly, deeply totally hated him. I thought he was selfish and unfeeling. All the things I absolutely do not look for in a hero. But I think it's a particular strength of Kleypas's to be able to redeem heroes in a way that's utterly believable. Just like I hated St. Vincent and couldn't understand how he'd become the hero of his story, her redemption of Leo is so wonderful and achingly bittersweet.

And then there's Catherine. Catherine, whom Leo lovingly calls “Marks,” makes my heart hurt in the best of ways. (I really love angst, and this book delivers kindly delivers that to me.) 

A hero reformed, when done well, is absolutely something that I can't get enough of. I could read on and on and on about Leo and Catherine. 

“You are not a perfect woman.You have an evil temper, you’re as blind as a mole, you’re a deplorable poet, and frankly, your French accent could use some work.” Supporting himself on his elbows, Leo took her face in his hands. “But when I put those things together with the rest of you, it makes you into the most perfectly imperfect woman I’ve ever known.”

Beatrix (Love in the Afternoon)

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Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Beatrix and a case of mistaken identity via letters finishes out the Hathaway series.

Beatrix is the youngest Hathaway—precocious, a lover of animals, and a bit of a thief. (In the best of ways.)

Beatrix uses her agile mind to help her friend Prudence (who turns out not to be a friend at all) write letters to her intended who's off at war. Captain Christopher Phelan was vivacious and brash before going off to war, but as he's in the midst of battle, he comes to realize he'll be forever changed and might not be fit for Pru. Beatrix helps Pru craft the perfect responses to Christopher. Their relationship is grudging and contentious and filled with a wonderful amount of angst. (If you like that sort of thing which I absolutely do.) 

Beatrix's story might actually be my favorite of the Hathaway sisters. Leo own at least half of my heart, but Beatrix has definitely got a claim on the other half.

Christopher is fine...I mean, he's a good, solid, sometimes annoying hero, but he really pulls through in the end. And Kleypas just gives her heroes some of the best things to say:

“You don’t annoy me.” Carefully he rebuttoned the placket of her shirt. “I thought you did, at first. But now I realize it was more like the feeling you get when your foot’s been asleep. And when you start moving, the blood coming back into it is uncomfortable . . . but also good. Do you understand what I mean?”

“Yes. I make your feet tingle.”

A smile came to his lips. “Among other things.” 


Tell me, who's your favorite Hathaway?

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Jen is the production associate for H&H, a musical theatre nerd, and Thai food enthusiast. You can find her tweeting nonsense on the regular and being a fangirl over at Tumblr.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I like all the Hathaways! My favorite book though is
Love in the Afternoon; I enjoy a good epistolary novel and there's also so much humor in this book.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@Kareni -- That one's Jen's favorite too, I believe!

My favorite is probably Seduce Me at Sunrise because I love the hurt/comfort element that helped bring Win and Kev together finally.
Jen Wattley
3. JenWattley
@Kareni---Love in the Afternoon is my favorite, too for the same reason. LOVE epistolary stories.
4. LisaKleypas
Thank you so much, Jen!!! I loved reading your thoughts on each book--I'm sitting here with a huge smile. I think Love In The Afternoon was the one I was the most nervous about writing, because Beatrix had been such a young and unconventional character throughout the series. But I felt like the issue of Christopher's PTSD, and Beatrix's love of animals, and the theme of healing helped to bring out a warmth and tenderness in her that surprised me. The hardest part was writing the letters!
5. LisaKleypas
Heather, thank you!--I have to tell you, "Seduce Me" was the fastest and most fun to write. Which may sound a little odd, because the story is so dark in some places, and Kev is a brooding hero. But I've always loved big drama and big emotions, and it was wonderful to let myself write with no restraint whatsoever!
6. LisaKleypas
Kareni, I appreciate that so much--those letters were not easy! At first they all all sounded really generic, until I started pondering what kinds of unique, whimsical things people might really share with each other in their correspondence, like Beatrix's idea that each month has a smell, or Christopher's list of things he learned from Albert (the dog). It made me realize that sometimes you can learn just as much about someone from written words as you can from being with them in person. Maybe even more!
7. jannah
omg I freakin' LOVE this book!!!!!!!!! I think I've read it like 10 times and I never get tired. Le sigh, I need a Gypsy bae like Cam. Mine Till Midnight is my favorite of the series. There's just something so magical about the slight paranormal/mystical Gypsy lore to it that makes it oh so captivating and sexy.
8. southerngirl
I've read this series (and all of her other books) multiple times. It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite Hathaway. I guess it would be whichever one I am reading. But I do adore Leo. His humor and wit kinda reminds me of my all time top favorite hero of all romance books, Lord St. Vincent (from THE DEVIL IN WINTER).
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