Seduce Me at Sunrise (Hathaway Series #2)

Seduce Me at Sunrise (Hathaway Series #2)

4.2 221
by Lisa Kleypas, Rosalyn Landor

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He has tried hard to forget her.

Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation


He has tried hard to forget her.

Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation…and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.

Can she remember the man he once was?

Then, Win returns to England…only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for…

“Will leave you breathless.” — Romantic Times BOOKreviews*

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Vintage Kleypas…An unforgettable story peopled with remarkable characters and a depth of emotion that will leave you breathless with the wonderment of knowing what falling in love is really like.” —Romantic Times BOOKreviews on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

“Kleypas's effortless style makes for another sexy exploration of 19th-century passion and peccadilloes, riveting from start to finish.” —Publishers Weekly on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

“Will steal the hearts of readesr.” —The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

“Captivating...The love story brims with humor and touches of pathos as the characters struggle with lost love and relinquishing grief to embrace life anew.” —Fresh Fiction on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

“Strong characters, compelling romance, an intriguing story, and steamy passion.” —The State (Columbia, South Carolina) on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

“Aside from creating wonderfully alluring characters in Cam and Amelia, Kleypas shows sexual tension, sensitively handles prejudice, and expertly weaves in a bit of the supernatural to round out a tale that is pure delight. Cam and Amelia's romance is well-paced and is a pleasing balance of wit and passion. Their relationship is…riveting from beginning to end.” —Romance Reviews Today on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

“RITA Award–winner Kleypas presents another wonderfully entertaining, lusciously sensual historical romance.” —Booklist on MINE TILL MIDNIGHT

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Hathaway Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

London, 1848 Winter

Win had always thought Kev Merripen was beautiful, in the way that an austere landscape or a wintry day could be beautiful. He was a large, striking man, uncompromising in every angle. The exotic boldness of his features was a perfect setting for eyes so dark that the irises were barely distinguishable from the pupil. His hair was thick and as black as a raven’s wing, his brows strong and straight. And his wide mouth was set with a perpetually brooding curve that Win found irresistible.

Merripen. Her love, but never her lover. They had known each other since childhood, when he had been taken in by her family. Although the Hathaways had always treated him as one of their own, Merripen had acted in the capacity of a servant. A protector. An outsider.

He came to Win’s bedroom and stood at the threshold to watch as she packed a valise with a few personal articles from the top of her dresser. A hairbrush, a rack of pins, a handful of handkerchiefs that her sister Poppy had embroidered for her. As Win tucked the objects into the leather bag, she was intensely aware of Merripen’s motionless form. She knew what lurked beneath his stillness, because she felt the same undertow of yearning.

The thought of leaving him was breaking her heart. And yet there was no choice. She had been an invalid ever since she’d had scarlet fever two years earlier. She was thin and frail and given to fainting spells and fatigue. Weak lungs, all the doctors had said. Nothing to do but succumb. A lifetime of bed rest followed by an early death.

Win would not accept such a fate.

She longed to get well, to enjoy the things that most people took for granted. To dance, laugh, walk through the countryside. She wanted the freedom to love… to marry… to have her own family someday.

With her health in such a poor state, there was no possibility of doing any of those things. But that was about to change. She was departing this day for a French clinic, where a dynamic young doctor, Julian Harrow, had achieved remarkable results for patients just like herself. His treatments were unorthodox, controversial, but Win didn’t care. She would have done anything to be cured. Because until that day came, she could never have Mer-ripen.

"Don’t go," he said, so softly that she almost didn’t hear him.

Win struggled to remain outwardly calm, even as a hot- and- cold chill went down her spine.

"Please close the door," she managed to say. They needed privacy for the conversation they were about to have.

Merripen didn’t move. Color had risen in his swarthy face, and his black eyes glittered with a ferocity that wasn’t at all like him. He was all Rom at this moment, his emotions closer to the surface than he ever usually allowed.

She went to close the door herself, while he moved away from her as if any contact between them would result in fatal harm.

"Why don’t you want me to go, Kev?" she asked gently.

"You won’t be safe there." "I’ll be perfectly safe," she said. "I have faith in Dr. Harrow. His treatments sound sensible to me, and he’s had a high success rate—"

"He’s had as many failures as successes. There are better doctors here in London. You should try them first."

"I think my best chances lie with Dr. Harrow." Win smiled into Merripen’s hard black eyes, understanding the things he couldn’t say. "I’ll come back to you. I promise."

He ignored that. Any attempt she made to bring their feelings to light was always met with rock- hard resistance. He would never admit he cared for her, or treat her as anything other than a fragile invalid who needed his protection. A butterfly under glass.

While he went on with his private pursuits.

Despite Merripen’s discretion in personal matters, Win was certain there had been more than a few women who had given him their bodies, and used him for their own plea sure. Something bleak and angry rose from the depths of her soul at the thought of Mer-ripen lying with someone else. It would shock everyone who knew her, had they understood the power of her desire for him. It would probably shock Merripen most of all.

Seeing his expressionless face, Win thought, Very well, Kev. If this is what you want, I’ll be stoic. We’ll have a pleasant, bloodless good- bye.

Later she would suffer in private, knowing it would be an eternity until she saw him again. But that was better than living like this, forever together and yet apart, her illness always between them.

"Well," she said briskly, "I’ll be off soon. And there’s no need to worry, Kev. Leo will take care of me during the trip to France, and—"

"Your brother can’t even take care of himself," Mer-ripen said harshly. "You’re not going. You’ll stay here, where I can—"

He bit off the words.

But Win had heard a note of something like fury, or anguish, buried in his deep voice.

This was getting interesting.

Her heart began to thump. "There…" She had to pause to catch her breath. "There’s only one thing that could stop me from leaving."

He shot her an alert glance. "What is it?"

It took her a long moment to summon the courage to speak. "Tell me you love me. Tell me, and I’ll stay."

The black eyes widened. The sound of his indrawn breath cut through the air like the downward arc of an ax stroke. He was silent, frozen.

A curious mixture of amusement and despair surged through Win as she waited for his reply.

"I … care for everyone in your family…."

"No. You know that’s not what I’m asking for." Win moved toward him and lifted her pale hands to his chest, resting her palms on a surface of tough, unyielding muscle. She felt the response that jolted through him. "Please," she said, hating the desperate edge in her own voice, "I wouldn’t care if I died tomorrow, if I could just hear it once—"

"Don’t," he growled, backing away.

Casting aside all caution, Win followed. She reached out to grasp the loose folds of his shirt. "Tell me. Let’s finally bring the truth out into the open—"

"Hush; you’ll make yourself ill."

It infuriated Win that he was right. She could feel the familiar weakness, the dizziness that came along with her pounding heart and laboring lungs. She cursed her failing body. "I love you," she said wretchedly. "And if I were well, no power on earth could keep me away from you. If I were well, I would take you into my bed, and I would show you as much passion as any woman could—"

"No." His hand lifted to her mouth as if to muffle her, then snatched back as he felt the warmth of her lips.

"If I’m not afraid to admit it, why should you be?" Her plea sure at being near him, touching him, was a kind of madness. Recklessly she molded herself against him. He tried to push her away without hurting her, but she clung with all her remaining strength. "What if this were the last moment you ever had with me? Wouldn’t you have been sorry not to tell me how you felt? Wouldn’t you—"

Merripen covered her mouth with his, desperate for a way to make her quiet. They both gasped and went still, absorbing the feel of it. Each strike of his breath on her cheek was a shock of heat. His arms went around her, wrapping her in his vast strength, holding her against the hardness of his body. And then everything ignited, and they were both lost in a furor of need.

She could taste the sweetness of apples on his breath, the bitter hint of coffee, but most of all the rich essence of him. Wanting more, craving him, she pressed upward. He took the innocent offering with a low, savage sound.

She felt the touch of his tongue. Opening to him, she drew him deeper, hesitantly using her own tongue in a slide of silk- on- silk, and he shivered and gasped and held her more tightly. A new weakness flooded her, her senses starving for his hands and mouth and body… his powerful weight over and between and inside her…. Oh, she wanted him, wanted…

Merripen kissed her with savage hunger, his mouth moving over hers with rough, luscious strokes. Her nerves blazed with plea sure, and she squirmed and clutched at him, wanting him closer.

Even through the layers of her skirts, she felt the way he urged his hips against hers, the tight subtle rhythm. Instinctively she reached down to feel him, to soothe him, and her trembling fingers encountered the hard shape of his arousal.

He buried an agonized groan in her mouth. For one scalding moment he reached down and gripped her hand tightly over himself. Her eyes flew open as she felt the pulsing charge, the heat and tension that seemed ready to explode. "Kev… the bed…," she whispered, going crimson from head to toe. She had wanted him so desperately, for so long, and now it was finally going to happen. "Take me—" Merripen cursed and shoved her away from him, turning to the side. He was gasping uncontrollably.

Win moved toward him. "Kev—"

"Stay back," he said with such force that she jumped in fright.

For at least a minute, there was no sound or movement save the angry friction of their breaths.

Merripen was the first to speak. His voice was weighted with rage and disgust, though whether it was directed against her or himself was impossible to fathom. "That will never happen again."

"Because you’re afraid you might hurt me?"

"Because I don’t want you that way."

She stiffened with indignation, and gave a disbelieving laugh. "You responded to me just now. I felt it."

His color deepened. "That would have happened with any woman."

"You… you’re trying to make me believe that you have no particular feeling for me?"

"Nothing other than a desire to protect one of your family."

She knew it was a lie; she knew it. But his callous rejection made leaving a bit easier. "I …" It was difficult to speak. "How noble of you." Her attempt at an ironic tone was ruined by her breathlessness. Stupid weak lungs.

"You’re overwrought," Merripen said, moving toward her. "You need to rest—"

"I’m fine," Win said fiercely, going to the washstand, gripping it to steady herself. When her balance was secured, she poured a splash of water onto a linen cloth, and applied it to her flushed cheeks. Glancing into the looking glass, she made her face into its usual serene mask. Somehow she made her voice calm. "I will have all of you or nothing," she said. "You know the words that will make me stay. If you won’t say them, then leave."

The air in the room was heavy with emotion. Win’s nerves screamed in protest as the silence drew out. She stared into the looking glass, able to see only the broad shape of his shoulder and arm. And then he moved, and the door opened and closed.

Win continued to dab at her face with the cool cloth, using it to blot a few stray teardrops. Setting the cloth aside, she noticed that her palm, the one she had used to grip the intimate shape of him, still retained the memory of his flesh. And her lips still tingled from the sweet, hard kisses, and her chest was filled with the ache of desperate love.

"Well," she said to her flushed reflection, "now you’re motivated." And she laughed shakily until she had to wipe away more tears.

As Cam Rohan supervised the loading of the carriage that would soon depart for the London docks, he couldn’t help wondering if he was making a mistake. He had promised his new wife that he would take care of her family. But less than two months after he’d married Amelia, he was sending one of her sisters to France.

"We can wait," he had told Amelia only last night, holding her against his shoulder, stroking her rich brown hair as it lay in a river over his chest. "If you wish to keep Win with you a little longer, we can send her to the clinic in the spring." "No, she must go as soon as possible. Dr. Harrow made it clear that too much time has already been wasted. Win’s best hope of improvement is to start the course of treatment at once."

Cam had smiled at Amelia’s pragmatic tone. His wife excelled at hiding her emotions, maintaining such a sturdy facade that few people perceived how vulnerable she was underneath. Cam was the only one with whom she would let down her guard.

"We must be sensible," Amelia had added.

Cam had rolled her to her back and stared down at her small, lovely face in the lamplight. Such round blue eyes, dark as the heart of midnight. "Yes," he allowed softly. "But it’s not always easy to be sensible, is it?"

She shook her head, her eyes turning liquid.

He stroked her cheek with his fingertips. "Poor hummingbird," he whispered. "You’ve gone through so many changes in the past months—not the least of which was marrying me. And now I’m sending your sister away."

"To a clinic, to make her well," Amelia had said. "I know it’s best for her. It’s only that … I’ll miss her. Win is the dearest, gentlest one in the family. The peace-maker. We’ll all probably murder each other in her absence." She gave him a little scowl. "Don’t tell anyone I was crying, or I shall be very cross with you."

"No, monisha," he had soothed, cuddling her closer as she sniffled. "All your secrets are safe with me. You know that."

And he had kissed away her tears and removed her nightgown slowly, and made love to her even more slowly. "Little love," he had whispered as she trembled beneath him. "Let me make you feel better…." And as he took careful possession of her body, he told her in the old language that she pleased him in all ways, that he loved to be inside her, that he would never leave her. Although Amelia hadn’t understood the foreign words, the sound of them had excited her, her hands working on his back like cat paws, her hips pressing upward into his weight. He had pleasured her, and taken his own plea sure, until his wife had fallen into a sated sleep.

For a long while afterward Cam had held her nestled against him, with the trusting weight of her head on his shoulder. He was responsible for Amelia now, and for her entire family.

The Hathaways were a group of misfits that included four sisters, a brother, and Merripen, who was a Rom like Cam. No one seemed to know much about Mer-ripen aside from the fact that he had been taken in by the Hathaway family as a boy, after being wounded and left for dead in a Gypsy hunt. He was something more than a servant, but not quite part of the family.

There was no predicting how Merripen would fare in Win’s absence, but Cam had a feeling it wasn’t going to be pleasant. They couldn’t have been more opposite, the pale blond invalid and the huge Rom. One so refined and otherworldly, the other brown and rough- hewn and barely civilized. But the connection was there, like the path of a hawk that always returned to the same forest, following the invisible map that was etched in its very nature.

When the carriage was properly loaded and the luggage was secured with leather straps, Cam went into

Excerpted from A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas.

Copyright © 2008 by Lisa Kleypas

Published in 2008 by St. Martin’s Press

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Lisa Kleypas is the RITA Award-winning author of twenty-one novels. Her books have been published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.

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Seduce Me at Sunrise (Hathaway Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 222 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought Seduce Me at Sunrise was an awesome book. Ever since Lisa introduced us to Cam Rohan in The Devil in Winter, I was hoping for a book about him. And we got an excellent one where we met Amelia, Win, Merripen, Poppy, Leo, etc. After Mine Till Midnight, I was fascinated by the Hathaway family. During the reading of that book I could tell Win and Kev were destined for each other and I was anxiously awaiting the release of Seduce Me at Sunrise. I was not disappointed in the least. I highly recommend this book to historical romance fans and to Lisa Kleypas fans. Now I am awaiting a book about Leo and Miss Marks.
Go read this amazing book if you haven't already and if you have, read it again. I know I will! I re-read many of Lisa's books because they are absolutely a pleasure to read.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
but certainly not the best romance I've ever read. It was entertaining and held my interest. However, I've read much better. Would recommend though for anyone who likes historical romance with brooding men that can't express their emotions. HA!
ej1130 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very romantic and i loved the way it kept my attention through out the whole book. I couldn't read it fast enough. But that is Lisa Kleypas for ya. All her books are so good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Mine Till Midnight and loved the chemistry between Cam and Amelia. I looked forward to SMaS and Merripen and Win's story. In SMaS I could feel the struggle Merripen experienced about his feeling for, and interactions with, Win.
My only issues with the story is I'm a stickler for details. In the beginning, the story starts off a couple of months after MTM ends; year 1848 (MTM takes place fall 1848). In SMaS there is a good part of Merripen's background revealed in several chapters which are dated "12 years earlier"; that would be 1836. However, in MTM, when Amelia is recollecting the past about Merripen; he had lived with the family for 15 years; which would be 1833. Also, Merripen's Romany tribe used him as a fighter in bets against others; because of his size and brute strength; according to SMaS. But in MTM, Amelia says Merripen was rescued by them as a "small and rather slight lad". I get hung up on little details like that.
fishgirl182 More than 1 year ago
I adored the first book in this series and was afraid that the second book would not live up to my expectations. I am happy to report that Seduce Me At Sunrise did not disappointed and I fell in love with the Hathaways all over again. My heart went out to Merripen in the first book. Haunted by a dark and violent past, he’s resigned himself to never having the one thing he wants most in life - Win. He’s afraid to hurt her, afraid that the violence he did in his youth will come out one day and harm her. He’s the very definition of a tortured hero. He is intense and moody but also extremely loyal with a great capacity for love. He’s also the most infuriatingly stubborn man I've ever met! He kisses Win passionately one moment and pushes her away the next. His mixed signals were enough to drive any girl a little batty. Luckily, Win is a persistent woman who knows what she wants. I like that she isn’t cowed by Merripen and stands up to him. Even when Merripen made me want to throw up my hands and give up, Win holds her ground. She has a quiet inner strength that anchors the entire family. I am also happy to say that we see more of Cam and Amelia in this one. They are one of my favorite couples and seeing them as a married couple only solidifies my love for them. Cam and Merripen also find answers to the mysterious origins of their tattoos. I won’t spoil it but let’s just say that the revelation is a big one that has great significance for both of them. I really can’t say enough about this series. I thought I was fully invested after the first book but now I am totally addicted. These characters are so well developed that I feel like I actually know them. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why no ebook? Hard to rate something I haven't read yet. I prefer to download from b&n but since they have no ebook, I will have to buy this from someplace else. Fortunately, I have a netbook and can download from any source.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite series and I want all of them on my nook. Come on, what gives!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just spent all this money on a Nook and the second book I want to buy is not available! What gives! I am seriously displeased!
Loves2ReadKR More than 1 year ago
There's something about the Hathaway's and their love interests... They are quirky and intriguing. I was looking forward to this book and found it to be very enjoyable. I love Kev. His character is dark, understandably so. He feels a love so powerful and deep that he is willing to deny it. Does that make sense? It didn't to Win either. He will do anything to protect her, even denying himself what they both long for. Her love has been thwarted for years by Kev's demons and the onset of Scarlet Fever. It left Win with weak lungs. Win's arrival back from the clinic that made her well results in a passionate encounter with Kev. However, Win also brings a potential suitor. This sets off a fiery set of events culminating in passion and discoveries for multiple characters. The only thing that left me a bit dissatisfied was the fact that the point of view switched back and forth from character to character (major and not so major). I was satisfied as Cam and Kev's pasts were revealed, but I did not really enjoy the multiple views. Also, Leo is introduced to the new governess. His POV on her is necessary for the following books, but it tended to distract me from the main storyline. Overall it is a good book. If you enjoy the Hathaway series, read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a truly sentimental book with characters that grew over time. As a reviewer suggested, it may be best to read the prequel as I was wondering about the supporting cast. However, once I started reading I did not want to put the book down. The chemistry between the two leads was "wow'. I felt that it was love grown over time and not the sudden type which made the hero/ heroine more poignant. This book paints a picture of that love flourishing over time and its lasting impression on the hero and heroine. Good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1836 the English attack a Gypsy camp. The youngster Kev Merripen tried to fight, but was knocked in the head by the butt of a rifle and stabbed in the back by a bayonet. His tribe fled leaving him behind to die. A hated Gadjo the Hathaway patriarch saves his life though Kev¿s disdain would have someone think otherwise. Filled with gypsy superstitions, Kev is raised in the home of a rationalist. However, his host¿s daughter Winifred softens his hostile outlook. Kev loves Win who is sent to France to recover from an illness. ------------ A dozen years later she comes home only to find her childhood friend angry and nasty towards her and seemingly everyone else. He tries to drive her away even as she only shows him kindness. Win knows she loves her gypsy and considers seduction to win his heart. However, she begins to give up on him leaving room for other suitors as Kev struggles between his desire for Win and his belief that a Gadjo and Romany cannot unite even in love.------------- Lisa Kleypas¿ latest Victorian romance (see MINE TILL MIDNIGHT and THE DEVIL IN WINTER) is an engaging tale starring a wonderful extremely tolerant female and a somewhat self defeating hero. Kev is the posterboy for the self fulfilling prophecy as he assumes the worst of others so takes no chances on his heart. Readers will appreciate the determined Win trying to persuade the obstinate Kev they belong together although his stubbornness can become a trifle frustrating.------------ Harriet Klausner
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The entire series is one which you could never forget.
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I loved this book immensely. I loved Kev, Rohan, and Leo. This book made me feel so connected to Win, who is my favorite Hathaway female. Even in the first book in which she was sickly I could feel her strong spirit and connection to Kev. I liked the way the author went back into the history of the characters lives in order to clarify why characters behaved or thought a certain way. This story gave details about the love between Win and Kev that was introduced in book 1. I loved all the referenes to the gypsy lifestyle and beliefs.
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Solstice-Ballad1 More than 1 year ago
Merripen is an intriguing character similar to Sin in "Born in Sin" by Kinley MacGregor. They both have deep resonating personalities and values.