GENRE: Historical Romance
SERIES: Vallerands, #1
MY GRADE: C
FROM PUBLISHER: Fleeing an impending marriage with a man she loathes, Lysette Kersaint is nevertheless forced to marry someone equally unappealing--notorious master duelist Maximilien Vallerand--who awakens her desires in surprising new ways.
BOOK COMPARISON: In 2002, the Lisa Kleypas novel ‘When Strangers Marry’ came out. It was actually a rewritten version of her 1992 Avon novel ‘Only In Your Arms’. A few changes were made.
One change in the rewrite (When Strangers Marry) is a scene where the heroine Lysette doesn’t want to have sex on her wedding night. That was OK with the hero Max. She asks him if he’s going to visit his quadroon mistress that night and he says ‘yes.’ Then there is a little over two pages of dialog between the hero and his mistress. In the REWRITE, Lysette does not ask Max if he’s going to see his mistress but instead asks him if he’s going out. He tells her yes and the part where he visits his mistress is completely removed from the story.
Another change is during a scene in the original version (Only In Your Arms) when Lysette, Max and his twin sons are eating stolen watermellon. When she and Max are alone, she mentions his dead wife Corinne. That angers Max and he grabs Lysette by the shoulders, lifts her off the ground and tells her to never mention Corinne’s name again. In the rewrite, the part where she mentions Corinne never happens.
The last change that was made was a scene in the original version where Lysette tells Bernard, Max’s brother, who murdered Max’s wife, Corinne, that someone is out to murder him because he murdered Corinne years before. Lysette tells Bernard to hide in their warehouse. Max meets him there and tells him to leave on a ship and to never, ever come back or he’d kill him.
In the rewritten version it was Lysette, NOT Max who goes to the warehouse to see Bernard. She gives him money and tells him she’d just spoken to a captain of a ship that’s about to leave. She wants Bernard to be on that ship.