Hello Stranger

Hello Stranger

A woman who defies her timeDr. 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 on...

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Title:Hello Stranger
Author:Lisa Kleypas
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Edition Language:English

Hello Stranger Reviews

  • Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Hello Stranger

    The Ravenels #4

    Lisa Kleypas

    February 27, 2018

    No

    Lisa Kleypas writes in a way that reminds me why I fell in love with reading romance. There was a simplicity to the story, while her way of expressing it was anything but. There were so many times I just stopped and stared at the eloquence of her beautifully descriptive writing, because it was just too good to not savor. I've read almost all of her b

    Hello Stranger

    The Ravenels #4

    Lisa Kleypas

    February 27, 2018

    No

    Lisa Kleypas writes in a way that reminds me why I fell in love with reading romance. There was a simplicity to the story, while her way of expressing it was anything but. There were so many times I just stopped and stared at the eloquence of her beautifully descriptive writing, because it was just too good to not savor. I've read almost all of her books, and like with any author, you're going to have some that hit a more resonant chord than others. I can honestly say that this book was one that worked in every way for me. It was so good that I couldn't stop thinking about it for days afterward.

    Let's start with Ethan. Formerly a Scotland Yard detective, currently a spy who slips through London unnoticed and alone, and isn't afraid to break a few rules to achieve his directive. Raised in poverty, he fought and clawed to make it out of the gutter. But despite his drive to become a success, he never lost his moral compass or conscience.

    There's a vulnerability there that immediately makes you want to strip away the mystery surrounding him and learn everything there is to know about the man underneath. Not to mention the chemistry as he bantered with Garrett was completely addictive. He has such a devilish charm about him (That dimple and cheeky grin!) that Garrett tries to blow off, but she's no match for the attraction that blazes between them.

    Dr. Garrett Gibson was easily one of my favorite heroines that Ms. Kleypas has ever written. She was a feminine anomaly during that time that no one quite knew what to do with. As the first female doctor to practice in England, let's just say that her career choice is not one that is accepted with open arms by the masses. She's not the type of woman who places matrimony and a conventional life at the top of her priorities as was expected of women back then. She followed her dream, and she lives by her own set of rules with absolutely zero shame. What else did I love about her? She's snarky, independent, smart as a whip, and let's face it...a bit of a badass. In the opening scene, she faces three attackers on a dark London street without flinching. She doesn't break under pressure, she shines.

    Don't get me wrong, she may be amazing, but like any genuine character with depth she has her faults. Her biggest one probably being that she has a difficult time allowing people get close to her. Losing her mother at a young age, and her time growing up in a boarding school molded her to be closed off and very private. I think this is why she and Ethan complimented each other so well, because his ability to speak from his heart in such a compelling way. That man...oh my. That man could charm the hardest of hearts in two seconds flat.

    One of the things I loved the most about Ethan was that he looked at Garrett as his equal partner and treated her accordingly. He wasn't intimidated or threatened by her strengths. No, instead he was even more hopelessly addicted to her, and drawn to this very capable beauty. And as tough as Ethan was, he needed a partner who would stand by his side and fight for him. Now tangled up in a web not of his making, he must find a way to extricate himself and bring proof of corruption and malice to the attention of the authorities before it's too late.

    In case you hadn't noticed,

    I loved their heat, their passion, their dedication and need for one another. They were two totally unconventional people that fit seamlessly as if they were tailor made for each other. I was already a huge fan of this series, but this story bumped up my excitement to a whole new level for West's and Phoebe's book!! West has come such a long way from the spoiled and selfish character he once was. I got such a kick out of his scenes in

    , and I can't wait to read his HEA. All I can say is, Lisa Kleypas has done it again! You don't want to miss the latest installment to the Ravenel series.

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  • Sonya Heaney

    Originally posted

    .

    , the fourth instalment in Lisa Kleypas’

    series, is a highly anticipated read for many. Garrett, England’s first female doctor, and Ethan, mysterious and with curious ties to the Ravenel family, have been background characters in the past two books.

    This is a book that builds and builds. The two characters have met a few times before the story begins, but there’s not a lot of background you’ll be missing out on

    Originally posted

    .

    , the fourth instalment in Lisa Kleypas’

    series, is a highly anticipated read for many. Garrett, England’s first female doctor, and Ethan, mysterious and with curious ties to the Ravenel family, have been background characters in the past two books.

    This is a book that builds and builds. The two characters have met a few times before the story begins, but there’s not a lot of background you’ll be missing out on if you start the series here.

    The first half is concerned with the growing relationship. What is so good about this one is that these are lower class characters than the others in the series, and so we get to see Victorian London as the commoners saw it as well as the more upper class areas.

    Just past the halfway point something terrible happens to one of them, and from there the pace changes.

    I liked how unique these characters were. In fact, all the heroes and heroines in this series have been so distinctive.

    Maybe I’m imagining things, but I’m pretty sure Lisa Kleypas is doing more and more research with every book. Every page of this book shows SO MUCH research has gone into it. From the medical details – historically accurate medicine for the time, to the local foods, to recent (for the book) political and social changes, there aren’t many authors who will make you feel as though you’re really there in 1870s London.

    I have enjoyed every instalment in this series. When you read as many books in this genre as I do, it’s hard to remember most of them after you’re done. I not only remember the Ravenels, but go back for rereads every so often.

    is such an unusual, unique read.

    Edit 22nd February: Well. The stepback is as bad as the cover - and it is on such cheap, flimsy paper (different to the others in the series):

    What is this awful,

    cover??!!

    This book is set in the 1870s, not the 2010s! It's the Victorian era, not the Oscars!

    Edit:

    We have a British/Australian cover:

    At least she's from the right century...

  • Penny Reid

    I'll read anything Lisa Kleypas writes. I love her books.

  • Geri Reads

    One of the things I love Lisa Kleypas' books is how vividly written her characters are especially her heroines. In Hello, Stranger, we see Garrett Gibson, the first female physician in England and Ethan Ransom, former detective of the Scotland Yard and current spy fall in love. It was glorious.

    I liked their banter and how their relationship progressed. Garrett was intrigued by Ransom but was also suspicious a

    One of the things I love Lisa Kleypas' books is how vividly written her characters are especially her heroines. In Hello, Stranger, we see Garrett Gibson, the first female physician in England and Ethan Ransom, former detective of the Scotland Yard and current spy fall in love. It was glorious.

    I liked their banter and how their relationship progressed. Garrett was intrigued by Ransom but was also suspicious about where his loyalties lie. Ransom for his part can't help but be attracted to the doctor but because of the nature of his job, he felt that he can't give Garrett what she needs. But they're drawn to each other and even with the risks involved, a romance developed between them.

    I simply adored Garrett's character. If you follow Lisa Kleypas on social media or have read Devil in Winter, then you know that Garrett was inspired by a real living female doctor in Victorian England. Garrett was such an interesting heroine. Yes, she's strong but she also shows vulnerability and isn't afraid of showing it.

    Ethan Ransom was a good Lisa Kleypas hero but not really an exciting despite the fact that he's a spy. He's definitely not my fave Kleypas hero. As much as I love how he's all in with Garrett, I find some of his background problematic and convenient. I could do without the orientalism bit which may not bother some people but it's definitely there. What I'm saying is, I wish his characterization is a lot deeper than what we got and less problematic. It was lazy and if it was any other author, I would understand but this is Lisa Kleypas! She's a skilled writer who could've done better. Other than that, Ransom and Garrett are perfect together and their relationship works.

    Hello, Stranger is another solid entry to Ms. Kleypas' Ravenels Series. And speaking of Ravenels, I'm so happy we get to spend more time with West before his book comes out. I already adored his character. I can't wait!

  • Lana ❇✾Dirty Girl Romance❇✾

    All.

    Of.

    The.

    Swoons.

    *dreamy sigh*

    I am not typically a reader that enjoys the instant connection and road to love that was shared between Garrett and Ransom, but boy did it ever work for me here. I can't even tell you why. I think it was a combination of several things, starting from wonderfully crafted and multilayered characters and ending with an engaging story and swoony romance. Whatever the case

    All.

    Of.

    The.

    Swoons.

    *dreamy sigh*

    I am not typically a reader that enjoys the instant connection and road to love that was shared between Garrett and Ransom, but boy did it ever work for me here. I can't even tell you why. I think it was a combination of several things, starting from wonderfully crafted and multilayered characters and ending with an engaging story and swoony romance. Whatever the case may be, I simply adored this book. ADORED IT.

    Lisa Kleypas is almost always a guaranteed winner for me, and Hello Stranger definitely delivered on all sides.

    Dr. Garrett Gibson is not your typical historical heroine. (side note: I love that she was loosely based on an actual person). This is a woman that's not satisfied being the status quo. A brilliant doctor, her practice and career has always been her prime concern. She doesn't want to be an accessory for a husband to be put away on a shelf when she's no longer needed. But the last man she expects to draw her interest is the enigma that is Ethan Ransom.

    I love how these two characters balance each other out. Ethan is fiercely protective of Garrett, but Garrett can also hold her own like no other lady. They couldn't be more wrong for each other. With his current dangerous mission, Ethan's days are numbered. He knows he can't offer Garrett the forever that she rightfully deserves. But Garrett knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to go after it.

    Admittedly it took a little bit to fully get into the swing of things for me, but by 30%, I was completely riveted to the pages. The romance was equally swoony and heart achingly emotional. It was perfectly written and I couldn't get enough of these two. It's so charming to see a man as ruthless as Ransom brought to his knees by Garrett and showing his sweet side. And boy did this man have a sweet side. GAH!

    Hello Stranger was an incredibly satisfying romance that was as swoony as it was gripping. It tugged at every single heart string I had, and I absolutely adored the fierce connection shared between these characters. Yet another winner from one of my favorite go-to authors, and I'm already craving more. I'm hoping West's story is next because I was super intrigued by the little of him that we got in this book.

  • Jilly

    Garret is a the first female doctor in London who talks endlessly about how independent and strong she is. Then, she meets Ethan and it's over. She throws herself at this guy so shamelessly that feminists everywhere gave a giant embarrassed groan. She literally begged this guy to kiss her. And, I'm using the word literally correctly in that sentence. That's how bad it was!

    Aw, maybe that's what happened. Did you try running it under hot water?

    I really didn't like Garret all that much except when

    Garret is a the first female doctor in London who talks endlessly about how independent and strong she is. Then, she meets Ethan and it's over. She throws herself at this guy so shamelessly that feminists everywhere gave a giant embarrassed groan. She literally begged this guy to kiss her. And, I'm using the word literally correctly in that sentence. That's how bad it was!

    Aw, maybe that's what happened. Did you try running it under hot water?

    I really didn't like Garret all that much except when she kept talking about involuntary erections. That was pretty funny. Although, she didn't actually mean to be funny. I can appreciate humor AND erections in involuntary forms.

    See? She takes herself too seriously, but at least it's entertaining.

    However, there was a pretty long part of the book, when he is healing an injury, that dragged. It was almost like we were watching him heal in real time or something.

    The saving part of all of that slowness was a side character who has been around since the first book in this series, West. He is hilarious and I can't wait for his book. As for this one, though, it was on the meh side.

  • OLT

    (2.5 stars) Well, darn. I think it's official. I'm divorcing Lisa Kleypas. She's almost batting 0 for me in her latest Ravenel series, none of which are better than 3-star books, IMO. Even this one, which I had high hopes for, turned out to be a dud, with its slight romance of two underdeveloped characters mixed with a whole lot of historical information dumping. The H/h relationship doesn't develop. It just is. They decide early on they want each other and mostly ineffectually fight the sexual

    (2.5 stars) Well, darn. I think it's official. I'm divorcing Lisa Kleypas. She's almost batting 0 for me in her latest Ravenel series, none of which are better than 3-star books, IMO. Even this one, which I had high hopes for, turned out to be a dud, with its slight romance of two underdeveloped characters mixed with a whole lot of historical information dumping. The H/h relationship doesn't develop. It just is. They decide early on they want each other and mostly ineffectually fight the sexual attraction until they don't anymore and then have lots of tediously-detailed sexy scenes that I skimmed, because, really, who needs all that? I wanted to watch them fall into love, not into bed.

    Let's discuss the info dumping. Kleypas took a hiatus from HRs a few years back before returning with this Ravenel series. It feels as if during this hiatus she was doing huge amounts of research into Victorian times so she could impress picky readers who don't like anachronistic HRs. Well, I don't like anachronistic wallpaper stories but I do like a good story. If I want information about self-defense methods and training, medicine and medical procedures in the 1800s, Victorian train service, various types of locks and patents thereof, early blood transfusions, bacterial count in the Thames, etc., I'll either read some non-fiction on the subject or Google it. Instead, please give me some appealing characters with a slow-burning romance that touches me viscerally.

    Heroine Garrett Gibson should be an admirable character. She knew what she wanted to be in life and worked hard toward that goal. After studying medicine in France (because English medical schools didn't admit women), she is now the only female medical doctor working in England. Well, after all these years of struggle against The Man, with his superior attitudes and mansplaining and all, is it any wonder she's the Queen of Peeve, Prickle and Stubborn Attitude? Maybe not, but I still wasn't all that fond of her and her "I've got this. I don't need you. I'm a strong, roaring woman with no weaknesses" attitude.

    Now our hero Ethan Ransom is a different animal. He's the romantic nurturer in the pairing. Not afraid to show his care and concern and feelings with his Guardian Angel act, flowers, a silver whistle (just call and I'll be there for you), sexy Irish brogue, and heartwarming words. That's lovely. What's not lovely is his tedious "This is the last time you'll see me" every single time he sees her. All this supposed self-denial because he doesn't want to endanger her and then he doesn't really deny himself and does endanger her and himself.

    Ethan is an ex-policeman, now agent for the Crown. He's in a spot of trouble at the moment because of terrorist incidents which took place in DEVIL IN SPRING, the previous book of the series. Now he realizes that his longtime mentor and superior in the department is crooked and working with, not against, the terrorists. When he tries to collect evidence against this man, the proverbial can of worms is opened and other crooked law enforcement folks pop out and his life and that of Garrett are in jeopardy.

    So there is some action/adventure, interspersed with sex between Garrett and Ethan, interspersed with plot lines that can show off Kleypas's research. There's a near-death experience for Ethan which only Garrett's medical expertise and a blood transfusion can prevent. There's some cloak and dagger stuff involving the bad guys. There's some ridiculous sex between doctor and patient only a week or so after patient almost dies. There's an escape from London by train to the Ravenel estate in Hampshire to get away from the bad guys when it turns out they are no safer there than they would have been staying in London and allowing Ethan to recover more efficiently after his delicate, risky operation. Darn. I must stop enumerating the things that upset me. There were more but enough is enough.

    (BTW, an off-topic aside. Is it necessary for every Ravenel book to have a life-threatening situation to a character which requires bedside care from a SO? We had Helen caring for Winterbourne after the train accident. Gabriel staying by Pandora's side after the terrorist incident. And now this one.)

    We also learn about Ethan's pedigree within the Ravenel family and about his financial situation, because, of course, he needs to really be Somebody and a Somebody with Funds. And speaking of the Ravenel family, next up is West Ravenel's story, a pairing with Gabriel's sister Phoebe. Another one tying second generation Wallflowers to the Ravenels. Should I read it? Will that violate the terms of my divorce?

  • Bubu

    is, in my opinion, the weakest instalment yet in the

    series; which, after finishing it last night and taking a step back to mull over, seems to be an oxymoron in the context of the series.

    - No obnoxious behaviour like Kathleen and Devon showed.

    - No character transplant of Rhys Winterbourne and Helen’s angelic delicacy that sent me to sleep.

    - No ADHD Pandora and Gabriel whose most shocking kink is bondage light.

    To make myself understandable (and actually unde

    is, in my opinion, the weakest instalment yet in the

    series; which, after finishing it last night and taking a step back to mull over, seems to be an oxymoron in the context of the series.

    - No obnoxious behaviour like Kathleen and Devon showed.

    - No character transplant of Rhys Winterbourne and Helen’s angelic delicacy that sent me to sleep.

    - No ADHD Pandora and Gabriel whose most shocking kink is bondage light.

    To make myself understandable (and actually understand my dislike of the book myself), I will have to draw comparisons to previous LK books.

    In short, the book was all over the place. The characters were all over the place; the plot and the romance were all over the place. At no stage did I a get a grip on Garrett and Ethan, and for the better part of the book I thought that it must be me, not the book, which might very well still be the case.

    But then I thought about the books I adored and still do, written by this author, and wondered what had changed; what was different then? Just three examples:

    -

    : I still blame Kev for the low rating, but nonetheless. How beautifully and tenderly was Kev and Win’s relationship drawn. Win’s tenacity, even when she was still very ill, inspiring; Kev’s resolve to not wanting to go on without her, devastatingly evoked by the little bottle of nightshade concoction.

    -

    : The letters, anyone? Christopher’s unhurried realisation that there’s more to Beatrix than meets the eye? Beatrix who knows she’s an oddball and yet follows her own heart, despite the ridicule she sometimes has to endure.

    - And, of course,

    : Do I actually need to say anything here? Evie, stuttering and awkwardly self-aware, coming to her own. Sebastian, who always showed this Ebenezer-Scrooge-like ‘bah humbug’ attitude, while we watched gleefully how Evie brought him down to his knees.

    There are more but I’ll leave it here.

    starts with Garrett, the only female doctor in England, being set upon by three men who want to rape her. She’s not stupid and has sought lessons in self-defence but when Ethan jumps in and helps her, it becomes clear that she needs more than fencing lessons. It’s also here where I had my first hard eye-roll moment.

    Obviously, I would have cheered her on, had she been able to deal with them alone, and why shouldn’t I? But it’s not me here making it clear that her self-defence lessons are lacking, it’s Lisa Kleypas. Why she has to act so prickly? No idea. But then, she’s used to being treated with condescension as the only female doctor. So, let’s leave this as a moment of wariness on her part. We also find out that Ethan, who has been falling in love for some time, has been following her every Tuesday when she makes her rounds in workhouses and areas where the poor can’t afford a doctor. This is surely meant as a protective gesture, a romantic one, but I find it creepy. I’ve always found this typical romance-hero behaviour creepy.

    They come to an agreement that he’ll show her some other, more street wise, tactics. They meet up the next day, and because I’m reading a romance, and romance rules demand sexual attraction, we have sexual attraction. He gets a hard-on, while she muses over possible other causes for his erection, because she’s a doctor, of course. But we know that she knows what’s caused his hard-on.

    Another few days pass, she can’t get him out of her mind, wants to meet up with him again. So, they meet up, spend a romantic evening walking around the stalls that sell all the nice little bits and pieces. He says all the right, aka swoon-worthy, things, while I’m wondering about the speed of development in conjunction with the rather low amount of times this couple has spent together up until this moment. Garrett, who has never really shown any romantic inclination for men, is all afire for Ethan. As for Ethan: see previously mentioned hard-on.

    Had it not been for Ethan’s mysterious work for the government, the book could have ended at 30-35%. We have the first passionate encounters, and then this happens: Ethan, sent to India to learn the art of Asian/Indian fighting skills, also learned the Oriental art of sex, kindly provided by an Indian woman, and he knows a whopping 120 positions. Huh. Imagine my stony-faced expression. Indian woman doing some sex-ed. Cliché much? And yeah, knowing 120 positions is definitely the minimum of positions a woman needs to be sexually satisfied. And Ethan is all ‘I know 120 positions, darling, don’t worry’, while Garrett could have simply said ‘there’s something called the clitoris.’ She’s a doctor, after all. Admittedly, it would have killed any romantic notions there and then, but no, she’s in awe of his sexual knowledge!

    Here the book turns slightly into a romantic suspense novel, with Ethan telling her repeatedly that in his line of work, seeing each other is too dangerous. There are documents to be stolen, with Garrett helping Ethan, betrayals from Ethan’s superiors and colleagues left and right, and an attempt on Ethan’s life. It’s Garrett who saves him, and now I’m going to end my reiteration of the plot. Anything I’ll say from here on has to do with the direction the book took.

    Which direction it was, however, was difficult to discern. Let’s go to the author’s note. Garrett’s character was inspired by Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first licensed female physician in Britain. To quote directly:

    It wouldn’t even occur to me to make a mockery out of Miss Kleypas’s inspiration. We needed these women who broke through male domains, as much as we needed the women in the factories, who equally fought for their rights. Having read

    , it’s clear to me now that it was apparently never the author’s intention to focus on Garrett’s special status. We had a little discussion about it on one of my status updates, and I’ll ask the questions a little differently now. Knowing enough of Miss Kleypas’s work, knowing that she had created wonderfully strong heroines, what was the point in using the real Dr. Anderson as an inspiration for Garrett, if her status played no role in the plot? In the whole story, there was only one moment where Garrett’s sex and her position as a doctor were at odds for the times she lived in. One mistake on her part and her license would have been revoked, based on the constant suspicion she lives under as a female doctor. Apart from that, Garrett lives in a bubble, thanks to her close association to Rhys Winterborne, with the weekly work she does for the poor.

    I would have loved it, if this angle had been played out, instead of a romantic/suspense thriller. I would have adored it. I would have loved to see, to quote my friend Lyuda’s words, the trials and tribulations a woman like Garrett would have faced. I would have loved to learn about her time before she came into Winterborne’s employ or her time at the Sorbonne. Ethan plays a big role here, by the way. We always complain about female characters transferred from the 21st century, but the same can be said about Ethan. I would have loved to see a sort of slow understanding and transformation of a man of the 19th century, who has reservations but who comes to love the heroine for her confidence and strength, her knowledge and tenacity. It would have made for a wonderfully romantic journey, in my opinion. Instead - in this respect - Garrett was nothing more than a poster girl.

    There was a lot of vagueness in the characterisation of both, Garrett and Ethan. The same goes for their romance which felt rushed. When did lust turn into love? Especially for Garrett. Where were those moments that made one character special to the other and vice versa? As mentioned previously, if not for the whole spy/mystery business, the book could have been concluded at the 35% mark. Ethan is, by far, the weakest Lisa Kleypas hero I’ve read in a long time. It’s no secret that he’s the bastard son of the former Earl of Trenear and his backstory, like Garrett’s, could have provided so much insight into his character. Instead, we had this whole strange spy/conspiracy plot that took so much away from the main characters and from their romance. Yes, he has the Lisa Kleypas typical swoon-worthy lines:

    Good, right? Not enough for me, though. Not after having seen how rushed their encounters were. That it was love at first sight for him is one thing, but it certainly wasn’t for Garrett.

    This vagueness also encompassed the author’s writing. I’ll quote it again:

    Say what? There are quite a few sentences like this one which were made obsolete on the next page, mostly by Garrett, and they certainly didn’t endear her to me. Quite the opposite. I’m still wondering what their purpose was.

    Actually, the only character I really enjoyed was West. Funny that, eh? He’s the hero of the next book.

    Will I read the next one? I’ve put it on my TBR pile, and I can see myself having already forgotten my current annoyance. Besides, it’s Evie and Sebastian’s daughter. But no, this is not the Lisa Kleypas of old. Not by a long shot.

  • Avid Booker

    Gibson is gonna be with Severin.... I'll be livid if she's not. But lmaoo from the last I know she's gonna be with Ransom....

    LOL "High functioning Sociopath" that explains Severin alright

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