A twist of fate . . .
Devon Ravenel, London's most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl's three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon's own.
A clash of wills . . .
Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny - and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:
Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she's ever known?
It’s been a while since we’ve had a historical novel from Lisa Kleypas and it’s a welcome return – she’s one of my favourite writers of Regency romance. The main characters are complemented by an excellent supporting cast, which includes the late Earl’s three younger susters, who still live in the house he has recently inherited, along with his earldom. More about them later…
Also resident is a beautiful and feisty young widow – and the attraction between them is not to be denied. Kathleen, Lady Trenear, (widow of the previous Earll) is unwilling to fall for this hardened rake, but his practised seduction skills prove too much for her… The chemistry between them sparkles through the book and the end is never in doubt, just their means of getting there. I hope that doesn’t give away the story but this is the type of story where the outcome is clearly signposted from the start. In this case, there are plenty of ups and downs along the way – and quite a bit of bickering dialogue between the pair of them; occasionally, I felt like saying “Children! Children!”.
The wait has been worthwhile – since her last historical novel, the author’s style has developed and become more rounded; there are humorous interludes in the book – and the passion is more intense and erotic than ever. Devon definitely improves on acquaintance; as we get to know him and understand what motivates him, so he grows on us and becomes a worthy companion for Kathleen who I liked from the very start. Initially, he wants to take what money he can from the estate and run, but we see his sense of responsibility growing and his character maturing through the pages of the book. The estate is in a bad way but his determination to turns things round moulds his character.
We’re promised three more books in the series – and they will be about Helen, Cassandra, and Pandora – Devon’s young aunts. They come across as strong and very likeable characters and they have a key part to play in the story. I thoroughly enjoy meeting characters in one book and then learning their full story in a novel of their own, so I can’t wait to see what Lisa Kleypas has in store for us. Stick to the historical novels, I say!
I'd like to thank Clara at Little Brown for sending us a copy of Cold-Hearted Rake and Sarah for her fantastic review.