Title: Cold-Hearted Rake
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?
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Hello Stranger
Published by Avon Source: Publisher
Published: October 27, 2015
Genres: Historical Romace, Regency Romance
See the title at Goodreads
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After an extended hiatus from writing in the historical romance genre, Lisa Kleypas is back – and she does not disappoint! Cold-Hearted Rake was laugh-out-loud funny, deeply touching, and immersive in its setting.
The book starts with Devon, who’s just become the earl of a decaying and indebted title. He admits himself to being as many men of the ton are portrayed in the genre – selfish, calculating, and indifferent to the world outside the glittering lights of London. He has no interest in the title, or its debts. And he most definitely doesn’t have an interest in any of the late earl’s family members whom may be living in the main house.
Kathleen is a ferociously protective woman who holds a guilt deep in her heart about her husband’s death. She blames herself, and has vowed to protect his sisters from destitution. She knows the new earl will most likely turn them out from the only home the three young women have ever known, and she’s determined to use what she can to get them all to a safe place – especially after meeting the new earl, to whom she takes an immediate dislike.
The story builds steadily and without any hiccups in pace. Kleypas is a master at character development, but she outdid herself in Cold-Hearted Rake. She took a character who should be immensely unlikeable and forced the reader to see his situation within the confines of the cold reality of the time. She countered that harshness with Kathleen, whose innate kindness and extreme stubbornness blended seamlessly to create a remarkably relatable character.
I adored how Devon slowly fell in love with Kathleen, despite his better judgement. And I loved how Kathleen fought the losing battle with her heart, and went against society’s expectations of her and her situation.
The secondary character setups – especially that of Devon’s brother, who goes through such a wonderful transformation himself – were strong enough to make me wish for the next book, but not so overwhelming that I found myself wishing for less of them. And the end…oh, the end!! It’s exactly what I love in a series. The main story ties up nicely, but the next one starts off with a bang.
This was by far one of my top five books of 2015.