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?
The theme for March is Comfort Read so for the TBR Challenge I chose to read Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favourite authors so she definitely qualifies as a comfort read.
Devon Ravenel has lived a pretty selfish life up until now. He’s never had real responsibility so when he inherits his cousin’s title he wants to figure out pretty quick how he can get rid of the estate and all the pesky responsibilities tied to it. When he ventures out to Eversby Prior to get the lay of the land, he meets his cousin’s widow Kathleen and he’s intrigued. He also meets the late earl’s younger sisters, his cousins Helen, Pandora and Cassandra. In getting to know Kathleen, his eyes open up about the estate, what it means to hold the title and he starts to feel. He plunges into things and drags his younger brother West into the project as well. West has a wastrel who probably had a drinking problem but hanging out at Eversby with his relatives has been good for him. It’s given him a purpose and he really grows and his character shines. I’m going to stop talking about West because I heart him and I can’t wait for his book whenever that may be.
But Devon is also an interesting character. He has moments with Kathleen – they definitely started off on the wrong foot but then that turns into a flirty teasing that was fun to read. Devon eventually returns to London and he and Kathleen start up a correspondence that had me smiling. They were still teasing each other even though they weren’t in close proximity. That was a nice development to their relationship.
And Kathleen. Such a strong character. She wasn’t married for very long but it definitely left its mark on her. She was basically abandoned by her parents as a child and she’s got some emotional baggage from that and her short lived marriage but that gives her character depth and spoke to her motivations. She was very protective of her three sisters-in-law.
Overall, I thought Cold-Hearted Rake was a great introduction to the Ravenels. I quickly read the next two books and I rarely read the same author three times in a row, but I really enjoyed all the characters. I liked Devon’s sense of responsibility that developed even though he was still a charmer when it came to Kathleen. I liked that she had a passion for horses and family and stood up for what was right. Even though she does something at the end of the book I disagreed with, I knew she was coming from a place of love. The sense of family between all these characters reminded me of the Hathaways and since I loved that series, it definitely makes me eager for all upcoming books.
Cold-Hearted Rake gets a solid B from me. There was a lot of getting to know characters so the romance wasn’t 100% for me but I still highly recommend this book.