Saturday, April 28, 2012
How to Ravish a Rake
Amy Hardwicke realizes that this is probably her last season and the last opportunity to find a husband before she has to either accept life living with her parents or marry the boring local curate. Luckily she has made some new friends recently who are more outgoing than her wallflower companions and she has begun to attract attention from members of the ton because of her dress designs. Will Darcett has spent his life running around Europe, staying as far away from his large and very loud family as possible and his return home has not been all he expected. His family makes it clear that he will no longer be financially supported as he runs around carousing and he is furious at the way they are trying to control him. In a fit of crazy he goes to a club and gambles far more than he is able to spend and even though his brother offers to pay of the debt in exchange for him staying in England, he wants to pay it himself and the quickest way to do that is to marry a dowry.
Amy has no intention of falling for the Devil, a man with a horrible reputation as she does not trust him and does not, but her dowry makes her irresistible to Will. She sees through his scheme and is more determined than ever to keep her distance and succeeds admirably as her dress designing takes off and men of the ton begin to notice her. An accident lands the two of them in a very compromising position and Will and Amy have to admit that they have no choice but to marry, however Amy does not plan to succumb to Will's seduction before she is sure he has completely reformed. They enter an agreement that Will will court her and they will postpone the consummation of their marriage but they will still enjoy certain aspects of a physical relationship. But Amy has not told Will that she is receiving money for her dress designs and Will has not told her that he was originally interested in her for her money and the guilt is haunting both of them. They both know that they are falling in love but don't know if their relationship can survive the lies and only when the truth is revealed can they have their happily ever after.
I really liked Amy because of the transformation she went through from wallflower to being well liked, especially because it didn't come super easy and she was nervous and scared and because she didn't become a darling of the ton, rather more realistically, she became well liked and more accepted. Her feelings about her change were so well written and made me love her for it. She wanted love and her determination to stay away from him was a great idea even while it was rather naive since she was so obviously attracted to him. I admired the way she stood up for herself during the marriage arrangements and afterwards when she made it clear that she was not going to give in to his seduction merely because they were married. She wanted a real relationship with Will and when I truly thought about it I realized that her desire for trust was more realistic than a heroine that just fell in love with her husband because they were married. I especially liked how she did truly dedicate herself to her marriage, even while she was working on making it stronger and stood up for her husband.
Will was a rake who reformed himself with the love of a good woman and her trust and faith and willingness to stand up for him was what gave him the strength to become a better person. Will and Amy spent a lot of time together throughout the novel and he spent quite a lot of that courting her and it made it clear that there was a real connection between them and that they had a strong relationship. The sex was pretty hot, nothing super special, but because of the strong bond between them it was even better. The both had secrets from each other and while I understood that Dreiling was trying to make it clear that they were both in the wrong I felt like her secret, accepting money for her dress designs, I felt like his, trying to marry her for her money, was far worse. So when they had the inevitable falling out and problems over these it was frustrating for me and I didn't really buy into it and thought it was just a little ridiculous. Past characters made appearances but they weren't overwhelming and the focus always remained on Will and Amy.
Rating: This was a super fun and fast read with lots of good times between the characters and wonderful romantic development.