Series: The Ravenels #1
Published by Avon on October 27th, 2015
Genres: Historical, Romance
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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?
This book was exactly what I needed. I’ve had a string recently of books that were hard to get into or that just weren’t quite what I was looking for. This was wonderful. As much as I can chafe at reading the rules and restrictions placed on women, and people in general, in historicals, I was so ready for this slow burn, enemies-to-lovers story.
One of my favorite things in romance is really good banter. And it is really hard to write. Good historical banter? I may swoon. Kathleen took no crap from Devon. She stood up for herself and her sisters-in-law, despite the fact that she had only been married to their brother for three days before his untimely death. She took her responsibility to them seriously and wasn’t going to let Devon just toss them out of their home, no matter what he originally thought he was going to do.
Devon was my favorite kind of rake. He had reached a point in his life where the lights weren’t glittering quite as brightly, the music was a little too loud, and the women weren’t quite as entertaining. We’ve all gotten to that point. He’s not thrilled with this realization, especially when it comes at the same time he’s just inherited an estate he doesn’t want. He doesn’t want the estate because it’s just a title and land, no real profit, it’s falling down and a mess and he’ll have to clean it up. He’s quite open about the fact that it’s too much responsibility and he doesn’t want it. Even though he’s starting to feel that his life is empty, he doesn’t want to feel that way. Taking on the responsibility of Eversby Prior will be too much and will force him to do too much adulting.
Kathleen is at a loss. She was married for three days before her husband died, and now societal rules say she has to spend the next eighteen months in mourning. Devon and his brother, Weston, show up, announce they’re selling off the estate and kicking out her and her three sisters-in-law, and there’s nothing she can do about it. As a woman, she has no options; she’s completely dependent on the whims of the men in her life. She’s pissed about it and prickly and not in the mood for Devon’s immaturity and complete lack of concern about the lives of them and all the tenants and employees of the estate.
I went with three and half stars because while I enjoyed this book, the romance felt a little forced. I thought Devon and Kathleen were better suited as friends. If this had been a contemporary, I’d suggest friends with benefits. I never really got a fully-in-love vibe from them. But it was so well-written and, oh, man did Lisa Kleypas set up the next book beautifully. I cannot wait to read Helen and Rhys’ book and see how Kleypas manages to redeem Winterborne.