In Cold-Hearted Rake (Cold-Hearted Rake #1) by Lisa Kleypas, A life of little responsibility and many pleasures is all that Devon Ravenel has ever had or wanted until he unexpectedly becomes an earl. He finds that not only is his family’s home falling apart, as are the finances, but he is saddled with his cousin’s widow and his three younger cousins. He and Lady Trenear clash wits from day one, although there is a simmering attraction hidden beneath. Before long, Devon wonders what it would be like to have her in his arms. And not only for just one night, but for a lifetime.
“Eversby Priory has survived four hundred years of revolutions and foreign wars,” he heard Kathleen say contemptuously, “and now it will take but one self-serving rake to bring it all to ruins.”
Kathleen is unsure of her place since Devon and his brother West arrived at Eversby Priory. Still in mourning for her husband, she sees to the care of Helen and the rambunctious twins, Pandora and Cassandra. Devon rubs Kathleen the wrong way with his plans for the future of the estate and his aristocratic ways. But there’s also something captivating about the man. When he shifts his focus onto their attraction, Kathleen must decide if she wants his attention or if she is better off leaving her home for good.
She shrugged. “A man’s heart is different from a woman’s.”
His gaze turned quizzical.
“Women love more,” she explained. Seeing his expression, she asked, “You think I’m wrong?”
“I think you know little of men,” he said gently.
Lisa Kleypas is back with a brand new historical romance series. Cold-Hearted Rake set the pace for us with family dramatics, lust and anger, and loads of heated conversations.
I’m more familiar with the contemporary romances Kleypas has written, so this was a new experience for me. I must say that everything I like about her modern romances, I liked about her historicals as well. The characters were wonderfully developed including the secondary cast who stole the show in many scenes. Especially the twins Pandora and Cassandra–what rascals they were! Although it’s their slightly older sister Helen who I can’t wait to read more about in book two, Marrying Mr. Winterborne.
There was a really nice thread of humor in the background of the story that I thought gave it that spark of something special. I loved the conversations between Devon and his brother West. They both had a dry, self-deprecating wit that was quite charming and kept them from coming across too conceited. Of course the late-teenaged twins added a whimsical element to any passage they were a part of, along with their menagerie of pets who were always creating a ruckus.
As far as Kathleen and Devon, I loved them both individually and truly looked forward to their fairy tale ending. It was an extremely bumpy road, though. Now, I’m all for fiery dialogue and strong-willed people occasionally clashing. However, it seemed Devon and Kathleen couldn’t finish a conversation without bickering and one of them stomping off. That’s not to say I didn’t like them. I thought their personalities complemented each other and that they made a great team dealing with the estate and the girls. I just wanted to see them compromise a bit more.
Intelligently written with heartfelt emotions and an interesting plot that was shown from multiple POVs, Cold-Hearted Rake held my attention from the very start. I have high hopes for where the rest of the series will go from here.
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?