This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Review by Jennifer Joyce
When Theo Ravenel dies in a tragic riding accident, his title and assets are passed down to his cousin, Devon Ravenel, a Londoner famed for his womanising and heavy drinking. However, Devon’s new rank comes with heavy responsibility and debt, including the family’s crumbling estate and its inhabitants.
Kathleen takes an instant dislike to her late husband’s heir as he arrives at the home she shares with Theo’s younger sisters. She wants to protect the young women and their home from Devon, but she is powerless to stop his plans for the estate. So when she feels an attraction growing between them, she is confused. Can she protect those she loves – as well as her heart?
Although I’ve read a book by Lisa Kleypas before, Cold-Hearted Rake was the first historical romance that I’d read by the author. Historical romance isn’t my favourite genre but I really enjoyed this book with its fun and engaging characters. Devon is a dominant character and could have been overwhelming but I thought he and Kathleen were perfectly matched as she is feisty enough to stand up to him when she needed to. I would have liked to see their romance developing a little more beyond their physical liaisons but I enjoyed their story and was happy with the outcome.
Although Kathleen and Devon are at the centre of Cold-Hearted Rake, it was Devon’s younger brother, West who quickly became my favourite character within the book. He starts off as quite a selfish character who is more than happy to drink away his days but he soon began to move away from this lifestyle and grow as a person and I liked seeing these changes. He’s an amusing character throughout the book and I often found myself laughing out loud at his outlook or comebacks. There is quite a lot of humour within the book, which I loved.
Although I enjoyed the book, I was a little confused over the secondary love story that takes place alongside Devon and Kathleen’s story as it seemed quite sweet to begin with but then turned sour quite abruptly. It’s a shame because I was enjoying this additional storyline and while it’s clear there’s going to be another book to tackle this issue, it didn’t sit comfortably with me and I’m wondering how it’s going to be resolved in the follow up. If a whole series of books is planned around the Ravenel family, I hope that West gets his chance to really shine in his own story as I loved the flashes we see of him in Cold-hearted Rake!
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