Thursday, January 28, 2010

REVIEW: The Rake by Suzanne Enoch

ISBN 978-0-380-82082-5
Series: Lessons In Love
(c) June 2002, Avon Books, HarperCollins
Suzanne Enoch's website

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

"A promising start to the series, with delicious lessons in love!"

The three friends, Georgiana, Evelyn and Lucinda, banded together to teach three chosen rogues a lesson in love, such as not trifling with a lady's feelings. For Lady Georgiana Halley, the person she targetted was Tristan Carroway, Viscount Dare, who stole her innocence six years ago on a wager.

Georgiana had never gotten over that incident, and to her relief--and confusion--no scandal rocked the ton of her scandalous behavior. In fact, nobody seemed to know of the incident except Tristan and her. The reason the secret was kept under wraps was due to Tristan's creativity, though she knew of this only later in the book. But now that Tristan is looking to marry an heiress (to solve his monetary problems) Georgiana took it upon herself to teach him to be kind to his wife by making him fall in love with her then breaking his heart.

For his part, Tristan had never forgotten Georgiana nor the taste and scent of her. Six years ago, Tristan decided to take on the wager because it served as an excuse to steal a kiss from the woman who had captivated him. Things went too far because he couldn't help himself. It seemed that one touch of her skin had him inflamed and burning and he must have her. He had long wanted to make amends but she wouldn't let him, instead declaring to all and sundry that she hated him. But when she started being nice to him, he was wary yet intrigued.

Suzanne Enoch can be expected to deliver on a good story, yet what I like about The Rake is the numerous interactions between the main characters and how each learned to trust the other again. I like that Georgiana and Tristan talked and shared things, outside of the bedroom.

From Georgiana's point of view, we know from her observation that Tristan had changed. Certainly, he's more sensitive and kind and family-oriented. We also know from Tristan that he had wanted to make amends for his behavior six years ago, that he had thought it would be better if they had been caught then. My thought on this is that caught or not, if Tristan had really possessed a sense of honor, he would've offered to marry her, whether she liked it or not. He didn't have to tell her family that he's compromised her, but he could've put more effort into courting her in the days after her ruination. After all, she was already half in love with him at that time. But I guess he was young and selfish and he hadn't really wanted to be leg-shackled, no matter how much he desired Georgiana. He was having too much fun sowing his oats. His thought on it "being better if they had been caught" was made in retrospect, when his choice was being made for him by circumstance.

The ending though is wildly romantic, especially when Tristan made his proposal, when he laid all his cards on the table, vulnerable and hopeful. I like that both characters learned something about love and life and each other.

At this point, I would've said on to the next book in the series, however, I don't like stories where the heroine takes an interest in an orphanage or some such thing, so I'm going to skip it and read England's Perfect Hero instead, which Silver assures me is the best in the series and which is highly recommended by everyone in blogland.

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

* This is the first of my Oldie But Goldie reviews, which are reviews of books published before 2005 and which garner at least a rating of 4 stars.

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