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Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: To All the Rakes I've Loved Before by Anne Barton

To All the Rakes I've Loved Before (Honeycote, #1.5)
Publication date: September 3, 2013
Series: Honeycote #1.5

For two years, Miss Amelia Wimple has lived a reclusive life, withdrawn from societal events and entertaining only her second cousins, Olivia and Rose Sherbourne. A precipitous midnight visit from her former beau Samuel brought a severely injured rake, Lord Stephen Brookes, to her doorstep. As Amelia heals the injured lord back to health, she gives him the motivation to be more than a rake; in turn, he gives Amelia the confidence to rejoin society, and an everlasting love.

Two years ago, Amelia was an heiress disdained by the ton for her father's making a fortune in trade. She was in expectation of an offer from Samuel, except he eloped on the night of his supposed proposal, and in the wake of an embarrassing scene that she and her mother caused, Amelia decided to henceforth withdraw from society. One person she never forgot was Stephen, the only person who showed compassion to her after the fiasco, which made her determined to help him recover in her home, while knowing the danger it could do to her reputation.

Under Amelia's gentle ministration, Stephen's injuries begin to heal and he strikes up a comfortable friendship with Amelia, albeit with a touch of desire. He worked hard cultivate a rakish image for society, and never found a reason to change - until now. Not only did he intend to stop gambling and borrowing money from loan sharks - which was what got him beaten up in the first place - but he also wanted to change for Amelia. Stephen wanted to become someone worthy of Amelia's love, a person capable of helping and supporting her. To that end, Stephen grew as a person and helped Amelia to re-enter society, and proved to her his change to convince her of his love.

This is a sweet and charming novella with two fantastic characters and a lot of humor, especially the gossip rags Amelia writes of herself in third person. Anne Barton has done a fine job of crafting a wonderful novella with a fun plot and an enchanting set of characters. I highly recommend this, and look forward to her upcoming Honeycote novel.

*ARC courtesy of the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 tulips    

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