*This is just my opinion, my personal take on any given book, use as a reference. I will not be overly gushing. I will also endeavor not to give too much of the plot away.
I will not hand out 4 star ratings for every book.*
Harlequin Historical November 2009 273 pages by Carole Mortimer
I was a bit flummoxed as to what exactly, what was the Rake's Wicked Proposal? Yes, this is another Regency that goes for the 'caught in a compromising position, society and honour dictates we MUST marry'.
A tried and true plot device for a Regency, but very, very effective. Mary Balogh does this better than any writer I know. A high standard indeed. But Carole Mortimer does the plot device justice here.
But when the hero is appealing, it helps. Lucian St. Claire is all that and more. At first blush, we observe and hear from others, that he is a wicked rake. (Aren't they all?)
But we soon learn (as does our plucky, high-spirited Heroine, Grace) that there is more to Lucian than he shows the world.
While Lucian desires Grace, he is determined he will not engage his heart, for reasons revealed later in the book.
Of course, they fight what they are feeling, but their banter is engaging, as Grace does not take any guff off Lord Lucian.
A sub plot concerning disgruntled family members is mildly diverting, but it is the by-play between the two main characters that make or break a story. It works here.
This is part of a series, "The Notorious St. Claires" Younger brother Sabastian is next, then Lucian's outspoken sister, Arabella, who we are both shown here. An earlier release, "The Duke's Cinderella Bride" was about the older brother of the family, which I haven't read yet.
Does this book make me want to check out the rest of the series? Sure, why not? I found Sebastian to be a little too carefree in this book, perhaps it is a ruse, covering some darker being underneath. Hope so, his character didn't impress me much. At first take, anyway.
Lucian was Regency virility in spades. Always a plus. And by page 34, Grace is already taken with the masculine, muscular Lucian, so was I, LOL!
3 out of 4 stars.
KOVER KUDOS: 1 and a 3/4 stars out of four. Yes, I am being harsh. The models both have brown hair, when both characters in the book are described has having ebony black. I am giving it the extra 3/4 star for the pose, it is sexy. And I love the male model's hands...wow.