Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Rake With a Frozen Heart by Marguerite Kaye

Harlequin Historical  Apr 17 2012

288 pages   by Marguerite Kaye


Waking up in a stranger's bed, Henrietta Markham encounters the most darkly sensual man she has ever met. The last thing she remembers is being attacked by a housebreaker—yet being rescued by the notorious Earl of Pentland feels much more dangerous!
Since the cataclysmic failure of his marriage, ice has flowed in Rafe St. Alban's veins. But meeting impetuous, all-too-distracting governess Henrietta heats his blood to the boiling point.
When she's accused of theft, Rafe finds himself offering to clear her name. Can Henrietta's innocence bring this hardened rake to his knees?

This story appealed on so many levels. I can't resist the hero who has locked his heart away. The title of this book says it all.

Rafe St. Alban, the Earl of Pentland is the rake with a frozen heart. As with all historicals, this concept of the hardened, brooding rake and the sweet, virginal governess has been done to death. Also the heroine 'speaking her mind' annoys me to no end. Here in this story however, Henrietta does it in such a guileless and charming way I didn't find her grating at all. Deftly done.

Rafe finds Henrietta unconscious in a ditch on his property and being at heart a gentleman, takes the young lady back to his estate. The damsel-in-distress has been done many times as well, but seriously, who cares? This is why I read historicals. Rafe, despite his standoffish ways, cannot help but be sucked into Henrietta's drama. Considering Rafe is a stunning specimen of male virility and handsome beyond measure, again, it was refreshing to have a cute and slightly plump young lady rattle his defenses. Thrown together while they try and solve the mystery of Henrietta being accused of stealing her employer's jewels, the attraction grows. The sparks between this couple sizzle, the love scenes entirely sensuous and hot.

Henrietta manages to peel back the emotional layers and chip away at the ice that encases Rafe's heart. Underneath is a man who feels things deeply and a man emotionally damaged at an early age. I also like a book that stays closely focused on the hero and heroine. While the mystery plot was resolved earlier than I thought it would, the ending was more than satisfying.

The only thing that threw me was the constant changes between POV's between the characters, but I soon fell into the groove of the narrative. I also agree with a few reviewers there were some repetitive points throughout. The characters and the story all come together to form a great example of well done historical romance storytelling. I also defy you not to fall for Rafe, he is glorious.

4.5 stars out of 5

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