Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review: Lord of the Rakes by Darcie Wilde

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkeley
320 Pages

All of London knows Phillip Montcalm’s name. It’s on the lips of a different lady every night…...

So it’s no wonder he’s called the Lord of the Rakes. Rumor has it he’s the most dangerous seducer in the city, with quite the extensive list of conquests. Talk of his prowess as a lover and his ingenuity in the bedroom are enough to make even the most prudish of ladies succumb to temptation. But as of late, Phillip has found himself a bit bored. Until he sets his eyes on a fiery newcomer.

New to independence and London, gorgeous heiress Lady Caroline Delamarre wants to make the most of her life. And when Phillip meets her gaze, she knows the perfect place to start: in his arms …and in his bed. But what begins as a long night of breathtaking passion leads to more than the two bargained for. Haunted by troubled pasts and inescapable family entanglements, each of them must decide if they can risk a gamble on what might be true love.

I found this book pleasantly surprising. Lady Caroline Delamarre leaves the restraining walls of her country home and heads to London. Thanks to a trust left from her mother, Caroline has the funds to care for herself. For the first time in forever, she’s free. She’s away from the overbearing eye of her brother and able to take life on how she chooses. And she chooses Phillip Montcalm, the Lord of the Rakes. 

Phillip Montcalm, born a second son, knows his reputation with ladies and he’s rather bored with it. While making pleasantries at a season ball, he meets eyes with the Lady Caroline and his interest in piqued. He’s charming, smooth, and suave – not to mention, a dominating lover. From secret meetings in the garden to late night encounters, they begin a quiet affair.

This story takes us from sexual intimacy to emotional intimacy. Caroline doesn’t want any attachments and Phillip is the perfect one for this. She comes from the country where her late father and brother basically held her (like her mother before her) captive, dictating her every move. She grew up not wanting anything to do with love or marriage after seeing what it did to her mother. And Caroline leaves the first chance she’s able. It’s a tale of sexual awakening and growth – and not just from Caroline. Phillip also realizes that the life he leads is pretty meaningless and just maybe he wants a little bit more stability. Two people who don’t believe in love…you can see where this is going.

There was a great line where a friend of Caroline’s was explaining how everyone needs something to love in their life – even if it’s not a person. “But everyone needs something. There has to be that connection, that focus, to bind one to others. It’s the lifeline of the heart. Without it, we’re all adrift.”

A few minor issues: the pacing seemed off to me. We spent the first half of the book describing one ball, but then when Caroline’s brother comes to London to collect her, it’s summed up in a chapter. The beginning went on, while the ending was abrupt. Also, I noticed that the author misspelled Caroline in the beginning, but that’s more the editor’s problem. 

There are secrets, lies, and betrayal all told with a beautiful London backdrop. Fancy parties, operas, ball gowns and cravats. Just a pure fun, steamy read.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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