Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins

Miss Juliet Shelby has always made sure to blend into the background in society following an accident that now has her in need of the assistance of a walking cane.  Her mother has made it quite clear that no respectable man is going to want a disfigured young lady for a wife and does not allow her to call any attention to herself.  But when Juliet is being mocked yet again by some of the tons notorious bullies, she receives an unexpected offer of help from Lord Alec Deveril.  He comes to her defense and then offers to teach her to dance to help her feel more comfortable.  Juliet can not believe that one of the tons most eligible bachelors is paying her any attention but she sees no way to gracefully refuse.  Dancing in his arms is a dream and when Alec comes across Juliet in distress again, this time for a more personal matter involving her missing music teacher, the pair start a quest to find out the truth and along the way, discover some truths about each other that they both have tried to keep hidden.

Lord Alec Deveril has his own secrets to hide.  He has a great fear of ending up like his father, the Devil Deveril, and harming any woman he may come to marry.  He is adored and liked by all of the ton and knows he must marry but the quiet, unassuming Juliet unexpectedly captures his attention.  When he witnesses one to many acts of cruelty at the hands of her mother against Juliet, he steps in and takes matters into his own hands.  He has no tolerance for abuse and knows he must protect her, but at what cost to himself?

Manda Collins is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  I adored this book!  Juliet was a true delight to read--she was strong, kind, compassionate and lovely.  And Alec, sigh.  He sees everything and forgets nothing in his bold, caring way and was the perfect person to help Juliet discover that her handicap was no handicap at all.  And wow, we usually see fathers doing low and dirty business involving their daughters but this time we had Juliet's mother, Lady Shelby.  This is a mother I would not wish upon anyone with her cold and heartless nature.  I believe she loved her daughter in a small way but her own happiness and importance in society was valued much higher.  I also liked the mystery aspect of this story involving Juliet's missing music teacher and the possible connection to some disturbing paintings.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong as to the nature of the villain and I thought the entire situation played out nicely.  It didn't overwhelm the story for me, the romance was still front and center, but it added some nice weight to the storyline.  If you are looking for a romance filled with warmth and wit (I was laughing quite a bit!) mixed with a bit of mystery to keep you on your toes, Manda Collins delivers!  4 stars

Review copy provided by author through

Ugly Ducklings series
Can be read as standalones, best enjoyed in order
How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)
                                 Jan 29th 2013

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