Title: Cold-Hearted Rake
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Cold-Hearted Rake
Format: Paperback; 416 pages
Publisher: Avon (October 27, 2015)
Author's Website: http://www.lisakleypas.com/
Notes: I received an ARC for purposes of reviewing.
“Dev, you’re sweet,” she had said through her sniffles. “All little boys are. But then you all grow up to be so selfish and cruel. You were born to break women’s hearts.”
“I won’t, Mummy,” he had cried in alarm. “I promise I won’t.”
He had heard a laughing sob, as if he’d said something foolish. “Of course you will, poppet. You’ll do it without even trying.”
The people who surround us during life have the power to form, mold, and shape us into the person we'll become. When something is drilled over and over again into our heads, we have the power to do one of two things--believe it or defy it. Devon Ravenel chose to become the cold-hearted rake his mother predicted. Through the years, he encouraged the title and did everything in his power to earn it. When he encounters Kathleen, however, her declaration has the opposite effect on him, and for one reason or another he sees it as a challenge...
Some people in life inspire us to be a better person then we ever thought we could be. Devon has just met his perfect match. He just doesn't know it yet.
I think everyone has encountered someone who has erected a false facade that they present to the world. Numerous people try to project an image of who they wish people to think them to be and of what they want them to believe. They create the illusion of the perfect marriage, of having no financial difficulties, and of having the perfect life. Others use a facade as a means to hide behind. To keep others at bay. A means for not showing who they truly are because they fear they are what they don't wish to be. I loved how Ms. Kleypas incorporated this into her tale and as the story unfolds we find out the reality behind the images people have cloaked themselves in.
I confess, I didn't think much of Devon Ravenel at first glance. He admits to himself, thereby, confessing to us, that he tends to lose interest in a woman within a short period of time. That he is a no-good, selfish womanizer, but the man who emerges as the story unfolds is a totally different one from the man he describes. Something about Kathleen brings out the best in him, and as she scowls down her nose at him disapprovingly it's almost as if she issued a challenge, and he wants to prove her thoughts of him are totally wrong. As he gets to know her, he slowly begins to realize his feelings for her run quite deep and he finds himself in a seemingly unfamiliar position of wanting a woman who is desperately trying (although admittedly not very well) to deny her feelings for him.
Kathleen isn't a very complicated person. She's loyal and fairly straight forward in her views of right and wrong. While she's only been married three days when her husband dies, she has become very attached to her sister-in-laws and the family estate and wishes to do right by them. She challenges Devon without even trying to by holding onto the preconceived notions that her late husband held for Devon. Before ever meeting him she believes him to be a heartless and a hopelessly in debt no-good poorer relation. Something in her disapproval spurs him to try to change that notion and prove her wrong and therein lies the fun in this book because while he's trying to convince her, an attraction starts to spark between the two.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved the story and the secondary romance which I am so looking forward to seeing grow and mature in what I guess will be the second book in the series. I've now read this one twice and am still loving it just as much as when I first read it. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earns a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol I HIGHLY recommend this one. While I love all of Ms. Kleypas' books, her historical romances are made up of something special that I totally adore. I can't wait to read the next one.