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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lizzie's Rake by Hazel Statham

Lizzie's Rake by Hazel Statham
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Regency Historical
Length: Full (232 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Infamous rake and Corinthian, Maxim Beaufort, Earl of St. Ive, finding himself in possession of a property in Yorkshire, is unprepared for the changes it will bring into his life. Irresistibly drawn to Elizabeth Granger, the former owner’s daughter, he attempts to help the family, finding himself filling the role of benefactor. When the house is razed to the ground, he arranges for temporary accommodation for Elizabeth and her siblings on his estate.

When Elizabeth rejects his proposal of marriage, he is nonetheless determined to win her over. However, events and his reputation conspire to thwart his efforts and his course is one fraught with dangers.

Trust does not come easily and determined to protect her heart, Elizabeth struggles to resist her own longings.

At times, their difficulties appear insurmountable but the earl is widely known as ‘The Indomitable’ and the name was not lightly earned.
From the very beginning, the reader feels immersed in the unique society of early nineteenth century England called the Regency period. From London society to the cold Yorkshire country, events unfold that influence the characters’ lives at every turn.

Maxim Beaufort Earl of St. Ive, a true Corinthian, member of the Four Horse Club, and much sought after by the females of London society, both the respectable and the not so respectable, won Briarhall in Yorkshire at the game table. This out-of-the-way property alters his life.

Elizabeth Granger and the ten-year-old twins, Lucy and William along with the housekeeper Mrs. Rush reside at Briarhall with Elizabeth managing things the best she can after their brother gambled away everything then departed for the Americas.

Lizzie's Rake has all the ingredients of a Regency romance. While the plot is predictable, it is so well written with delightful characters, one is caught up in events making this a most satisfying story of a rocky road to love.

Maxim’s Aunt Bella, Lucy, and William are winsome characters that come alive and add new dimensions to the story. While Ingles, Elizabeth’s ex-fiancĂ© brings an undercurrent into the lives of the hero and heroine that creates misunderstandings, pain and misery—emotionally and physically.

Hazel Statham’s unobtrusive writing style makes the reader feel involved in the happenings. While Lizzie finds her way in a society alien to the one she grew up in, Maxim, known as “The Indomitable”, finds himself at a loss as he strives to gain Lizzie’s love and trust in light of his past life with its excesses. The resolution to the problem has more than a little hurt in it.