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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rescued by a Rake by Gwenan Haines

Rescued by a Rake by Gwenan Haines
Rakes & Rogues Series, Novella #1
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (31 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4.5 Stars
Review by Snapdragon

In a desperate attempt to flee the advances of her lecherous employer, governess Lydia Taylor steals his pistol and sets off across the Yorkshire countryside. After spending two months as a virtual prisoner at Stanbury Manor she wants nothing to do with Lord Hugh Stanbury--or any other man.

When Lord Jack Sibley glimpses a ghostly figure wandering the moors his first instinct is to ignore the auburn-haired beauty. Rumored to be the devil incarnate, he has a reputation as a heartless scoundrel who murdered his brother's fiancée on the eve of her wedding. Does Jack set out to rescue the beautiful woman to placate the demons that haunt him--or is his mission merely a clever ruse to bed yet another woman?

Whether she is threatening him with a pistol or seducing him by firelight, the 23-year-old Lydia is as untamed as the moors she grew up on. Though he dare not admit it, Jack may have finally met the only woman whose passion can rival his own . . . but if he is certain of one thing it's that passion can be deadly.

In Rescued by a Rake, events start dramatically as Lydia Taylor, on the run, rushes across the windswept Moorlands to a backdrop of lightning. Stanbury, the cad, is all the villain needed here…but he's not the only one. While I had no doubts about Stanbury… Lydia’s ‘rescuer’ gave me pause as well.

Jack Sibley, artist, gentleman, murderer? He is, to Lydia’s mind, unpredictable and exciting. His past issues and the gossip about him – the accusations – only serve to up her curiosity, and mine. She opens her eyes to an artist’s chamber and suddenly, they are just two people, alone in a room. Passion throws this all into the realm of complete, sudden unpredictability. Dramatic, indeed. And, for some reason, that image of the ‘unseeing stares of the gargoyles’ as witness to all events adds a layer of prickling creepiness to random moments. I had hope that they didn't represent the dark side of Sibley Hall…and perhaps these are two people who can help one another.

Yet, nothing can erase the past, or the fact that Lydia is on the run. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about Rescued By A Rake is its surprises, so I will not risk giving any more away.

Minor editing issues are irritants at times (peak for peek, for example) is the only thing that prevents top marks here. This is a wonderful read and I know I’ll be looking for book two!

Must mention the dark and dreamy cover: absolutely, completely perfect.