Series: The Ravenels, #1
Genre: Historical Romance
I have to say, I absolutely adored this novel. It was different than Ms. Kleypas's other historicals, it struck me immediately as a little darker and by the end of the novel I had come to the conclusion that this is a mature romance read for the genre. It doesn't shy away from the realities of the period, women's place in society or the views of that world. The heroine, Kathleen is a widow, which immediately changes her place in society and allows her more freedom than an unmarried woman, or even a married woman, but Kathleen is a proper lady concerned about the well being of the estate of her late husband, as well as his younger sisters. She doesn't immediately like or trust the new earl, Devon, but she eventually learns that despite his distaste for his new title, that he wants to do right by his tenants and his cousins.
The growth of the characters in this novel is wonderful to see. Devon and his brother West are both scoundrels, wanting to flit through life for pleasure with no responsibilities but both assume responsibilities for their family and the estate as the book progresses. They are neither of them what you would call a gentleman, and yet they are good men once they cast off their selfish lifestyle.
|Book Two in the series, coming May 2016|
But they are good men with bad habits. The romance in this novel is either sizzling nor whirlwind. It's not one that sweetly burns. But rather, it happens gradually and it is a challenging romance. Devon and Kathleen don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, and they often argue about them. Both of them have something of a temper, and I think it's through their battles that they both grow as individuals and grow to love one another. But because Devon has bad habits, he doesn't even realize that what he wants with Kathleen is more than an affair until a little hiccough in the plot makes him realize he wants it all with her--marriage, family, children, a life time of being together. And Kathleen was far too independent, too certain of her own heart to settle for anything else. Happily ever afters always make me smile and this one also gave me a feeling of triumph as it was so hard won by both of these characters.
I am also totally ramped up for book two in this series, Marrying Mr. Winterbourne as the backstory for this novel was beautifully set up for this couple. They are very different people, but I love it when opposites are paired in romance, and I expect their romance will be equally as well told as well as achingly delicious reading. I really cannot wait to read more of this series.