This is easily the best book I have read from Vivienne Lorret. It’s book two in her Rakes of Fallow Hall series, but it holds up wonderfully as a standalone. It follows the unlikely romance between a man who never wants to marry and the sister of the woman who once left him at the altar.
One of the things I liked best about the story was the unusual set up for the heroine. Hedley may come from a wealthy, high class family of the ton, but she is their dirty little secret. Not even Rafe knew she existed when he courted her sister. They often kept her locked in the attic and completely out of society. She went overlooked and unnoticed, until she finally got the chance to escape when her grandfather left her his crumbling old home.
Despite the fact that she barely knows where her next meal is coming from and that her clothes are worn down to threads, she is the happiest she has been in her life. And when she lays eyes on Rafe, her childhood crush comes rushing back. You see, he may not know her, but she knew him and that makes it all the more complicated when she finds out that he wants the very same home she has inherited.
It could have easily been an adversarial relationship between these two. Perhaps Rafe thought it would be, but as he gets to know Hedley, he becomes quickly aware she is nothing like her family. Her innocence and guilelessness are irresistible, and he is lost to her long before he even knows it.
It’s impossible not to like Hedley. Obviously, she has been through a lot, but she is never maudlin or pitiful about it. I love how determined she is and how she maintains her spirit despite all of her trials. I enjoyed watching her create friendships; and I love how she treasured each kindness without ever being sappy.
Rafe makes for a good hero as well. I liked that even when he saw Hedley as the enemy, he never treated her poorly. I liked how stalwart and decent he was. And seeing him through Hedley’s eyes, he’s mighty sexy too.
I thought the foundation for Hedley’s family’s treatment of her was pretty flimsy, but that was my only complaint about the story. And it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment.
I’m really looking forward to a story featuring Rafe’s friend Montwood. I am intrigued by his dark secrets and wounded past.
*ARC Provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Devilish Mr. Danvers
by Vivienne Lorret
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Avon Impulse