Oh boy did these two ever sin successfully! A few times!
What’s it About?
With his comrade rakes-in-arms succumbing to respectability, anyone might think that wicked Riordan Barrett is next. But such happy endings aren’t for him—the whole of society knows there isn’t a redeemable bone in his sinfully sexy body.
Suddenly Riordan finds himself not only an earl…but father to two young wards! His only experience is in the art of irresponsibility. This rake needs help—and hiring a young, pretty governess won’t be such a hardship!
Sweet, innocent Maura Caulfield is the only lady in London seemingly unaware of Riordan’s disreputable ways. But it won’t stay like that for long. He’ll show her just how much fun sinning can be….
Alright, if we’re talking first impressions here I’ve gotta start with the narration. After all, it was literally the first thing I heard when listening to this audio book. Maura’s voice was done extremely well, and almost had a Naomi Watts like quality in its elegance. The voices of Riordan’s wards were also spot on, and they were both so adorable you couldn’t help but giggle along to their enthusiastic matchmaking attempts. And then we get to Riordan. He’s basically the first voice we hear aside from the narrator, and I felt terrible that I couldn’t help but laugh. It was so low and fake, and when you add in his attempts at seduction it just got worse.
A Little of This and a Little of That
There is a lot going on in this novel! Maura has run away from home to avoid marrying a dubious wretch her uncle promised her to because of a lost wager. She escapes to London and makes it on her own by taking a governess position no one else wanted. After all, who wants a devilish rake for a boss?
On top of that we have some mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Riordan’s brother, not to mention Riordan’s own attempts to keep his wards in his home instead of sending them away to live with greedy relatives. He needs a maternal figure in the house to show that his wards are being looked after. Hmm, I wonder who could possibly stand in as the maternal figure?
Although he was a bit of a flirtatious picadilly at the beginning of the novel, you can’t deny that he is great when it comes to the children. Unlike many other romance novels where our rake has to be convinced to spend time with children, Riordan jumps at the chance whenever he can.
He loves being around them, and will do anything to provide them with a good home. Even if it means sacrificing his potential happiness with their stunning governess, and instead marry someone the courts would deem more suitable. Riordan is also a master when it comes to attention to detail, especially when he’s doing a nude painting/sketch of Maura. There are so many Jack and Rose Titanic references to make here, I can’t even.
For the majority of the novel I thought Maura was pretty bad ass considering the time period. She’s escaped a terrible situation at home, and kind of holds her own when Riordan attempts to spoil the children by having no weekly schedule. Then, when Maura and Riordan get a little comfy on the sofa after a long day and a nip of alcohol she’s kind of like, “What the hell?” Reputation’s shot to shit anyway. Might as well enjoy life while she’s young and foolish.
At the very end of the novel though, I must admit that Maura kind of got on my nerves. She and the children are kidnapped by the wretch she’d been promised to, and she agrees to marry him in exchange for their safe release. Totally noble act, and I 100% commend her for it. However, when Riordan bursts in to rescue her, she’s convinced he’s NOT doing it out of love. Girl, open your eyes! You are more than worthy of this man’s love! He’s putting himself in harm’s way to get you out of it, and I’m practically swooning over here. If he really didn’t love you he could have easily sent some coppers to go and rescue you, but he wants to be your knight in shining armor. Please let him!
*A copy of this audio book was provided by Recorded Books for an honest review*
Series: The Rakes Beyond Redemption, Book 3. I hadn’t read the first 2 books, and had no problem following along.
Should you read it? It’s a steamy historical romance with some interesting twists and turns. As Riordan and Maura get closer and closer at expressing their feelings for one another, we also read how her former betrothed is getting closer to discovering her whereabouts. Kind of suspenseful!
Smut Level: I love that in these historical romances the characters never “climax”, or have an “orgasm”. On no, they “achieve their pleasure”. So freakin’ eloquent!
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $5.49 Kindle Price. Harlequin Historical. 284 Pages.