A society darling
A rake never far from scandal
A deal that will change everything…
When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most notorious scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill… or does he?
Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage. When Kieran, her brother’s best friend, begs for her help Celeste makes a deal: she will introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London!
Amongst ‘proper’ garden parties and, equally enthralling, wild fêtes and sensual art salons an initial attraction builds to a more tempting desire. But when their midnight exploits are discovered, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are at risk and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.
|The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes
|Last Chance Scoundrels (Book 1)
|Category / Genre(s):
|Harlequin / Mills & Boon
|Point of View:
|Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
|22nd February, 2022
A splendidly well-rounded romance
I have read and enjoyed Eva Leigh before and this book sounded like another fun romance from her – and it was that. I found it to be a fast-paced, sparkling romance that was brimming with emotion and excitement.
This book starts with a fast paced section where we quickly get to know our hero, Kieran, his brother, Finn, and Kieren’s best friend, Dom. The three are the poster men for rakes, and they take those titles very seriously. But by allowing a bride to be jilted on her wedding day, the three suffer major consequences – marry a respectable bride within a year, or be cut off.
Kieran is a rake – and very good at it, too. And boy does he know it! But from the first it’s clear to see that he’s not a thoughtless man. He’s genuinely got a good heart and he does have a moral compass. I loved the way he instinctively knew to avoid Celeste – knowing she would change his course in life – and his surprise and delight at finding out her real personality. His descent into falling in love was believable and by the end he was the most swoon worthy of heroes.
The good girl in our tale is Celeste – the daughter in a family of new money. By being a good, upstanding, sensible woman, she’s managed to make herself well liked and admired in high society. Too bad that she feels so stifled by the gilded cage she’s found herself in. She just wants to break free and have a little fun. When Kieran proposes his scheme to become respectable, she jumps at the chance to bribe him into a little adventure. I liked the way that Celeste was always mindful that she and her family could be ruined at any point so she was never reckless. I totally identified with her (being a good girl, myself!) and loved watching her adventures.
Together, Kieran and Celeste were a perfect pair. They balanced each other out and neither had to change for the other – they liked the other just as they were. Their adventures were great fun and when push came to shove at the end of the Season, Kieran’s love for Celeste really shone through and it was joyous to read. Celeste and Kieran were also fan-yourself hot in bed. Or, to be fair, hardly ever in bed. Filthy language, yearning and learning – it was deliciously hot and I was deliciously happy!
As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. So why only 4 stars? Well, as much as I enjoy Ms Leigh’s writing style, I do find on occasion that there seems to be a tendency to swap out words for bigger, fancier words. Like someone’s gone through the text with a thesaurus and decided to change up handfuls of words. It’s actually a shame as you can tell when the author’s words just flow naturally and in those times, you’re really absorbed into the story. When there’s
fancy ornate words utterances added prepended into passages stanzas is where it loses misplaces its flow derivation.
There were also a few American words and turns of phrase included in the story which jarred a little. Personally, I like my historical romances to be accurate to the period. (Maybe with the exception of personal hygiene – but that’s nothing to do with this book!)
All in all, I really enjoyed my time with Celeste, Kieran and Ms Leigh. I’m already completely invested in Finn and Dom and cannot wait to read their stories in the rest of the Last Chance Scoundrels series (of which this is book 1). Deliciously delightful – I’d happily recommend this splendid story.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of determined women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoë Archer.