The Rakes of Cavendish Square #1
Tracy Anne Warren
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
From New York Times bestselling author Tracy Anne Warren, the first of a new trilogy about the most dashingly dangerous men in London. Pay a call to the most seductive address in London and meet the Rakes of Cavendish Square....
Lord Leo Byron is bored with the aristocratic company he keeps; he needs a distraction, preferably in the form of a beautiful new female companion. So when he sets eyes on fascinating and scandalous divorcée Lady Thalia Lennox, he’s determined to make her intimate acquaintance. But the spirited woman seems to have no intention of accepting his advances no matter how much he chases—or how hard he falls....
Once a darling of Society, Thalia Lennox now lives on its fringes. The cruel lies that gave her a notoriously wild reputation have also left her with a broken heart and led to a solemn vow to swear off men. Still, Leo Byron’s bold overtures are deliciously tempting, and, for the first time, she finds herself wondering whether it just might be worth the risk to let the attractive rake into her life—and her bed....
The Bedding Proposal is historical romance at its most delightful, a lead couple who excel at banter and good-natured antagonism paired with a very real and infuriating threat to their happily ever after to leave us satisfied on every level. The two of them lead one another on a merry dance in this tale, Leo’s initial desire to attain the surprisingly unattainable slowly shifting and changing into the much deeper desire to give Thalia the life that has been denied her in the most humiliating way possible. Thalia quickly shows Leo she is not the sort, regardless of salacious gossip that would suggest otherwise, to fall over in a dead faint at the first flex of his rapier wit and the flash of his charming smile. As a couple they are the perfect combination of sweet and sexy, ensuring we have trouble setting their story aside and returning to our real lives.
Thalia is an extraordinary woman, doing her best every day to let the cruel words of a notoriously judgmental society roll off her back, and dealing with those like Leo (initially at least) who seek her out simply to flirt with the danger she presents to their reputations or the challenge as a potential conquest. She doesn't stay silent in the face of their not-so subtle mockery nor does she absorb their blows as her due for the mistake she made in marrying the wrong man, instead she lets them feel the edge of her sharp tongue as she makes a classy exit.
Leo, for his part, while amusingly dedicated to seducing Thalia despite her assurances that a romance between them will never come to pass, doesn't push her in a way that makes us want to come to her defense. He's patient (though single-minded for a good portion of the book), accepting quickly that he enjoys her as a person instead of simply a notch on his bedpost, and as things between them get more serious, he shows us time and again that he's more than worthy of her affection.
Sometimes with romances we're given a less-than valid reason as to why our hero and heroine can't be together long-term, typically a piece of emotional baggage on one or both of their parts that causes them to suddenly throw in the towel when they hit a bump in the road, but with The Bedding Proposal we find our couple stymied by a truly insurmountable obstacle. While a fortuitous event suddenly creates a door in the aforementioned obstacle that allows them safe passage through to their happily ever after, we can't help but appreciate the appalling nature of what blocked their way in the first place. Overall, The Bedding Proposal is a hugely successful first installment, and the next book featuring Leo's sister can't release soon enough.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.