The Ravenels #2
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
Marrying Winterborne is everything those who fell in love with Helen and Rhys in book one could hope for, the sparks between them building with every page even as as we uncover a secret about Helen's lineage that could bring their house of cards toppling down.
Helen, despite being the epitome of a well-bred young lady in Society, has the kind of gusto that makes her easy to fall in love with, taking it upon herself to confront Rhys in the opening pages after a misunderstanding has him calling off their engagement. While Rhys would have many a genteel lady quivering in fear with the full force of his personality, Helen admirably stands her ground (and then falls into his bed – not that we can blame her), demanding he listen to her when he would let his alpha male side get the better of him. While she does keep a big secret from him for majority of the book–something that can be needlessly stressful–her reasons for doing so are understandable, and when the big reveal does take place, we're thankfully spared a huge dramatic scene followed by chapters of angst before everything is resolved.
Rhys is as swoon-worthy as they come, a self-made businessman who's kept his rough edges instead of allowing Society to buff them smooth once his wealth became noteworthy. He can be delightfully blunt at times and runs a tight ship when it comes to his department store, but his hard lines and imposing personality are tempered by a sweet desire to make a woman he sees as above him as happy as he can. When he uncovers Helen's secret, he keeps the fireworks to a minimum, showing us just how sexy possessiveness can be (in the context of a romance) without doing unnecessary damage to everything they'd built over the previous four hundred pages.
Overall, Marrying Winterborne is the kind of romance that brings a smile to our faces as much as it does a blush to our cheeks, and is highly recommended both for longtime lovers of the genre as well as those who want to experience it for the very first time.
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.