on 10 March 2013
I think I've read all of Annie Burrows' books now but this one is my favourite (and I love the cover!). The story is about Henrietta, who has come to London from the country for her first season. She's followed her childhood sweetheart Richard, but when they meet up at a party he is not at all pleased to see her and tells her to go home! She then meets Lord Deben by saving him from being tricked into marriage by another debutante. To thank her, Lord Deben decides to make Henrietta fashionable, by being seen out and about with her. But Lord Deben is such a notorious rake ... Should Henrietta trust him?
This is a lovely romantic story, with great characters and told with humour. Recommended!
on 19 July 2014
Although the tale of the rake and young innocent maiden has been told many times by various authors - some enthralling and others leaving much to be desired - this story by Annie Burrows was a great read.
The Rake: Lord Deben has a reputation of keeping a string of mistresses, then once tired of that game, he apparently moved on to widows and bored married women. But, it is time to beget an heir, so he very reluctantly attends a ball to look over the debs. He goes outdoors where he ponders upon this odious task and thinks perhaps he will walk back into the ballroom and pick the first young lady he encounters and begin courting her with the intention of making her his wife. Once he begets two or three children on her, he will allow her to have free rein and he will also go back to his bachelor lifestyle. After all, his parents had a horrible marriage, with his mother bearing several children who did not belong to his father and he has a most cynical view of women and would not trust one at all.
The Deb: Miss Henrietta Gibson was raised in a household of brothers and a scholarly father - younger son of a baron. Her father's passion was books and more books. When he came out of his brain fog long enough to realize Henrietta had reached the ripe old age of 22 years and had not yet had a Season, he immediately reached out to her Aunt Ledbetter who was not considered good "ton" being married to a Cit to ask her to take Henrietta to London for a Season. Aunt Ledbetter was a sweet, good natured woman and was glad to have Henrietta to pop off along with her own daughter, Mildred. Problem was, once they arrived in town, they weren't invited to al the upscale events because of the Ledbetters' lowly status.
For Henrietta's part, she has longed to go to London not just for the Season but because her long time neighbor, Richard, and the man she felt she was in love with was there. However, much to her dismay, the one time Richard calls upon Henrietta in London, he criticizes her relatives and her father's decision to have them sponsor Henrietta. He also makes it clear that he will not have time for Henrietta, so she will be pretty much on her own. In fact, Richard's exact words to her were, "You belong in the country, not in a rackety place like London."
First Meeting Between Lord Deben and Henrietta: Lord Deben is outside the ballroom on the verandah trying to decide upon his course of action, when he is accosted by a lovely deb - Miss Waverley. In a few moments, she has made sure they are found in a compromising position by her mother. Unbeknownst to Lord Deben, Miss Waverley and her mother, there is another witness to the debacle. Henrietta has been hiding in the bushes crying her heart out over Richard but soon realizes she will have to step up in order to "save" Miss Waverley's reputation - not realizing the game being played.
Henrietta is a sweet, honest to goodness, all around great girl and not the shrinking violet one might be led to believe from her crying jag. She doesn't begin to comprehend that she has impressed Lord Deben beyond measure and that he has set himself to watch over her and help her throughout the Season. He knows that Miss Waverley is a little witch and she will do everything she can to make life difficult for Henrietta - something Deben cannot and will not tolerate. When Deben makes his first call at Aunt Ledbetter's home to pay his respects to Henrietta and take her for a turn in the park, all of Society is stumped and soon the Ledbetters and Henrietta are getting invites to all the best homes and events of the season.
Deben's and Henrietta's relationship growth is sweet, tenuous, spicy and they soon fall for one another but each believes that they are alone in their "fall" - this contributes to some misunderstandings but not the "HUGE" misunderstanding that some of us hate to have in our stories. I loved this story and I especially loved the fact that mean old Richard got his comeuppance at the end, in a very public way. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
on 23 December 2013
A spellbinding, intriguing and wonderfully compelling Regency romance tempered with humor and poignancy, Never Trust a Rake is another outstanding novel by the fabulous Annie Burrows!
A kiss under the mistletoe with her childhood friend Richard was all it had taken for Henrietta Gibson to convince herself that he was madly in love with her! When Richard left the tiny village of Much Wakering for the Season in London, Henrietta was absolutely distraught - until her eccentric father had decided that the time had come for his only daughter to see more of the world. Henrietta had been sent off to London to stay with old friends of her father she had never met before. Whilst in town, Henrietta hoped to find Richard and confess about the depth of her feelings for him. But when she does finally manage to track him down, Henrietta realizes that Richard has changed. Her childhood friend has become an awful snob who is embarrassed by her and mortified by her unworldly ways. With her time in London turning into one great disaster, Henrietta found herself in tears at a ball given by one of the ton's most prominent hostesses. But little did she realize that she was about to catch the eye of one of London's most eligible - and most notorious! - bachelors: Lord Deben!
Lord Deben's lascivious exploits have been scandalizing the ton for years! A man with a colossal sexual appetite who has charmed legions of women into his bed, Lord Deben has never had any inclination to marry - until now! Whereas he had previously had a penchant for married women and lonely widows, Lord Deben has now turned his attentions to seducing virgins - and his attention has been piqued by the feisty Miss Gibson! Although Lord Deben was not looking to marry for love, he soon finds himself unable to stop thinking about the unconventional Miss Gibson! Whereas every single debutante in London - and their ambitious social-climbing mamas - is desperate to win his favor, Miss Gibson seems to be doing her utmost to give him as wide a berth as possible! Her spurning of his advances is only serving to increase his ardour and making him even more determined to make her his bride!
Having had her heart already broken once before, Henrietta is not about to run the risk of getting hurt a second time - especially by a notorious womanizer like Lord Deben! However, the more time Henrietta spends with him, the more she realizes that there's more to him than meets the eye...
Will Henrietta take a chance on love? And will Lord Deben open up to the woman he has fallen madly in love with about events from his past which he'd rather forget? Or will his fear of letting anyone get close to the real him ruin his last chance of happiness?
Annie Burrows is a star of the Mills and Boon Historical line who writes with plenty of flair and style about the Regency era. A talented writer who never fails to capture 19th century England deftly and adroitly, in Never Trust a Rake, she has once again penned an outstanding historical romance that would make Georgette Heyer proud. Funny, tender, dramatic and moving, Never Trust a Rake is an engrossing tale about courage, hope and the power of love that I found absolutely impossible to put down!
I loved Henrietta who was brave, intrepid and didn't suffer fools gladly and Lord Deben was a sexy hero with a wicked sense of humor that made him strictly irresistible!
A first class historical romance that will make you laugh and cry, Never Trust a Rake deserves a place on everybody's keeper shelf!
This review was originally published on Cataromance.