Monday, July 14, 2014

Reveiw: Never Kiss a Rake (Scandal at the House of Russell #1) by Anne Stuart

Bryony Russell and her two sisters are left destitute by the disgrace and unexpected death of their father, a wealthy shipping magnate. He left a cryptic note, and Bryony is determined to find the real villain and clear her father’s name. In disguise as a servant, Bryony infiltrates the home of her father’s business partner to find proof of his guilt…or innocence. It’s not just clues that Bryony finds, but temptation too…

Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, immediately suspects there is something not quite right about his new housekeeper. The brooding, irresistible rake plays along because he has his own guilty secrets, and his venal, scheming wife holds the key to them, trapping him in a hate-filled marriage. But against his will he’s fascinated by Bryony, seeing past the scars on her face to show her the beauty she never knew she had. Bryony must uncover the truth and attempt to preserve her father’s legacy, before things go too far and she falls in love with a man who might very well be her worst enemy.


When I first received this book last year I tried picking it up and I just couldn't get into it. So I decided to put it down and try it again another time. Unfortunately, it just kept getting pushed back further and further on my reading list because I was really kind of dreading picking it up again. What happened if it was just not a book for me? What if I wasted my time on it? Well, thank the heavens, that isn't what happened. I ended up really enjoying this novel and I'm so happy that I picked it up again. And I'm even happier that my views had changed!

Right from the beginning (my second time around), Never Kiss a Rake grabbed my attention and held it. I read it in only two days and I had to force myself to put it down or I wouldn't have gotten anything accomplished at home. The characters are really well written and I can guarantee that you'll fall in love with Bryony as quickly as the Earl did. Anne Stuart wrote the main character as a spunky, entirely too independent for her time, gutsy woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind and has a bit of a hard time playing the servant. I became pretty empathetic to her plight right off the bat and couldn't wait to see what she had to say next. All of the characters were written with a lot of forethought as to their histories and you can tell that they are all well loved by the author because she put so much into each of them.

The story had quite a few twists and turns that I hadn't counted on but was pleasantly surprised with. Now, I love historical romance novels. I've often thought that maybe in a previous life I was in London in the 1800's since I enjoy the stories so much. Anyway, I love historical romances and I REALLY love mysterious historical romances. Such a great surprise at the end ... it's worth reading just to see what happens! 

I'm pretty interested in getting my hands on the next novel in the series and I hope that I can squeeze it in sometime in the future. I really like the idea of the mystery of this first novel spilling over into the next. I was surprised that everything wasn't all buttoned up and I love the idea of the continuation.

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