An earl is forced to play matchmaker for the daughters of a rake in a smart and witty new Regency romance from the national bestselling author of The Scoundrel’s Daughter.
A romance novel is, first and foremost, about the romance. And though Anne Gracie’s The Rake’s Daughter is indeed a romance novel, it’s the kind that manages to be about more than the main couple. Instead, The Rake’s Daughter is about two sisters as much as it is about a couple, and that’s what makes the book interesting.
Not that the romance doesn’t work, it does. There’s just a sense that the romance isn’t the only thing that works that I didn’t think I’d appreciate as much as I did. In one of the high points of the book, you know the one, where you expect the hero to come to the defense of the heroine, we get not just that …but a sister sticking up for a sister. And it all works very well.
There’s, of course, a level of suspension of disbelief required to make this happy ending work, but this is a romance novel, not a historical novel. What we want is a happy ending, interesting characters and great dynamics. If, perhaps, people didn’t behave quite this way back in the day, were as forgiving or understanding as they end up being or care for each other as openly, well, we don’t want to hear about that. That is very much not the point.
As always, at the end of The Rake’s Daughter, I was left with this feeling that I’d gladly would have taken 5 more chapters of just pure fluff. Hopefully, Clarissa gets her own book next, and we can get that in the background. But that’s a good sign. If you get to the end of a romance novel and don’t want more from the main couple, then the romance novel didn’t work.
But I also wanted more of Isobel and Clarissa. I have a sister, and though our age difference is greater that the sisters in this book, I can relate to the level of care and loyalty that exists between them. I’d fight a war for my sister, and at times Izzy and Clarissa feel like they have fought a war and come out the other side — together.
The rest isn’t unimportant. Leo and his issues — which he honestly gets over pretty decently, and without the need for any high drama or duels, are secondary. If only all Regency heroes could fix their own issues by just thinking about what they did wrong, or, at worst, talking to a friend. But even if that, at times, feels too easy, it doesn’t matter. hat’s not where the drama is coming from, and that’s more than okay.
Isobel is happy. So is Leo. Not just regular happy, either. Incandescently happy. And, as for Clarissa …well, I want to believe she’ll get her turn. And her sister (and her new brother in law) will be there every step of the way.
Recently returned to England, Leo, the new Earl of Salcott, discovers he’s been thrust into the role of guardian to an heiress, the daughter of a notorious rake. Even worse, his wealthy ward has brought her half-sister, the beautiful but penniless Isobel, with her. Leo must find Clarissa a suitable husband, but her illegitimate half sister, Izzy, is quite another matter. Her lowly birth makes her quite unacceptable in London’s aristocratic circles.
However, the girls are devoted to each other and despite the risk of scandal if Izzy’s parentage is discovered, they refuse to be separated. To Leo’s frustration, nothing will convince them otherwise. Even worse, sparks fly every time Leo and Izzy interact.
Called away to his country estate, Leo instructs the young ladies to stay quietly at home. But when he returns, he’s infuriated to discover that Izzy and Clarissa have launched themselves into society — with tremendous success! There’s no going back. Now Leo must enter society to protect Clarissa from fortune hunters, and try not to be driven mad by the sharp-witted, rebellious, and intoxicating Izzy.