REVIEW: Nothing But a Rakehell (A Series of Unconventional Courtships Book 2) – Deb Marlowe

Nothing But a Rakehell Book Cover Nothing But a Rakehell
A Series of Unconventional Courtships Book 2
Deb Marlowe
Victorian Historical Romance/Regency Romance
Independently Published
January 20, 2020
265

Lady Glory Brightley was dreading her sister’s house party—until she discovers an early guest mired in a bog. She pulls the Earl of Keswick free—and then goes to great lengths to hide her limp from him. Is it too much to ask, just once, to be seen and treated as everyone else?

Keswick has come to Gloucestershire to hide—from an overzealous debutante, from his father, perhaps even from himself. He bonds with Lady Glory as a fellow misfit—her limp is nothing compared to the wounds he hides. They pledge to see each other through the choppy waters of the party, but he never expected to be caught up by this sprite of a girl—with her quick wit, stunningly fine seat on a horse and giving heart.

Not that he could ever pursue such inclinations. For no true lady could want a man with his reputation and entanglements. Who could love a man who is nothing but a rakehell?

He’s about to find out.

Reviewed By S.C. Principale

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Nothing But A Rakehell by Deb Marlowe is an immersive historical romance that contains quite a few unexpected twists, all of them lovable.

Colm Newland AKA the Viscount Keswick is a rakehell (i.e. irresponsible, amoral playboy about town) but he holds a deep, dark secret. No, it’s not a secret love child or any of the expected tropes. It’s that he’s actually a closet philanthropist with a passion for becoming a self-made man. Why would a handsome member of the landed gentry go to such irresponsible lengths on the surface? Enter the villain of the piece, Colm’s stern father who believes that any love is weakness and strength is cruelty. Colm fears that if he ever gives a woman his heart (despite being avidly pursued by everything in a skirt), his father will do all but murder her to keep his son in check.

Lady Glory Brightly is a spirited and independent, and somewhat awkward young lady. Instead of having far too many suitors, Glory has none, a fact that she is initially content with. Injured and left partially lame from an accident in her youth, the beautiful young woman lives with her newly married sister and brother-in-law who are determined to sponsor her for the Season and help her see herself as worthy of love. Glory would rather live as a spinster, her heart hardened by the way eligible men see only her weakness and nothing else she has to offer.

When Colm heads out to the country estate where Glory resides, he’s amazed that the lass can ride better than any woman or man he’s ever met, has sharp wits, and shares his disdain for romantic entanglements. What becomes a secret friendship to aid each other through a week of enforced matchmaking soon becomes much more. Still naively believing they can leave things as friends, Glory and Colm share a deeper and more intimate bond each day, until both hearts are thoroughly intertwined. Naturally, it’s just at that point Colm’s father turns up with the odious woman he expects his son to marry.

I admit that the first couple of pages overwhelmed me with the names and mannerisms of the time period, but they soon lent themselves to a vibrant, historical picture that Marlowe paints. Within a chapter, you’ll find yourself deeply invested in the stories of a woman who refuses to show the world how much she’s hurting and curious as to why a man who seems to have everything makes himself a caricature of all that is unworthy of a gentleman. In addition, Marlowe strikes an excellent balance between history, plot, love, and sex. Many historical romances can feel overdone on the details and skimpy in the plot, or barely nodding to history at all. Nothing But A Rakehell is beautifully balanced, engaging, and a delight to read.

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