Can we all agree that Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas was written so Rhys and Helen can have their story?
Devon and Kathleen’s story absolutely blew my freaking mind, but my heart ACHES to read Rhys and Helen’s story. Let’s get into it.
Devon Ravenel inherits the title of Earl of Trenear when his cousin Theo is thrown from a horse and breaks his neck. Devon also inherits a run down estate in desperate need of money, Theo’s sisters who are so far removed from society they might as well be living in colonial low country, and of course, Theo’s widow, Kathleen.
Did you sigh when you read the name Kathleen? I could not have imagined a better name for this spunky spitfire of a heroine.
Devon goes to Hampshire to inspect the estate he’s inherited, fully intending to sell the whole thing before he drowns in debt, only to come face-to-face with Kathleen.
Cue the orchestra.
If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’ll know I devour character-driven historical romance, and Lisa Kleypas loves to give us characters you can scoop up with a freaking spoon. Cold-Hearted Rake is no exception.
This enemies to lovers historical romance features an entire cast that delivers. There’s a redeemed misfit and a would-be wallflower. There are precocious twins and a hellion of a widow. If you have a favorite trope, it’s probably in this cast of characters, which means you’ll probably get a book out of it.
I haven’t delved too much into this series, but I’m really hoping Devon’s brother West gets his own book!
The Cold-Hearted Rake
Devon’s transformation as a character is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen. I’ve read a lot of books, but Devon’s transformation is seamless. There are no explosive moments that change his life forever (with the exception of the catalyst of this story), and instead, he changes subtly over time like a pebble in a river. It is absolutely exquisite.
Kleypas is gifted with a nuance for character and character arcs, and the reader is never given the feeling of knowing a character is changing. A reader will just watch it happen. That’s true talent, and Kleypas is a master.
This enemies to lovers historical romance had some meaty plot points driving the characters to make uncomfortable decisions. In addition, I enjoyed the fresher landscape of the later 19th century. (Hello, plumbing!) I’ve already ordered the next book in this series, so you know it’s a winner.