To All the Rakes I've Loved Before (Honeycote, #1.5) by Anne Barton
Series: Honeycote #1.5
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
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After being jilted by her former beau, Miss Amelia Wimple retreated to her Mayfair town house and her ever-growing collection of gossips rags. Now, almost two years later, not even her beloved cousins, Rose and Olivia Sherbourne, can persuade her to give love another chance. But an unexpected midnight caller may open her heart once more.
Lord Stephen Brookes is the prince of pleasure, the duke of decadence-and it seems his exploits have finally caught up with him. When Stephen comes to Amelia seeking refuge, she can’t deny him . . . or the intense desire he sparks. As he attempts to heal her broken heart, they indulge in a private passion unlike anything either has experienced. Stephen knows sweet, sensual Amelia is meant to be his one and only. Now, he will do whatever it takes to convince her that a rake really can change his ways.
Amelia is enjoying having the house to herself. Her mother is taking the waters in Bath and has left her on her own. Amelia loves her mother but she’s a very loud and demanding mother. Amelia has almost made herself a recluse in the last two years. She goes out to walk in the park but only during unfashionable hours. Besides that she stays home. This is due to the fact that she was incredibly humiliated two years prior she was at a ball and expecting a proposal from her beau when he eloped with someone else. If that wasn’t bad enough her mother swooned upon learning the news and knocked Amelia down as well – kind of like bowling pins. Apparently Amelia was quite a bit heavier two years ago so she felt like they were two stuffed sausages rolling around the dance floor.
One night while Amelia was up reading gossip rags there was a knock on the door. No one usually came to call so she was even more surprised when it happened at 2 AM. It’s actually Lord Verrington, the man who was supposed to propose. He’s bringing his friend Stephen Brookes to her house because he’s been beaten and Stephen doesn’t want to go home and shock his mother. Lord Verrington knows no one else to go to in London and he knew Amelia’s mother wasn’t home. Amelia accepts him in and nurses Stephen back to health. She does this as Stephen helped her after the debacle of “The Jilting” and he was very kind.
Stephen is a rake and a gambler who is kind of done with it. He’s grown out of it but until seeing Amelia again hadn’t really known what he wanted to do besides live his dissolute life. As he gets closer to Amelia he realizes that he wants to finally make the change not only for himself but for her as well. He’s determined to win her heart and change his ways. Amelia, who’s determined to stay single, isn’t so sure that Stephen can change his spots but as she starts to fall for him she come to the conclusion that she wants him to try, more than anything.
This was a very sweet novella in the Honeycote series. I really liked Amelia and her sense of humor. She would write in her diary as if she was writing in a gossip rag and I thought some of the things she came up with were just too cute. I felt so sorry for her experience with her previous beau but was so happy that Stephen saw through her “I don’t want to get married” façade and made his move.
Now Stephen was a rake or so we were told. We didn’t actually get to see any of his rakish ways but hey, the man was beaten up because he hadn’t paid back money he owed to a gaming hell owner so that kind of proved he wasn’t necessarily all good. I liked that he was honest with Amelia about his life and his feelings. Sure, she was the one who had asked for honesty but it would have been incredibly easy for him to lie to make himself look better in her eyes.
I did think that the falling in love part of it happened a bit too fast. I know they had known each other before and liked each other, but not in a courting way if that makes sense. I would have liked to have seen them get to know each other a little better before they actually became intimate, as we all know that confuses things. lol. Making the story a bit longer and having the “getting to know you” part a little more in depth would have been perfect for me.
In the end it was, as I said, a very sweet story. Likable characters and a fun little romance – good stuff.
Rating: 4 out of 5