How to Marry a Rake by Deb Marlowe
Series: Spinoff from The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor
Release Date: April 19th, 2011
Page Count: 288
Source: Received directly from Deb for review
Blurb: Miss Halford’s Marriage Campaign
Back from Europe, heiress Mae Halford has mended her heart after her friend Stephen Manning’s rejection. Looking radiant and full of confidence, she’s ready to find herself a husband! Only, the first man she bumps into at a Newmarket house party is Lord Stephen himself!
When the two find themselves covertly working together to find a missing prized racehorse, romance blossoms. But can Mae believe that Stephen has changed enough that their adventure will lead to the altar?
Review: What I love most about historical romance is how it’s set in a completely distant era, yet how passion and love are both still conveyed in the same way we all know best. Harlequin’s How to Marry a Rake is a perfect example.
Though Deb Marlowe’s writing style is not particularly enchanting, the emotions she delivers from the deepest of her characters’ hearts is what makes her stories worth swooning over. Mae Halford, the female protagonist, faces an imperative problem: the man she swears to herself, she’s totally over, is suddenly, maddeningly, breathtakingly back in her life. But this time around, she’s not going to let him get to her head, oh no. This time, Stephen Manning is going to fall head over heels for her.
The plot itself is theatrical that way, and paired with the mystery of figuring out who stole Newmarket’s most prized racehorse, Pratchett, is an overall light and enjoyable read. Some parts are a little slow (and I feel, rather unnecessary), but most of it is fluffy and very feel-good. Mae and Stephen’s chemistry is witty and scalding at the same time, though I do wish their characters had been developed a little more heavily. The characters are not relatable; however, fortunately, their situations are. The ending is predictable, but it’s a happily-ever-after conclusion that’s bound to leave all romantics sighing and readers with wishful tears in their eyes.
Quote: “Mae didn’t understand what a misery a life shut out from all good society could be. Stephen did.
He knew all about the horrible loneliness. How, when the world forgot you, you began to lose yourself. He’d seen his mother fad away in isolation and exile, through no fault of her own. He’d be damned if he’d see the same thing happen to Mae.”