Phillip Crawford, the eighth Earl of Rawlings and notorious rake of the ton, has come to the end of his rope. Out of money, out of favor, and out of luck, he wanders the streets of London in the rain, hoping to be hit by inspiration…or a runaway carriage. Something has to give. It is his father’s final cruel trick to hold his inheritance just out of reach, requiring him to marry by his next birthday in order to claim his full rights as earl. His step-mother refuses to offer him any more support. With no money, no prospects and no other place to turn, he has only two options:
Marriage or debtor’s prison.
The better choice seems clear enough, but with his name and reputation being attacked daily in the society papers, there’s not a proper lady in all of London desperate enough to accept him. It isn’t going to be easy, even if the reports of his exploits and rakish lifestyle are greatly exaggerated.
On the other hand, debtor’s prison does start to look much more appealing when the only friends he has left decide to help him in his search for the perfect bride. Matters become much more complicated when the only woman who shows an interest in him just happens to be the young sister-in-law of the Duke of Tempest; the same man who, just months ago, had been tempted to kill him.
One thing is for certain, as the Season draws to an end, Lord Rawlings will have to decide once and for all, if his wicked ways are enough to bring him contentment in life, or if a leopard really can change his spots. Or in Phillip’s case—can a devil truly be redeemed?
Review: The story of Lord Rawlings is the third book of the Renwick House series. I had never heard of the series before starting this particular book but my pleasure of it did not suffer any because I hadn’t read any of the prior titles. That being said I will now be going back and collecting the rest because I enjoyed this one so much. I want to know what happened to everyone. I am usually adamant about reading series in order so the fact that I am not ranting about it is highly unusual for me. I would like to thank Ms. Van Dyken for making it possible for me to be able to read this without feeling like I have missed something important.
Lord Rawlings character is the type of man who gets me every time. The man who after years of running around and carelessly flaunting his freedom to do as he pleases, he suddenly has nothing and no one. His character responds to each challenge and learns to accept things as best he can. He made me want to save him and at the same time I was glad to see him suffer. He holds deep secrets and throughout the book they slowly come to light. I really enjoyed how the author chose to reveal them in this book. Sometimes the methods used by authors are too harsh or too obvious. I felt this time they were delivered in a very smooth and seamless style.
Abigail Gates wants to be his wife and save him from the awful shambles he finds his life in but he only sees her as a little girl in pigtails. At first she thinks she may have finally gained his notice but then discovers that what she is doing is only causing more chaos. Throughout the story I wanted to reach into the pages and warn her of the trouble she is heading for or give her a different path to follow. I felt connected to her like a friend or a big sister and wanted to help her finally get what she feels will make her happy. I love when an author can sucker me in like that; it just makes reading a book much more fun for me.
The entire book was a pleasure to read. I loved the added snippets at the beginning of each chapter they gave it just a little extra something, I started to look forward to them. There seemed to be quite a few things going on in the background that I would love to know more about. The focus and flow of the book stayed consistently on the main characters and their story. There was definite chemistry between them each time they are together. It is clear that Abigail has grown up and Philip has noticed.
This is a fabulous read and I highly recommend it. I am off to find the rest of the books in the series.