Review: To Refuse a Rake by Kristin Vayden

To Refuse a Rake by Kristin Vayden
Release Date: July 8, 2013
Publisher:  Blue Tulip Publishing
Pages: 166
Source:  book purchased for review

Emma has sworn off love.

After all, it is pointless to subject oneself to such torture when in the end, heartbreak is inevitable. Just like her sister had suffered. So, when Lord Daventry, the muddy brown-eyed boy from her childhood, returns to society she refuses to even look at him… well, maybe she’ll look once.

Or twice.

But only because his eyes have changed into the most decadent color of dark chocolate. And his tanned skin from his travels is distracting, especially paired with his wide and devilish grin.

The stirring of her blood from his hot whisper in her ear is nothing… at least that’s what she tells herself.

Lord Daventry has one response to marriage. Drink Brandy. Especially when his mother decides it is time for him to produce an heir. Reluctantly, he attends his first ball since returning from India, swearing to head to White’s shortly after the first dance. However, he is pleasantly surprised to discover that Miss Emma Kingsly, the same girl he tried to kiss when she was nine, is still unmarried.

Her frigid demeanor should have warned him off… but unable to ignore a challenge, he plunges in head first… never expecting to fall in love with the one woman in the ton completely set against marriage.


Review:  When a request for a review of this book came across my desk, I was intrigued enough to go buy a copy (at 99¢, it was a great deal).  In the end, I was left wanting a little more.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story… it was just a little under developed for my taste.

So, let’s back up a little.  We have Emma and Hudson who knew each other as children and after she spurned his advances (she was eight or nine and denied him a kiss), they go their separate ways.  Fifteen or so years later, Hudson is home after a stint in India and is enchanted when he reunites with Emma and decides he’s going to melt the ice princess and make her his.

OK, pretty solid plot.  Perhaps not the most original, but it’s one I can appreciate and there is a lot of wiggle room to come up with a solid story.  Problem is since the book is 166 pages, there isn’t enough time to develop the characters or introduce any real resistance to the romance.  Now there is tons of romance as Hudson woos Emma.  But the only real problem to overcome is Emma’s fear of falling in love and surrendering her heart to someone else.  Now that’s a valid problem, but it’s not enough for a satisfying romance… at least in my mind.  I could’ve just used something more.  A love triangle, a villain… something.  Even adding to the secondary plot of Emma’s sister would’ve helped.

All that said, I did like the book.  The writing style flowed and while I may have tired of the description of Hudson’s chocolate brown gaze (I counted… it was used 21 times), the writing was easy to read and enjoy.  I am looking forward to trying this author again.


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