Review: A Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley

A Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley
Series: Sutherland Scandals (# 2)
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 303
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

 

 

Anna Bradley, author of A Wicked Way to Win an Earl, continues her Sutherland Scandals series with a tantalizing new Regency romance filled with opulence, elegance, and forbidden desire…

Lily Somerset’s plan for the London season is simple: courtship, marriage to a respectable gentleman, then the comfortable existence of a proper Lady. That is, until one tiny misstep leaves Lily on the edge of social ruin, forcing her to depend on a wicked rogue to save her reputation.

Robyn Sutherland doesn’t save reputations—he sullies them. He’d rather be drawn and quartered than find himself spending the season as Lily’s escort. But he has no choice but to stay until her tattered standing is mended.

What begins as a ruse to deceive London soon flames into an uncontrollable passion. Robyn calls to the wild spirit that lurks beneath Lily’s prim exterior, and Lily awakens the hero’s heart within Robyn. But can these unlikely lovers trust themselves enough to let desire overrule reason?

 

Review: There are some regency romances that by the first page, you know the author gets it. They get society. They get characters. They paint scenes. And they understand how human emotion works.
Anna Bradley is one of those authors.

Lily was painted exactly as a woman during the regency period should be painted. Marriage minded, with a bit of sass, and in desperate need to find a nice upstanding gentleman to marry so she can have children and do what all women do which is..what? Settle down? She thinks she knows her own mind and the reader almost believes she does.

Until Robyn enters the picture.

Good grief someone get me a fan.

That man.

Could singe a reader alive if they aren’t careful.

And poor unsuspecting Lily is caught in the cross hairs. Robyn was meaning to meet another, instead he meets her and his reputation is so horrible that just being in the same room with him is enough to ruin her.

He feels guilty.

And when rakes feel guilty–at least ones who have hearts of gold–they’re bound to do something noble like, take one for the team and end up falling for the very girl they don’t believe they deserve.  Robyn is an interesting hero, true to character he lives out his life quite selfishly but has always had a weakness for Lily–a weakness for the tempting girl that he’s now being forced to spend time with and protect. Technically he’s the worst chaperone on the planet. But the end goal is to get people to believe they are together so that in the end when they break things off–the scandal is averted.

But what happens when he starts falling for her?  Or when she can’t deny the way he makes her feel?
Suddenly every man pales in comparison to Robyn. And for good reason. He’s amazing.

I loved his character. I love a selfish hero who has a heart of gold and his story, his backstory especially was riveting and painful, not only did it drive the story it made sense that he was the way he was, it made sense that he didn’t feel good enough for Lily that he was tarnished while she was pure.

And Lily’s desire for a savior was perfect because she never went into the situation with Robyn blind, she knew he was more likely to “run her over” with the white horse then actually save her on one, and I loved that regardless of everything she knew about him, she still saw good.

This good readers, is a story about both characters saving each other and relying on one another and I devoured it.  If you are looking for a tightly written, and beautifully cast story–look no further.