on August 20, 2018
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After being plucked from peril by resolute bachelor Lord Hugo Alastair, Lady Olivia Beauchamp is secretly outraged that he doesn't even try to steal a kiss! He's a notorious rake amongst the ton and as a result, utterly forbidden to an innocent debutante like her. But their attraction is magnetic. Will she risk her reputation for a passionate encounter?
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Lady Olivia Beauchamp had managed to trick her brother Alex into taking her to the Vauxhall Gardens, and if her father heard about it, who knows what would happen, but thankfully the Duke of Cheriton was momentarily absent. So Olivia, masked and incognito, along with Alex and his friend Neville, is out for a little excitement. However, Alex fails her, and Olivia gets herself in a troubling pickle. Things could have been much worse were it not for the intervention of the infamous Lord Hugo Alastair. But what kind of a rake rescues “The Catch of the Season” without asking for anything in return, not even a kiss?
The most wonderful rake I have ever read about, that is! What a perfectly splendid hero Janice Preston has crafted for our pleasure in LADY OLIVIA AND THE INFAMOUS RAKE! And yes, Hugo certainly was a rake, but with a conscience, and circumstances force him to have a look at his life. Those of us who were already acquainted with the Beauchamps from Ms. Preston’s previous books knew it was only a matter of time before Olivia would get into trouble. And rest assured, newcomers, that Olivia’s persona was not modified the slightest for storyline purposes, and this book stands perfectly on its own. I love that Ms. Preston remains faithful to her characters: Alex’s behaviour is explained, and if Cheriton is as daunting as ever, we now better understand his attitude. Oh, Olivia! The impetuous, reckless, haughty chit; she is a bit of a spoiled brat, and what painful and wondrous changes she goes through. It was inevitable that she would fall for a man like Hugo because they are so very much alike. The difference is that, even if the ton barely acknowledges his existence, as a man, more is tolerated of him. Even Hugo grasps that the enticing Olivia’s impulsiveness must be reined in so she doesn’t accidentally ruin herself – yes, she is that irresponsible – however, her reasons for her behaviour are fascinating, and sadly understandable.
Olivia’s risqué outing has so many unforeseen repercussions on several people, that I think it will define the course of the entire of the series. I had not expected The Beauchamp Heirs to be so exciting: you have a real psychological drama here, and Janice Preston has crafted an enormously intricate and multilayered story simply out of Olivia’s determination to have her way. OLIVIA AND THE INFAMOUS RAKE has such marvellous characters: I adored Sir Horace – Hugo’s stepfather, for instance; what a lovely man! Ms. Preston’s prose is lovely, airy, and lyrical; the dialogues are a pure delight, every character speaking in its own unique voice. There is also this tension and menace that constantly threatens -and one of the most exceptionally intriguing villains ever written – always because of Olivia’s initial foolishness, which makes the romance even more captivating with sparks flying all over the place. I felt that the story started dragging a tad towards the end, mostly because of Hugo’s stubbornness, but how the whole thing was redeemed and garnered additional praise from this reviewer because of said Hugo. He does not have a sudden epiphany, he doesn’t suddenly become a gentleman because the author said so: his metamorphosis comes gradually and realistically, and he is most entertaining while doing so, and at times also quite moving. The epilogue is one of the best I have ever read, because Janice Preston did not take the titillating way out, and remained true to the spirit of the story, and confirmed Hugo’s character growth. What a wonderful beginning to a new series!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.