Sandy M’s review of How to Ruin a Reputation (Rakes Beyond Redemption, Book 2) by Bronwyn Scott
Historical Romance published by Harlequin Historical 18 Sep 12
Oh, you’re going to love Ashton Bedevere. Estranged from his father for years, a rake of the first water during that time, a man who knows how to seduce and pleasure a woman, returns home when he learns of his father’s death, realizing he wasted too much time in making things right between himself and his father. On top of that, his older brother, the rightful earl, has had a break with reality and cannot take over. Then what Ashe learns once he arrives at Bedevere Hall only fuels his ire and his self-blame higher.
This is a man who loves his family. You see it in everything he does. Thus he takes the blame for all that has gone wrong in his absence. If he’d come home sooner, if he hadn’t left in the first place, if he’d been a better man – the ifs go on and on in his conscience. Therefore, Ashe is determined to bring his home back to its glory days to atone for his indifference since the break with his father. What he doesn’t expect is the manner in which his father plays games from beyond the grave. Leaving Ashe only a portion of the estate and the controlling interest to an American woman, who has to be here for her own purposes, makes him question the old earl’s sanity. But that isn’t going to stop Ashe from doing what’s right for his family and the estate.
Genevra is finally getting back on her feet after the death of her husband and the stigma associated with the tragedy back in Boston. Seaton Hall is well on its way to being restored and her ideas for it will make money, though she doesn’t need anymore on top of what she’s already got. Discovering she now owns the majority share in Bedevere Hall comes as a shock, but she’ll not let the earl’s confidence and trust in her go to waste, despite the fact the man’s son causes myriad feelings and sensations to run through her whenever he’s near. And despite the fact she knows Ashe doesn’t completely trust her.
There’s a third person involved in their lives, all due to the old man’s maneuvering – Cousin Henry, who has always been jealous of Alex and Ashe and who believes he deserves more than a measly four percent of the estate. So after already giving up a year of his life kowtowing to everyone’s wishes but his own, Henry has to turn his friendship with Genevra into a romantic relationship headed toward marriage – the only way to get his hands on the entire estate for his and his cohorts’ nefarious plans. Ashe is in the same boat, needing to marry Neva for her money, but at least he’s straight-forward about it. Seduction is his plan, and the woman is not immune to him.
I so enjoy that seduction. Ashe is quite adept at pushing a woman’s pleasure buttons. What I also enjoy is that these two give in to their desires rather early on, and not just once but a number of times. I rather like this departure from the sexual tension being strung out for three-quarters of a book, one lovemaking scene, and then we get nothing more before the end of the story. Ashe and Genevra delight in each other and you get to be part of that, as well as see the change in them as their feelings grow. Their marriage of convenience takes on a new definition, once they acknowledge those growing feelings.
Another wonderful part of the book is Ashe and Alex’s relationship. Ashe takes steps to get Alex out of the facility Henry has put him in, paying off a doctor to keep him there. I had in mind that Alex would be perfectly healthy, everything he reportedly went through would be hoax, but Ms. Scott heaps on the surprises as far as Alex is concerned, including at the end of the book. But in the meantime, the love between these brothers is very palpable and that’s a joy to read.
Bronwyn Scott has a hit on her hands with these sexy and sensitive rakes she’s created. I am really looking forward to How to Sin Successfully, which features our third rake, Riordan. There’s definitely room in my heart for the redemption and subsequent fall of another English lord who never knows what hit him until it’s much too late.
Ashton Bedevere: renowned libertine who can ruin a reputation quicker than other gentlemen can drink their brandy
After years in Italy, honing his skills in the delicious art of seduction, Ashe returns to London’s high-class establishments—preceded, of course, by his reputation for lavish opulence and unashamed wickedness.
Then his scandalous ways are abruptly ended by his father’s death. To claim what is rightfully his, notorious lothario Ashe must do the inconceivable—take a wife!
But who could possibly even think about marrying such a man? Certainly not the lovely Genevra Ralston. After all, she’d be finished in polite society. Wouldn’t she? Yet Ashe’s notorious charm and practiced touch could prove irresistible .
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: