She ran from a brute…
Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters’ chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke…But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.
…into the arms of a rake
Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence’s game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry… (Goodreads)
So…in short, Gideon is the best hero ever. Yes, he’s a rake with a not-so-pleasant background. But is he always sulking in his favorite comfy chair while looking out into the rain at midnight? No. He thought he would never get married, but then he falls in love—and he doesn’t resist it at all. He basically just says, “Well, there goes that plan. Guess I have to marry her now.”
Prue resists his advances so much–well, as much as she can, of course. She expects him to be some horrible person because of his reputation, but he disabuses her again and again. She is unused to receiving such kindness from anyone, and he confuses her as much as he attracts her.
Other reasons to love Gideon:
- He sees Prue as beautiful, even though no one else does. It’s like beer goggles in reverse–or, in other words, he has perfect vision.
- He is very sweet with Grace, Prue’s 10-year-old sister. He even lets her kick him in the shins and doesn’t get angry with her!
- He doesn’t sell Prue’s jewelry when she asks him to because he can tell how precious it is to her. Instead, he gives her his own money (without letting her know, of course) and gets her jewelry cleaned.
- He isn’t afraid to get hurt to protect Prue.
- He is always able to lift her spirits when she’s feeling down.
- He is the antithesis of Prue’s violent, malevolent grandfather (and, really, if you’re anything like her grandfather, you are just pure evil).
Do yourselves a favor and read this book as soon as possible. Gideon is one of the best heroes I have ever encountered, and I don’t expect him to slip in my rankings anytime soon.
- She was no weak vessel, no helpless female. She was a slave to no one and nothing. She’d prided herself on it (67).
- “I have no idea why we’re wasting time discussing some stupid fellow who went off to live with elephants—he must be addled in the brain. If you were mine, I’d never leave you, Prudence. I couldn’t (138).”
- She was three parts fierce, one part adorably flustered, and the whole of her completely irresistible (147).
- It was obvious to him now why his cousin thought Charity a diamond of the first water. Her smile was the same as Prudence’s (166).
- The half-dozen freckles across the bridge of her nose stood out against her pallor like bread crumbs scattered over snow (170).
- She heard the quick, shocked intake of his breath and felt his palm curl around her nape, tenderly, possessively, comfortingly. His long, strong fingers slipped through her tumbled curls, loosening the final remnants of the knot, stroking and caressing as he murmured, “Your hair is beautiful, Prudence. It’s glorious. Like a sunset over an autumn forest. Like tendrils of molten copper, fresh from the forge. I’ve never seen more beautiful hair in my life (173).”
- Oh, where was the flippant rake when you needed him? She could resist him…just. But this Lord Carradice, with poetry and tenderness on his lips…and protective rage in his heart (173).
- “It’s very important to remember happy times; it makes you stronger inside when things are…less happy (196).”
- “Your eyes are like smoky pools of crystal; every feeling and emotion is reflected in them (223).”
- Besides, for once in her life she wanted to be able to consider what she, Prudence Merridew, wanted, without having to take into account the desires, plans, or orders of a man (313).
- “What do I care for that? Virginity can be given away, or lost, or wrested from a girl by force. It matters not to me. What matters is honor and a loving heart. My Prudence is the most honorable woman I’ve ever known. And she has the truest, most loving heart in all the world (330).”
- “And as for his insults, I wouldn’t let them rankle. The man obviously feared and hated women. There would be nothing so threatening to him as a magnificent woman in her prime (331).”
- “It’s in the past, and to rue the past is to dwell there in shadows (342).”
- She stood there, his gaze warming her, dissolving her doubts. She ought to feel ashamed, standing so immodestly naked before him. Yet she didn’t. She felt…beautiful. Proud. Desired. And a little bit exposed (346).
- He lifted her and carried her to the bed. Effortlessly. She felt light, fragile, feminine in a way she’d only felt once before. He’d carried her then, too (346).
- True love grew and grew. To love and be loved like that was what she’d yearned for all her life (351).
- “Even when no one loves you, there is always someone to love, someone who needs to be loved. Always. You just have to look outside yourself.”