For the first time in her life, Hedley Sinclair holds the keys to her own future. She’s inherited the crumbling Greyson Park, but the disrepair does nothing to dissuade her. No one will ever lock her up again or attempt to take away what’s hers. No one except Rafe Danvers—the charming, fiendish man from Fallow Hall. He’s determined to claim Greyson Park, but if Hedley isn’t careful, he’ll claim her heart as well.
Rafe has every intention of ridding Greyson Park of the conniving Sinclairs once and for all. The last thing he expects is to find the beguiling Hedley—the younger sister of his former fiancée—standing in his way. With drastic measures called for, he plans to marry her off in order to regain control of the estate. The only trouble is, he can’t seem to stop seducing her. Even worse, he can’t help falling in love with her.
Stubborn, courageous and full of spit and vinegar, that describes my initial impression of the heroine, Hedley. She has an unusual name which had the unfortunate side effect of triggering a Blazing Saddles memory. But once I got to know her, all those silly thoughts disappeared as the cleverness and fortitude she exhibited in dealing with her predicament took center stage. She’s a worthy heroine. She’s also no match for a determined matchmaking canine.
Poor Rafe, the hero; he has such a thorn in his side, a chip on his shoulder, all from his treatment by the Sinclair family. It’s rightly earned, so imagine his surprise, and my delight, that the woman who makes his libido go out of control is a dreaded Sinclair. He is so determined to resist her, except, he can’t. The more time he spends with her, the more shocked he becomes, both from what he learns about her and his own reactions. Ms. Lorret truly has written a story that embraces all the most wonderful aspects of romance with Rafe and Hedley as a couple.
This is the second book in the Rakes of Fallow Hall series yet this is a solid standalone read. The overall story arc is the wager between three men. I haven’t read the first book in the series and never once did I feel the lack. This is a fun and entertaining novel all on its own.
There’s humor, witty and fascinating dialogue, and just the right amount of emotional drama to keep a reader engaged page after page. The seduction scenes between Rafe and Hedley are spicy enough to keep a fan nearby just in case. My absolute favorite extravagant and romantic gesture comes from Rafe, he creates something that is so beautiful and unique that the heroine can’t help but believe with all her heart that he truly loves her. It’s actually quite swoon-worthy.
The villains of the piece, the external conflict, actually come from Hedley’s own family. Wow, did Ms. Lorret create some effective despicable characters! I would have turned into a harridan/banshee on Hedley’s behalf. In no way could I have resisted wanting to throttle them for the very act of speaking. Hear me growl.
The Devilish Mr. Danvers should not be missed by readers who enjoy Cinderella themed stories. This one does it justice because this time, the heroine has an active champion to woo and care for her, and through him, others of power who have her back. There are plenty of occasions to cheer for Hedley and Rafe and I encourage historical romance fans to not miss out. Grab a copy and enjoy the ride.