Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Rake to Redeem Her - Julia Justiss (HH #1133 - Apr 2013)

Series: Ransleigh Rogues (Book 2)


Will Ransleigh, illegitimate nephew of the Earl of Swynford, has the tall, aristocratic bearing of nobility-and the resourceful cunning of a streetwise rogue. To clear his cousin's name he is on a mission that will take him across the Continent into a world of international intrigue-and the arms of Elodie Lefevre, the society hostess who brought shame to his family.

Is she seductress, spy, or damsel in distress? In the haze of the sensual spell she casts, Will has to keep his wits about him and uncover the true nature of this mysterious Madame.... 

Good book.  Will has gone to Vienna to find the woman behind his cousin's scandal (The Rake to Ruin Her).  He is determined to take her back to England to face what she has done.  When he tracks her down she is not at all what he expected to find.  Instead of a hardened seductress living it up she appears to be a virtual prisoner in a couple of rooms.  When he tells her what happened to Max because of her actions she agrees to go to England with him as long as they stop in Paris first.  Over the several weeks it takes them to make the trip he is impressed by her ability to maintain the deceptions they use and her cleverness in assisting him in finding solutions to problems they encounter along the way.  He does not expect to be attracted to her and is not pleased with it.  As they journey he begins to learn more about her and why she participated in the plot.  Soon he is torn between wanting to clear Max's name and keeping Elodie safe and with him.  I really enjoyed seeing Will do all his disguises and strategies.  Hearing about his start in life and the debt he felt he owed Max went a long way in showing the kind of man he was.  In spite of his initial anger with her Will soon began to respect her abilities and enjoy her company.  The attraction between them also grew and became explosive when they finally gave in to it.  This only added to the feelings that Will was developing for her.  I loved his kindness and care of her when they left Paris.  By the time they got to England he knew that he didn't want to turn her over to the authorities.  I loved his long discussion with Max and the decisions he made afterward.  

Elodie was a terrific heroine.  In the first book she was definitely made out to be one of the bad guys and not a sympathetic character at all.  From the beginning of this one she is obviously a victim of circumstances and someone to root for.  I loved the way that she handled her first meeting with Will and the way she stood up for herself.  She made sure that he knew she would only cooperate if he consented to help her also.  She had an amazing mind and was a perfect fit for Will with the way that her experiences matched his.  She also didn't expect the attraction between them and wasn't sure what to do about it.  As they proceeded on their journey to Paris she was very good at protecting her secrets until she was reasonably sure that she could trust him.  Even then she didn't tell him everything but did share information on her childhood that showed him why she was so good at keeping pace with him and his machinations.  Upon their arrival in Paris and her attempt to get away from him her final secret came out.  Her heartbreak there was so hard to see but her strength in doing was she felt was right was wonderful.  She also began to realize that what she felt for Will was more than just attraction but knew there was no future in it.  I loved her confusion on seeing Max again and the way that he and Caro treated her.  She didn't know what to make of it and found she was allowing herself to think she might have a future after all.  I loved the ending and the way that Will worked to make her dreams come true.

Both Elodie and Will had overcome many obstacles to become the people they were now.  It was wonderful to see how those obstacles created a bond between them that made them two halves of a whole.  I am really looking forward to the next two books and wish that it wasn't so long until they are available.

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