Series: Ransleigh Rogues (Book 1)
Once a rake...
Known as "Magnificent Max," diplomat Max Ransleigh was famed for his
lethal charm until a political betrayal left him exiled from government
and his reputation in tatters. He seems a very unlikely savior for a
well-bred young lady.
Except that Miss Caroline Denby doesn't want to be saved...she wants to
be ruined! To Caroline, getting married is tantamount to a death
sentence, and meeting the rakish Max at a house party seems the answer
to her prayers... Surely this rogue won't hesitate to put his bad
reputation to good use?
Good book. Max is back in England after a political misstep that has left his reputation ruined. He and his cousin are visiting his aunt, who is holding a houeparty. Caro is there under duress. Her stepmother really wants her to get married and Caro has no desire to do so. She is happy running the stud that she and her father started. She comes up with the idea that if she were to be ruined no one would want her and she could go back to her life. When she asks Max to help her he declines. When another guest accosts her in attempt to force a marriage Max comes to her rescue but is accused of being the one who attacked her. Though they attempt to avoid it, they do end up marrying. Now they have to decide how to deal with each other.
I really liked Caro. She is an interesting combination of worldly and innocent. Her father treated her more like a son than a daughter so she is used to speaking her mind. She also has never learned any of the things that girls are usually taught and instead knows the ins and outs of the stud business and training horses. That is all she wants to do. I loved the way she came up with the idea of how to avoid marriage, but she did have a bit of trouble realizing that the consequences could be worse than she thought. I loved her conversations with Max about the subject and how easily they related to each other. She also had a wonderful way of standing up for Max whenever anyone tried to say bad things about him. I really loved the way she spoke to his father at the wedding and how much it meant to Max. I loved the way that she was so adamant that he not be blamed for what wasn't his fault and her determination to free him from responsibility. When circumstances then forced her to go to him for help I loved the way that she explained things and gave him the options she did. She really didn't expect to come to care for him and to want to give in to the attraction. Her biggest fear about the physical side of marriage was her fear of dying in childbirth as did so many of her relatives. I really liked the way that she didn't whine and moan and went on with life. She involved Max in her work in case the worst happened which brought them even closer. The more time they were together the more their feelings grew, even though neither wished to admit it.
Max had come home in disgrace and was basically hiding out with his cousin while he tried to figure out what to do. His world as he knew it had come crashing down with the end of all his plans for the future. He was surprised by Caro's proposition and was gentleman enough to refuse to do such a thing. But he was definitely intrigued by her. Behind the horrible gowns she wore he could see how attractive she was. He also found her to be completely different than any other woman he had known. Her honest speech and sense of humor really appealed to him, but he had no intention of pursuing a woman while his life was in chaos. I liked the way he tried to stay away from her while still wanting to make sure she was safe. His rescue of her from the overzealous suitor was typical of his personality even though he was accused of being the one to attack her. He accepted her wishes and did not force a marriage on her but made sure she knew he was available if she needed him. He was stunned at her arrival later begging for his help to save her horses, but couldn't resist saying yes. I loved the way he appreciated how her mind worked when she told him her plan. He was so patient with her as he did his best to seduce her. Their passion was incredible when they did get together which made his surprise at her refusal to continue that much stronger. I loved the way that he returned to her after his trip to Vienna and stayed with her as they got to know each other better. His growing happiness with her did a lot to soothe his soul. I loved his refusal to give up on her at the end and how everything turned out for them.
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