Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas | The Ravenels #1
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
| Book Review |
So…who’s the idiot that waited so long to read this book? Me! And why? Who knows, since I remember waiting on pins and needles for the Wallflowers series as they were coming out. I should have jumped right on this series!
Oh man, there was just so much to love about Cold-Hearted Rake. I did have some issues with the book, too, but let’s focus on the good first since there was so much of it. The fraternal banter in this book, from the get-go, was absolutely spectacular! It’s probably some of the best I’ve read, and that that banter solidified the brothers’ connection and then morphed into West being such a supporter of what Devon was trying to do with Eversby Priory was perfect. On the one hand, I think it’s quite comical how the brothers just embrace the erratic ‘Ravenel’ natures and tempers and through life living hard assuming they’ll have early deaths, but on the other, it’s very sad to think that neither of them can see a future for himself. To think that everything is all laid out for you and you’ll have no hand it changing it is a devastating though. I love that it was Kathleen who saved them both, even if she didn’t mean to. I just love the idea that one event can change the course of your life for the better, especially when it’s so unexpected. Devon’s first meeting with Theo’s widow definitely lived up to the title of this book – cold-hearted rake through and through, and an ass to boot. It’s certainly a title that fits him better than ‘Earl.’ But luckily Devon has an attack of conscience just in time, determined to prove to himself that if Theo could be an Earl, he could, too. And his brother’s doubts just added fuel to the fire – Devon was going to make Eversby Priory prosperous again. In the romance department, this book have a very slow start. But that doesn’t bother me as long as I’m interested in the rest of the story, and I was riveted. This slow start give us a chance to get to know Kathleen and the girls, and to see the friendship between Kathleen and West develop, and I did love their friendship. When the romantic aspect between Kathleen and Devon kicked in, I was thirsty for it, and it was wonderful. There is just something about a hero who is gentle with his heroine even when it feels like an afterthought. It’s like this side of him was there all along, and he just needed someone to show him. There is quite a bit back and forth with them, and I could have done without some of their both running hot and cold, but boy – when they ran hot, they ran really hot! They had chemistry from the beginning even if the romance hadn’t quite kicked in, and it made the payoff that much better. I did love seeing Kathleen bring out the softer side of him, and seeing Devon bring out her sensual side.
So what didn’t I like from this book? When I’m reading romance, I want the POV of the hero, and the POV of the heroine. I’m not a fan of bringing in other people’s PsOV, especially when it’s setting us up for the next book. It feels like I’m trying to be hooked, and for me, I want to see a book stand on its own, making me want to read the next one because that one was so phenomenal. Not because you’ve found a way to work the next story into this one. Unless, it’s nuanced. But I don’t like being slapped in the face with it. And also, want to really rile me up? Then make the epilogue about someone other than the main couple in this book. That’ll get me sputtering for sure. Besides that, this book had such potential as a series starter, because I was already invested in the characters. They didn’t overwhelm the story, and it was nearly flawless. But then I was jarred with PsOV from the people in the next book, and it hindered the pace for me. Also, at the end…why the lie? It made me so mad, was totally unnecessary to the story, and makes me think Devon is a fool for thinking he can ever trust Kathleen. BUT – it was out of character for her, so I’m going to pretend that bit never even happened. I also feel like some of the issues Kathleen and Devon had were never resolved, and it makes me wonder how they’ll handle things in the future.
So, my overall assessment of Cold-Hearted Rake is that there were stellar parts, it was worth the read, and while I may admit it begrudgingly, I am hooked. Klepyas makes magic with everything she writes, even if parts of this story went awry. I will be diving into Marrying Winterborne as soon as I finish writing this review.
Audio Review: I loved this narrator. She did a wonderful job capturing all of the character’s personalities, and quirks, but I especially think she captured the spirit of the brothers relationship so well. And her accent was perfect. I’m thrilled to see she’s narrated the next two books in the series, and I’ll definitely be searching Audible to see if she’s done anything else.
| Rating |
Series: The Ravenels