The Devilish Mr. Danvers(Rakes of Fallow Hall #2)
Avon / April 21, 2015 / $5.99 print, $1.99 digital
In a high-stakes wager, The Rakes of Fallow Hall vowed never to marry. Fate, however, will play the final hand in the newest book from USA Todaybestselling author Vivienne Lorret.
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.
With one lord already fallen to love (see The Elusive Lord Everhart), Rafe Danvers and Lord Montwood remain determined to stave off love inVivienne Lorret‘s The Devilish Mr. Danvers. For the next year, these two men will do whatever it takes to remain single in order to procure the lofty sum of 10,000 pounds at stake from their wager. But as we know, in our historical romances, it is always those that vow to never love or marry again that fall the hardest. And Rafe Danvers is no exception, though he does make a convincing argument for staying a bachelor. Years ago, he was jilted at the altar by his former fiancée, Ursa Sinclair. Older and wiser, he knows better than to make the same mistake twice, and vows to make all Sinclairs his enemy.
Hedley Sinclair, Ursa’s younger sister, is the ugly secret that the Sinclair family keeps hidden away in the attic. That is, until Hedley finally experiences freedom when her grandfather surprisingly leaves her Greyson Park upon his death. Though in shambles, the home is hers and she quickly finds relief from the abusive hands of her mother and sister. All is well, until Rafe declares that he, not she, is the owner of Greyson Park.
While Hedley may be naïve in the ways of womanly aristocratic behavior and the art of flirting, she is no push-over. Hedley is immune to Rafe’s intimidation to relinquish Greyson Park, regardless of how erratic he makes her heart beat.
Instantly her heart squished in that pwum-pum-pum sensation. His hair fell in rakish waves over his forehead, and his darkly rich brown eyes were lit with a devilish gleam that made her stomach bobble.
“A young woman in society usually flirts when given the opportunity.”
How was she supposed to flirt when she could barely think? He stood close enough that she could feel the alluring heat rising from his body. She drew in a breath in an effort to think of a response. When she did, however, her nostrils filled with a pleasant scent that only made her want to draw another breath. It was his fragrance. From their previous encounter, she recognized the woodsy essence and a trace of sweet smoke…
“I am not in society. Nor am I likely to be. Therefore, I have no reason to flirt.”
“You don’t need a reason.” He leaned in, his voice low. The angular cut of his side whiskers seemed to direct her gaze towards his mouth. “Flirting is a skill. You use it to get what you want.”
…He moved closer, but she dared not imagine that he was under the same trance. No, he was far too skilled in the ways of society for that. Even so the curve of his knuckles brushed her cheek. “What shade of pink do you suppose this is?”
“And that was a terrible change of topic.” Believing that he was speaking of one of the colored glass vases in the cabinet, she looked them over. She found deep red, the color of merlot; a vase, bright and clear as a summer sky; and daffodil yellow, among other hues.
“Besides, I see no pink.”
“No, this color. Here.” His thumb caressed her cheek, his fingers settling beneath her jaw…
“Is this a lesson in flirting, or is the color of actual importance?”
Abruptly, he turned from her and headed toward a tasseled bell pull on the far wall. It was almost as if he suddenly wanted to put as much distance between them as possible.
She had her answer. He was only flirting in order to gain something. The only thing she possessed that Rafe Danvers wanted, however, was not for sale. No matter how tempting the currency, she would not give him Greyson Park.
As the two fight to possess Greyson Park, we see how very right these two seemingly opposites are for one another. Even though he vowed to make every Sinclair his enemy, Rafe can’t help but be charmed by this odd, yet strong-willed and innocent spinster. And Hedley is no match for Rafe’s charm and convictions to do what is just. This was another read that kept me up well into the middle of the night and dare I say this pairing has joined the ranks of some of my favorites, including Leo Hathaway and Catherine Marks (Married by Morning) and Ralston and Callie (Nine Rules to Break While Romancing a Rake). The Devilish Mr. Danvers, in my opinion, is Lorret’s best one yet.