Enter below to Win a Print Bundle of Rhymes with Love Series Books 1-4
Coming to London to be introduced to society and find a husband was Lavinia Tempest's dearest wish. Unfortunately, her dazzling debut was ruined with a tumble at Almack's and a scandal her mother caused years ago. Lavinia's sister, Louisa has found love and happiness and while she is happy for her sister, she still feels a bit out of sorts. Lavinia is determined to be a proper lady and to follow her list of dos and don'ts, but can she overcome the shadows that are trailing her and find happiness of her own.
Alaster “Tuck” Rowland, Lord Charleton's nephew and heir, is known to be a bit of a ne'er do well. Many believe him to be a coward that abandoned his closest friends by not joining them in war and he does little to prove them wrong. He wagers that he can turn Lavinia into the finest lady, but is surprised to find himself entranced by her.
Elizabeth Boyle is one of my favorite historical romance authors, The Knave of Hearts reinforced why I like her books so much. She spins a tale of romance with characters that you want to meet and know first hand. She knows how to weave bits of humor with the drama and romance without becoming slap-sticky.
Tuck and Lavinia had great chemistry, and I couldn't wait for their HEA (happily ever after). I loved the way they interacted and kind of wish that they came together physically earlier in the book... Tuck had great intentions as he turned Lavinia into a lady, but he saw that what he loved most about her was when she was herself.
I also liked how this book retold part of Louisa's story in Lavinia's voice. It's fun to see other characters perspectives of different situations.
From the Publisher:
In the fifth novel of the captivating Rhymes with Love
series from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle, a young woman’s
hopes of a match encounter a wickedly handsome complication…
Lavinia Tempest has been eagerly anticipating a
spectacular Season. But one disastrous pile-up on the Almack’s dance floor
derails all her plans. Add to that, the very stunning revelations about her
mother’s scandalous past have become the ton’s latest on dits. Lavinia’s future
has gone from shining bright to blackest night in one misstep.
Alaster “Tuck” Rowland admits he’s partly to blame for
Lavinia’s disastrous debut. But it’s not guilt that compels him to restore her
reputation. Rather, he’s placed a wager that he can make Lavinia into of the
most sought-after ladies in London. Who better than an unrepentant rake to set
Tuck’s motives are hardly noble. But in teaching the
lovely Lavinia how to win any man she wants, he suddenly finds himself tangled
in the last place he ever imagined: in love.
ELIZABETH BOYLE has always loved romance and
now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as “page-turners.” Since her first book was published, she’s seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and win the RWA RITA Award and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice awards. She resides in Seattle
with her family, her garden and always growing collection of yarn. Readers canvisit her on the Web at www.elizabethboyle.com.
For a young lady who had made a study of all things proper, Miss Lavinia Tempest always seemed to find her fair share of mishaps.
The small fire at Foxgrove. The bunting incident of ’08. And the rather infamous trampling at the Midsummer’s Eve ball two years earlier.
Sir Roger still claimed he didn’t miss those toes.
Of course, he was joking. He’d been very fond of those toes.
And worse, every time Lavinia attended a ball, soiree, or even just the weekly meetings of the Society for the Temperance and Improvement of Kempton, someone (usually Mrs. Bagley-Butterton) had to remind one and all of one of her more recent follies.
So when Lavinia entered the hallowed halls of Almack’s, it was with, she vowed, a fresh start.
A clean slate.
And so it seemed she was right. No one pulled their hem out of the way as she drew near for fear of it being trod upon or worse, the lace being completely ripped away. No one whispered behind their fan, or laid wagers as to who or what would be broken by the end of the evening.
She was, for the first time in her life, merely Miss Tempest, the daughter of the respected scholar, Sir Ambrose Tempest.
“It is just as I imagined,” she said in awe as she and her sister Louisa handed over their vouchers. The perfect place to launch herself into the lofty reaches of London Society.
After all, she’d spent most of the afternoon planning out her evening (when she hadn’t been reading her favorite Miss Darby novel).
First and foremost, she was wearing her new gown—a demure and respectable dress done in the latest stare of modest fashion. And while she had longed for brilliant sapphire silk that had been on the shelf at the modiste’s shop, that color would never do for a debut such as this.
After all, the very rule was on her list:
Proper Rule No. 3. An unmarried lady always wears demure and respectable colors. Such as white. Or a pale yellow. Or an apple green, but only if the occasion permits.
So the blue silk could only be eyed from a distance, and she’d consigned herself to the muslin, for propriety was the order of the evening.
That is if she was to gain the highest obligation of every young lady making her debut Season in London:
Proper Rule No. 1. Marriage to a respectable, sensible, well-ordered gentleman is the order of business for every proper lady.
So she had the gown, entrance into the very heart of the Marriage Mart, and now all she had to do was finish the evening without incident.
But this was Lavinia Tempest, and that was easier said than done.
“No dancing,” Louisa whispered to her as their chaperone, Lady Aveley, led them into the Wednesday evening crush. Her sister held out her hand, pinky extended, and Lavinia wrapped her own finger around it and the two sisters bound their promise together.
In Lavinia’s defense, she had made her promise most faithfully with every intention of remaining safely at the side of the dance floor.
She had demurred when Lord Ardmore had asked. Begging off in a charming fashion that she was “too nervous to dance,” this being her first visit to Almack’s.
She’d even refused the very handsome and dashing Baron Rimswell—though she had been sorely tested for it was only a simple reel, but then one glance at Lord Rimswell’s glossy boots and she’d thought better of it and remained firm to her promise.
But apparently no one had told Mr. Alaster Rowland. Now in his favor, Mr. Rowland’s boots hadn’t a fine gloss and he was rather squiffy from an indeterminate amount of brandy, so even if she had stepped on him, he was drunk enough that it would most likely dull the pain.