I recently listened to the Audible edition of Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas. I have enjoyed many of Kleypas’ historical romance novels, and when this book popped up as part of an Audible sale, I took the opportunity to catch up on her return to the genre.
Devon Ravenel never expected to inherit his cousin’s title, and he journeys to his new manor house with the intent to sell the estate in parcels to pay off debts. However, upon his arrival, Devon becomes reacquainted with his three cousins, whose future is dependent on him now that their brother is dead.
The household also includes Kathleen, who had recently married the Earl of Trenear and now finds herself widowed and alone. She sees Devon’s arrival as an annoying interference, and she is especially disgusted by his plans to sell off the estate. Can she persuade him to change his mind?
This is a wonderful example of the enemies to friends trope. I enjoyed watching Devon and Kathleen’s relationship develop over the course of the novel. This was definitely not a case of insta-love. They each have qualms about commitment that they need to overcome as they consider what they mean to each other.
Another thing that I liked about this book is the inclusion of top-notch secondary plotlines. It is not terribly common for books in the genre to have narrative from the point of view of a secondary character, but it worked well here. It also set up the second book in the series very nicely.
I would absolutely recommend Cold-Hearted Rake. Devon and Kathleen are both likeable, and they have good chemistry. The secondary characters are well rounded as well; I especially enjoyed the twins. As soon as this book ended, I was ready to start the next book in the series! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the Ravenels series in the future!