Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reforming a Rake by Suzanne Enoch

Book Description:
A governess must never be alone with a man. Her reputation mustn't have even a hint of scandal. She must never reveal personal emotions. No matter how strong the provocation by her employer. A governess never questions her employer's commands. Even when he's tempting her to forsake respectability for desire? She must never, ever, fall in love with someone above her station. Especially a rake - no matter how devastating his kisses may be ... 

Alexandra Gallant is a governess extraordinaire - and if it weren't for that unfortunate incident at her last position, she wouldn't now be forced into the employ of Lucien Balfour, the most notorious rake in London. Though the sinfully attractive earl hired her to teach his young cousin, his seductive whispers and toe-curling kisses suggest he has something far less respectable in mind . . . And that will never happen. For although Lucien seems determined to teach her about pleasure, she has a few lessons to teach him about love!

Quickie Review: I love, love, loved this regency which really was about reforming a rake!  Lucien Balfour has a horrible reputation as a lady-killer, but the highborn governess he hires to teach his cousin finishing etiquette so he can marry her off, changes him into a better man. Of course there are plenty of bumps along the way, and Alexandra, the governess, was a bit too stubborn in her ways for my liking, but by the end I had tears in my eyes when these two finally have their happy ending.

Lucien is the kind of rakish hero I love.  Big, bad and oh-so swoon-worthy.  Women drop at his feet - except Alexandra - although inside she's melting at his advances.  Lucien has hired her because he's been saddled with his cousin and her mother - two women he wants to get rid of as soon as possible.  As far as he's concerned, they are uncouth, uncivilized and have absolutely no taste.  He needs someone to whip them into shape so he can introduce them to society - and marry the cousin off - and have her mother go with her!  As soon as Alexandra, who's much in need of a position, takes on the job she realizes Lucien is going to be harder to teach than his cousin!  He can't help coming onto her from the beginning, and she is constantly berating him, while trying not to melt in his arms!  Eventually, he becomes too hard to resist, and against her better judgment she succumbs to his charms.  But, I have to hand it to her, she put up a good fight and he didn't make it easy to resist.  

I really enjoyed the back and forth between Alexandra and Lucien, but in the end, I felt that Alexandra needed to give him more of a break once it was clear he loved her.  Her doubts about him were based on the fact that he is notorious and what could he possibly see in a governess, other than the challenge of seducing her. She finds it hard to believe his feelings for her are true - but he really is in love and he goes towards great lengths to prove it to her - even locking her in his basement!  Still, that's not enough, despite her desire for him.  She ultimately leaves him and goes to teach at the same girl's school she attended herself.  He comes after her, a poignant scene, ready to do anything she asks of him, but she is unconvinced that they are meant for one another.  I found it hard to forgive her for what she put him through at that time, but it was a very satisfying end by the time she comes to her senses and realizes she can't live without him.

I recommend this delightful book, first in the With This Ring Series. I'm really starting to love this author!


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