You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom—unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…
What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…
Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms…
The sequel to How to Dance with a Duke starts off a few weeks after the conclusion of the book. Once again, we see ourselves in similar circumstances as the previous book. A ball is taking place at the house of our dashing hero, Lord Alec Deveril, and two young girls making cruel remarks about the three heroines of the series aka the Ugly Ducklings. This book concerns Juliet who was once the most outgoing girl of the trio but now is silent, albeit resilient. But all is about to change with a mystery involving a dear friend of Juliet's and the seedy underworld of London.
Okay, I’m falling in love again with this author! Yes, there are details of this book that readers of her first will say are similar, such as the mystery element and another missing person but I must say this is another little gem from this author. In the previous book, we were introduced to Juliet who is the youngest of three girls. Her mother, Lady Shelby, happens to be a tyrant and we saw examples of it in the first book. The actions in How to Romance a Rake take the cake and puts her in the company of some of the worse cads and rogues of society. However, we have a rake in the midst of all this who is more of a gentleman than the ton knows and thinks to believe.
Lord Alec has an unsavoury reputation as a rake. His father's and uncle’s position in the ton have left the family reputation in tatters. Both rakes, they had a number of flings with maids and sired children out of the union. (In fact, one of the characters in this book is thought to be a child of the uncle's.) Alec has managed to steer his family name back in the good books of the ton but he needs a wife to cement his position and protect his sisters. He searches for a wife from a favourable background that he no interest in or is attracted to. He carries a secret that known could blacken his family name forever.
Juliet has a secret stemming from an accident when she was fifteen that would cause the ton to be in uproar and would probably lead to her name being blackened. As a result of her accident, she has become shy and withdrawn. Alec can’t help being drawn to her and Juliet feels the inexorable pull to him as well. Sparks are flying but will that enable Alec to change his mind about his ideal wife?
I’m craving more from this author and can’t wait until her next book comes out which, blessfully, is a short wait as one is due for release in June. Manda Collins is not a author you want to miss in historical or contemporary romance. 4.5 stars. You can’t help falling in love with these two and avidly following them through all their trials and tribulations.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley