Title: The Rake And The Recluse
Author: Jenn LeBlanc
Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn't quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to a horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.
Lord Peregrine Trumbull is a rake of the worst order. As the spare to the heir he went off to the Royal Navy then returned to conquer the young ladies of London. With never a care in the world save his brothers survival (which allows his freedom)
Gideon Alrick Trumbull, 10th Duke of Roxleigh, took the helm of his father's Dukedom much sooner than expected. Now with the weight of his responsibilities heavy on his shoulders, he needs an heir. Unfortunately this first requires that he charm a suitable woman to marriage.
Summary: One minute Francine was in a taxi on her way to an important presentation staring down at a photo, then the next she falls in front of startled horses and before an even more startled Duke. Roxleigh, also known as Gideon holds her close and brings her to his estate, and has a doctor tend to her injuries. When she comes to, she is in a proper bad mood and lets rants run free to his Grace, the Duke. In the process, her throat injury flares up causing her to have no voice. Thank God she knows sign language to communicate. No one has ever done that to him and in turn his interests are piqued and he cant get the feel of her or scent of her out of his head. What they didn't know, was when this occurred, she had been running from the horrid little man, Hepplewort. The man she was betrothed to, thanks to her parents, who sold her to him 10 years before but had to wait till she came of age. As the feeling and connection between Francine and Gideon, the rules of propriety must be taken into account, even if they're misplaced at times and passions flare. The Larrabee's set out to find their daughter, and once found, reclaim her to return her to her betrothed Hepplewort. Gideon is about to offer a solution to keep Francine with him but would ruin him. Younger brother and Viscount Perry step in and takes on the responsibility so his brothers name is not left in ruins. After All, as a rake, his is already questionable. They enter in a contract with the Larrabees and must break the news to Hepplewort that he is no longer betrothed. In which case Hepplewort is not happy at all. Upon learning this, he goes to a ball and interrupts the night when the Duke announces that he is now the betrothed to Francine. Hepplewort wont go soundly and winds up taking her. The Duke sets out to get back the love of his life, even if that means having to throw propriety out and ruin her.
My Thoughts: Jenn LeBlanc is a new author to me. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this book. As the feelings and passion grew i held my breath in anticipation cause i knew they were meant to be. I rejoiced for the characters when they dealt with Hepplewort. There were also times when I laughed out loud. I haven't read a book like this before but I can tell you that Jenn LeBlanc has been put on my favorite authors list. And I cant wait to see what's next. I'm hoping there is a book for the ever elusive rake Perry cause not only did Francine and Gideon steal my heart but so did he. Depending on how you get this book in the paperback there are pictures through out it that depicts the scenes she is writing and they fit so beautifully. The book was lovely. I enjoyed it thoroughly
4.5 stars out of 5