Title: Never Kiss A Rake
Genre: Historical Romance/ Suspense
Author: Anne Stuart
Publisher: Montlake Romance, August 2013
Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from amazon.com:
Anguished by death. Driven by revenge.
Bryony Russell and her two sisters are left destitute by the disgrace and unexpected death of their father, a wealthy shipping magnate. He left a cryptic note, and Bryony is determined to find the real villain and clear her father’s name. In disguise as a servant, Bryony infiltrates the home of her father’s business partner to find proof of his guilt…or innocence. It’s not just clues that Bryony finds, but temptation too…
Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, immediately suspects there is something not quite right about his new housekeeper. The brooding, irresistible rake plays along because he has his own guilty secrets, and his venal, scheming wife holds the key to them, trapping him in a hate-filled marriage. But against his will he’s fascinated by Bryony, seeing past the scars on her face to show her the beauty she never knew she had. Bryony must uncover the truth and attempt to preserve her father’s legacy, before things go too far and she falls in love with a man who might very well be her worst enemy.
Anne Stuart is known for writing dark heroes and Adrian is the cynical, dark hero in this book. We really don’t know whether to like him or not; he is flawed, he is married and he is a self confessed womanizer. Bryony is naive but on a mission to find out who killed her father.
If Bryony’s innocence is a bit over the top then I can forgive that. Some plot points are arguable, like finding massive amounts of blood in a trashed room and not calling it to anyone’s attention. This lack is explained away but not to my satisfaction. Minor complaints aside this is a good suspenseful mystery. This is well written and characterizations are spot on. There is a psychopathic villain who is also an evil genius. The seduction and sex scenes are sizzling.
This is the first book in Ms Stuart’s latest trilogy and there are indications at the end of the book as to what may come next.