Monday, 8 April 2013
Book Review: Ruined by a Rake by Erin Knightley
Author: Erin Knightley
Publish Date: March 31st 2013
It started with a kiss.
When nine-year-old Eleanor Abbington first met her uncle’s new stepson, Nicolas Norton, the boy rudely stole a kiss from her that set the tone for their contentious and competitive relationship. It wasn’t until years later when Nick introduced her to fencing that they finally had a proper outlet for their frequent arguments.
Having just emerged from mourning following her mother’s death, Eleanor is exactly where she wishes to be at the age of four-and-twenty: an on-the-shelf spinster and unofficial companion to her aunt. Unfortunately, her ambitious uncle has other plans for her future. On the eve of his house party, he lays down his ultimatum: either Eleanor marries the man of his choosing, or he'll force her seventeen-year-old sister to do so instead.
When Nick unexpectedly arrives on their doorstep after a two year absence, Eleanor is in no mood for their normal banter. Seeming to know exactly what she needs, Nick challenges her to pick up the foil once more. During their pre-dawn matches, he shows her just how strong she can be . . . and exactly how much he’s changed since leaving. But when her old adversary becomes her only ally, she may very well find herself . . . Ruined by a Rake.
Since their first meeting, Eleanor and Nick have been squabbling and teasing each other. When they're together again as adults, a growing friendship and chemistry appears.
I thought the characters were great, especially for a novella. Eleanor was fab; she's determined not to end up in an unhappy marriage like her parents and is happily resigned to spending her days as a companion to her aunt. Unfortunately, her Uncle decides to force her to marry one of his political allies, or else force her innocent young sister to marry one of them. Eleanor has great spirit, but she becomes resigned to her fate as she struggles to find a solution.
When Nick returns home from the militia, he finds tension in the household and a withdrawn Eleanor. Nick has always loved Eleanor, though he's never let her see it! He helps her to find her strength, and in the process a new chemistry flares up between them. Nick is also a brilliant hero, he's dependable and caring- and he has developed some rather fine muscles in his absence, which Eleanor can't fail to notice!
The development in their romance was very sweet and Nick definitely comes to the rescue. The pacing was surprisingly good- sometimes novellas can feel very rushed. The ending was very quickly resolved, but it was very satisfying.
Overall, a lovely and quick read, with humour and a sweet romance!