Lisa Kleypas's romances where among the very first historical romances I ever read and although I own a few of her contemporaries I have never been able to sink into them in the same way I have her historom. I was thrilled to hear she was returning to Avon for new set of historical romances but I was half-afraid to read them in case I had lost my taste for them.
Cold-Hearted Rake is the story Devon Ravenel, dissolute gentleman who unexpectedly find himself an Earl and responsible for decaying estate. Although eager to rid himself of the estate and resume his old life in London when Devon is confronted with his cousin's guilt-ridden and contrary young widow Kathleen and her long-neglected sisters-in-law, Helen, Pandora & Cassandra he finds himself agreeing to try to save the estate.
While I enjoyed Devon & Kathleen's sparring in letters and in person the romance between the rake and virgin-widow did sizzle or command as much of my attention as the delightfully interesting secondary characters. The Ravenel sisters are delightful. I loved self-contained Helen and boisterous and unruly Pandora and Cassandra and I was fascinated by West's transformation from drunk to capable steward.