My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As children, they were the best of friends. Over time they grew apart. Smiles faded and they became jaded. Now he needs her help in more ways than he thinks.
To Redeem a Rake features Lord Daniel Winterbourne, the Earl of Montfort (who we first met in The Lure of a Rake) and Miss Daphne Smith, both broken people who grew up together in the country, but stopped associating with one another as teenagers.
…his bond with the marquess remained strong enough that they were friends even still. Whereas Daphne had been severed from his life like a thread dangling from his sleeve.
Daniel is in dun territory and is known around London as an unrepentant rake, a destructive path he embarked on after his family life shattered. His younger sister, Lady Alice, has been removed from her boarding school and must be introduced to polite society. Unfortunately, Daniel forgot to retrieve Alice, and Daphne decides that it’s time to finally revisit an old friend… not only to remind him of his responsibility to his family, but also to his own well-being.
Despite a childhood injury that never healed correctly, Daphne is determined to make her way in life. The people of this era are unkind to those who are imperfect, and she struggles to obtain the references needed to obtain employment. Daphne takes a position as companion to Alice, and not only befriends the young lady, but also rekindles her friendship with Daniel. They both quickly discover that there’s more than friendship at stake, and the path to opening their guarded hearts is a long road.
“Daphne Smith, an old injured leg would never stop you from marching on the king’s forces if you so chose. I would favor any wager with you and your limp over a gentleman without.”
This book is a journey of both Daphne and Daniel working through their pasts and reconciling that with their present lives. Daniel had a lot of maturing to do and Daphne provided the stability he needed to do so. Daphne needed to learn that she wasn’t seen by everyone as a ‘cripple’ and Daniel proved that to her in both words and actions. Alice provided a great balance to the two and reminded Daniel of how important your family is.
“Do you know what I believe, Daniel?” his sister asked softly. “I think Miss Smith has been a good influence on you and reminds you of who you once were. I just wish I had known you then.”
To Redeem a Rake is available now on Kindle Unlimited or as an eBook ($4).