THE REDEMPTION OF LORD RAWLINGS
House of Renwick Series, Book 3
RACHEL VAN DYKEN
29 March 2012
Regency Historical Romance
Rating: 5 Cups
Miss Abigail Bates has been in love with the wicked Earl of Rawlings since being a little girl in pigtails. The Earl, however, cannot see the young woman she has become. Taking the courtship into her own hands, the debutante buys a new wardrobe to display her womanly charms better and begins her pursuit of the wayward earl in earnest. When the rumor hits the ton that the Earl must either marry or face debtor's prison, she redoubles her efforts to insure she will be his bride.
Due to provisions with his father's will, Phillip Crawford, Eighth Earl of Rawlings, is broke. His father's will requires he marry or lose his vast inheritance—and the clock is ticking. He resents being forced to change his lifestyle, which revolves around alcohol and loose women. Fortunately, Sebastian St. James, an old friend and the Duke of Tempest, is willing to assist in his reformation, if he decides to enter the marriage mart.
The wicked Earl is astounded to discover the only woman who interests him is little Abigail Bates. How can he be attracted to the child whose scrapes and bruises he has tended? So he denies his attraction to the beautiful young woman, sister of the Duchess of Tempest, although she throws herself in his path at every opportunity. Still she makes him wish for more. After years of misbehaving, can he acknowledge his feelings for the extraordinary woman who is convinced he is a good and capable man?
The Redemption of Lord Rawlings is Regency Romance at its best. A dedicated reader of Regencies will enjoy the conflict between the debutante and the rake, the humorous exchanges between the leg-shackled nobles and the Earl who must join their ranks against his will, not to mention the twists and turns of the ton. Woven throughout are the delightful newspaper articles of Miss Peabody's Society Papers as she chronicles the developing romance of the Earl and Abigail. Although The Redemption of Lord Rawlings is a stand-alone novel, it is the third book in the House of Renwick series. Ms. Van Dyken does an outstanding job of integrating the characters from the previous novels into Lord Rawlings's tale without revealing too much of earlier plots. The Ugly Duckling Debutant and The Seduction of Sebastian St. James have been added to this reader's To Be Read list.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More