Alys, has for the past four years worked as a Estate Manager for Strickland. Very few know that the estate manager is a woman. Alys has had to do everything to make a life for herself; and its been far from easy. When she overhears a conversation that her fiancee is only marrying her for her money, and to learn her father sides with him, she runs away and never returns. Now she has made a success at being a manger, and has improved Strickland more than any other manager has ever done. She has three wards, that are like her own children, knowing that she may never have any of her own, now that she has recently turned 30. Then she learns that she has a new boss, Reginald Davenport. Reggie has made a life of debauchery, drinking, gambling. He feels as if he is losing himself with all of the drinking but doesn't know how to stop. When his cousin, the Earl, gives him no choice but to take responsibility over Strickland, which is his families ancestral estate that was lost to him. With no allowance now from his cousin, he decides to go to the country, and settle in his new estate, where he meets his estate manager and much to his surprise is a woman. At first he is skeptical keeping a woman on for a man's job, but when he starts to see how much she has done for the estate, he keeps her on. A battle of wills forms between two people, where a explosion of passion erupts, a passion that could either save or destroy them.
The Rake is the second installment in the Davenport family. As far as I can tell there are only two connecting books in the series. For a while I have heard so many good things about this book and this author. This is my first time reading her, and after reading The Rake, I have no idea I waited so long to try this author out. The Rake was a stirring and emotionally driven story that was very intense at times. The story starts out slowly but definitely speeds up once Alys and Reggie begin to have a sizzling chemistry. The plot is full of a few twists and turns but nothing that totally shocks the reader. The theme of this story was unique and I enjoyed the way this author played out the story. The hero is a bit darker than I expected. Reggie is a alcoholic and you see how for some people alcohol makes people do things they would never do otherwise. I loved how Alys realizes Reggie's problem and doesn't just abandon him, but fights for him every step of the way. The story between them is tender and enduring.
Overall I would say this was one of my top favorite historical romances I have read in a while. Even though it took a while for me to get fully into the story, by the time I was about halfway through it, I was enthralled. This story is poignant and powerful, full of heart wrenching emotion that you will need quite a few tissues. A memorable love story that will steal your heart!!