Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Disgrace a Lady - Bronwyn Scott (HH #1104 - Sept 2012)

Series: Rakes Beyond Redemption (Book 1) 

Merrick's season of outrageous scandal has taken a challenging turn. Caught in a -- far less than usually -- compromising situation with Lady Alixe Burke, this so-called gentleman is tasked by her father with making his daughter marriageable!

Lady Alixe, more happy in the library than the ballroom, is most definitely left-on-the-shelf material. He'll never walk away from a wager, but Merrick's expertise extends way beyond society etiquette. Never before entrusted with a woman's modesty, Merrick sets about teaching her everything he knows… 

Fun book.  Merrick was at the house party to escape some of his more scandalous behavior.  Then he was caught with Alixe, thought it wasn't quite compromising enough to force marriage.  Alixe's father required that Merrick simply pay enough attention to her to make her more interesting to more suitable men.  Alixe has purposely made herself unappealing.  She is much happier doing her historical research and translating and has no interest in being some man's trophy.  She isn't happy about her father's decree, but has to go along with it.  As they spend time together, Merrick finds that he's enjoying his time with Alixe, and she finds that life outside the library can be pretty interesting.  I ended up really liking both Merrick and Alixe.  Merrick starts out showing his irresponsibility and rakish tendency.  When he first encounters Alixe, he is naked from swimming in a pond.  He is intrigued by her lack of squeamishness, and continues his flirtation later when he meets her again.  I loved the way that Merrick starts to forget his rake persona when he talks to her about her studies and gets involved in what she is doing.  He is still determined to help her find the "right" husband, since he feels he would never be suitable.  I really enjoyed the way he got her to wear different clothes, and the way she got her revenge.  As the time goes on it becomes obvious that he is falling for her, though he doesn't want to admit it.  Alixe is pretty smart in the way she has tried to arrange her life.  She knows what she does and doesn't want and isn't afraid to go after it.  She has purposely dressed and acted in a way to discourage suitors.  She enjoyed her time in the library with Merrick, when she discovered that there was more to him than she had suspected.  When she gets stuck with having "lessons" from him she isn't happy about it, but decides to make the best of it.  She finds that she enjoys his company, and that he tends to bring out the fun side of her.  She falls in love with him, but doesn't believe that he can change enough to be a good husband.  When her father picks an unscrupulous man to marry her Merrick has to be able to step up. I think my favorite thing about this book was the banter between Merrick and Alixe.  They played off each other beautifully. I loved the finale to this book.

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