Despite the fact that I seriously dislike the cover of this book, I still read it because the premise sounded interesting. And it was! I mean, a rake being forced to make a girl marriage material? Sounds like She's All That historical romance style!
Unfortunately, it didn't have all the amazing tension She's All That had for me (I'm a sap, ok? I love that movie). Our rake realized pretty soon that he was falling for the lady in question and she reciprocated, thereby not making for jealous moments and such, because there was only the treath of an unwanted suitor and that was it. I mean, except for one tiny moment, she didn't even flirt with other random men. And I so love it when they go all jealous alpha-male because of 'their' lady flirting with some other men, or their interpretation of them doing so.
But I did really like both of the main characters. Alixe was an intelligent woman, though I did kind of think she didn't have a lot of reasons for keeping herself away from men. It wasn't as if she'd loved someone and he'd only been after her money or something to make her shut herself away. I also did some eye-rolling at the notion of only a change of dress revealing her as a beauty, I mean, COME ON, most pretty girls can wear basically anything and still remain pretty.
Merrick stole my heart with his reformed rake being. He was a completely loveable scoundrel and I kinda like that! He does go from being all 'I will never be married' to 'MARRY ME! RIGHT NOW!' in the space of a day or so, which was somewhat unbelievable, but since he was directing his attentions towards a love interest that had my approval, I was somewhat ok with this. I really liked his shamelessness, strutting around naked and such.
The thing that made this only an ok book for me was that I didn't feel the tension between them. Not even when she refused to marry him. And the sexytimes weren't all that sexy. I did enjoy the moments in which they were just getting to know one another and they discovered shared interests, but I LIVE for the tension in these romance novels.
My rating: 2,5 stars