Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Boyle

I hope you read ALONG CAME A DUKE, book one in the Rhymes With Love series by Elizabeth Boyle after I reviewed and recommended it last June because the next book in the series, AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE is coming March 26th. It might not be quite as excellent but it has its moments and it stars Lord Henry Seldon, the sensible uncle of the Duke from book one. Besides, Elizabeth always gets beautiful covers. 
***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


Daphne Dale never could have imagined that when she answered an advertisement in the newspaper that she would find true love. Now she has the opportunity to meet her unknown suitor, but it means traveling to Tabitha’s wedding, and into the heart of her family’s sworn enemies. Everyone knows the Seldons are terrible rakes and bounders, but Daphne will risk anything to gain the happiness she is certain is right around the corner.

Lord Henry Seldon is aghast at the latest addition to the house party guest list—one would think after the unforgettable scandal Daphne Dale caused at the duke’s engagement ball, she wouldn’t dare show her face at the duke’s wedding. But here she is, poking her nose where she shouldn’t and driving Henry mad . . . with an unforgettable passion that will turn enemies into lovers.

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I was eager for this story after being introduced to Henry and Daphne in ALONG CAME A DUKE. Lord Henry Seldon, being Preston's uncle, and Daphne, one of Tabitha's dearest friends. Henry had already become a favorite of mine and I knew that Preston just wasn't going to allow his uncle off the hook too easily.
Lord Henry Seldon is deluged with letters due to his younger nephew by 6 months putting an ad in the newspaper as a joke after a night of drinking. Henry is not happy. Unlike the rest of the Seldon family, Henry is not one to deliberately create scandal. He decides to destroy the letters, but one catches Henry’s attention and he decides to reply.

Daphne Dale has responded to an advertisement in the newspaper for a gentleman seeking a sensible woman to wed. Finding no humor in such a display of insincerity, she sends a letter to "Mr. Dishforth" to tell him that his jest is not at all funny and signs it "Miss Spooner." She did not expect to receive a reply. But before long, a heartfelt correspondence begins and thoughts of meeting begin to surface. 

When Henry and Daphne meet at Tabitha and Preston’s engagement ball, they both feel in instant attraction. Each is secretly hoping they've met their secret pen pal. Unfortunately, they quickly learn who the other is and the feud that exists between their families cause problems to surface. The Dales and the Seldons have never along well, ever, and the topic of the feud is not allowed in polite company. Henry and Daphne are forced to fight their attraction and each decides the other most certainly couldn't be the wonderful person with whom they've been corresponding. Of course, this only causes more trouble. Determined to meet their secret loves, Tabitha and Preston's wedding seems the most amicable place, or not.

Reading AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Boyle is like experiencing a regency edition of YOU'VE GOT MAIL, or even more so, the original story on which it was based, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER - since they're corresponding by real letters and not email. Throw in some family feuding a la ROMEO AND JULIET and you have the premise of this delightful tale of pen pals falling in love, misguided information, stifled attractions, a feud that's never quite explained, and a certain amount of deception to round it out. The cast of characters brings humor and subterfuge to the story, although having met Henry previously, I found Daphne's belief that he is an unreformable rake at tad irritating at times. I adore Henry and found myself wanting to slap her and tell her to wake up, that he was nothing like she assumed. Eventually, Henry holds his own against the reputation of the Seldons and is just Henry, which is just fine by me. Daphne eventually realizes she's known the real Henry all along through his letters. 


What took a bit of enjoyment away from the antics of matchmaking family members, good friends, and boisterous family get togethers, was the rushed ending, and an epilogue that seems to have been tacked on as an afterthought. Apart from that, I found AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Boyle to be nearly as delightfully fun-filled, romantic, and humorous as ALONG CAME A DUKE but most certainly a wonderful installment of the Rhymes With Love series. I'm eagerly awaiting Harriet's and Roxley's story, for surely it must be coming next - I hope.

If you're a fan of this series, you won't want to miss AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Doyle. It's a light-hearted, romantic historical romance that certainly doesn't take itself too seriously.

AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE, a Rhymes With Love novel by Elizabeth Boyle, Avon Romance, release date - March 26, 2013 and will be available in print and ebook formats.


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