Review: Never Resist a Rake (Somerfield Park #2) by Mia Marlowe
Released: June 2, 2015
Reviewed by Sheena
John Fitzhugh Barrett is surprised to discover that instead of being a bastard, he’s the legitimate heir to the Somerset marquessate. Once word gets out that he must continue the Somerset line, eligible bachelorettes from across the country descend upon Somerfield Park, hoping to snatch John up before it’s too late. But John has no interest in a woman who’s only after his title.
Rebecca Kearsey, the daughter of a threadbare viscount, is the only one who understands. However, as her desire for John begins to build, she becomes painfully aware that she isn’t considered grand enough by Polite Society to be a future marchioness. Intrigued by the idea of challenging society’s rigid values, John’s interest in Rebecca grows. But can she show him that love is more than just childish rebellion?
This is the story of two people who lived their lives believing themselves not quite good enough, for a title and especially not good enough to survive the ranks of the elite, exclusive shark society of the ton. The premise is interesting enough, though this novel was not as easy breezy as I rather expect historical romances to be. It felt a little weighed down and heavy as if the author had to do some wrangling with the plot and those struggles created fissures that shined through as I read the story. John was an average hero. I did not enjoy meeting him as an underground fighter and I didn’t really buy his rags to riches twist of fate. However, what I did enjoy was how he remained true to himself and though his status and finances improved significantly, he did not become a snob but a hero and savior of sorts to Rebecca after saving her from a fatal near miss.
Rebecca was the daughter of a viscount, but barely above poverty in truth. She is a sweet young woman and I rather liked her! Wise beyond her years and ready to fall in love, she does not let her lowly status and ton disapproval hold her down. She has aspirations and a genuine affection for John that was sweet to witness. House Parties, viper tongues, rumors and social politics are at the center of this period romance and I can appreciate that John remained loyal to Rebecca, even when it would have been far more typical for him to take his new found clout and become a rogue among men. Sure, initially, his every intention was to lay every desirable lady whose shifts he could creep under, but once he knew Rebecca was the one for him, he became determined to not only have her, but use any ploy at his disposal to get his new family and “friends” accept his betrothal to the lowly Rebecca Kearsey. Even going so far as a bait and switch, with another highly unsuitable match for John’s hand.
“If your family thinks you’re likely to offer for Lady Chloe, perhaps they would decide I was a more conventional choice. It would smooth the way for them to accept me.”
“I don’t care about making it easy for them” A little bitterness crept back into his tone. “It’s you I’m concerned about. I don’t want them giving you a moment’s grief.”
She kissed him again, gently this time, unhurried by passion…
John and Rebecca’s courtship was not without its element of intrigue and suspense. I found it a bit superfluous, but the danger and suspenseful events did not detract too much so I took it in stride. The romance was certainly the star of this novel and it was an expected nice and neat HEA at the end. Kudos to Marlowe for allowing Rebecca to have her wits and pride about her. Often it is a slippery slope with historical heroines who often read as mere props to hold up against some strongly characterized hero. Totally not the case here. Rebecca was very much present and integral in driving the plot forward.
For better or for worse this was a decent read. I can’t say I will be continuing the series, as it was rather forgettable, however, Never Resist a Rake is not without its own special charm.