Reforming a Rake: Reforming A Rake

Reforming a Rake: Reforming A Rake

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by Suzanne Enoch
     
 

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From bestselling author Suzanne Enoch—a governess is tempted by the forbidden passion of a seductive earl in this blistering romance in the With This Ring series

A governess must never be alone with a man (her reputation mustn't have even a hint of scandal). She never questions her employer's commands (even when he's tempting her to

Overview

From bestselling author Suzanne Enoch—a governess is tempted by the forbidden passion of a seductive earl in this blistering romance in the With This Ring series

A governess must never be alone with a man (her reputation mustn't have even a hint of scandal). She never questions her employer's commands (even when he's tempting her to forsake respectability for desire?). She must never, ever fall in love with someone above her station (especially a rake—no matter how devastating his kisses may be) . . .

If it weren't for that unfortunate incident at her last position, Alexandra Gallant wouldn't now be forced into the employ of Lucien Balfour. The sinfully attractive earl hired her to teach his young cousin, but his seductive whispers and toe-curling kisses suggest he has something far less respectable in mind . . . And that will never happen. For although Lucien seems determined to teach her about pleasure, she has a few lessons to teach him about love!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061752070
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
With This Ring , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
23,051
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Lucien Balfour, the Sixth Earl of Kilcairn Abbey, leaned against one of the marble pillars at the front entry of Balfour House and watched the storm clouds gather overhead. "'By the pricking of my thumbs,' "he murmured, puffing on his cigar, "'something wicked this way comes.' "

Though an ominously darkening sky hung over the west side of London, that particular storm was not the one that concerned Lucien Balfour. A larger tempest was galloping toward him: he was about to welcome Satan's handmaiden and her mother into his house.

Behind him, the front door opened on well-oiled hinges. Lucien glanced skyward as a long boom of thunder rolled across the rooftops of Mayfair. "What is it, Wimbole?"

"You asked me to inform you at the hour of three, my lord," the butler answered in his usual monotone. "The clock has just struck."

Lucien took another drag of his cheroot, letting the smoke curl from his mouth and be snatched away by the stiffening breeze. "Make certain the study windows are closed against the rain, and provide Mr. Mullins with a glass of whiskey. I imagine he'll be needing it shortly."

"Very good, my lord." The door clicked shut again.

Rain began plopping onto the shallow granite steps before him just as a coach clattered onto Grosvenor Street and turned toward the mansion. Lucien took one last, long draw on his cigar, snuffed it out against the pillar, and cast it aside with an oath. The demons had splendid timing.

The front door opened again and Wimbole, flanked by a half dozen liveried footmen, appeared at his elbow just as the great black monstrosity of a coach rocked to a haltat the foot of the steps. A second vehicle, less ostentatious than the first, stopped behind.

As Wimbole and his troops marched forward, Mr. Mullins took the butler's vacated position on the portico. "My lord, I must again commend you on your attention to familial duty."

Lucien glanced at the solicitor. "Two people signed a piece of paper before their deaths, and I am left with the results. Don't commend me for getting trapped into something I've simply been unable to avoid."

"Even so, my lord..." The smaller man trailed off as the coach's first occupant emerged into the light drizzle. "My goodness," he choked.

"Goodness has nothing to do with it," Lucien murmured.

Fiona Delacroix stepped out onto the drive and with a flick of her gloved fingers beckoned to Wimbole for her walking cane. She didn't seem to notice the rain, but given the size of the hat perched on her bright red — orange — hair, she likely would have no idea of the downpour until the weight of the water capsized her.

"Lucien!" She gathered her voluminous pink skirts and marched forward as he descended the steps to meet her. "How like you to wait until the last possible moment to send for us. I'd begun to think you meant for us to rot in mournful solitude all summer!"

Mountains of luggage began sailing off the roofs of both coaches and into the arms of the waiting footmen. Lucien spared the heap one look, noting that he'd have to give over another room simply for female wardrobe, before he took her gloved hand and bowed over it. "Aunt Fiona. I trust the journey from Dorsetshire was a pleasant one?"

"It was not! You know how traveling upsets my nerves. If not for my dear, dear Rose, I don't know how I should have managed." She swung her rotund, schooner-topped form around to face the carnage again. "Rose! Come out of there! You remember your cousin Lucien, don't you, my sweet?"

"I'm not coming out, Mother," echoed from the bowels of the cavernous vehicle.

Aunt Fiona's smile became more radiant. "Of course you are, my dear. Your cousin is waiting."

"But it's raining."

The smile faltered. "Only a little."

"It will ruin my dress."

Lucien's determined good humor began to crumble a little. His uncle's damned will did not in any way obfigate him to catch pneumonia.

"Rose..." his aunt trilled again.

"Oh, very well."

The incamation of hell on earth — as he'd thought of her since their last meeting, when she'd been seven and throwing a screaming, stamping tantrum at being denied a pony ride — emerged from the coach. She stepped down amid a cloud of pink lace and ruffles that perfectly complemented her mother's frothy gown.

Rose Delacroix curtsied, the blond curls that framed her face bobbing in pert unison. "My lord," she breathed, rising and batting her long lashes at him.

"Cousin Rose," Lucien responded, suppressing a shudder at the horrifying thought that some of his gender would find her angelic appearance attractive. With her great puffy sleeves and feathered frills she looked more like some ungainly bird than an angel. "You both look colorful this afternoon. Shall we go inside, out of the rain?"

"It's silk and taffeta," Aunt Fiona crooned, fluffing up one of her daughter's drooping wings. "They cost twelve pounds each, and came directly from Paris."

"And flamingos come directly from Africa."

The comment was a mild one, for him, but as he turned to usher Rose toward the steps, her blue eyes filled with tears. Lucien stifled an annoyed sigh. Sometimes one's memories remained perfectly accurate, despite the passage of time.

"He doesn't like my gown, Mama," she wailed, her lower lip trembling. "And Miss Brookhollow said it was the very thing!"

Lucien had meant to behave himself, at least for today. So much for his good intentions. "Who is Miss Brookhollow?"

"Rose's governess. She came highly recommended."

"By whom — circus performers?"

"Mama!"

"Good God," Lucien muttered, wincing. "Wimbole, get their things inside." He returned his attention to his aunt. "Does all your attire match so ... vividly?"

"Lucien, I will not tolerate your insulting us five....

Meet the Author

A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies almost as much as she loves books. When she is not busily working on her next novel, Suzanne likes to contemplate interesting phenomena, like how the three guppies in her aquarium became 161 guppies in five months.

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Reforming a Rake 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
His deceased uncle and father laid the family obligation on him. Though he would prefer his Aunt Fiona and her daughter Rose would go somewhere else, the Earl of Kilcairn, Lucien Balfour will do the right thing and introduce his cousin to society. However, Lucien¿s first action is to fire Rose¿s governess for allowing her charge to look like a ¿poodle with the style of a milkmaid¿. He has his solicitor advertise for a new governess.

Alexandra Gallant desperately needs a new job after her former employer and his spouse accused of sexual misconduct when all she did was reject the odious man¿s advances. After failing to obtain new work all week, she answers Balfour¿s ad and is hired immediately to serve as a companion to the troublesome Rose. Alexandra knows that Balfour is one of the Ton¿s most notorious rakes yet her wayward heart beats faster every time she sees him.

With novels like TAMING RAFE and BY LOVE UNDONE, Suzanne Enoch has earned a reputation for her entertaining historical romances. As good as those and others are, her latest Regency romance, REFORMIGN A RAKE is her best work yet. Though the story line follows the usual sub-genre boundaries, the tale never slows down as the battle of the sexes occur. The lead couple is wonderful, especially the arrogant but openly honest Lucien. His cousin and aunt add a delightful eccentricity to the marvelous mix. Fans of the sub-genre will not get enough of Ms. Enoch after this passionate winner.

Harriet Klausner

D-Daisy More than 1 year ago
This book is well written, but that is the only thing I like about this story. The main male character, Lucien, is a manipulative, abusive jerk, and I find the relationship that blossoms between him and the female protagonist, Alexandra, to be completely implausible. He uses his position of authority over her to bully her and antagonize her, and there isn't a damn thing she can do to about it because there weren't laws against sexual harassment in those days, and she couldn't very well leave to find another job because of her past. And the writer expects me to believe that she falls head over heels for this creep? I found him totally unlikeable. Ladies, if you ever come across a man who hires you and blatantly admits it is because he wants to see you naked at your job interview, run away as fast as you can. And if you find that sort of thing "romantic", I seriously question your ability to tell right from wrong. I can't go into too much more detail without spoiling the story, but Lucien's actions in this story are abuse, plain and simple, and they only get worse as the story progresses. You don't marry a "rake" and expect to "reform" him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anything by this particular author has always been a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say for the first seventy pages or so I debated not finishing as it was tiresome...but then the story took off. A bit tedious at the end but worth the read.
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zeeba More than 1 year ago
Loved It! Reforming a Rake is a delightful and an amazing historical romance. Lucien Balfour, Earl of Kilcairn is an arrogant, rakish, charming, cynic , handsome and I laughed throughout the story because of his dry wit. Alexandra Gallant is a beautiful, independent governess that I adore from the beginning of the story but toward the end I wanted to shake her for her stubbornness,still the hero and heroine were so lovable. This is an enjoyable , fun and romantic story. Thank you Suzanne Enoch
Jcat55 More than 1 year ago
Good interaction between main characters and lots of funny moments; good character development.
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Suzanne Enoch's books. This one is no exception. Lucien is the rake every woman wants to reform. If you enjoy Regency romance with humor and sexy men, then you will enjoy this book.
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