About the Book:
When the heart is afire…
By his own admission, Lord Ernest Brook is a rake. With sapphire gaze, sinfully handsome looks and a duke for a brother, the pleasures of London have come with ease…apart from one.
Ever since the gauntlet of her first wintry dismissal was thrown, the widowed Hebe Lock has stirred his deepest desires, but just what would it take to woo such a woman?
Sparks will fly.
Hebe Locke has vowed to never again fall for a scoundrel after her brief marriage to one left her broken and haunted.
Now she finds comfort with paintbrush and canvas, but as a female artist in a male world, commissions are as rare as a ballroom without rakes.
A castle of enchantment.
As the heat of late summer warms the land, an ancient, moated castle plays host to a widow and a rake, both concealing passions contrary to their reputations.
But as Lord Ernest awakens Hebe’s desire and thaws her frozen emotions, can she hold true to her vow?
Or can this rake win the one heart he yearns for?
Sensual Regency romance with warmth and wit, this tale also includes a disreputable aunt with a secondary love story, Cotswold country fairs, sinful masquerades and…a goat.
About the Author:
Emily grew up in the north of England on a diet of historical romance and strong tea.
Unfortunately, you couldn’t study Regency slang, so she did the next best thing and gained a degree in Classics and History instead. This ‘led’ to an eight-year stint in engineering.
Having left city life, she now lives in a dilapidated farmhouse where her days are spent writing, fixing the leaky roof, battling the endless vegetation and finding pictures of well-tied cravats. More about Emily can be found at:
Hebe Locke fell hard for the first man to pay attention to her, and the heiress begged her father to allow her to marry Tobias when she was only seventeen. Her illusions were shattered on her wedding day, when her new husband revealed his true colors after the last wedding guest left. Tobias no longer pretended to have the least regard for Hebe, telling her that he only wanted her dowry, and began a series of cruelties which all but broke her. When Tobias was killed, Hebe’s Aunt Beatrice came to be her companion. Slowly, Hebe tried to rebuild her life, immersing herself in her painting, and callously rejecting any man who dares to approach her. Hebe is thrilled when the Duke of Rothwell commissions her to paint a portrait of his horse, and invites her to spend an extended amount of time at his country estate. That is, she is thrilled until she learns that the duke’s rakish younger brother will also be in residence.
Ernest Brook, younger brother of the Duke of Rothwell, basically raised himself, as his parents had no interest in him. He was content to run wild on the family’s country estate, learning to love the land and the creatures which inhabited it. He has a natural affinity for animals, especially horses, and was unhappy when his brother forced him to relocate to town. His good looks, charm, and kindness made him very popular with the ladies, and he acquired the deserved reputation of a rake. Perhaps he was seeking all the attention and affection which were missing from his own childhood. Still, he has a secret longing to start his own horse breeding business, though he has yet to convince his brother to back him.
When Ernest first met Hebe, he was strongly attracted, though she was quick to give him a setdown. Rather than being put off, Ernest is charmed, and plans to use the opportunity of their time in the country to win her over. He has no idea of the nightmares that Hebe still suffers, and just how badly her brief marriage damaged her. Little by little, Hebe begins to see the other side of Ernest – the genuine, kind, and caring man. Though she finds herself feeling attracted, something she never thought she’d feel again, she can’t get over the trauma she suffered. Hebe begins to trust Ernest, and he is astute enough to see that she has demons to battle, and he is slow and patient, as he attempts to woo her, and take her past her fear and distrust. Ernest will wait as long as it takes, because, for the first time, he feels a deep and true love.
I have to say that I was a goner for Ernest almost from the beginning, and I’m really not a fan of a rakish hero. Ernest is just such a good person, helping all creatures, human and otherwise. His patience with Hebe, and his treatment of her is the stuff dreams are made of. Not to mention, he is just so sexy and adorable, spectacles and all. Hebe is also a heroine to love, as she finally becomes brave enough to face her fears and her past, and steps forward to a delightful future. THE RAKE OF HEARTS is just as smooth as silk, the pages flew by as I read. There is a lovely secondary and second chance romance for Aunt Beatrice, and some wonderful characters (human and otherwise) who add plenty of gentle humor to this captivating story. THE RAKE OF HEARTS has everything I want to read – flawed, but wonderful characters, a strong romance, outstanding writing, and plenty of heartfelt emotion. I think this is Emily Windsor’s best book to date, and I highly recommend it. ~Rose