When Lady Julianne Gatewick realizes the rake of her dreams thinks of her as practically his sister, she decides it’s time to get even. The charming Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawkfield, is every lady’s fantasy, but he’s determined to evade virgins and their matrimonial traps – especially his best friend’s sister.
Hawk reluctantly agrees to be Julianne’s guardian for the season, but he’s having trouble resisting his gorgeous ward. Worse still, she’s taunting him by flirting with every scoundrel in London – and he’s sworn to protect her! Certain she’s learned her tricks from the authoress of that scandalous publication “The Secrets of Seduction”, Hawk sets out to uncover the writer’s identity. But he never expects to find the formerly angelic Julianne behind the mask – and between his sheets.
Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawksfield, has known Lady Julianne Gatewick for most of her life, seeing as she is the little sister of his best friend Tristan Gatewick, Duke of Shelbourne (if you’ve read Vicky Drieling’s first novel, How to Marry a Duke, you’ll recognize the name). When Tristan asks him to act as Julianne’s guardian for the season, Hawk reluctantly agrees. After all, watching over Julianne means no more rakish ways (including those 2 actresses who offered to entertain Marc together).
Julianne has harbored a crush on Marc for as long as she can remember. At 17, those feelings changed to something much more significant, when she became determine to entice Hawk into falling madly in love with her and marrying her. She’s turned down numerous proposals (and first kisses) in hopes of finally capturing Hawk’s interest. So with high hopes that this year will be the year that she finally gets what she wants.
What she doesn’t expect (and frankly neither do those us that first met Hawk in How to Marry a Duke) is that Hawk is a much more complicated person than he portrays himself. Deeply effected by one bad mistake made when he was eighteen, he’s decided to be the person is deceased father thought he was, rather than having to deal with the repercussions of that mistake. He’s destined himself to a lonely life so he won’t have to feel that kind of pain again. Despite this, it’s Julianne who’s able to see through the veneer to the person he truly is.
I loved both Hawk and Julianne. Her act of revenge against his unintended hurtful proclamation and his high-handedness about what she could do this season (loved, loved, loved her rules!!) were inspiring. It was also a pleasure to watch her grow as a woman. She gave up those girlish dreams, but ended up with so much more. While Hawk also matured, giving up acting in a way his father thought he was, to being the man that can moved away from the past and shape his own future.
Great second installment to the series. Cannot wait to read Will and Amy’s story!
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