And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake: Rhymes with Love
“. . . an enjoyable Regency romance . . .”
“Sensible gentleman of means seeks a sensible lady of good breeding for correspondence, and in due consideration, matrimony.”
So begins Elizabeth Boyle’s newest historical romance, And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake. The trouble is, the rake in question has nothing to do with the personal ad placed in the local paper on his behalf. Nor is he really a rake.
He is, in fact, Lord Henry Seldon, sober eldest gentleman in the notorious Seldon clan. Engulfed in replies to the playful notice posted by his far more rakish cousin, Henry determines the best way to handle the matter is to burn all of the replies.
Fortunately for the reader, he reads a single letter and finds himself enchanted by the impertinent reply of a sensible lady. He finds himself replying under an assumed name, and they carry on a spirited correspondence over time.
His spirited lady is Daphne Dale, the bright, lovely, best friend of his rakish cousin’s beloved fiancé. Unfortunately for them both, she’s also using an assumed name in her correspondence.
When they finally meet as their actual selves, they are each looking for their “Mr. Dishforth” and “Miss Spooner,” and are at a loss to explain their instant attraction. Especially troubling is that their families are ancient enemies.
Ms. Boyle has penned a bright, well-written novel. Her sprightly heroine and dashing hero are exactly right for the Regency setting, each as priggish as the other, with passion seething beneath the surface. Henry’s cousin Preston, and twin sister Henrietta are very funny, providing excellent foils for the sober lovers. The dialogue is era appropriate with tongue-in cheek wryness that is quite charming.
Though it takes a ridiculously long time for the protagonists to discover they are the actual correspondents (and each other’s perfect other halves), the journey is easy to make with these agreeable companions.
And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake is an enjoyable Regency romance with its requisite sex scene and the expected happily ever after. Light and funny, its hero and heroine are a believable couple—if a bit slow. Worth a read on a springtime afternoon!