The Knave of Hearts by Elizabeth Boyle
Book Five of the Rhymes with Love series
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
In the fifth novel of the captivating Rhymes With Love series from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle, a young woman's hopes of a match encounter a wickedly handsome complication ...
Lavinia Tempest has been eagerly anticipating a spectacular season. But one disastrous pile-up on the Almack's dance floor derails all her plans. Add to that, the very stunning revelations about her mother's scandalous past have become the ton's latest on dits. Lavinia's future has gone from shining bright to blackest night in one misstep.
Alaster "Tuck" Rowland admits he's partly to blame for Lavinia's disastrous debut. But it's not guilt that compels him to restore her reputation. Rather, he's placed a wager that he can make Lavinia into one of the most sought-after ladies in London. Who better than an unrepentant rake to set society astir?
Tuck's motives are hardly noble. But in teaching the lovely Lavinia how to win any man she wants, he suddenly finds himself tangled in the last place he ever imagined: in love.
What I Liked:
Upon finishing book four, I knew that the wait for book five would be torture. As much as I loved Piers and Louisa, I couldn't wait to read all about Lavinia and Tuck. The pair proved to be adorable and so well-matched! Proper miss meets scoundrel - a knavish fun-loving rake. I loved If Wishes Were Earls and The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane, but I think this fifth book is my favorite of the three! I haven't read books one or two (yet).
This book is told parallel (ish) to book four, The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane. While Piers and Louisa are bickering and falling in love, Lavinia and Tuck are attempting to curb Lavinia's disastrous debut into society. Tuck has always been making wagers, on just about anything, and in a drunken state, he wagers that he'll be able to turn the Tempest sisters into Diamonds on society. But the Tempest sisters are true country misses, with a scandalous mother to boot. Tuck has his work cut out for him, and he is determined to help Lavinia win over society and marry a proper man. But something else is at stake, and it isn't proper at all.
Ahhh, Tuck. He was hilarious in book four, and I adored him even more in this book. He's got the charm, the good looks, the swagger, the humor, but he's also a good guy, despite his knavish reputation. He has something hanging over his head - not going to Spain (to war) with Piers and Poldie. Poldie died and Piers was badly injured, but Tuck remained home. Why? You'll find out in this book! I fell in love with him even more, after learning why he didn't go.
Did I mention that I love Tuck? I really do. He makes a wager on the Tempest sisters, which Lavinia and Louisa know nothing about. Lavinia thinks that he is being a noble gentleman, helping her learn to dance, trying to help her garner a better reputation after a terrible night at Almack's. Even though he made that wager, believe me, he wants the best for Lavinia for an entirely different reason, as he starts to fall for her!
Lavinia is so proper and formal and obsessed with fitting into society and finding a good match. We know this from book four, in which Louisa was the one who didn't care to find a match, but Lavinia was all for it. It surprises everyone, especially Lavinia, when Louisa marries before Lavinia. But Lavinia has been falling for the knave that is Tuck Rowland, despite her best efforts. Lavinia is so proper but she hides a rebellious, naughty nature.
I love Tuck and Lavinia together! He is so wicked and she is so proper, and it's hilarious to see them interact. Lavinia is always correcting him, and Tuck is always trying to get her to loosen up. It's obvious to pretty much everyone, how much the pair cares for each other, and it's fun to watch.
There are some steamy scenes in this book! Remember, Lavinia is all about being proper and whatnot, but she and Tuck are pretty explosive together. It takes a bit to get to the physical part of their relationship, but they are fire!
I LOVE the ending! I wasn't worried about a happily ever after at all, but I love how it came about. I love it when the hero isn't groveling and chasing after the heroine - in this book, Lavinia takes the reins and runs after Tuck. Which I LOVED. And the way it was done was wonderful! I adore the ending so much, and this book in general!
What I Did Not Like:
I can't think of anything specifically! Not to say that nothing bothered me (I'm sure something did, at some point), but clearly not enough for me to remember. Which is fine by me!
Would I Recommend It:
I highly recommend this book! Even if you've not read any of the Rhymes with Love books, start with this one! If you're a historical romance fan in general, this is a good one.
4 stars. I loved this book! I am sooo curious to find out whose book is next. Roselie's? (Piers' sister.) Brody's? ... Both? In any case, I can't wait for July!
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