Author: Lisa Kleypas
Original Title: Cold-Hearted Rake
Release Year: 2015
Literary Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: England, Victorian Era
Series: 1st of The Ravenels
This romance will be released the 27th of October 2015
There are not enough words to describe my yearning for this novel. The wait was barely tolerable. Lisa Kleypas is undoubtedly my favourite author, she has that refinement in her style that is very difficult to find in this genre, moreover she's in general and indubitably a great author, also beyond the romance boundaries.
After the too-long-break from historical novels, she's finally back, and Cold-Hearted Rake proves, with fierceness, how she was missed. Lisa Kleypas' style is instantly recognisable, but this romance possesses a sort of more consolidated maturity compared to its predecessors (stating this I don't mean to downgrade the latter, how could it be so? Among them there are my favourite novels of all times, the most overwhelming and touching pieces in the story of the genre).
Here there is a combination of features which made me think, not with little nostalgia, to some of her previous works and characters, Craven, Westcliff, Hunt, Rutledge, Cam, Leo, St Vincent, Beatrice, Amelia, Daisy, Aline, Evie, Poppy, Lysette...however at the same time there are also novelties, there is a deeper attention to, at the time, contemporary social matters, the background is different and for some aspects more complicated to portray, throughout the whole story there is that atmosphere of sweet melancholy which follows changes, especially epochal ones, such as the decadence of aristocratical privileges and the consolidation of the working-class power.
Despite the resemblances, I confirm my idea that each of Lisa Kleypas' heroes and heroines are self-standing, they have personalities and backgrounds which make them unforgettable, unique and complex, even slightly infamous if not really understood in their entirety.
This new group of characters is not an exception. Obviously, being this one the opening book of a series, along with the main love-story, there are outlined and prospected those we are going to know better in the future novels, and I have to say that there is an enormous amount of potential, I'm already counting the days until the next release.
The plot here is rich, fast-paced and highly realistic, very moving and passionate. The author knows what a reader craves and she delivers every time with great prowess; the dialogues are heartwarming and very intense; the story, despite the obvious happy ending, takes unexpected turns, which made me only more curious, so much that I didn't put the book down until I reached the last page.
The romance is enriched with details that make the difference between a novel which is able to drag you into the story and those which a reader have difficulties empathising with.
This romance made me smile and laugh with extremely sharp dialogues, especially in the beginning; it raised in me all sort of emotions, and the reason is in the plot itself but also in the recollected memories; it has been so easy to feel the closeness with the characters, like with Kathleen and her passion for horses, I'm a horsewoman myself, since I was very little, and those parts where it transpires the heroine's adoration for it, made me think about all those feelings I have and had when I find myself in the same situations.
I adored also Helen and her orchids, what they means for her, the love she puts in taking care of them, the way she employs her plants to communicate. Oh, and then there are the twins, they are so very funny, hyperactive and wild, they reminded me a lot of Beatrice Hathaway. All these features and the way they are transmitted make Cold-Hearted Rake a marvellous novel.
I must admit is well cruel the wait to be endured to know what is going to happen between Helen, who's by far my favourite at the moment, and the very overwhelming, harsh and even brutal Winterborne.
** I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book on courtesy of NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK, Piatkus in exchange for an honest review, thank you for the opportunity **