Days of Rakes and Roses (Sons of Sin #1.5) by Anna Campbell

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Lady Lydia Rothermere has spent the past decade trying to make up for a single, youthful moment of passion. Now the image of propriety, Lydia knows her future rests on never straying outside society’s rigid rules, but hiding away the desire that runs through her is harder than she could have ever dreamed. And as she prepares for a marriage that will suit her family, but not her heart, Lydia must decide what’s more important: propriety or passion?

Simon Metcalf is a rake and adventurer. But for all his experience, nothing can compare to the kiss he stole from the captivating Lydia Rothermere ten years ago. Simon can scarcely believe he’s about to lose the one woman he’s never forgotten. The attraction between them is irresistible, yet Lydia refuses to forsake her engagement. With his heart on the line, will Simon prove that love is a risk worth taking?(

Rating: C

This was a well-written novella featuring the sister of Cam Rothermere, Duke of Sedgemoor (who appeared briefly in Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed), whose story will presumably be told in a future book in the Sons of Sin series.

At seventeen, Lady Lydia Rothermere and Simon Metcalf were desperately in love – but after catching them almost in flagrante delicto, her dictatorial father packed him off abroad, threatening to ruin Simon and his family if he ever came near Lydia again.

Ten years later, Lydia is poised to marry Granville Berwick, a rising politician in his early forties who is, quite frankly, boring old fart. It’s clear he’s marrying Lydia because of her family connections and that eventually, he would crush Lydia’s spirit. Cam sees this, and has tried to talk her out of it to no avail, so he does what any self-respecting brother would do, and summons Simon back to England after his ten year absence.

And of course, he turns up on the night of the ball being held to celebrate Lydia’s wedding…

The story is slight and predictable and I admit, I really dislike it when the heroine goes rushing headlong into a duel in order to save her beloved. By distracting the participants, she’s just as likely to get him shot!

Where this novella did score though, was in letting us become a little better acquainted with Cam and discovering just why he and Lydia have had to be so careful about retaining their respectability.

All in all, Days of Rakes and Roses passed the time pleasantly enough, but you don’t need to read it in order to appreciate the events in the following book in the series.

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