Oliver 'Beau' Blackthorn, is in no way a rake as the title leads us to believe. I found him to be the complete opposite. Instead of a man who sleeps with gaggles of women and drinks profusely, we find a man that is responsible, cares about his family, and is an all-around good guy. Yes, he's hung up on getting revenge with his rival Thomas Mills-Beckman, the future Earl of Brean, but with good reason. Seven years ago, Beau found himself in love and attempted to propose marriage to the deceitful Madelyn who is Thomas' sister. Thomas intercepted and whipped Beau repeatedly as a warning to stay away. No way would his sister be marrying a Bastard. Now seven years later, Beau has been slowly enacting his revenge on Thomas.
When Thomas attempts to force his youngest sister Lady Chelsea into a marriage she doesn't want to the odious Reverend Flotley, Chelsea decides to get help from the one man her brother hates most, Beau Blackthorn. She knows of Beau's revenge attempts and she believes that if she can get him to run away with her and elope to Gretna Green it will be the answer for both of them. Beau would be able to get the ultimate revenge by marrying Chelsea, and Chelsea would be out from under the control of her dominating brother, and she also gets out of marrying the intolerable Reverend Flotley. Neither really cares for one another, but they decide it's worth it to get what they want.
Along their journey to Gretna Green we learn more about Beau and the type of person he is and where he comes from. We are introduced to his other brothers along with his mother and father. I really enjoyed getting to know his youngest brother Puck. He really is quite witty and always has something to say. I can't wait to read read about his HEA in his future book. He really was such a tease when it came to Beau.
Though the book tends to drag on at times I really enjoyed watching Chelsea and Beau getting to know one another. We are able to see them both develop their feelings, and it was quite refreshing to watch them both fall in love. It wasn't instantaneous, and it didn't feel rushed. I loved watching the banter between them both. I did have some issue with a plot line that occurs towards the end of the book. I felt like it just didn't really go with the story and that it was just thrown in as a set-up for future books. It felt disconnected for me and I could have done without it.
All in all, I really enjoyed this story and the characters that we are introduced to. I can't wait to see what's in-store for the rest of the series.
**ARC copy provided by NetGalley**