The unconventional Miss Millie Ashton, recently arrived from India, finds England a cold and dismal place. The fashionable ladies of London society look down their noses at her and it isn’t long before Millie is planning her return to the country she considers home.
When Millie befriends the high-spirited Lucy Radley, she also meets Lucy’s handsome brother, ‘Alex the Great’ and things take a turn for the better. Alex, the Marquess of Brooke, is considered the most eligible bachelor in London, yet he appears fascinated by the independent Millie.
Against the odds, their unlikely friendship deepens. But Alex has a secret and when a love letter goes astray, it threatens to destroy all their happiness…
Can Millie and Alex overcome the obstacles in their path to find true love? Or will one miscommunication ruin everything?
Oh, how I enjoyed this! Letter from a Rake is unbelievably Sasha Cottman’s debut book – at times humorous, sweet, heartbreaking and emotional.
One of my favourite things in historical romance are unconventional characters, those who march to the beat of their own drum. This story has this and more. Millie is a beautifully different Regency-era heroine, however for different reasons to the norm – she was born and raised on the Indian subcontinent, having never set foot in England before, so while she may have fit in perfectly in Anglo-Indian society with her free thought, strong will and curvaceous figure, the Ton saw her as different and unusual – an outsider. Her desire to please her family by integrating with the Ton wars constantly with her longing to return to her Indian home.
Alex is just adorable. A stubbornly proud man, this future Duke sees his illiteracy (which would probably now be dyslexia) as a major character flaw and believes in his heart that despite all he has to offer, people would think less of him and reject his love if they knew.
Sasha Cottman has done a fantastic job of creating these beautifully flawed and real characters. Their issues are part of them – part of their story – but not all they are.
The love story between these two is simply gorgeous. Millie can’t accept that someone as handsome and eligible as Alex would ever be interested in her and Alex…well, he just adores the crap out of Millie but just can’t get the words out to tell her. The scene where they meet is brilliant. In his shock at encountering Millie, and at his reaction to her, Alex just stuffs it up in every way possible. His efforts to make it right….you’ll just have to read the book to see just what happens, but trust me, there is a decent epic fail among them.
The supporting characters in Letter from a Rake are wonderful and colourful. I have to say I loved the portrayal of the parents in this story. Too often in Regency romance, the parents are portrayed as standoffish and uncaring. While I am certain there were parents like this, it’s lovely to see the nice ones getting a run.
I am really looking forward to seeing what is in store for each’s brothers. I think David and Charles both have fabulous stories in them.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Release date: 10 July 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia via NetGalley in return for an honest review.