Monday, August 26, 2013
The Ruin of a Rogue, The Wild Quartet #2, by Miranda Neville
At first, I had trouble shaking the feeling that I had read this book before, which, logically, I know, was impossible. But within the first two chapters I realized that the characters were like old friends; Caro, Denton, "Castleton, the Stuffy Duke," Robert Townsend, even our female protagonist, heiress Anne Brotherton, were all characters that I already liked and knew well from Miranda Neville's previous efforts in this series. It was like returning to catch up with old, well-loved friends.
The story of Marcus Lithgow, newly minted Viscount Lithgow, gamester, cheat, possible thief and now, desperately in pursuit of a fortune through marriage with Anne Brotherton, the heiress of Camber, starts out like the telling of Henry James' Washington Square, albeit across the pond and a century earlier. Like Morris, Marcus worms his way into Anne's heart with one goal in mind. And like Catherine Sloper, Anne ferrets out his real intentions and seeks to teach him a lesson that Marcus won't soon forget. Unlike Catherine and Morris, however, Anne and Marcus find the tables turned on both of them when their attraction grows despite their trickery. When Marcus inherits a small estate, he finds he has something she wants as well. But instead of taking advantage of that, Marcus finds a purpose in life, something honorable involving hard work and dedication that leads him back to Anne.
With a marvelous plot line, this story of redemption and forgiveness is excellent reading. Like all Ms. Neville's novels, the characters are well-developed (flawed yet lovable), the secondary characters add so much, and the situations are not easily resolved. When they are however, the results are so satisfying. Highly highly recommend!!