Monday, June 10, 2013
Despite her vast wealth, Miss Ariadne Lambert, at the ripe old age of thirty-three, is a plain and aging spinster with little but a fading hope that a knight in shining armor will come to sweep her off her feet. Which makes her the perfect prey for the unscrupulous “Dapper” Dorsey, who would stop at nothing to seduce a needy and wealthy woman and then coldly fritter away her funds in the gaming halls of London. As Ariadne succumbs first to his wily charms and then to his kisses, will her need for affection rob her of her dignity—and her fortune?
Viscount Ingram, whose soiled reputation from one especially salacious incident has left him exiled to the sidelines of society, marks his time as a dark and brooding man, tolerated more for his title than his merit. But even he has his standards, and when he learns of a rival’s plot to seduce and then steal from a helpless spinster, he vows to stop him.
Ingram’s noble sentiments and uncharacteristic sincerity are in for a shock, however, as he discovers that the hopelessly gullible Ariadne is in fact a clever and shrewd woman who’s got more than a silly giggle up her sleeve. As the two team up in a devilish scheme to bring about the final undoing of Dorsey, cooperation turns to admiration and then attraction, and they discover that their last chance to repair their reputations may also be their first chance at finding true love.
This was a cute story overall I've read Simpson for most of my romance reading life and she was one of the authors who got me into 'traditional' regency romances, so I knew that I would at least enjoy the story. This was one of her novellas from the multitudes of anthologies that came out back in the 90's (I should know, I collected most of them), though I don't believe I've read this one before.
I admit that the heroine being 33 years old (which is a good deal older than most heroines in traditional regency romances), was partially the draw for me. Ariadne certainly plays the part of an idiotic simpering spinster, but her normal self is very practical. She lists her tragedies in life without any bitterness, accepted that she spent a lot of time with her Aunt and has moved on. She wants nothing more than to be left alone and follow what pleases her.
Ingram is very similar, though we are given relatively less history for him. All his characterization is in the present; much of what is said about his past is basic fact or rumor, there's very little to it. I found his slow need to protect Ariadne endearing, though it did verge on the stalker since Ariadne was at first very upset with his intrusions.
This is a sweet tale that flies by quickly. Its also quite short, so if you need something while waiting in a line this is a perfect bite-sized treat.
eBook Review: A Rogue's Rescue
3 Star Review|Donna Lea Simpson|e-book review|