Bambi Unbridled's Reviews > The Knave of Hearts

The Knave of Hearts by Elizabeth Boyle
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This is only my second read from the Rhymes With Loves series, having unknowingly started the series in the middle with The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (TVWLDTL). Luckily that previous book featured Louisa Tempest and Viscount Wakefield, who are featured heavily in this book as it happens somewhat contemporaneously with TVWLDTL. It's my understanding that most of the series can be read as standalones... however I would recommend reading TVWLDTL before this one since it involves twin sisters and concurrent events. Plus, TVWLDTL was super cute so you won't regret reading it at all.

Anywho, this installment of the series focuses on the other Tempest sister, Lavinia. The Tempest sisters are aptly named whirlwinds of bad luck and chaos. Grace, their name is not. Their tendency toward clumsy klutzy mishaps has earned them the cut direct from the bon ton on their very first outing of the season. Poor gels, I would have been on the outs right beside them with my tendency to trip over flat surfaces. However the scandal hits these girls even harder when people start bringing up their mother's past deeds, and two less-than-stellar gentlemen start a wager over the girls at White's. Lavinia was a likable heroine despite her penchant for the aforementioned unfortunate mishaps - I think those actually endeared who to me more as I could definitely relate. Lavinia (Vivi to her sister, and Livy to our hero) has striven to be a proper lady since she was about 10 years old and saw her mother running off with their dance instructor. She keeps lists of proper behavior and has read numerous etiquette books to gain knowledge of how to behave.

The knave of the story is Alastar "Tuck" Rowland, an untitled gentlemen who is the heir to his uncle's barony. Tuck is actually the match that set fire to the Tempest ruination, as he abandoned Lavinia in the midst of the dance floor, causing her to stumble and knock down other dancers like dominoes. Once Tuck became embroiled in the aforementioned wager, the terms required that he turn Lavinia into a diamond of the first water within a fortnight. Tuck has the reputation of being a knave and scoundrel, however Livy sees underneath the rumor and facade to the lonely brokenhearted man. His character was a good example of things not always being as they seem, and proof of why you should not listen to rumors. His past actions were definitely more honorable and altruistic than the ton bandied about. As a result, I quite liked him as a hero and rooted for him the whole book.

The attraction between Tuck and Livy unfolded steadily over the course of the book as they were forced to spend time with one another to make Livy the success that Tuck had wagered on. My favorite aspect was seeing Livy stop hiding behind her ideals of propriety and showing her true self - a stylish and intelligent young woman who could trounce everyone at cards. She was also willing to fight for her hero when his insecurities got in the way of their future.

I have really enjoyed the books that I have read of this series thus far, and I plan to go back and read the earlier installments as soon as I can fit them into my reading schedule. I will mention that I listened to TVWLDTL in audio, and it was just as enjoyable as reading it. The narrator did a fabulous job. So I may do the earlier installments in audio as well.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars / 3 flames.
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Reading Progress

January 22, 2016 – Started Reading
January 22, 2016 – Shelved
January 22, 2016 – Shelved as: million-page-challenge
January 22, 2016 – Shelved as: arc-netgalley
January 22, 2016 – Shelved as: rakes-rogues-riffraff
January 22, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
January 22, 2016 – Shelved as: romance-historical
January 25, 2016 – Shelved as: review-pending
January 25, 2016 – Finished Reading

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