June 29, 2015
Another brilliant idea!
I had an epiphany while rereading Something About Emmaline. I was reminded that that
story was part of a series - the Bachelor Chronicles. Well, I remember liking some in the series but not all of them. I believe the reason I didn't care for all of them was I found the plethora of characters confusing. Well, I thought, if I can reread a book I like to see if it still holds up, why not read some books I wasn't too keen on to see how they stand up to time? Especially if the reason for my initial reaction was due to the fact that they are a part of a series and I became lost. So, I decided to reread the entire Bachelor Chronicles.
The second in the series is This Rake of Mine (2005). The plot revolves around Jack and Miranda. You may remember Lord Jack Tremont from Something About Emmaline. He was the freeloading friend of Alexander and he loved to drink. In that book he drunkenly mistakes Miranda for his mistress and kisses her. They are caught in a compromising position, her engagement is broken and she is disowned. Jack, on the other hand, once he is sober doesn't have a clear recollection of the incident. He knows he did something horrible because his friends are cutting him. He also recalls the kiss, just not the woman. It is one of the most memorable encounters he's ever had. However, when he tries to rectify his mistake, he is informed that Miranda is dead.
Because the world is so unforgiving to Jack, he soon finds himself ensconced in the country involved in a little skullduggery. Miranda on the other hand is not dead. She is living incognito as a teacher at Miss Emery's Establishment for the Education of Genteel Ladies. All that's left of their encounter is one silver button, which Miranda has kept as a memento.
Years pass. Jack has been unable to forget the encounter. He has been able to carve out a living at his aunt’s estate by participating in some nefarious operations. Now, the two of them are about to have their second encounter. And, what a fun one it is.
After all those years of hiding, Miranda has inherited some money and is about to set out to claim it. Accompanying her on this journey are three outrageous students - twins Thalia and Felicity Langley, and their cousin Pippin. These girls are full of preposterous matchmaking schemes and plans. In fact, these three secondary characters stole every scene they were in, but I didn't mind because they turned this story into more than just a romance book. It was full of well-rounded characters who were a delight. There was smuggling, secret passages, ghosts, over-dramatic teenage girls, witty dialogue, pirates, and shifty servants. It was just a lot of fun.
Jack is an adorable character. When I view This Rake of Mine as part of a series, it really works. Ms. Boyle does a wonderful job of creating a wonderful romance while all the while constructing future worlds for some really interesting secondary characters. And, doing that almost seamlessly. I think I'm finding out that there are some series which might work better together if they are spaced closer together. So, far I'm enjoying all of the characters that are in the Bachelor Chronicles and that's because I'm not trying to remember who they are.
This Rake of Mine is a wonderful addition to the Bachelor Chronicles; we will see how well the rest of the series works.
Time/Place: Regency England