One of the greatest challenges a romance author faces is taking damaged, jaded souls and weaving an story not drowning in melodrama. Never Romance a Rake pulls off the impossible with empathy and compassion. Best of all, there's no nasty cruelness that so often manifests itself in most stories of this tone.
I'm not normally drawn to stories featuring proud, lonely women and guilt-ridden, self-flagellating men, but this caught and held my attention from the first page. There are many layers to dig through and the revelations keep the pages turning. I read this in one sitting.
The only complaint I might lodge is that after being drawn into an emotional investment in this couple, things were wrapped up too quickly at the end. There wasn't much of a struggle to turn the corner into the light, and once there ... poof! An easy recovery. Rather negates the intense build-up of the entire story.
Still, a satisfying read and much better than the norm. :)
A compelling story with complicated characters that I could not help but root for. Recommend.