by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #2
Published on May 31, 2016 by Avon
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
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If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Cold-Hearted Rake, you will be very confused diving into Marrying Winterborne. The second in the Ravenels series picks up right after book 1 with Helen and Rhys.
Helen is a fairly quiet person who has let herself fade into the background of her family. She contrasted to the businessman that is Rhys, a friend of her cousin and not one to mince words. The differences between the pair really worked and solidified this book as a solid romance for me.
I think what worked here is that neither character remained static. Rhys started the book off as a bit thoughtless and very self-centered but while Helen was part of his transformation, Rhys actually learned from his mistakes and made an attempt to fix them on his own rather than having to be constantly called out for it. It’s rare that I read a historical romance where the leading gentleman learns early on rather than waiting for the BIG MISTAKE to finally realize he screwed up.
And Helen went through a change of her own. She has a quiet strength that’s prevalent throughout the story but struggles to speak up for what she wants. In the last book, she let her step-sister Kathleen walk all over her but Marrying Winterborne gives her the chance to stand up for herself. I loved seeing her grow into a formidable character with a personal strength that isn’t grounded in sarcasm and wit (seriously, there are all kinds of strengths, I’d love to see more of this).
All that said, I don’t think I would have supported Helen and Rhys as a couple if not for the first book. Their relationship starts in that book, their first meeting and growing attraction toward one another. If I had read this book without that background, I think the romance would have felt more rushed and less believable. This is definitely one of those times where I recommend reading the books in order.
Now yes, there was a plot somewhere in all the romance, a quite dramatic one at that. Sometimes I felt it was a bit too much but if not for the drama, this book would have been pure sugary sweet goodness so it worked as a nice balance to the romance.
I’m not as eager to read the next one (still definitely want to but not DYING to) like before but I have a feeling I’ll be reading this entire series in one go. I’m certainly curious to see where the story goes next with Helen’s eccentric sister Pandora! As for Marrying Winterborne, this was a thoroughly enjoyable romance and I definitely recommend it!