- Series: Rakes & Rebels: The Raveneau Family
- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 27, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1724347985
- ISBN-13: 978-1724347985
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,264,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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His Make-Believe Bride (Rakes & Rebels: The Raveneau Family) (Volume 5) Paperback – July 27, 2018
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Mouette Raveneu Brandreth finds herself in a downward spiral caused by her now late husband’s mistreatment and horrible betrayals. Once a darling of the ton, she now is shut out of society at every turn. After her experience with her first marriage, she is not interested in finding a new husband—or even finding a protector--but she needs to find a way to support her family before they lose everything. Her only true marketable skill is furnishing and decorating homes, but how does one make that into a career? Quickly running out of options, Mouette is persuaded by her dear friend Isabelle to leave London with her two sons and come to Cornwall to sort out a plan for her future.
At the same time, Isabelle’s husband Gabriel is hosting a visitor at their Cornwall estate as well—his wayward brother Justin who finally has come to visit their rapidly-declining mother. Believing at first that it was another one of their overly-dramatic woman’s tricks, Justin was shocked to see her in truth looking so weak and frail. His mother, while happy to see him, was sad to her powerful son bearing the scars of his hard and perilous life as a corsair. Wishing for him to put the dangerous life of his youth behind him and finally find peace, she begs him to settle down and find a wife. Not wanting to deny her dying wish, he agrees, or so it seems. Justin, of course, has other ideas. He will just pretend long enough to let his mother die happy, then go right back to his life of riches, adventure, and intrigue.
To execute his plan, Justin needs to find an actress to serve as his “wife” and a home sumptuous and richly decorated up to his standards to fool his mother into believing he plans on staying. Things begin going well when he finds a suitable “fiancé” in the town, an estate to rent in the countryside, and then the lovely Mouette, the perfect interior decorator, at his brother’s dinner table. But there is history or sparks flying between the fiery Mouette and Justin so of course this won’t be an easy partnership.
I love this story. Unlike the typical romance novel, this one tells the story of a hero that is not quite in his prime. Justin’s knees ache, his chest pains him, and his thickening middle worries him about whether his best pair of pants will still fit. And Mouette gives us a refreshing new type of leading lady—she was once confident of her beauty, but now worries that her age and bearing two sons have maybe left her a little worse for wear. These two characters feel real and 100% relatable—no simpering miss getting her first glimpse of the world, or dashing, impossibly strong and perfectly handsome young hero here. The title may hint at make-believe, but the story itself could not feel more real.
This story stands on itself, but what adds that extra layer of magic is all the recurring characters. I recommend visiting the author’s page to see all of her wonderful stories. Her novel SILVER STORM started me on romance novels years ago and I’ve not put them down since. These aren’t your grandmother’s Harlequins—they are smart, richly detailed, and thoroughly enjoyable, from the first to the last.
The cover depicting a couple may be the best on any Historical Romance. The male model IS Justin.
It will be worth your time to read this full series. The first novel "Silver Storm" is my second favorite. Bravo Cynthia!
I also love it that the publishers have "allowed" a romance novel about older (30's pushing 40) characters that can give you a fully orchestrated blueprint on how to catch he who doe not want to be caught!
ENJOY this family saga and good chase of a hero that I really believed wanted changed!