Snowbound with the Notorious Rake
by Sarah Mallory
Trapped by a blizzard, the sight of notorious rogue Sir Lawrence Daunton almost makes schoolteacher Rose Westerhill turn back into the snow! When it becomes apparent she has nowhere else to go Rose accepts his offer of shelter, vowing to remain indifferent to his practiced charm.
But as the temperature outside drops, she finds the wicked rake's sizzling seduction impossible to resist. For one stolen night Rose abandons her principles—and her body!—to his expert ministrations. Christmas with the rakish Lawrence promises to be a thoroughly improper yuletide celebration….
This historical romance by Sarah Mallory was written really well, but the actual story and the characters were quite frustrating. On top of that, I was a little disappointed that the entire "snowbound" scenario really only lasted a couple chapters, then the rest of the book was just a typical romance with a reformed rake and the prudish schoolteacher. I may or may not have started drifting off, or setting the book aside due to boredom.
As for our couple, they were pretty standard. I didn't find Sir Lawrence to stand out much, but he was a neutral, good man. Rose was more likable during the snowbound duration, but afterwards, I feel like she was a bit over-extreme in her prejudice against Sir Lawrence. I understand that she has a history and can see why she's so cautious, but she went to the point of simply wanting to always believe the worst of Sir Lawrence no matter that he'd been nothing but honorable towards her from the beginning.
In contrast, I found it kind of hard to believe that she would take the word of her fiance, Magnus, and her future sister-in-law, Althea, without really giving it more thought. She's been around Magnus and Althea enough that you'd think she wouldn't place so much credence in their words or actions. So it came across as her trying to find any reason possible to discredit Sir Lawrence, even if it hadn't been warranted.
The romance was super frustrating, and I'm not sure there were even any characters I liked.
The background mystery about the sunken ship, and the investigation of it seemed kind of blah.
I may try another Sarah Mallory book, but I DO hope that this one was just a fluke.