Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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Suzanne Enoch's Reforming a Rake: With This Ring is lazy, cynical, and as predictable as an Applebee's meal. It is also about 1000 times better than the last romance novel we reviewed, partly because Enoch is a far better writer and partly because when it comes to romance novels, I don't mind a little predictability.

Handsome, rakish Lord Lucien Balfour is required to launch his gauche young cousin into society. Determined to get rid of the girl as soon as possible, he hires Alexandra Gallant, a “finishing governess” who specializes in polishing young ladies' social skills. Lucien is immediately attracted to Alexandra, but she is all-too-aware of the consequences of scandal, and has no intention of being seduced by her employer—no matter how attractive she finds the surprisingly kind nobleman.

Enoch knows what she's doing, and I flipped through With This Ring with mild enjoyment. Literally the only surprising thing about it is how relentlessly generic it is, but the end result is entertaining enough. The leads boast plenty of romantic chemistry, I liked the gentle friendship between Alexandra and her silly young charge, and the story is careful to emphasize the hero's basic decency. I've read plenty of other Enoch books that manage to achieve something greater, but even when she's churning out something that feels like she was desperate to meet a deadline, she remains on my short list of consistently readable romance novelists.
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Posted by: Julianka

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