Bryony Russell and her sisters were left with nothing thanks to her father who had embezzled a fortune and then died fleeing. Bryony knew that was not true but she had to prove otherwise. She will disguise herself as a housekeeper in the Earl of Kilmartyn’s house as he was one of her suspects who was the true villain. She will be surprised when lust will take over but knows that nothing can come from it as he is her suspect and was married.
Adrian Burton, Earl of Kilmartyn, knew that this new housekeeper was not all she said she was. He could instantly tell that she was lying and Adrian wanted to enjoy figuring out as she was a challenge. These days that is what Adrian wanted, a woman he could enjoy not like his wife who was a treacherous woman who set out to keep him in the sham of a marriage.
Never Kiss a Rake is the first book of the series Scandal at the House of Russell by Anne Stuart. This series reminds me greatly of the series House of Rohan which was a series I loved reading and it was the same with Scandal at the House of Russell. I loved this first book. With the romance books I have read I will say that this book is definitely one of the darker cast of characters as there is a lot of treachery, betrayal and sabotage, and plenty of lust. All of those qualities are what made the book for me.
Bryony is a determined woman who wants to find out the truth about her father. She will not stop until she found the man who was responsible for her families ruined reputation. I liked that she was brave but very self conscious about the marks on her face which were probably very little but as she was told she was ugly over and over it sunk in. Adrian is a charming man who is devious with a jaded past. He very easily could have been the villain but he is the hero of the story just one who has a darker side. I liked that he wasn’t convinced about Bryony and knew she was hiding things right away as that kept the story going. Bryony and Adrian certainly have that lust for each other but it is held back that is until they are ready to basically tear each others clothes off though there was that danger that was still in the background.
The villain is a particularly cruel sort of person who is bent on wrapping up lose ends which meant that Bryony was in danger. The villain was not a stretch are you already knew that they had evil tendency but I wasn’t sure if they were the true villain of the book that is until Stuart confirms it.
After reading this book I know I will be back to finish up the series with the other two books.