Review: Ruined by a Rake (All's Fair in Love #1) by Erin Knightley

Print Length: 128 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 31, 2013)

From It started with a kiss.

When nine-year-old Eleanor Abbington first met her uncle’s new stepson, Nicolas Norton, the boy rudely stole a kiss from her that set the tone for their contentious and competitive relationship. It wasn’t until years later when Nick introduced her to fencing that they finally had a proper outlet for their frequent arguments.

Having just emerged from mourning following her mother’s death, Eleanor is exactly where she wishes to be at the age of four-and-twenty: an on-the-shelf spinster and unofficial companion to her aunt. Unfortunately, her ambitious uncle has other plans for her future. On the eve of his house party, he lays down his ultimatum: either Eleanor marries the man of his choosing, or he'll force her seventeen-year-old sister to do so instead.

When Nick unexpectedly arrives on their doorstep after a two year absence, Eleanor is in no mood for their normal banter. Seeming to know exactly what she needs, Nick challenges her to pick up the foil once more. During their pre-dawn matches, he shows her just how strong she can be . . . and exactly how much he’s changed since leaving. But when her old adversary becomes her only ally, she may very well find herself . . . Ruined by a Rake. 

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Of course, being a novella I have to voice my usual complaints - but not for my usual reasons. Usually I complain because novellas don't give you enough time with your favorite characters. This time, I'm complaining because I feel this story would be been better if the author had had more time to flesh everything out. Instead of a steady paced story where two characters overcome an obstacle on their way to love, it seemed as though this story moved at a breakneck speed and never gave the reader a time to really connect to what was going on.

These characters were interesting - I especially enjoyed the love/hate friendship between Nick and Eleanor. Their fencing scenes were some of my favorite, but again I wish there had been more of a chance to get a deeper connection with them. It comes out that Nick has always been in love with her, but we don't really get a sense of that from the book. 

Lastly, the abrupt ending left much to be desired. I found myself going back to see if I hadn't accidentally skipped ahead without meaning to. I would have loved for there to have been an epilogue so that we could see what the future was like for these two considering how rushed everything else felt. 

Overall, for a free book its worth it if you're looking just for something to pass the time. 


Ruined by a Rake (All's Fair in Love #1)  is available from

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