Scandal, Mischief, and Heartbreak in Lady Falls

22588876For Raven Wells, nothing can be better when a nobleman rescues her from a cruel orphanage when she is ten. But little does she know that her benefactor, Lord Trent, really has a less altruistic motive than what she believes. In reality, his only reason for taking in the fiery and head-strong Raven is to ruin a man named Philip Warrick, who had betrayed him long ago. Seven years later, as Trent finally puts his scheme into play, Raven becomes in danger of ruining herself when she finds herself falling in love with Philip Warrick.

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I have to admit, I was a little leery about Renee Bernard’s Lady Falls at first. First of all, I thought that Raven would turn out to be Warrick’s daughter, especially after some internal monologue from Trent:

I took you under my wing, Warrick. And for my generosity, you repaid me with treachery, as you helped yourself to the banquets in my home, the benefits of my company and the favors of my mistress’s bed! Of course, it was that last trespass that had set all in motion and Geoffrey (Trent) smiled at the simplicity of his plans for revenge. (Chapter Four)

Luckily, I was wrong. Warrick would have been eleven when Raven was born. But it still made me uneasy at first, especially after Raven totally abandoned all propriety for a romantic interlude with him in the woods. So that colored my opinion of him in the beginning. I still don’t quite like him. He is a little flat on the character side: the epitome of a chivalrous, virtuous man aside from his weakness for Raven. I want to hear more about the scoundrel he used to be, which I’m hoping are explained in the next two books, including who Raven’s father is, and how exactly Warrick betrayed Trent.

Raven, however, is fantastic. Not only is she incredibly smart, but she doesn’t let the stifling propriety keep her from speaking her mind, which is entertaining for the reader and completely vexing for her male counterparts. Even in the abusive orphanage, she refused to stay meek and she was standing up for others, even then, which is an admirable trait she didn’t lose as she grew up. Bernard mentioned that she wanted to write about a heroine who breaks all the rules, and she definitely pulled it off. Even without the intriguing plot and cliffhanger, I would still want to read the next book in the trilogy for more of Raven’s wit and heroism. Historical romance fans will be entertained by Lady Falls for years to come.