Rescued By A Viscount by Wendy Vella
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Claire is not an easy heroine to love: she's an odd mix of earnest, passionate, loyal ... and ignorant. She's very driven, as well -- and it's the volatile mix of personality and circumstances that have led her into trouble as she chases after her dead brother's final legacy.
When her brother, her closest friend, died from his war injuries, I think it turned Claire's perfect world upside down -- and she lost the lodestone that centered her. Now, she suffers from insomnia and has very strained relations with her mother and older brother -- I felt bad for Claire's family. I don't think they've had the chance to sit down and share their grief with each other, and that silence has become an impenetrable wall that neither side can see through.
Perhaps this is the best thing to take away from Vella's Rescued by a Viscount: how death affects the living. Claire's a society miss and she's meant to be happy and carefree. She still presents that facade to society, but Simon, Viscount Kelkirk can see that something isn't right with Claire ... and hasn't been in a while.
Which makes Claire a heroine I could sympathise with. She does a good job pretending that everything is fine -- and she keeps her private grief separate from her public life, but, as the days pass, it is inevitable that the two sides of her would meld together. That she wasn't sleeping well, that she was struggling to stay in control of her life and situation ... Claire has lost her way and struggling to find it again.
Viscount Kelkirk is there for Claire and he tries to help, but their relationship has always been adversarial -- how can he change that? How can he change the way they relate to each other? Claire has always been wary of Kelkirk, so she is a bit suspicious of his change of heart.
Clare has always kept her distance from Simon Kelkirk because there was something about him that unsettled her. He wasn't like other men; he didn't observe the correct distance when conversing or dancing with a woman, nor did he guard his tongue. In fact, he was the opposite of everything she strove to be, and she had never known how to handle him.
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Kelkirk offers his assistance several times -- and this is the part of the story I didn't enjoy very much as this plot point repeats in the story: Claire makes a rash decision and gets into trouble and Kelkirk is there to save her. Claire always has an explanation for her foolhardiness, but she never seems to learn the lesson -- and keeps repeating the same mistake.
... she was an intelligent woman. If her wits did not help, then she had the money she had saved, plus the full purse she'd stolen from her brother to bribe people. Dear lord, she hoped Mathew didn't blame the staff for the missing money. Claire dismissed this thought; she would deal with that upon her return if it needed to be dealt with.
She would be a young lady traveling alone, as she dared not take her maid because she was a terrible gossip; she had told her she would be using Eva's for the duration of her visit at Stratton. The journey to Liverpool would take three days, possibly four, and this would create curiosity. But she would have to worry about that, too, as the journey progressed.
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...Claire suddenly realised that, should something go wrong, there would be no one to turn to. Her brother would not come to her aid, nor her friends, because they had no idea where she was. Suddenly, her flight from Simon did not seem such a wise idea, and the folly of her impulsive actions now weighed heavily on her shoulders.
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This is clearly a novel that celebrates the hero. From the first moment it he story, up to the last, Viscount Kelkirk was steady, calm and dependable as our heroine, Claire, rushed headlong into trouble. Simon is a very interesting hero -- and I could see that great care and thought was taken when his character was created. He's a powerful and popular peer -- but he also hides a secret sadness, and a very interesting hobby. Throughout the story, he never judges Claire or gives up on her -- despite his disappointment and frustration, he continues to do what his mind (and heart) compel him to do: protect Claire and keep her safe.
In Claire's defense, she really does have very good intentions, but she just doesn't have the experience or the time to think things through. I think the end of the story, which reveals her brother's secret, vindicates Claire's actions and decisions.
Rescued by a Viscount is Book 2 in Wendy Vella's Regency Rakes series. To find out more about Wendy and her books, click below:
Disclosure: I received this review copy from the author. Thank you, Wendy Vella, for the opportunity! Yes, this is an honest review.