Valentine Donovan is a confirmed rake. Determined to spite his supposed father by any means he can, Val has descended into a life of pleasure, none of which grants him any sort of true happiness. But as his debts continue to mount, he soon faces the consequences of his reprehensible lifestyle.

Rebecca Russell has never experienced grand outings and lavish balls. Having been sheltered living with her grandfather the majority of her life, she’s oblivious to the ways of Society, but she plans to change all that with a Season in Brighton with her sister-in-law, Diana, as her chaperone. Her time in the seaside city begins with a rocky start when she meets Mr. Donovan sneaking in through the window of the kitchen quite drunk.

With his father’s threats hanging over him, demanding reformation, Val begrudgingly accepts the notion of a ruse with Miss Russell. If he can prove he’s changed, his debts will be paid, and she will gain desirability with proof of a suitor. Once a rake, always a rake, once a ruse, always a ruse…or perhaps not?

I ADORED this story. You cannot help but love the characters. Rebecca is so innocent and naive, and Val, very much aware of this fact, quickly becomes a sort of tutor for her. It was absolutely hilarious to watch him explain cant phrases to her, and I swear I snorted every time she used them wrong. XD They both showed so much growth and the emotional connection was nigh on instantaneous. I really enjoy redemption stories, and it was fun to see Val get that and to see Rebecca mature as well. Usually when I read Regency there is one or two scenes that just really stand out to me…this had WAY more than that (which I shan’t divulge because I do not spoil)! There were so many sweet moments, and many moments of excellent romantic tension, too. Easily one of my favorite Regencys of all time! I cannot recommend it enough. Romance. Humor. Wit. And everything else you could want in a clean romance.