Taken by the Wicked Rake by Christine Merrill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Last in the "Silk and Scandal" series, in which the longstanding Mystery is Solved, the Reader having already Determin'd the Villain several Books Before. Also, the hero's motivation...oh, well, that actually was also revealed several books before. We do get his point-of-view, by which we understand that the curse has bound him through horrible headaches. But, the woman who is "taken" (pun alert, as she is also kidnapped) by the Wicked Rake aka Stephano Beshaley aka Stephen Hebden aka Lord Salterton aka the Gypsy -- he wears many hats--although previously portrayed as quiet and agreeable, turns out to kick ass even more than her mate (who is really nowhere NEAR as dark as an Anne Stuart hero in this book, which was kind of disappointing). This conclusion didn't exactly fizzle--it was a reasonable enough romance on it's own--but the build-up was such that I expected a better book and more edgy hero. It's kind of like Stephen lost his mojo--I mean, headaches? Really?
On the other hand, Taken By the Wicked Rake does not suffer from series-related infodump syndrome (SRIS) as the plotline of the series is seamlessly integrated with the plot of this book; that is, the same situations that drive the series arc also drive each individual book. In that respect, the whole series was a thing of beauty. If anything, the flaws rest in a mystery too easily solved, and a not-quite-villainous-enough hero in the last book.
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