“It was done, they were bound, all was finished…”
A fighter, a drinker and a notorious seducer, Isaac Roscoe was the last man that innocent Ruth Osbourne would ever consider as a husband – but that was before Roscoe ruined her prospects and reputation!
Now destitute and disinherited Ruth is faced with an impossible choice, a life on the streets or exchanging vows with the man who put her there. Yet, knowing that marriage was Roscoe’s last wish, Ruth knew her revenge would be best served by saddling him with a reluctant wife.
Determined to punish Isaac for his actions Ruth will stop at nothing to destroy him, body and spirit. Until it becomes clear that nothing she can do will hurt her disloyal husband more than he can hurt himself…
Publisher and Release Date: Carina Press, May 2016
Time and Setting: England, 18th century
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1.5
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Heather C.
Ruth has what any young woman would want: a betrothal to a most eligible bachelor. Unfortunately, he is dull and not at all her type, but she is happy to have her future secure and hopes that everything will work out. Someone else has other plans for her though, and they don’t involve her marrying her intended, and that is where Isaac comes in. Isaac has been hired to ruin Ruth so that she is no long fit to marry -and he’s good at his job, but the surprise result of his plan gone awry is that Isaac and Ruth wind up wed and have to navigate their mutual hatred for their circumstances.
I love reading stories where there is not an instant romance, but the couple has to work for it. That is the case in To Wed a Rebel and man are there obstacles to be overcome! Ruth had her life all mapped out and would be soon marrying one of the richest, eligible bachelors, but she doesn’t really like him. She is practical and is just trying to fulfill her mother’s request that she never be a burden to her family – but in her heart she is settling.
Isaac Roscoe is a rogue – and I kept thinking of him in that way through the whole book, to the point where I thought a better title would have been To Wed a Rogue because I didn’t find him much of a rebel. In an effort to avoid family obligations he has made a job of taking contracts to ruin women to get them out of various marriage arrangements; dirty and deceitful work, but he rather enjoys it and typically has no qualms about doing it. But his contract to ruin Ruth bothers him in a way that the others have not; he finds her charming and sweet, and an all-around nice person. So when his mission ends in a success (sort of) he’s sorry things had to work out the way they do – until he is forced to marry Ruth. The two battle it out throughout the novel as they try to wrangle their feelings about what happened early in their relationship with new feelings that grow as they get to know each other. Their relationship develops slowly, which makes sense given their background, but at times their blindness to each other’s intentions was frustrating beyond measure!
Beyond the events of the early part of the novel which revolve around the ruination of Ruth, there is plenty of action in the story. There is a plot to save a friend, having to navigate Isaac’s family, as well as the all-around trouble Isaac tends to find himself in through his less-than-legal activities. All of these events and adventures serve to help Ruth and Isaac get over their animosity toward each other and come together.
There are only a couple of sex scenes in the book and while they are not graphic the bedroom door is definitely open. But the scenes are relevant to the development of the romance and even set up yet another roadblock down the road in their love/hate relationship, and they are well done.
Overall, To Wed a Rebel worked for me. Even though there are many problems between Isaac and Ruth, the reader is rooting for them at the end and I look forward to reading other books by Sophie Dash.