Penelope Rosebery and her younger sister have been left in an untenable situation since the death of their father. Penelope was left at the alter and has had her livelihood stolen from her by the rogue she thought loved and cared for her. Living on their own with little means has left the sisters in desolation, but Penelope has a plan to find her ex-fiance, Simon, and make him return all he stole from her family. On the road to London however, Penelope and Aubry have some difficulties when the mail coach they are traveling on becomes disabled.
Victoria Betcham, the Viscountess of Fenhurst, traveling the same road as the Rosebery sisters comes upon the ladies in distress and immediately takes them under her wing and into the safety of her son, Phineas Betcham, Viscount Fenhurst's sprawling home. Her daughter, Julia, is away recovering from her own heartbreak, and the viscountess welcomes the company of the ladies in need.
The handsome bachelor, Phineas, is content to remain single, even as he sees those around him fall in love and marry. His past heartache has left him not wanting to get close to any other female who could turn his life upside down like his last love did. When Phin meets the Rosebery sisters however, he feels a pull toward Penny like he has never felt before.Thankfully, Penelope has declared she must find a certain someone and Phineas believes it is a lost love, which would make Penelope off limits to him as his honor would prevent him from encroaching on her relationship with another man.
The more time he spends in her presence the more sparks begin to fly and Phin is having a hard time putting Penny out of his mind. Helping her find the person that left her in dire straights throws each other in the same company thus preventing Phin from running from his feelings. Penelope also attempts to deny her attraction to Phineas, but it's a lost cause.
Penelope's quest to find the man that stole her very lifestyle consumes her, to the point of placing her in danger and also of losing the only man worth anything in her life. When Phin finds out the extent of the secrets Penny has been keeping, he will stop at nothing to help her find the culprit and show her that his feelings are true.
The Midnight Rake by Anabelle Bryant is a sweeping tale of betrayal and romance. Phineas, so wronged by the one he thought he loved, realizes that the past is of no importance once he meets and becomes fully acquainted with the lovely Penelope. Penelope, on the other hand, is somewhat blinded by the task at hand to see that Phin is opening his heart to her. Phineas' mother, Victoria, adds to the aura of this tale like no mother in a historical romance I have ever encountered. She is witty and lovable and knows so much more that's going on than she allows us to know. Her parrot is a nuisance and Phineas' butler is a welcome addition to the menagerie of colorful characters. I simply enjoyed The Midnight Rake by Anabelle Bryant and hope you will as well.