Madelynne Ellis's newest addition to her Georgian Rakehells tells the story of Fortuna Allenthorpe and Giles Dovecote. Fortuna and Giles refresh their acquaintance in the gardens, at a ball, after both have fled their admirers. Giles has been intrigued with Fortuna since he met her after she had imbibed another's laudanum. Fortuna is expected to marry Sir Hector Macleane. She denied his suit, but her family is pressuring her to marry him. Giles offers her his protection, if she runs away with him. She agrees and for a few blissful days, she finds happiness with Giles and his two friends Neddy and Darleston. Giles is anti-marriage. He thinks that the institution enslaves women and he no intention of perpetuating the societal norm. Ultimately, he discovers the only way to save Fortuna is to don the yoke of marriage- and he discovers that he and Fortuna can create an equal relationship.
I really liked the development of Giles and Fortuna's relationship. Fortuna knows what she wants and isn't a retiring insipid flower. There are three other books in the series and I definitely recommend reading them in order, if only to get a clear list of who's who.
Genre: Menage; historical; M/F/M/M
Length: Super novel (96,751 words)
When you’re a dutiful, dependable and desperate woman… sometimes falling into the arms of a gorgeously sinful rakehell really is the only way out. Better yet, make that three gorgeously sinful rakehells…
Fortuna Allenthorpe is so repulsed by the man to whom her parents have engaged her that she takes the only available way out, and flees into the night with notorious rakehell, Giles Dovecote. Giles is a vocal advocate of free love, and he and his debauched friends the Darleston twins, are soon vying for Fortuna’s attention while introducing her to all manner of sexual delights.
Convinced that her tattered reputation will prompt her fiancé to call off the engagement, Fortuna is troubled to learn that Sir Hector is still set upon their marriage. It seems he’s more interested in her impressive inheritance, a ruby necklace known as the Star of Fortune, than he is in her errant virtue. What’s more, he’s prepared to destroy her family to ensure he gets exactly what he wants.
Suddenly, Fortuna’s only means of escape is to make a more agreeable match. How difficult can that be, when she’s head over heels for Giles, and he’s already sworn to help her? There’s just one problem—Giles’s deep-rooted belief that marriage is nothing more than social slavery. Past mistakes weight heavily on his conscience, but can he really sit back and condemn the woman he loves to a hellish match?