A battered wife escorts three orphaned girls to their bachelor uncle, a confirmed rake.
Seraphina Baines-Miller Treadwell married an excellent actor. Unfortunately, he convinced everyone that he was an upstanding gentleman and a competent jungle guide. By the time Sera realized that her husband Gerald Treadwell was a violent when drunk, petty when sober tyrant, he had led an archaeology expedition into the jungle near the coastal town of Belize.
Arthur and Mary Reeves were brilliant archaeologists, but not very sophisticated people. They followed Gerald into the wilds and left their three daughters in Mrs. Treadwell’s care. The week long expedition stretched into months and neither Arthur, Mary nor Gerald returned.
Sera sold her paintings to support the four of them, but Belize didn’t have much of a market for artists, no matter how talented. Then one day, a letter arrived from London. Percivale Reeves, Arthur’s oldest brother had died; Arthur was now the Earl of Lansdown. But Arthur was presumed dead so, the title rightfully belonged to Carden, Arthur’s younger brother.
Carden Reeves is addicted to risk. He is an ex-cavalry officer, a master swordsman, an exceptional engineer, a gambler and a consummate rakehell. Carden fervently believes that rules were made to be broken. His mother was the only person who could convince him to behave and she had died when he was nine years old. He was determined not to settle down. Responsibility was the first step on the road to respectability and that led to marriage. The next thing a fellow knew, he would be an upright citizen, just like his father, the Earl of Lansdown. Carden was determined not to be anything like the man he blamed for his mother’s death. The old Earl had been so concerned with what people thought, he had been willing to do anything to avoid scandal. Carden vowed never to let rules get in the way of what he wanted.
Then an angel arrived on his doorstep with three fallen cherubs in tow. Carden barely registered her words, although deep inside, he knew what she said was true. The beautiful messenger of doom did not mince words. His brother was dead. Carden was an Earl and his nieces were his responsibility now.
God looks after fools and children. Rakes fall under the care of angels.