The Ugly Ducklings are in fact Swans. Only those with attention to detail and appreciation for something other than looks, can see behind their facade.
Cecily has a passion for Egyptian antiquities. She has an amazing ability for deciphering hieroglyphics. Her life's dream to go on an archeological expedition almost became true once; however, her dream was shattered when her fiance jilted her.
Lucas becomes a Duke by default. He's a decorated war hero and the last thing on his mind is getting leg shackled.
Tragedy strikes. Lucas' brother goes missing in one of the expeditions. Cecily's father suffers a stroke. The only two that know the truth about the events of their last expedition can't talk. This leaves Lucas and Cecily to solve the mess of the puzzle surrounding them.
Cecily devices a plan to gain entry to the Egyptian club. Lucas agrees to help her, his agreement only holds true until he discovers he's falling for her. The sentiment goes both ways. Cecily feels the same attraction towards Lucas but she doesn't want to go thru yet another heartbreak; she had enough with the first one, so the walls around her heart grow taller.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters personalities were very well defined. The story had a good pace and never stalled. The dialogue between Cecily and Lucas was great. It had the right amount of heat. The mystery surrounding them was awesome; it made me jump and cover my mouth, when the truth about Will comes to light (if you've ready it, you know what I mean). I thought that discovery was short of ingenious, and a great visual.
Last, Manda Collins' writing style reminds me of one of my favorite authors; Stephanie Laurens' (and that's a compliment). Anyone who's read Stephanie's books and loves them, would love Manda's as well. Needless to say, I'll be on the look out for How to Romance a Rake.
This review is also found at: Overview: What's a wallflower to do when she's suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants?
Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father's exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father's name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club-and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He's a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily-even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season's most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston's expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer's bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened?or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined?"