Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 3
Gabrielle is the quintessential Flapper, a wild child who turns her back on home and a resentful and unloving mother to become a nightclub singer. She wants nothing more from life than freedom and pleasure.
Sebastian is a dutiful son, following in his father’s footsteps and on the verge of marrying a suitable bride. But as the Twenties roar to their conclusion, he finds himself torn between duty and the urge to indulge his adventurous streak.
From the moment Gabrielle and Sebastian meet, the tension between them simmers. When he rescues her from a boorish suitor, Gabrielle discovers a kindred spirit beneath Sebastian's serious demeanour, and she sets out to seduce him into one last passionate fling before he settles for a loveless marriage.
But the fire that burns between them threatens to consume her. Will Gabrielle survive falling in love with the one man she cannot have?
Reading and merely looking at the cover of ‘Let’s Misbehave’ brought me back to images of the jazz clubs and the flappers in the 1920s. The song ‘Let’s Misbehave’ written by Cole Porter plays a pretty substantial role in this book, in a very good way.
Rae Summers has really captured the era in London, where the story takes place. It was a time when young ladies had coming out balls and settled for happy lives, as arm candy for their very proper husbands. But Gabrielle refuses to settle for that life. She wants to experience life to the fullest and refuses to be held back by society. Instead she drinks and dances and sings and lives every moment as if it was her last. She is vivacious and full-of-life, and doesn’t care that society sees her as an outcast; a woman of ‘ill repute’.
People can identify every easily with the character of Gabrielle, no matter what era or generation you live in. There are always rebels who refuse to live by society’s rules. I loved her character because I saw her as a ‘bird that has escaped its cage so it is free to fly wherever it wants to go.
While singing in this club, she meets Sebastian when his best friend John Alistair, throws him a bachelor party. Sebastian is a dutiful son bound to follow in his father’s footsteps as a politician in Parliament, and settle down by marrying a woman of proper breeding. Born the second son, this shouldn’t have been his life. But when his older brother was killed in World War I, this life was forced upon him. He is set to marry Lilly, in a couple of weeks. He describes her as ‘a pleasant enough girl’ whom he ‘hopes to eventually love.’ Maybe Lilly will be the one to settle the quiet rebellious urges stirring in him.
I think people will also be able to understand Sebastian as someone who is unhappy with a life that ‘was chosen for him’ because of circumstances beyond his control.
Something inside Sebastian changes when he meets Gabrielle. She has the freedom that he longs for, yet feels he will never have due to family obligations. Gabrielle represents everything he wants particularly ‘freedom.’ He envies her ability to let go of her inhibitions and be reckless and experience elation and joy.
But Gabrielle has issues of her own. Her rebellion against her mother and society has left her feeling unloved and unlovable. The only person who ever understood her and loved her for ‘her’ was her father who is dead. She feels a yearning to be loved by someone who can love her as she is. She’s not about to change just for a man. As she sees it, ‘society has condemned her, approving rather the naïve virgins who waited to be auctioned off into marriage to the highest bidder. The one suitor who will tolerate her behavior is James Marsden-Lucy, a man of means similar to Sebastian. But he doesn’t stir the desire in her as only Sebastian can.
Gabrielle and Sebastian, although total opposites, are drawn to each other. She sees in him the ability to be ‘full of mischief’ and ‘burn with desire.’ She decides that before he settles down, she’s going to help him experience life. For Sebastian, it is exhilarating being with her. The more time he spends with her the more he sees the life he could have, if he was willing to give up on Lilly, disappointing his parents and society.
What starts as a simple fling, turns into something so much more. But will society keep Sebastian from the one woman he loves. Or will it lead him into in an unhappy marriage to a woman who is perfect for him due to her breeding. Or will he throw society a curveball and pursue a life with Gabrielle.
‘Let’s Misbehave’ is a wonderful book that keeps you longing for Sebastian to realize what he has found in Gabrielle and what he has gained from being with her. Is he will to settle for Lilly when he has finally found the freedom he has always longed for?
Rae Summers clearly has a hit with this wonderful book. It definitely deserves five Tea Cups!
5 Tea Cups!