So far, I have met 2 kinds of rake in historical romances: the one that is polite, likes to amuse himself mocking others, that is handsome and powerful, with mistresses but who is always a gentleman (example: any hero created by Georgette Heyer"). The other kind of rake is the one that has a lot of mistresses, is selfish and cold, and basically, thinks that women exist only to pleasure men. And Matthew is this kind of rake (and I hate this kind)
I have to admit that he did say beautiful things. When he confessed his feelings, his words were sweet, honest, pure. But that is the only good thing I see in him.
The book was bad at the beginning and at the end. Only the middle was really good, and that is enough reason for one star. The other star is for Jane, who I liked.. mostly at least (at the end, I despised her).
The introduction we have of Matthew... not good. He is a womanizer who only thinks of women "spreading her legs to be fucked". That is what he mostly says and thinks. Total jerk. Not only his way of thinking, but his words, the way he expresses himself. I like Historical Romances for several reason, and among them is the way people talk, people of High and Low Society. And Matthew was very vulgar in my opinion, using 'fuck', 'cunt', among other words I don't remember now but that made me shuddered of revulsion.
He is immediately smitten by Jane, when he is lying at the hospital with his eyes covered. And almost immediately he asks her to 'jerk him off'. And there I was, thinking 'Oh geez, another lame erotic book'. Fortunately, it was not. I mean, there are a lot of love scenes, but that's what it is. They are truly making love, and it feels so intimate I skipped the love scenes -several... seriously, there were more that 5 straight pages I guess-. It was beautiful written, but in my opinion, it was like being a voyeurist.
When he meets Jane and really sees her (how she looks like I mean) he is rude and cold. Of course he would not ever think that that plain girl was his Jane. And again I thought "What an a**hole". Jane covers her hurt feelings very well, and that is where I really liked her. Later it was well explained why he behaved like that, and seeing him as much in love with her as he was, it was almost forgivable.
In conclusion, it was a nice book, but not entirely. For like, half of the book. I could not like Matthew at all (except when he confesses his love... He does not try to deny his feelings like in most Historical romances). His awful past was his fault, I could not feel sorry for him. He knew what he was doing, and he kept doing it. He 'dug his own grave' (at least this is how we say it in Spanish, not sure if it exists in English?)
The end was most disappointed. I thought Jane was a strong, independent... what she did was despicable and low. I supposed readers would like this "HEA" but for me, it was vulgar and pathetic.