Character Sketch and Background
The Rake to Reveal Her
DOMINIC FITZALLEN RANSLEIGH, 6’3”, blonde hair, brown eyes
“Dandy Dom, the handsomest man in the Regiment, able to ride anything with four legs and drive anything with four wheels,” seemed destined for a stellar career, adorning Society with the Duke’s daughter he audaciously claimed for his bride. Following in his hunting-mad father’s footsteps, his passion is breeding the fastest, most spirited horses he can find and bending them to his will. But his service at Waterloo comes at a terrible price: the loss of an arm and an eye that leaves him without the peripheral vision to jump safely and the strength to control the horses he’s bred and trained. Stripped of the only occupation he’s ever envisioned for himself, Society and the hunting-focused friends and activities now abhorrent to him, Dom jilts his fiancé and retreats to the family estate he’s not seen for seven years, determined to find himself…whatever is left to find. Having rebuffed one of the most charming Beauties of the Ton, Dom is in no mood to accommodate the shockingly plain-spoken Theo. But something about their shared experience with the army and the determined lady’s passionate purpose calls to him…
THEODORA BRANWELL, 5’7” Brown hair, brown eyes
Theo’s unconventional childhood, growing up in India and then following the drum with her colonel father, leaves her ill-prepared for life in an England she’s never known. But after her father’s death at Waterloo, and having earlier lost her soldier fiancé in a Peninsular War battle, she returns there with a troop of soldiers’ orphans in tow. Resisting her aunt’s plea that she look to marry, she intends instead to establish a school where the children can be raised and trained to useful occupations. Near the manor she rents, she’s found a building suitable for converting into her school, only to discover its absentee owner has unexpectedly returned—with no desire for neighbors, certainly not a troop of unruly orphans. But Theo hasn’t lived through hardship and heartache to have her life’s aim easily thwarted. Her sympathy immediately aroused when she discovers her potential landlord is a wounded former soldier, Theo’s pleas on behalf of her orphans begin to draw him out of his brooding isolation…toward a future neither of them could have envisioned.