Character Sketch and Background
The Rake to Ruin Her
“MAGNIFICENT MAX” RANSLEIGH, 6’2”, Golden blonde hair, Blue eyes
Younger son of an earl with great influence in the House of Lords, Max has been groomed from an early age for a government career. He’s also the natural leader of the four cousins dubbed, after some misdeeds as Eton, as “The Ransleigh Rogues.” Handsome, well-spoken, “able to charm any woman and persuade any man,” Max is Society’s darling--until a duplicitous woman’s betrayal at the Congress of Vienna implicates him in an assassination attempt on the Duke of Wellington, shattering his hopes of a brilliant future. When even his heroic efforts at the battle of Waterloo prove insufficient to restore his reputation, Max finds himself shunned by his former government friends and banned from London by his furious father. With only his fellow Rogues still welcoming his company, Max retreats to his cousin Alastair’s country estate. Disgruntled upon arrival to discover Alastair’s mother hosting a house party for eligible ton maidens, Max carefully avoids the marriageable misses—until he is cornered by Miss Caroline Denby. Before he can send her back to the house, Caro astounds him by announcing that she’s sought him out to tender a proposition: that he use his unsavory reputation to pretend to compromise her, so she will be ruined and not have to marry. Insulted, horrified—but also amused and intrigued by the unconventional Caro, Max firmly refuses. But an unscrupulous fortune-hunter’s seduction-gone-wrong throws Max and Caro into a truly compromising situation, setting into motion a train of events that will radically change both their lives.
CAROLINE DENBY, 5’6”, Auburn-brown hair, Brown eyes
After her mother died giving her birth, Caroline Denby grew up as the “son” her father never had, assisting him to build Denby Stables into one of the premier horse breeding operations in England. When his premature death cut short the London Season she didn’t want anyway, all Caro desires is to remain at Denby Lodge, carrying on her father’s legacy. She’s also reluctant to marry because of “The Curse,” a congenital malady that has caused most of the female members of her family to die in childbirth, as her mother did. But as a great heiress with a well-meaning stepmother who believes a woman’s only calling is to become a wife and mother, there seems no way to discourage suitors eager to win her hand—or at least her property. Until, at the house party to meet prospective beaux to which her stepmother drags her, she learns that the scandalous Max Ransleigh has joined the company. With his reputation already in tatters, what further harm could it do him to grant her the small favor of appearing to ruin her, so she will no longer be desirable as a wife? When Max emphatically refuses the task, she assures him she will find some other solution…until a crisis threatening her beloved Denby forces her to once again seek his help.