To Kiss a Rake

Barbara Monajem
To Kiss a Rake
Click the button for the HTML codes


Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date
July 2015
Book 1 of Scandalous Kisses
Historical Romance


Melinda Starling doesn't let ladylike behavior get in the way of true love. She's secretly assisting in an elopement . . . until she's tossed into the waiting coach and driven away by a notorious rake.


Miles Warren, Lord Garrison, comes from a family of libertines, and he's the worst of them all—or so society believes. When Miles helps a friend to run away with an heiress, it's an entertaining way to revenge himself on one of the gossips who slandered him.

Except that he drives off with the wrong woman . . . and as if that wasn't scandalous enough, he can't resist stealing a kiss.

Book Review by LiaL (reviewer)
Oct 07, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
143 people found the following review helpful
Doing a good deed goes very wrong for Melinda and Miles. They are both helping friends elope when a series of misunderstandings leads to their own wedding instead. Can they make this mistake work to their advantage or have they doomed themselves to years of unhappiness?

Melinda is on her third season and holding out for a love match. Her friend is in love with a man that her mother does not approve and she wants to help her. When she goes to pass along a message, she is mistaken for the bride-to-be and hustled off into a carriage before she can correct them. Her grandmother uses the situation as an opportunity to punish her but it may end up being the best present she could get. She has been miserable with her grandmother who treats her horribly because of her mother's past indiscretions. Melinda is a kind woman and very concerned about the effects of her actions on others. She agrees to the marriage more so to protect Miles from more gossip than for herself.

Lord Garrison is considered a rake and the kind of man to keep your innocent young women far away from. He helps his friend but has an ulterior motive related to his past. When it is clear that Melinda will suffer greatly from his mistake about her identity, he offers to marry her. He has no real interest in marriage and does not believe in love but he is not the man society has judged him to be. He actually had a very good reason for his past actions and takes his responsibilities seriously. Miles can't escape his past and those feelings color how he views the actions of Melinda. It really jeopardizes their chance for real happiness.

I really enjoy historical romances and have been reading them for about thirty years now. My enjoyment is based on the characters and whether I like them and feel like their actions and relationship seem believable or contrived. I don't pay as much attention to the accuracy of the details about the time period. I liked Melinda and Miles a great deal and found their actions to be consistent with the revelations about their backgrounds. They are both very much influenced by their past relationships with others. For Melinda, it is her relationship with her grandmother and parents that guide her choices. She saw a marriage that was filled with unhappiness and infidelity. Her father threw her out and sent her to his mother at the age of nine because he didn't like seeing her unladylike behavior. Her grandmother beat her and withheld food in an attempt to control her. All of this abuse and unhappiness made her crave a different kind of relationship.

Miles witnessed his father's infidelities and then ended up in a relationship with a woman that had no respect for him. When he witnessed her betrayal, he ended it and he was the one that was held accountable and judged badly. She died and left him with more responsibilities and a reputation in tatters. He is not comfortable believing in love or that people can be faithful. He constantly questions Melinda's actions and suffers with strong feelings of jealousy. He is also a very devoted friend and very loyal to those he feels a responsibility for. I don't like to ruin a major storyline point so I will be somewhat vague in this next comment. There is a major point in the story that really reveals how caring he is and that he is very much capable of love.

The author really takes a lot of time developing the characters and the story. Their romance and relationship grows slowly over time. It does have some warm kisses and flirting before progressing to a more sexual relationship. I think that slow progression is important as the characters know nothing about one another in the beginning. The development helps the reader be more invested in the characters and make the relationship seem more believable. There were a lot of secrets to be uncovered and a steady pace to the reveals about their characters which kept me eager to read on.

A great historical romance has characters that seem real and are easy for the reader to connect with regardless of the difference in the time periods. Melinda and Miles are kind people that have had to deal with the unkind actions of those who supposedly loved and cared about them. They are forced together under unusual circumstances. They find that their mistake and rush to marriage may have been the best thing that could have ever happened to them if they can overcome their pasts and share those intimate secrets with one another. It is a great story of the power of love and sure to connect with the heart of any romantic.
Was this review helpful to you?   


Follow The Romance Reviews
Send us an email: carole @
Ⓒ 2010 - 2018 The Romance Reviews. All rights reserved.
March 24, 2018 01:43 PM ( EST )