The Love of a Rake

Linda Rae Sande
The Love of a Rake
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Linda Rae Sande
Release Date
October 2015
Book 1 of The Brothers of the Aristocracy
Historical Romance

Everyone has plans … until something—or someone—comes along to change them.

At the age of thirty-five, Randall Roderick, Marquess of Reading, decides it's time to trade in his life as the ‘Rake of Reading' for the life of a married man. Trouble is, his reputation precedes him, and he's not particularly attracted to the milk water misses who make up the eligible ladies of the ton. 

His counterpart, Charles Goodwin, Earl of Wakefield, is only twenty-five and enjoys his life as a rake far too much to consider marriage. A visiting prostitute may change his mind on the matter, though, if only because he wants to do the right thing.

When the Earl of Norwick's skittish cousin, Constance, meets Randall in the park, she's intrigued by the gentleman she thinks is merely a well-to-do cit with a fascination for horse racing, but she's only in London to find out what's become of her inheritance. She's determined to return to her home and horses in Sussex to live the life of an independent woman. 

Her counterpart, Eleanor Merriweather, is in London for her come-out with a dream to marry her perfect knight, but having been duped by a brothel's madame upon her arrival, she suddenly finds herself completely and thoroughly ruined.

When the lives of these four are suddenly upended by their chance meetings, the events of two nights and two days will prove that it takes a bit of horse sense to get on the right track in "The Love of a Rake".

Book Review by LiaL (reviewer)
Feb 27, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
232 people found the following review helpful
Two men are at a crossroads in their lives. One man realizes he needs to make adjustments. The other man is more resistant to taking action until some special circumstances. Introduce these two men to two women who are in London to change their lives and the result is a lot of fun.

Randall, the Marquess of Reading, is thirty-five and a little tired of the widows and other easy conquests in his life. He wants a wife and legitimate children. He thought he had a chance with a young woman but when that ends differently than he expected, his eye is caught by another woman. He meets Constance in the park and decides that she will do nicely for his wife. He becomes a little stalker-like in trying to find out more about her and arrange the circumstances to suit his needs.

Charles, the Earl of Wakefield, is twenty-five and taking full advantage of his title and money. He regularly has prostitutes delivered to his home for his amusement. When the madam sends a special birthday gift, his life is changed dramatically. Eleanor is so different from the usual women and he feels a sense of tenderness with her and a desire to please her. When he discovers her true identity, he resolves to make her his wife.

Constance is twenty-five and in London to secure her inheritance so she can continue to take care of her home and her horses. She is frightened of the future if she can't get the money. She is reluctant to ask her cousin for assistance due to their last meeting. When the lawyers give her few other options, she takes the risk. Meeting Randall in the park during her visit is quite a surprise. She is not looking for a man and has resolved to be a spinster. He works hard to introduce her to the delights of London and to the love he can offer her.

Eleanor is a young woman excited to go to London to participate in all the parties and fun. She is fooled by an ad and ends up at the mercy of a madam. She is terrified to be sent to the Earl of Wakefield as his present. Eleanor knows who he is and tries to flee without anyone else noticing her indiscretion but Charles is not interested in letting her get away. Charles can be quite hard to resist when he really wants something. He offers Eleanor beautiful clothing and sexual pleasure she never imagined.

This regency romance has the feel of as if many vignettes were layered together to form the story. You go back and forth between these two couples as well as meet other couples and individuals that they are acquainted with and go to for advice on their new relationships. There are couples that are newly married, new parents and even a couple entering into a ménage to protect his reputation and allow him to keep his male lover. The story switches narration often and it keeps it interesting. In the very beginning, the quick transitions were a little confusing to me but after a short time, I learned to enjoy the unique flow.

I really enjoy historical romances and loved that this one did not follow the usual template. There were all kinds of couples represented with their own stories to share. The characters were not perfect and had made their share of mistakes but owned those mistakes and did not try to hide them (at least for long). I smiled as the couples shared their stories with a real intimacy you don't often get in historical romances especially from the male characters.

It is a very charming story of two different couples meeting under unusual circumstances and embracing a new way of life. The men had enjoyed easy dalliances with women and finally meet the women they could see spending the rest of their life with and raising a family. It is the women that need more convincing in this book. They were expecting a very different outcome from their trip to London and have to be charmed enough to accept the love of these rakes. A unique style to the storytelling make this a historical romance that stands out from the rest.
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