Book 1 of Rakes and Rogues
USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee delights readers with the first in a vibrant, saucy Regency romances series.
Mellie Smithson has a plan…
Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating—although admittedly handsome—guest of her father. Unwilling to settle, Mellie will do anything to escape to London...
Trevor Anaedsley has a problem…
Trevor Anaedsley’s grandfather has cut off his funds until he gets engaged. Beset by creditors, Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor Mr. Smithson—where he meets Smithson’s lovely daughter Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but will this fake engagement go as Trevor and Mellie plan? Or will they find that even the best laid plans often go awry?
Rakes and Rogues Series:
50 Ways to Ruin a Rake (Book 1)
One Rogue at a Time (Book 2)
The Richer the Rogue (Book 3)
Praise for 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake:
“Lee creates a wonderful read full of madness and mayhem...” —RT Book Reviews, 4_ Stars
“With its wonderfully whimsical characters and fanciful plot, Lee’s latest…is tailor-made for readers who like their Regency-set historicals served up with plenty of frothy fun.” —Booklist
“Full of witty banter and steamy love scenes, Lee will keep you entranced until the very end.” —Historical Romance Lover, 5 Stars
Lee's first Rakes and Rogues Regency romance is a middling affair that relies too heavily on the ridiculous. When Melinda Smithson, beautiful, rich, and logical, is proposed to for the umpteenth time by her obsessively poetic but brutish cousin Ronnie, she bemoans her inexplicable lack of other prospects. Trevor, future Duke of Timby and a former student of Melinda's father, pays a visit and complains that his grandfather has cut off all funds until Trevor becomes engaged. Quickly he realizes that a fake betrothal will let him introduce Melinda to men who might court her and will also unlock his bank accounts. Unexpected reactions, high emotions, determined suitors, and scenes of passion soon blur the lines between falsehood and reality. Lee begins her tale with an unsuccessful attempt at humor and relies on extreme emotional drama to propel the action. Her formulaic and unoriginal plot strikes out.
A lovely start to a new series,
I love smart fiction, and when the reality is that stories all contain tropes that are familiar in their basic construct, it is the author’s manipulation of those tropes and their ability to tell a story without losing the reader in repetition that keeps reads fresh and engaging. Jade Lee’s newest release, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake is a smart and fun read, perfect for a summer afternoon.
Mellie is an intelligent and determined young woman, but living in the country with her father has limited her prospects for marriage. She wants to enjoy the attention her father lavishes on Trevor, mentoring his scientific experiments, but he barely gives her a second glance, even as she has created her own formula for a beauty product that she hopes will be successful and provide an income, and some freedom. But, her father sees her only as his daughter, and is convinced that a marriage to Ronnie, a distant relation, is a logical option.
Trevor is struggling in society, with his allowance held in abeyance until he settles down and chooses a wife. He’s just not met anyone who fits the bill for him quite yet. In the years that Trevor has known her family, he’s noticed Mellie’s brilliance, and the fact that she has grown into quite a beauty. Perhaps an engagement to Mellie will provide them both with new options: his for cash flow and hers for the opportunity to meet a proper suitor.
Clever with several red herrings, I was expecting some nefarious dealings around Mellie’s chemical formula and her ability to reason through Trevor’s experiments and provide suggestions could have provided some opportunity for sniping between them, but neither happened as they slowly came to realize the suitability of their own pairing.
Solidly Victorian in approach, setting and attitude, these two are wonderfully written with solid personalities and voices that suit them and the plot perfectly. Insets of humor from both speech and misunderstandings, as well as a few slapstick moments keep the story light and enjoyable, while the steamy moments help to build the connection between the two for readers. A lovely start to a new series, and one that has me seeking out more of Ms. Lee’s titles.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Loved this story
Very fun romance !