Title: The Rake
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Series: Lessons in Love #1 (Books are stand-alone)
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: August 1st 2003 by Thorndike Press
Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★
Three determined young ladies vow to give three of London’s worst rakes their comeuppance ― but when these rogues turn the tables, who truly learns a lesson in love?
Once upon a time, the notorious Viscount Dare charmed Lady Georgiana Halley out of her innocence ― to win a wager, no less! ― and now he must pay dearly. The plan is simple: She will use every seductive wile she knows to win Dare’s heart…and then break it. But his smoldering gaze once again tempts Georgiana to give in to desire ― and when he astonishes her with a marriage proposal, she wonders: Is he playing yet another game…or could it truly be love this time?
4 of 5 stars to The Rake by Suzanne Enoch
Historicals never fail to lift my mood up whenever I’m in a book slump. I was only going to try and read a few pages of this one to see if I like the writing style as this is my first Suzanne Enoch. I ended up going until the 40% because I just couldn’t put it down. I’m glad I discovered a new Historical Romance author whose books I could binge-read!
The Rake started out with the duplicity from the heroine who wanted to teach her nemesis a lesson. She’s going to make him fall in love with her and then break his heart in the process–something the rake has done quite so recklessly a lot in the past with the horde of unsuspecting innocent debutantes–including herself.
While I hated this kind of theme, I was surprised to find that Georgiana’s duplicity didn’t bother me as much because her heart was in the right place and I could actually feel that her actions towards Tristan were sincere despite her belief that she was only faking it. I also liked that there wasn’t too much drama. I was expecting Tristan to get bitter and treat Georgiana coldly once he discovers her act and then Georgiana will do all the groveling but he was very repentant and understanding, it didn’t come to that. After her schemes were revealed, Tristan opted to stay honest with Georgiana from then on even while Georgiana was still skeptical about his affections. It was refreshing to read about characters with actual character growth.
There was also the typical blackmail trope but was resolved in a rather amusing manner. Instead of the blackmail causing a major conflict and heartbreak between the couple, they decided to trust each other and tell of what predicament they have fallen into. Together, they worked it out. I appreciate that so much. Authors often just go the easy route and create drama out of this one but Enoch went the extra mile and thought of a clever way to utilize a romantic cliche, one that isn’t always done. It was a huge relief.
Prior to these developments, I have enjoyed Georgiana and Tristan’s cat-dog dynamics and it only got better after an unofficial “truce” because Georgiana was more open to Tristan but retained her sass.