Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkeley Sensation
Genre: Historical Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Darcie Wilde on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Excerpt from, Lord of the Rakes, courtesy of the author's website.
All of London knows Phillip Montcalm’s name. It’s on the lips of a different lady every night…
So it’s no wonder he’s called the Lord of the Rakes. Rumor has it he’s the most dangerous seducer in the city, with quite the extensive list of conquests. Talk of his prowess as a lover and his ingenuity in the bedroom are enough to make even the most prudish of ladies succumb to temptation. But as of late, Phillip has found himself a bit bored. Until he sets his eyes on a fiery newcomer.
New to independence and London, gorgeous heiress Lady Caroline Delamarre wants to make the most of her life. And when Phillip meets her gaze, she knows the perfect place to start: in his arms…and in his bed. But what begins as a long night of breathtaking passion leads to more than the two bargained for. Haunted by troubled pasts and inescapable family entanglements, each of them must decide if they can risk a gamble on what might be true love.
Darcie Wildes new romance, Lord of the Rakes is set in the Regency era and adheres to some rules of the ton, while flouting others. Readers who are looking for a steamy romance between a sheltered young woman, gaining her independence and a man who is known for his sexual exploits will find this one right up their alley. Wilde uses beautiful prose and elaborate descriptions to engage the reader and keep them turning the pages. Her characters are fiery and full of surprises, but will Caroline let Phillip be her master or is their dalliance only a passing fling?
What I liked:
When I started reading this book, I was fully expecting a regular Regency romance. But I was quite surprised to find that Darcie Wilde had different ideas for this book. I loved the overall premise of the book, sheltered young woman finally gets her independence and decides to have some fun. Disenchanted rake is bored with his life of gaming and women and wants to find a purpose in his life. I could definitely see where this one was going and I liked the direction. Imagine my surprise when said rake asks said young woman to call him master. Was this a Regency or a master/sub relationship gearing up here? I would have to say it was a bit of both.
Wilde sets the reader up with the idea that heroine, Caroline has been kept away from London by her father and her brother possibly because of a trust fund she has only recently become away of. Caroline is young and beautiful and she has lived on mother's stories of her social life in London and she wants to experience it for herself. In the process she intends to leave for France and never marry if she can help it. In the ton, reputation means everything but to Caroline is means very little, so the idea of taking a lover doesn't bother her. In fact she wants it very much. I thought maybe the fact that an innocent would choose to take a lover almost on a whim was perhaps a little far fetched but I went with it and found that Wilde made it seem more realistic the more I read.
Phillip is widely known as a rake. He spends every night with a different woman. I could totally understand why he might be bored after a while. It might be a different woman, but it was still the same game. It was sort of expected from a second son, but it was getting out of hand and Phillip was beginning to think his life had become quite meaningless. I thought Wilde did an exceptional job with this character. His dominant behavior was certainly a surprise but not unbelievable. He was in a sense looking for something in his life he could control and his pleasure became that thing.
Once I got over the initial shock of finding a wee bit of dominant/submissive behavior in this book, I enjoyed where the author took it. She didn't add so much of it that it could be termed erotica, but she kind of whetted the appetite of the reader. Readers who are not used to that sort of thing may have found it uncharacteristic for the genre, but it may certainly have opened their eyes to the possibilities. I liked the brush with BDSM without all the entanglements.
This romance kind of started backwards, but realistically that's how most of them do in the real world. Sex first, questions later. I thought the fact that they couldn't seem to stay away from each other was very telling. Obviously both of them had something the other craved or needed. They satisfied each other and in turn I think they satisfied the reader as a couple. Wilde does good job with this one and I am interested to see where she might take readers next.
What I didn't like:
I liked this book, there were parts of it that were intriguing and thought provoking, but there were also parts where I felt the story was a little unrealistic to be set in the Regency period. The ton is very rigid and those who did not adhere to the unspoken rules were often ostracized. I just felt that Caroline's lack of concern over her reputation was not in keeping with the rules of the game for this kind of book. Might just be a personal thing, some movement within the confines of the Regency period is fine.
This was a surprising novel and it was well written. Just a minor issue that is probably just a peeve of mine, doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment of this book. It will certainly open up the eyes of some readers and perhaps help them broaden their reading horizons. A good book, from an author I want to read again.
Lord of the Rakes is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
A longtime resident of the Great Lakes State, Darcie Wilde writes her sizzling-hot romances in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When not actually writing, she lives out her own happily-ever-afters with her husband of fifteen years, one rapidly growing son, one cat, and one writer’s group of infinite patience.
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