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The Ruin of a Rake

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Ruin of a Rake (2017) Cat Sebastian

Set in London in 1817

Lord Courtenay’s reputation is a rake and a libertine is well-deserved. He drank and gambled and whored and ended up spending his fortune. But the death of his sister–after her complete ruin–and his love for his nephew have complicated things for him. He wants to be involved in his nephew’s life, but his reputation means no one wants him near the boy.

Radnor’s secretary sent Courtenay an infuriatingly proper letter suggesting that Courtenay take himself as far away from Simon as humanly possible until the scandal died down. It was heavily implied that the scandal would die down at some point coincidental with Courtenay’s death.

Julian Medlock is a proper gentleman after a struggle to be accepted despite being the son of a businessman. But he wonders whether his need to be in England and be accepted has led to the downfall of his sister, who perhaps sacrificed too much for their return.

“I held up my end of the bargain. I married well.” She broke off into an anxious laugh. “So well, my husband has kept the diameter of the globe between us in order to let me spend my fortune in peace. There’s no reason I shouldn’t live out the rest of my days doing precisely as I please.”

Both these characters turn up in the previous book, and Medlock was entirely disagreeable, so I was somewhat doubtful as to how the author could make him likable. Courtenay was immediately redeemed in the previous book, despite his reputation, because he traveled across the country in terrible weather just to make sure his nephew was okay.

Medlock just came across as a prig.

But of course Medlock had his own secrets and his own past.

Julian reached blindly for his glass of port and drained it so he wouldn’t be able to point out the incongruity of gentlemen, who by their very definition did not work, accusing the poor of laziness.

Kisses that didn’t lead up to some kind of release were totally foreign to Julian. He had never quite understood why a person would want to get themselves all worked up without an end in sight.

I think that what I particularly liked about this story and the previous was that Courtenay and Georgie were deeply concerned about Simon’s well-being, and went to great lengths to make him safe and happy. The romance was important, but it wasn’t everything that was important.

I also liked the secondary story of Medlock’s sister and her husband, who were trapped in a marriage that was a terrible mess–and although it was a misunderstanding–it was one that made a great deal of sense considering the times. In fact, in a brief exchange, the problems the two had made absolutely and complete sense, and I was immediately on-board for both of them to work things out.

(T)he fact of the matter is that I think Eleanor and Julian tend to forget I’m Indian.”

“Pardon?”

“I didn’t— oh damn it— I didn’t know whether she’d want an Indian husband with her in England.”

It was a book I read years ago that explained why so many English men took Indian wives, and it made sense and also made you feel even more terrible for the children of those unions.

I also liked Courtenay’s thoughts about trying to escape misery.

He’d let his exile take him farther than had been possible the last time, when he’d had a woman and a small child to consider. He’d go to the Argentine or to Siam. Far enough that nobody would have heard of him and he could fill his eyes and ears with new sights and sounds to replace the memories he didn’t want.

It was another story I quite liked–especially since I didn’t like one of the characters before I even started this story.

Publisher: Avon Impulse
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, LGBT, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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