Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Ruin of a Rake

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Ruin of a Rake (2017) Cat Sebastian (The Turner Series)

The Ruin of a RakeSet in London in 1817

All Courtenay really wants is to see his nephew. But his past (and other circumstances) have made it so Radnor is refusing to allow him any contact.

Courtenay was effectively stranded in London, a city populated by people who thought him a monster. He had spent the last of his money getting here, and his affairs were in too much confusion for him to figure out when, if ever, he could expect his coffers to be replenished.

Julian and his sister came to England in hopes that it would improve his health. Unfortunately, that bargain seemed to have worked less well for Eleanor, and now she is asking him for something–to help her friend Courtenay become respectable enough to see his nephew again.

He had spent years acquiring the shine of gentility that one usually had to be born with. But the truth was that he had helped himself to other people’s respectability— he had finagled invitations and then gradually insinuated himself into higher and higher social circles. He had borrowed and stolen and finally hoarded up respectability until now he had more than he knew what to do with.

I think one of the things I particularly appreciate about MM historicals is there are damned good reasons for the characters to hide their feelings. So misunderstandings due to lack of communication aren’t as aggravating, since the characters have to hide everything from those around them, and in most cases lack the ability to discuss emotions, since it wasn’t a thing they would have been raised to do.

Which makes this bit even better.

“She’s fond of him. He thinks she isn’t,” Courtenay said patiently. “He’s fond of her. She thinks he isn’t. It would be the world’s easiest problem to solve if either of them had any sense.”

One thing that is slipped subtly in there is Courtenay’s alcoholism. But he and Julian had shitty childhoods, and took opposite tacks dealing with them, but Courtenay’s stopping drinking is a very subtle cue to the reader (and to Julian) that he is trying to be better.

Publisher: Avon Impulse
Rating: 8.5/10


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