Title: 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake
Mellie 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. She's looking for any excuse to go to London to meet more eligible men.
Trevor has a problem…
Trevor Anaedsley's grandfather has cut off his funds until such time as he gets engaged. Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor, Mr. Smithson, but actually to duck his creditors—where he meets Smithson's lovely daughter, Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but the lady has ideas of her own, and Trevor's going to have to measure up…
Author: Jade Lee
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: One Rogue at a Time (Rakes and Rogues #2)
Series: Rakes and Rogues #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: One Rogue at a Time (Rakes and Rogues #2)
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca Source: Publisher
Published: May 5, 2015
Genres: Historical Romace, Regency Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
This was a delicious romp through London’s elite season. So much fun! And really who needs sleep? This held me hostage ALL night.
Mellie Smithson has been raised in the country by her scientific father. Hence, she is rather a “bluestocking.” She may have been running her father’s household since her mother’s death when Mellie was a small child, but she “knows nothing about London,” or so everyone keeps telling her. But, she needs, or rather wants, a husband. Someone other than Cousin Ronnie. He means well, but she barely likes him, let alone loves him. What she needs is a trip to London where the men are.
Trevor Anaedsley may have a solution. His grandfather, the Duke of Timby, is insisting that he get married and has cut off his funds until he does. Trevor “proposes” that Mellie could help him solve his problem and he would help her find a husband. Against her more sane judgement, Mellie agrees, and off to London they go.
Those of us who are fans of the historical regency romance know that a country “chit” isn’t going to have an easy time of it in snobbish London. Not without some heavy duty aristocratic pull. Lady Eleanor is just the person to help with that. So begins the most entertaining “come out” I have read in a long time.
Lady Eleanor is devious, but she knows the “ton” and what they will, or will not, accept. She takes up the challenge with the enthusiastic help of the Duchess of Bucklynde and the Countess, Lady Redhill.
This story has everything one would want in an historical novel. Pomp. Grandeur. Scandal. A quest. Even a duel or two – well kind of. There was even one character who was “new money” but he presented himself with such snobbish distain that most forgot that he didn’t have a title, or that he was in *gasp* trade.
This was an adorable, entertaining read that I really could not put down. The story moved well with lots of hilarity and fun – well it was supposed to be duels and balls, but in this book, it was all just a game. I enjoyed the blossoming romance between Trevor and Mellie, in spite of themselves. The ending – *sigh* was most delightful. This was a wonderful, lighthearted, historical romance. Just what I needed.
Today we excited to welcome Jade Lee to the blog! Jade’s latest title, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, is out May 5th and is the first in her hilarious new Rakes & Rogues series. To celebrate her new release, Jade is here to share a quiz about the book. See if you can guess correctly!
Question: In a career spanning more than 40 books, I’ve found that every piece I’ve written has something I love and every piece has something I hate. 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake is no different. There’s a ton of things I love about this book, but I’ll let you guess about them (below). What I hate is the title. It’s not what I would have picked, but often marketing knows better than I do what to call a book. So now’s the fun part. Guess what I love about this book.
- Science geeks in love. Hero has a thing for biology, heroine for chemistry. (Dad’s into entomology, but ew. Fortunately, that’s all done off stage)
- Sex, sex, and more sex. I mean biology and chemistry. Duh!
- It’s funny. Everyone in this book (and I mean EVERYONE) has a cunning plan. And every plan goes horribly awry.
- The turkey. Yup, I said turkey. He’s brought in as the last surviving dodo bird only for everyone to realize he’s just a turkey from the Colonies. Oops.
Answer: C. Well, yes, we do have science geeks in love. And there’s some really hot sex. (This is a Jade Lee book, after all). And the turkey is hilarious, especially when it escapes. Oops! But mostly, it’s all about how we as people make plans and schemes. We know exactly how it’s all going to work out until, of course, it doesn’t. And that’s where the funny comes!
Trevor was down. Ronnie was going to finish the fight. But he hadn’t reckoned on Melinda. She’d been an unwilling participant in this whole disgusting display. Well, if her cousin wanted a Cheltenham tragedy, she would bloody well give him one.
She surged forward, having no need to fake the desperation in her voice. “Stop it! Ronnie, stop it now!” And when he didn’t hear her, she said the words she’d never thought she’d utter in her entire life. “My love!”
That got his attention. His fist was raised, but he looked to her, his eyes alight with excitement. “Mellie!”
She flung herself forward. Dropping to her knees, she slid in the mud, coming to a stop just where she’d intended—right beside Trevor’s head. Ronnie reached for her, but she pushed him away as she wrapped herself around the fallen lord.
“Stay away, you brute!” she practically spit at her cousin. Then she used her cloak to dab at the blood on Trevor’s face. “My love, my love, are you alive? Oh God, someone fetch a doctor! Please, someone!”
Her words were ten times more dramatic than were needed, but she’d learned that the best way to deliver a message to her cousin was in the most theatrical tone possible. So she cradled Trevor in her arms and crooned like any heroine in the most lurid gothic romance.
Trevor’s face was indeed a battered mess, but not so unrecognizable that she didn’t see the gleam of appreciation in his eyes or the mischievous smile that pulled at his swollen lip.
“Are you an angel?” he asked. “Have I died?”
The man was lying in the mud, his ankle nearly snapped in half. His face oozed from a myriad of cuts, and yet he still had the wherewithal to give the crowd a good show. It was enough to make her contemplate dropping him in the mud. She didn’t, of course, but she hoped her glare would suffice.
Meanwhile, Ronnie just stood there poised, his fist still raised as he gaped. “Mellie?”
She looked up, shooting a venomous look at his bloodied fist. “Do you mean to trounce me as well? Lay me out in the mud and the shite like last week’s garbage?”
“What?” Ronnie took a moment to understand while she gestured with her chin toward his fist. Then he abruptly gasped and shook out his hand, dropping it helplessly to his side. “But I won. This was an affaire d’honor.”
“Congratulations,” she mocked. “You beat a man half your weight.”
“Hey!” muttered Trevor. “I’m not that small.”
“Oh shut up. I’m making a point.” Then she turned her attention to her cousin. Best make the situation absolutely clear. “You were right, Ronnie. You have made everything so clear to me. I could never love a brute like you. It’s him I want. A man of elegance, not violence.”
She watched her cousin absorb her words, his mind obviously working slowly, and no wonder. Certainly, Ronnie was an accomplished fighter, but he’d never in his life been called a brute. He was a poet, for God’s sake. And his father was wont to call him a useless fribble with no starch whatsoever. Of course, both appellations were completely wrong, but truth didn’t matter here. Not when he’d wanted drama. And so she stretched the truth—she outright broke it—and she felt no remorse.
“I love Trevor,” she said loudly enough for everyone to hear.
“Since when?” her cousin demanded.
Since never. She had a thorough disgust of them both. Especially as Trevor began to speak in a quavering voice.
“Oh, to finally hear those words, now in the moments before I expire. My life is complete.”
“You’re not dying,” she hissed. Unless he was hurt more than he appeared. The thought shot her with alarm until he started speaking again.
“I am dying!” he cried. “Kiss me, my love. Kiss me, and mayhap your love will keep me tethered to this mortal coil.”
“I will not,” she said between clenched teeth.
He pitched his voice to a plaintive wail. “Then I shall die for sure!”
Damnation on all bloody, arrogant, ridiculous men! One glance about her showed that the crowd was hanging on his every word. She didn’t really care until she looked at Ronnie’s face. He wasn’t stupid. He could see that Trevor wasn’t really hurt. It wouldn’t take him long to remember that she’d never spoken of Trevor with anything but disdain. And from there it was a small step to realizing that this entire display was a sham. So she had to do something quickly. Something that he’d never forget, even if he did suspect the lie.
So she did it. She kissed Trevor.