ROMANCE

The Ruin of a Rake

Avon Impulse. Jul. 2017. 352p. ebk. ISBN 9780062642523. $2.99. MALE/MALE HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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OrangeReviewStarLord Courtenay never expected to move back to England, but he made the sacrifice to be close to his nephew, Simon. Now Simon's father refuses to allow him to see his uncle, owing to Courtenay's reputation as a dissipated rake. Courtenay is desperate to change his image, even if it means spending time with Julian Medlock, a bland, uptight man but one who commands high society's respect. Julian is resentful of his infatuation with Courtenay and assumes Courtenay deserves his bad name for scandalous behavior. Nevertheless, as a favor to his sister, Julian agrees to try to reverse Courtenay's legendary infamy. Slowly, Julian discerns Courtenay is not the reprobate he imagines, while Courtenay discovers Julian's dull façade hides a clever and passionate man. The charm, vulnerabilities, and hidden depths of Courtenay and Julian are infectious, and the chemistry between the two is both tender and steamy hot.
VERDICT Sebastian (The Lawrence Browne Affair) might use the well-worn opposites-attract trope to get her lovers together, but her mastery of conflict, tension, and timing along with flawless characterization and sexual attraction turn The Ruin of a Rake into a unique and entrancing romance that touches the heart deeper than most.

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