TBR Day. This Rake of Mine / Elizabeth Boyle. 2005


Elizabeth Boyle writes that style of romance that I consider “Regency Lite.” I honestly don’t mean that in a derogatory way, although some may take it that way. Her books are usually fun and easy to read, but because there’s a bit too much 21st century sensibility, they aren’t stellar historicals. Nonetheless, I am a fan of Ms. Boyle’s writing because I like her voice and her humor. I remember buying this book when it was published, but there were some disappointing reviews of it, so I didn’t get around to reading it until now.

I must add that I am enjoying going through my TBR shelf each month trying to decide what to read this time around.

This Rake of Mine is loosely related to her series of books on the Danvers family as well as the book previous to this, Something about Emmaline. However it stands on its own quite well. The back blurb tells the story well enough, so I'll be lazy and copy it:

When the rakehell Lord Jack Tremont kissed Miranda Mabberly, mistaking her for his mistress, neither realized his reckless act would cost Miranda her reputation, her fiancé, and her future. But for Jack, it was a kiss that would haunt him-- an intoxicating memory of a woman lost to him forever.
Years later, hiding incognito far from London -- a teacher at Miss Emery’s Establishment for the Education of Genteel Ladies -- Miranda has made a respectable life for herself, away from the ton and the dangerous men who inhabit it. When a penniless, much humbled, though still damnably attractive Jack arrives at the school to escort a rebellious young niece home, Miranda does her best to avoid the rogue only to end up tumbling into his arms -- and reawakening a desire that is anything but proper.
She might want to deny her heart, but Miranda’s resolve is no match for a trio of schoolgirl matchmakers who knows true passion when they spy it. Now they won’t rest until their all-too-proper teacher and the reprobate lord discover the love that is their destiny.

The problem here is that the set of circumstances that leads Miranda to her reunion with Jack on his estate is just wildly improbable. In truth, I had a hard time accepting most of the plot. I could list a number of things that bothered me, but I just don’t want to take the time. Had I been in the hands of another author, I wouldn’t have finished the book.

What did keep me reading is what I said above. I like Ms. Boyle’s voice and how she can smoothly tell a story. Her characters are often vibrant, witty, charming, and easy to like. I could get invested emotionally without a lot of effort. The book is not long, so it was a pleasant way to pass time on the bus to and from work last week. But I’d far rather recommend One Night of Passion or Stealing the Bride than this one.

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