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The Taming of the Rake (Blackthorn Brothers #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  919 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews

Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can’t forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman—the one woman with the power
Paperback, 379 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by HQN Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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2011 Romance
208th out of 393 books — 829 voters
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Illegitimate heroes & heroines (Historical romance)
47th out of 178 books — 80 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,183)
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Juliana Philippa
The heroine drove me absolutely INSANE and ruined any possible enjoyment (1.5 stars)

I have been putting off writing this review; reading the book was a chore and I knew it would not be pleasant writing about it. I was really looking forward to reading this book, first in Michael's new Blackhorn Brothers Trilogy, because I had read the excerpt and the heroine at that time (however many years before the main story takes place) is an odd girl who apparently loves to read and isn't as beautiful as h
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
2.5 stars out of 3.

If your main character is going to be super-sarcastic and bitchy, she must also have a softer side, a sense of humor, or something redeeming about her that makes you want to like her. Chelsea did not have that "other" side. She was pushy, demanding, used guilt to get her way, and basically manipulated Beau to get what she wanted. The ironic part of all this is, Chelsea, as a young girl, in the beginning of the book, showed a tender side. Sadly, that tenderness was nowhere to b
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Jul 21, 2011 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
There's a reason we tell people not to judge a book by its cover. Nothing from the outside gives you a real feel for what you'll find on the page here. First, I take issue with the title. Beau is not a rake and the book is in no way about changing his habits with women. Second, the cover is terrible: the models, his outfit... blech. And finally, the blurb. It makes this sound like it's about Beau's quest, with Chelsea as a distraction... when in fact, our heroine is truly the driving force in th ...more
In an effort to escape marriage to a stuffy preacher who is quite oily, Chelsea Mills-Beckman escapes to Oliver "Beau" Blackthorn who has been seeking revenge against her brother from a humiliating set down he delivered on the front steps of their home after he dared to ask his sister’s hand in marriage. With Chelsea beating down his door, Beau finds the opportunity to exact revenge almost as irresistible as Chelsea herself.

This book started off with a really good prologue. I was completely eng
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The

Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Blackthorn Brothers
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

The illegitimate son of a marquess, Oliver was raised and educated far above his station. He lived with his father in his grand estate, received an education befitting th
Shh I'm reading!
Sep 05, 2011 Shh I'm reading! rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the Blackthorns and Chelsea, as characters. Beau, Black Jack, Puck are bastard brothers (and I have my own suspicions about this going forward with the series) who were raised as gentlemen by their father. Lady Chelsea, the heroine, is the only decent sibling in the Mills-Beckman clan. Her brother and sister are hopelessly one dimensional- self-absorbed and despicable. I won't go into to much detail about the plot, but the story which began as entertaining began to drag in the m ...more
Sep 22, 2011 SidneyKay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it
I read the second book in this series (A Midsummer Night's Sin) first, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I thought I'd check out this one. I'm glad I did, because this was such a fun book! I've been in a reading slump lately, and this was exactly what I needed to pull me out of it.
This had all the elements in it (that I require) be a great Trashy-Romance novel. There was the spunky/sassy heroin, the hero who doesn't realize he's whipped, delicious villains, great side characters that you can't wait
Oct 15, 2011 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Review originally posted at Ramblings From This Chick

This was my first book from Kasey Michaels and I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though the title is misleading. I believed that this was going to be a book where the heroine tames the Rake. It could not be more further from the truth.

Oliver 'Beau' Blackthorn, is in no way a rake as the title leads us to believe. I found him to be the complete opposite. Instead of a man who sleeps with gaggles of women and drinks profusely, we find a man tha
Dec 16, 2011 Kristiej rated it it was amazing
While I was reading this book I wondered why I hadn’t been reading as many historicals in recent times as I really enjoyed this book – everything about it. From the stubborn but not annoying (to me) heroine Chelsea Mills-Beckham, to the scrumptious hero Oliver (Beau) Blackthorn to the well drawn secondary characters, this book was such a pleasure to read.

Beau and Chelsea first meet years earlier when he is coming to call on her older and very spoiled sister. But alas, his suite is not at all wel
OK. This book provided to me by netgalley is fluff. I admit it. Hands up. Bright, smart, witty heroine, plus gorgeous, smart, witty hero, lots of jolly japes etc. etc. BUT.. I found this to be wonderful fluff. If you want to give your brain a rest, or just don't want some anguished, emotional read and simply want to be entertained, then this is the perfect, summer/beach, weekend read.

I particularly enjoyed the witty writing, which was completely inauthentic (I mean really inauthentic), but stil
Heather Book Savvy Babe
First off, let me just say the the title is a bit mis-leading. Beau is not a rake, he is practical, vengeful, and smart, but he is not a womanizer. He is a bastard by birth, but more gentlemanly than many members of the ton. The title lead me to think that Chelsea was out to reform a rake while escaping her brothers plans for her. Chelsea was escaping her brother's plans, but reforming a rake was not necessary. Chelsea was running from an engagement to a dirty-minded charlatan of a reverend and ...more
Thanks to his somewhat fickle, Shakespeare loving mother, Oliver Le Beau Blackthorn and his two brothers, are bastard sons of a earl but raised with every convenience expected as heirs except for acceptance into society. So when a young, silly in love, Beau decides to propose to the beautiful Lady Madelyn, daughter of an earl, he dressed to impress and expects a delightful 'yes!'. Oh but what follows is cruel and beyond hurtful to both his pride and body and changes Beau from a happy, not to man ...more
This one turned out to be unexpectedly sweet and tender, with a hero who's basically a good, decent man who has nothing to do with the 'Rake' on the title.

Lady Chelsea is told by her brother, the Earl of Brean, that she's to marry a man of his choosing, a conniving priest who's playing her brother for a fool ever since he (=the brother) had a close brush with death two years ago. In her despair, Chelsea escapes her brother's house and goes to his arch-enemy, Oliver Beau Blackthorn, asking him t
Jun 27, 2011 Lisarenee rated it really liked it
Notes: I read the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book. Release date is set for July 26th.

Oliver Le Beau Blackthorne fell in love seven years ago. The object of his affection was Lady Madelyn Mills-Beckman. After working up the nerve to inquire if she'd be open to his asking her father for her hand, she struck him down rather crushingly.

"You're a joke, Beau Blackthorn, a laughingstock to everyone in Mayfair, and you're the only one who doesn't know it. As if I or any female of decency in the
Amanda Ryan
Jul 10, 2011 Amanda Ryan rated it liked it
This was my first read of Kasey Michaels. The Taming of the Rake is the story of Chelsea taking the reins of her future into her own hands. Her boorish and ignorant brother has forced a betrothal to a monstrous man of faith. Rather than indignantly suffer, she absonds into the early morning hours and sees refuge in the house of her brother's sworn enemy, Oliver "Beau" Blackthorn.

Despite her rash actions, Chelsea is a reasonable woman. She's knowledgeable in most worldly matters, and she knows w
Jun 30, 2011 Nita rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Chelsea has just been informed by her brother, Thomas, she is to marry his very religious and cruel friend. She decides to run away and elope to a man of her choosing. And she chooses Oliver Blackthorn - a man she knows Thomas hates.

Oliver Blackthorn is the oldest son of a marquess, but his father and mother never married. His mother refused because she would rather travel around as an actress. Being a bastard had never bothered Oliver, until he proposed to Chelsea's sister years earlie
Lita Bouquard
The main character is a bastard. Literally. But is the perfect man otherwise. Always assured by his mother who refused to marry his father, that when he marries he will know he was chosen for love-, and NOT his title. Oliver known as "Beau" to his atypical family and his 3 brothers are considered bastards though they were raised by their father with much love. Oliver's label has made him the man he is. When he meets Chelsea- she asks him to marry her so she can escape her brother and the groom h ...more
Jun 07, 2011 Brittany rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story. I thought at times Chelsea and Olivers re-capping of why Chelsea came to Oliver and why they were where they were got excessive. But other then that I really enjoyed the read. I loved the character development, the romance, the way Chelsea and Oliver attracted weird events, the banter between the 3 brothers, as well as the Blackthorn family quirks. I can't wait to read the next in the series to see how the brothers change from finding love!
Dec 13, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can’t forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.

Desperate to escape her family’s control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she’s only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into
The first volume in the Blackthorn Brothers series, this one as good as the second. I have been over dosing on romance lately, but it has been fun.

I appreciate Michaels conceit in these books that all the brothers have Shakespeare connections. I am not sure I could come up with an original twist on English historical romances. There are so many of them. Oliver like his brother Puck has had an unusual upbringing. Their path to romance is not smooth. Of course, when all is said and done, everyone
Riccarla Roman
Feb 20, 2012 Riccarla Roman rated it really liked it
I love Kasey Michaels! her books always have great heroes and heroines and marvelous supporting characters. This book had it all for me.
This first book in the Blackthorn Brothers trilogy focuses on the oldest brother - Oliver Le Beau Blackthorn. He and his brothers are bastards (not in character but by birth) Their father is the Marquess of Blackthorn and their mother is an actress. Since they never married, their sons have wealth, education, and charm but no social standing. As young Beau reali
Jul 26, 2011 Gaby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adult, historical romance readers,

The Taming of the Rake is the first book of the series, where you will be introduced to the three bastards sons of the Marquess of Blackthorn. Their name, given by their mother (who is an actress), are Oliver Le Beau Blackthorn (Beau), Don John Blackthorn (Black Jack) and Robin Goodfellow Blackthorn (Puck). They have been educated and have a lot of money, but they are still bastards and the society doesn't accept them.

Beau is the oldest son and realized a
Jul 03, 2013 Tonileg rated it liked it
Historical English revenge on a road trip romance with a wronged suitor who is rejected because he is a bastard although born to a Marquess and very wealthy, but still not good enough for a noble legally born lady. The incident is in the prologue and we see each character's personality shown true in this little scene that changes everyone's life. So we skip ahead about eight years and MR. Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn still has ideas to get his revenge, but it is thwarted by the surprise arrival of L ...more
The first in a new series. Highly enjoyable. Can't wait to see what the secret is that Beau's father had sworn to tell him on Beau's thirtieth birthday but isn't told to us in this book.
Beau and his brothers are all bastards because his flighty actress mother didn't want to give up a career on the stage just to get married to their father, who is an earl.
The book opens with Beau going to court a beautiful young woman, being taunted by her younger sister and then being whipped (literally) by her
Sep 03, 2011 Twiggy rated it liked it
Surprisingly engaging read.

Oliver ' beau' Blacthorn is the eldest of 3 illegitimate sons of the Marquis of Blackthorn. His father fell in love with his mother at a young age but she apparently refused to marry him and instead he 'married' her sister who was mentally limited . The mother is portrayed as a shallow and self centred woman whose selfishness has significantly negatively impacted on her sons lives, their acceptance in society and their prospects. The Marquis' weakness in respect of hi
Jun 27, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it
I really like this book, I mean really. Both the hero and heroine were genuine and likable and the supporting cast was well done. There a bit bit of freeforall near the end that seemed to only serve the purpose of future books, so it stuck out rather strangely, but other than that is was a wonderful little trip across England.

I didn't actually see Oliver as a rake. Ever. At all. He wasn't portrayed as a rake, he wasn't described as a womanizer or a manwhore. So that part of the title provided fo
Sharon Tyler
Jun 25, 2011 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Taming of the Rake by Kasey Michaels is a historical romance due to be released on July 26 2011. It begins a trilogy about three brothers, born bastards of an Earl but raised as gentlemen. Each brother reacts differently to his unique circumstances, and the reactions of society to them. The Taming of the Rake is about the oldest of the brothers, Oliver Le Beau Blackthorn. Beau has been working subtle revenge against Thomas, who beat him for the simple mistake of loving and asking to marry hi ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Daisy rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I don't think the summary really does justice to the content of the book. And neither does the title. You see, the opportunity for revenge doesn't fall in Beau's lap, Chelsea puts herself in it, begging him to marry her so as to escape the man her brother wants her to marry and give Beau his revenge in return. And Beau doesn't really take her into a world of intrigue and danger, what really happens is that they elope, trying to get married before Chelsea's brother catches up with them. Oh, and B ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this on my blog

Have you ever bought a book for its cover? If you have, then you’ll agree with me that Ms. Michaels’ Daughtry series had the most colorful covers, and I don’t usually do this, but just once I thought why the hell not?! And I was so glad I went with my gut feeling! I just fell in love with all the stories and with Ms. Michaels’ prose.

In ‘The Taming of the Rake’ she introduces us to a new family, the Blackthorn’s and all three Bastards.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 10:00AM  
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  • The Perfect Scandal (Scandal, #3)
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  • Notorious (The Scandalous Women of the Ton, #4)
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  • Confessions of an Improper Bride (Donovan Sisters, #1)
  • A Marriage of Inconvenience (The Arringtons and Wright-Gordons, #1)
  • Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess (Belston & Friends #2)
  • How to Seduce a Scoundrel (How To #2)
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  • All About Seduction
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  • The Devil in Disguise (Regency Rogues, #1)
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Kasey Michaels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 100 books (she doesn't count them). Kasey has received three coveted Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly, two for the historical romances, THE SECRETS OF THE HEART and THE BUTLER DID IT, and a third for contemporary romance LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY (that shows diversity, you see). She is a recipient of the RITA, a W ...more
More about Kasey Michaels...

Other Books in the Series

Blackthorn Brothers (3 books)
  • A Midsummer Night's Sin (Blackthorn Brothers #2)
  • Much Ado About Rogues (Blackthorn Brothers, #3)

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“But it is the actions of a moment that often have the most permanent of consequences.” 0 likes
“But I will tell you that it’s maddening to me that men seem to know which way is north, and which way is west—and are always overweeningly proud about that accomplishment, by the way—and yet still you all more than likely will manage to get us poor women lost.” “Are you referring to all men, or to your father and brother?” “My father, brother and you,” she corrected sweetly.” 0 likes
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