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The Perfect Rake (The Merridew Sisters #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,019 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
She ran from a brute...

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gid
Mass Market Paperback, 360 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by Berkley Sensation
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness
COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies, 10
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.


If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

THE PERFECT RAKE...was a beautiful love story that revolved around Prudence Merridew and Aristocratic Gideon romancing under the light of the glossy ballroom of London's ton.

The story starts out with young prudence deci
Aug 10, 2011 Dina rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was funny and endearing at the same time. I don't remember when was the last time I laughed so much with a book, and I "blame" Gideon for that. :) He played the role of the charming rake to perfection but, wow, when he fell for his beloved "Miss Imp", he really fell hard and fast! I cheered out loud - in my mind, that is! - with his final act of bravery and heroism.

Prudence, Gideon's beloved "Miss Imp", was a hoot too. Her failed attempts at resisting his charms had me smil
4 stars – Historical Romance

Oh what a delightful, sweet treat this turned out to be! Gideon, Lord Carradice is a devilishly charming, flirtatious, affable, seemingly carefree and superficial rake, but he harbors an underlying heart of gold, an innate caring, protective nature, and a hidden, deep yearning for love. And all it takes to rumple his composed, raffish façade and reveal the truly sweet, adoring, and devoted man within is a feisty, spirited, redheaded, fiercely loyal, and nearly on the
Sep 12, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it
This was lots of fun. Anne Gracie has picked up the style of Georgette Heyer, added some sex and made it her own. Gideon (the Rake in the title) is a wonderful character worthy of anything Miss Heyer could have written. I still want to know how eyes can actually look limpid but it sounds marvelous. I am a sucker for anything Regency and this one scored high. I shall be reading more of her books.
May 21, 2009 Rane rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rane by: BJ Rose
Amazing book!

I had to stop reading a few times from laughing so hard! I couldn't help but feel sorry for Prudence as she dig her way deeper into her funny lies with Gideon right there beside her, to make the situation even worse and funnier.
Even with the dark undertones of abuse, the story never lets up from it's lightheartedness and humor, with Gideon always ready with a joke and Prudence having to hold her tongue from not laughing or blowing her cover.

The secondary characters are also a
Nov 14, 2015 Susanne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone and their mom
This book was amazing! Amazing, amazing, amazing. It was so good - straight to favs. And Gideon *swoons* might very well be the most amazing hero ever. This was the funniest, most heart-warming, romantic book I have read all year. If you like historical romances this is a must-read. I can't believe I had this on my TBR-shelf for so long - but the better for me right now :-)

It is always difficult to review an amazing book because nothing you say can really explain the magic of the story and all w
I'm not a huge fan of humorous HR, I much prefer more emotional angst, seriousness interspersed with bits of wit, and depth of feeling. Not to say there wasn't emotion here, there was, but not the kind I love. I loved Gideon, seeing a notorious rake fall hard and fast is always a winner for me. Prudence was okay, not a memorable heroine exactly, maybe because she was of the humorous variety. There also seemed to be many exclamation marks as if everyone had something loud or exciting to say. Anyw ...more
4.5 stars

This is my second year taking part in Super Wendy’s Multi-Blog TBR Challenge, and even though I don’t read the various romance sub-genres widely, I’ve nonetheless managed to find something in my TBR pile to fit the prompts each month. But I’m afraid I’m going to wuss out for the first time. November’s prompt is “It’s all about the hype” – and I don’t have anything that fits the bill. For one thing, historical romances don’t attract that sort of attention any more and for another, as an
⊱ Irena ⊰
Nov 14, 2015 ⊱ Irena ⊰ rated it liked it
At first I thought I would be annoyed by Prudence's sisters. One of them was so overwhelmed by the prospect of escaping their grandfather and marrying that in an instant she forgot what their oldest sister did for them. Fortunately, that sister didn't play any important role in the book so it was good. Since it seems the second book is about her, I am not in a hurry to read it. I need to forget or at least dull her presence here.

There is so much unexpected darkness in this book. Their grandfath
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

4.5 Stars

Prudence Merridew and her beautiful sisters have runaway from her evil Grandfather. After seeing her youngest sister, Grace, being beaten by her Grandfather Prudence knows they have to escape. Pulling off a massive deception they run to London to stay with their Great-Uncle and hope to find husbands so they can be forever out of the influence of their Grandfather. But Prudence tells one lie too many and manages to become betrothed to the charming rake Gideon, Lord Calladice.

I think I
Prudence Merridew is very plain (you will hear about this *a lot* in the book), especially when compared to her four extremely beautiful younger sisters. Oddly enough it is notoriously infamous rake, Gideon, Lord Carradice, who sees only a strong-minded spitfire with beautiful grey eyes and proves the saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." This book is utterly fantastic, Gideon is definitely one of my favorite heroes of all-time, and - while very dark in some parts - THE PERFECT RAK ...more
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
**5 CAPTIVATING …”when a rake finally falls, he falls forever” STARS**

This was my first book by Anne Gracie and I will certainly be dipping into more of her books, based on how much I loved this one. It’s romantic, funny and full of characters who totally captured my heart. There are some darker moments, but they never overshadowed the lovely heart-warming feeling I had after I finished reading it.

How could anyone love such a wicked, funny, foolish man? How could they not?

Oh, Gideon is such a wo
Prudence Merridew was the oldest of the Merridew sisters and responsible for the young ladies. They were all 'lookers' whereas Prudence was on the short side, had a long nose, bright red uncontrollable hair and was, just maybe, on the plump side. She was also unofficially betrothed to a childhood friend whom she hadn't seen in four years and she had a dastardly abusive grandfather. So......

Once upon a time, five sisters lived with their Grandpapa. They would have been a happy but the man was vin
4.5 stars.
The Perfect Rake was a very enjoyable read - styled somewhat like a Georgette Heyer book, mixed with a dash of Mary Balogh and Loretta Chase. It was funny, witty, beautifully written and cute (tons of exclamation points like Ms. Heyer). This is the first book I've read by Ms. Gracie and I look forward to the next in the series (can't believe I've got involved in another series).

The heroine, Prudence, is somewhat plain - but the hero, Gideon thinks she's beautiful - and falls for her o
BJ Rose
Feb 22, 2009 BJ Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-regency
What a great first book in the series about the Merridew sisters. Prudence is a courageous heroine who protects her sisters from their verbally & physically abusive grandfather. While he is bedridden with a broken ankle, they escape to London to their Granduncle Oswald (who becomes a great secondary character in the series). Their goal is to get married as soon as possible to escape the guardianship of their grandfather, but Oswald puts a kink in their plans when he insists that Prudence mar ...more
Oct 31, 2014 Mei rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
A sweet and very cute book.

I liked the heroine, Prudence, even if I was torn. On one hand I liked her quick wit and her ingenuity, on the other I hated her stubborness when it went against her. But still, I liked her and sometimes even admired her!

If I liked Pru, I adored Gideon! He was fantastic! His devious mind was plain genius! His way of confounding Pru with double meanings was fantastic!

The very best part of this book was the dialogue! Brilliant!

All in all a very funny and enjoyable book!
Oct 23, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, witty and romantic with a dark story running in the background, I loved the first in this series and it certainly won't be my last Anne Gracie. She writes with a great insight and understanding of human nature, notwithstanding the darker elements of this story this is a beautifully written, charming and extremely humorous love story.

The Merridew sisters have escaped their tyrannical grandfather after years of physical and mental abuse. Their goal is to marry off Charity, the second el
Jane Stewart
Jul 13, 2014 Jane Stewart rated it liked it
2 stars. Not a good story for me.

I liked the first half - the way the sisters ran away to get away from the abusive grandfather. I did not like the second half which was mostly the relationship between Prue and Gideon. It was all about she likes him but tells herself she must not have him. She acts like she doesn’t like him, but she does. He keeps doing nice things and romantic things. All she does is reject him, but she doesn’t want to reject him. Throw in some inaccurate assumptions like Prue
Apr 07, 2014 Anisashraf rated it really liked it
Shelves: english, anne-gracie
Thanks to Ririn for recommended to me. The Perfect Rake is the first novel Anne Gracie I read.

The Perfect Rake is a story about 5 sisters escape from their grandfather's abused. Before this, they still can bear what Lord Dereham did even though they badly abused. One day, Prudence, the older sister take decision to escape from Court, brings her sisters to meet their great-uncle Oswald.

“We were all born in Italy, in a house filled with sunshine and laughter and love and happiness, and I promise
This is my first Anne Gracie book and I am certain will be the first of many! What a delightful surprise this book was. It was cute, sad, sexy, funny and dark all within these well written 368 pages.
This story could have been very dragged down in angst given the life Prudence Merridew has lived so far. Orphaned at 11 along with her 4 younger sisters. Forced to live with a brutal grandfather, raped by her "betrothed" along with other horrors of her life. When she flees to London taking her sib
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
Aug 07, 2012 Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb" rated it did not like it
The Perfect Rake is a story about 5 young girls (sisters) that suffer horriable physical and mental abuse at the hands of their grandpapa who has taken them in because their parents ar dead. The Grandfather is very sadistic. the eldest sister is Prudence (heroine) in the story escapes with her sister to go to London to live with their Great Uncle. To accomplish this Prudence had to lie more times than I can count as the story goes on.The Grand Uncle wont let the other sister come out until Prude ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Gobokairina rated it it was amazing
This HR just made my day. Phewittt... :D

And, guess what? I'm finished it with a big and happy smile. Everyone whether you love HR or not should read this. Its definitely an all time favorite and Gideon would be one of my most perfect HR hero -- charming, protective, adorable rakish hero and his confession towards Pru stole my heart too.

Plus points:-
1. Prudence. She is considered a 'plain jane' in comparison to her sisters. But I loved her courage to protect her sisters from the abusive grandfat
Mar 04, 2015 Chumchum_88 rated it it was amazing
Ok now I have seriously been turned in to mush, Anne Gracie wrote a splendid book, full of heartwarming laughter, mischievous ploys, adventurous trips, and one gallant rake.

I cant describe to you how much I loved the book. Of course the first thing that happened that I sympathized with the girls, and how a sick bastard was their grandfather.

- I Loved when Great-uncle Oswald welcomed them with open arms, how they instantly felt the grand contrast between him and his brother. Even with his well-m
Jan 27, 2011 Kim_bab rated it really liked it
Prudence Merridew dan empat saudara perempuannya melarikan diri dari kakek mereka yang kejam, menuju ke London. Di London mereka tinggal di rumah sir Oswald, saudara kakek mereka. Satu2nya cara agar bisa terbebas dari kakek mereka yang kejam adalah dengan menikah, tetapi sir Oswald tidak mengijinkan yang lain keluar menghadiri pesta kecuali Prudence telah mempunyai calon pendamping, sedangkan Prudence tidak mungkin berburu suami, karena sebenarnya Prudence empat setengah tahun yang lalu telah be ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Regency Romance Lovers
Absolutely lovely. Anne Gracie rarely disappoints and this one may be my favorite so far. A lovely heroine. She was strong honorable and loving while also being a bit ditzy at times. The hero was a charming witty rake who fell hard for the heroine and let nothing she did put him off of his determination to marry her and take care of her.

This story did not depend on a bunch of sex scenes that were inappropriate for the regency period. There was a strong believable story line, sparkling dialog and
Jan 20, 2016 Keri rated it really liked it
Absolute fun read! The situations that Prudence would get into for stretching the truth. The Gideon would pick up on her lies and just dig her in deeper, some funny dialong. Reminded me a bit of Lucille Ball shenannigans. For sure it did have a dark undertone of past abuse, but it didn't detract from the book. This was my first AG, but it sure won't be my last.
Olga Godim
Dec 05, 2015 Olga Godim rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
Anne Gracie is ruining me for other romance novels. Her books are by no means perfect, they have their share of logistic problems and historical inaccuracies, but I get so much pleasure reading them, romping with her characters, laughing at their antics and reveling in their dialogs, I forgive the author any small flaws. She is fast becoming one of a small group of my favorite regency romance writers.
This book is the first in the series about the Merridew sisters. There are five of them. The fou
2.5 stars

Oh, the last chapters were just criminal!
They butchered a perfect four star story... :(

tw: abuse

From B+ to C: how to ruin a perfectly good story

Well... this sucked!

I loved the first part of this book! In fact I loved most all of it, with the exception of the last chapters when drama was carelessly thrown in, characters started behaving out of character, making a hash of a perfectly good book.

The beginning shows the Merridew sisters being verbally and physically abused by their tutor:
I feel like I really need fractional stars for this, but I liked it enough to bump it up to 4. A lot of the beginning of it reminded me of the madcap nature of Georgette Heyer's books, which was a lot of fun!

There's too much secret-baiting. The new adult genre has made me have no patience for that all, but, really, who thinks to themselves, "If only it wasn't for that terrible tragic secret!"

The couple was fun, though I wasn't drawn in as much as I thought I might be.

(view spoiler)
It's almost ingrained in us women to love books such as these - books with balls overflowing with music and dancing, pretty gowns, dashing men and the inevitable trading of barbed witty banter, are simply irresistible. But Anne Gracie takes it a step further, presenting readers with a refreshing combination of Regency etiquette and discourse, and 21st century audacity and feminine spirit!

Prudence (correctly re-named 'Imprudence' by our resident rogue and rake Gideon) has taken care of her four
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I've always loved stories. Family legend has it that I used to spend hours playing in the sand pit, with a dog on either side of me and Rocka the horse leaning over me, his head just touching my shoulder, while I told them stories. I have to say, dogs and horses are great audiences, apart from their tendency to drool occasionally. But people are even nicer.

In case you imagine we were a filthy rich
More about Anne Gracie...

Other Books in the Series

The Merridew Sisters (4 books)
  • The Perfect Waltz (The Merridew Sisters, #2)
  • The Perfect Stranger (The Merridew Sisters, #3)
  • The Perfect Kiss (The Merridew Sisters, #4)

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“If you were mine, I'd never leave you, Prudence. I couldn't.” 66 likes
“What if I shave?" he said. "I look much better when I'm shaved. My cousin will vouch for that—do I not look almost handsome when I shave, Edward? " He didn't wait for the duke's reply but turned earnestly back to Prudence. "Do you think you could marry me if I shaved?” 44 likes
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