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A Beginner's Guide to Rakes (Scandalous Brides, #1)
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A Beginner's Guide to Rakes (Scandalous Brides #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,922 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews

All of London is abuzz with the return of the utterly alluring, recently widowed Diane Benchley. Will she remarry? What will she do with her late husband’s fortune? Society is shocked by her announcement—at the Grand Ball, of all places!—that she plans to open an exclusive gentleman’s gaming club in the family mansion. But no one is more stunned than the Marquis of Hayb
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Who named this book? Seriously, who? It has nothing to do with the storyline. At all. The same goes for the cover. It’s like someone just picked it at random. Ignoring the weird title and cover, this book turned out to be rather excellent. It was completely different than I assumed it would be. I can’t think of another time that Enoch has created a heroine quite like this. I loved it.

Diane was an awesome heroine. I think some readers might not like her because of how cold and manipulative she co
♡Karlyn P♡

I made it halfway, so someone pat me on the back. What a snooze. Maybe this book only seemed worse than it is because I tried listening to it instead of just reading it. So not only did I get a boring story with characters I could careless about, but I had to suffer through the annoying voice of Anne Flosnik. I should have known better to get a book that she read. I know many like her, but I forgot how annoying her narration is. Still, the story is the story and I
Oct 22, 2011 PoligirlReads rated it liked it
Talk about not judging a book by its cover. First, as others have pointed out, the title has zilch to do with the actual story. No clue why she went with this title. Second, the picture looks nothing like the characters. Why, would a woman who always dresses in black, be portrayed in a white dress?! Makes no sense.

Book covers aside, it's a fun read. Some of this has elements of other Enoch works, such as the use of totally implausible scenarios (an axe through the ceiling, anyone?), and the not
Jul 16, 2015 Becca rated it liked it
Not one of Enoch's best, but the premise was very unique.

Not sure where the title or the cover came from, but this book did not involve a "beginner" in anything nor did the heroine ever wear white (in fact, she almost always wore black and she and the hero have a past and are the furthest thing from beginners or naive lovers).

In this first installment of a new series, Diane is a 23 year old widow who seems much older than her years. She is bitter, cunning, and resourceful. After her husband died
Nov 14, 2011 TJ rated it really liked it

How odd... The title has absolutely nothing to do with this surprisingly rich and delightful read.

For a complete review, visit Affaire de Coeur magazine, online or hard copy, - October 2011 edition.
This book was okay for the most part. I liked the premise of the hero breaking the heroine's heart in the past and then meeting up with her again. I kind of lost interest towards the end though. Also, the heroine behaved a little too alpha female for my taste and wasn't very likable. Some of the scenes were too OTT and stupid, like the heroine shooting the hero for kissing her, and the hero breaking through the heroine's bedroom floor with an axe to get to the her. I'm not sure if I will be on p ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Paraphrodite rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
For the first half of the book, I just did not like either Oliver or Diane and if I wasn't a "completist" I think I would have chucked it in. Luckily the second half was a bit better and hence my overall rating of 2 stars.

Why the dislike? Well, Oliver is a cad, a gambler and a cheat. He was cut out of his uncle's will and went to Vienna where he met Diane 2 years ago, who had just buried her husband and was left penniless and alone in Vienna. He seduced her and then left her when things got a bi
Lady Wesley
This is only my second Suzanne Enoch book, and I realize she's writes witty, fun romances. This one, however, just didn't grab me. Who knows why? I liked it, but I'll probably not read it again.
Christine Morehouse
Nov 09, 2011 Christine Morehouse rated it really liked it
Reading one of New York Times bestselling author Susanne Enoch’s books is like getting a fresh warm chocolate brownie topping it with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge finished with a cherry and taking the first decadent rich bite...delicious. A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RAKES is a rich sweet decadent indulgence that readers were given last month from St. Martin’s Paperbacks who gobbled each.

Lady Diane Benchley is back in town and has all of London’s tongues wagging. Will she marry? Why is she back? Diane
Jan 18, 2016 Keri rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
This was a delightful book set within an interesting setting. I enjoyed Diane and her bold attitude and her cleverness for opening a gaming club with all female members (besides a few burly footman) where the females are treated just as females and not expected to be anything else unless they choose too. There were so little choices for woman born on the wrong side of the blanket or in other unfortunate circumstances, not all of them want to be companions or governesses, that Diane sort of becom ...more
Lady Lioness
I'm normally a big fan of Enoch's books, but I found the heroine to be extremely unlikeable. I was eventually able to sympathize with her, but it took the majority of the book to bring me around. I also had a lot of 'But what about' questions at the end. The premise was unique, but the execution wasn't up to Enoch's usual high standards.
Jan 23, 2012 Jen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jen by: Catherine
Shelves: enoch
Oliver and Diane

Loved this book! It was just what I needed to get me out of my slump. Funny dialogue and great characters. I found myself lol several times during the book. Excellent second chance romance.
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Better than a lot of HR out there, but the beginning was clunky, and the story and characters never fully engaged me.
Nov 09, 2011 SidneyKay rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2012 Malin rated it really liked it
Lady Diane Benchley's late husband was a dissolute gambler, who left her with nearly nothing after she paid off his creditors. She does posess the deed to his town house in London, however, and has very specific plans to make herself a fortune. Shocking all of polite society, she sets out to establish an exclusive gentleman's gambling club, run and staffed entirely by respectable women.

Oliver Warren, the Marquis of Haybury, has tried to forget Diane for two years, since they shared two incredibl
Nov 16, 2011 April rated it really liked it
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RAKES by Suzanne Enoch is an interesting historical romance set in Regency England.Book #1 in the new “THE SCANDALOUS BRIDES” series. It has scandal, passion, love, romance,gambling,an indecent proposal,secrets,a bit of blackmail,a rusque business,a past indescretion,sweet sensuality,an exclusive gentleman’s gaming club opening in the family mansion. This is the story of Lady Diane Benchley,recently widowed,alluring,and determined to never be impoverished again,she decides ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Dabney rated it really liked it
In Ms. Enoch’s latest, The Beginner’s Guide to Rakes, the first paragraph reads: “Very few things in the world could make Oliver Warren, the Marquis of Haybury, flinch. He could count those things on one hand, in fact. The yowling of small children. The squeak of rusted metal. And the mention of that name.”

She had me at yowling.

That name is Diane Benchley. Two years ago, in Vienna, when Diane had just been widowed and made penniless, Oliver and she shared an intensely passionate two weeks which
Dec 11, 2011 KarenF rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't certain I was going to like this one at first. Oliver and Diane have a painful history and when this book starts they truly do not like or trust each other. There is plenty of wit but it is more of the sarcastic, biting kind, not just banter. However, as they come to spend more time together the wounds begin to heal and their relationship turns from dislike to a tenuous partnership to friendship and love. And as this happens their conversations become more playfully witty and less cutti ...more
Feb 14, 2012 Anita rated it it was ok
Suzanne is a wonderful writer, but this book left me cold. I did not care for either main character and didn't care what happened to them. I found the female to be too calculating and the male to be too submissive. I hated the scene where she shot him. And where in the world did that title come from? It had nothing to do with the story and was not mentioned in the story anywhere. I had just finished reading her series of books about the men who belonged to the Duke of Stoneville's club and was h ...more
Sep 09, 2015 Julie rated it liked it
Not the best by Suzanne Enoch. I found it very difficult to get into this storyline for the heroine was constantly irritable and cranky. Penniless widow who was suddenly dropped by her lover (our hero) two years earlier comes to London to open a gentleman's club. He's funding it because she's blackmailing him. Much happens, they can't resist each other, but she needs convincing he's changed. Not bad, but not great either, and can't understand the title, has nothing to do with the story! Still, I ...more
Zel Polev
Mar 27, 2016 Zel Polev rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2014 Soo rated it really liked it
This is my first review for any book on I felt compelled to write this because I did not like the first half of this book, but then loved the second half. I wouldn't have finished the book if it hadn't been for similar comments from other people to muscle through to the second (better) half of the book.

In the first half, I did not like the heroine or the hero. They were heartless and ruthless to such an extent that I didn't want to finish this book at all. And it goes on for a lon
Lady Day
Jul 03, 2014 Lady Day rated it liked it
I liked the storyline concept, but had a problem with a twenty one year old herione extremely wise to the world after being married for three years. While grieving over her husband, a man she did not love; she meets the Hero while in Vienna. After two weeks of intense passion, he suddenly dumps her without explanation.

She returns to England after paying off her husband's gambling debts and decides to open a gaming club. She needs help in order to establish and run her club, so she blackmails the
Feb 14, 2014 Kasumi rated it really liked it
Para mi que el encargado de elegir las portadas tenía ganas de poner esta y no le dio más vueltas. ¿Os acordais de cuando nos quejábamos de las portadas con los protagonistas medio desnudos y en posturas imposibles? Pues esta es la versión 2.0 de ese tipo de portadas. Es un primerísimo primer plano para evitar tantas quejas sobre el aspecto de los protagonistas contrario al descrito en el libro (al menos ella sí tiene el pelo oscuro) pero, con una protagonista que sólo viste de negro (excepto en ...more
Nov 04, 2015 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
I liked this one, it had great banter and apparently I have a thing for when the hero & heroine have a previous sexual relationship. Maybe I've just gotten bored of innocent virgins. Anyway this book wasn't deep, but it was fun. Lots of sequal bait potential, which makes sense, as this is a series. I wouldn't hesitate to read more either.

I want more of Genevieve's story, and I'll be looking for her book, because she's 110%. badass. Also the hero's good natured friend Johnathan sounds like a
Feb 01, 2014 Katyana rated it it was amazing
Loved this! It was so fantastic to see a smart, strong heroine that is determined to get her life together and be reliant on no one. I loved that the author didn't cop out and have her forced to marry at the end. She chose, on her own terms, because it was what she wanted. Fantastic!
Jun 19, 2015 Sariah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Warren est connu pour ses penchants pour le jeu dans lequel sa bonne réputation n'est plus à faire. C'est un homme qui ne se laisse pas dicter sa conduite ou intimider. Pourtant, face à la nouvelle Diane, il ne peut s'empêcher d'être séduit et intrigué, ou à ses sentiments de refaire surface. Il consent à lui prêter de l'argent, non sans y poser quelques conditions. Entre ces deux-là, la tension est palpable dès les premiers chapitres. Entre amour et haine, il n'y a qu'un pas à faire.
Aug 31, 2014 Desi rated it really liked it
Entertaining and somehow manages to maintain just the right balance of suspense throughout despite its far fetched plot. Some shady activities that are perhaps hard to reconcile with the requirement to support the supposed heroes of a story. But they were both engaging. She probably could have forgiven him sooner he did nothing but attempt to make up for past actions. Interesting that the book touched on topics generally ignored, like destitution.

I did want to know how she got that letter to bl
Oct 02, 2015 Evie rated it really liked it
This was another enjoyable read by Suzanne Enoch.

Diane is back in London after being away for a few years. She's come back in grand and everything thinks she's a most wealth widow. Diane has a plan and is ready to execute it but the last thing she expects is to learn that her business partner had an accident a day or two before she arrived and is now six feet under. Given that she's not the wealthy widow everyone thinks she is, she decides to blackmail the one man she thought she'd never see ag
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Suzanne was born in Southern California sometime in the latter half of the 20th century. In the way that some people are born knowing they want to be astronauts or cellists, Suzanne always knew she wanted to be a writer. Early dreams of becoming a zoologist and writing true stories about her adventures in Africa were crushed, however, after she viewed a television special about the world’s most po ...more
More about Suzanne Enoch...

Other Books in the Series

Scandalous Brides (4 books)
  • Taming an Impossible Rogue (Scandalous Brides, #2)
  • Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke (Scandalous Brides, #3)
  • The Handbook to Handling His Lordship (Scandalous Brides, #4)

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“Don't compliment me in the middle of an argument. It won't make me stammer or blush, and it just makes you look desperate.” 2 likes
“We are not a couple,' she said softly. 'Therefore I cannot cuckold you.'
'Shall I pull out the note and point to the bit where it says we're lovers?'
Her lashes lowered a touch. 'Are you jealous, darling?'
'Sleep with whomever you please, Diane. But if you attempt to make me look the fool, I won't be so cooperative.' Even as he spoke the words he realized he was lying - which wasn't that unusual, except for the fact that he'd evidently been attempting to lie to himself. That was a damned useless waste of effort.”
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