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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 ·  1,990 Ratings  ·  157 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 Haybur
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 Seybolt
Nov 09, 2011 Christine Seybolt 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
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
Jan 18, 2016 Keri rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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
Jul 26, 2016 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
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!
Maggie Santangelo
Jan 14, 2017 Maggie Santangelo rated it really liked it
The love affair was a bit predictable, but still a good story and a fast read. I liked that the leading lady built a gambling house, that was interesting.
Jan 06, 2017 G rated it it was amazing
Almost too angsty for 5 stars but story stayed interesting. OD
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.
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
Ashley F
Feb 04, 2013 Ashley F rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2012 Heather rated it did not like it
This is one of the most boring romance novels I’ve ever read. If I didn’t have a compulsive need to finish books I start I would have never made it through this one. The hero & heroine have no chemistry and there is barely any romance between them. They constantly bicker throughout 75% of the book & it’s not witty enjoyable banter – it’s just mean & repetitive and totally undeserved in my opinion anyways. And, as others have noted, the title has nothing to do with the book at all.

Lover of Romance
Short Review
It has been quite some time since I have read Suzanne Enoch, and I bought this book about a year ago, and its been on my shelf collecting dust, so since there have been a few books come into this series, I thought I would try reading the first installment, before I got the others. In the past I have come to love Enoch's writing and her powerful ability of storytelling, but I am sad to say I was disappointed in A Beginner's Guide To Rakes. For some reason I had the hardest time getti
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
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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.” 3 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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