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The Taming of the Rake

(Blackthorn Brothers #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,070 ratings  ·  115 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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3.80  · 
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 ·  1,070 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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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 Davis
Jul 18, 2011 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
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
Oct 14, 2011 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
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 10, 2011 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
Fani *loves angst*
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 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
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
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
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
Jun 23, 2011 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
Amanda Ryan
Jul 10, 2011 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 04, 2012 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
Shh I'm reading!
Sep 05, 2011 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
Jun 07, 2011 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!
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
You can also read this review at Reflections on Reading Romance

Lately I’ve been lucky enough to read several books by newly published authors, and it has been so exciting to see the fresh ideas and voices that these authors bring to their novels. That said, it was a distinct pleasure to delve into a book by such an accomplished novelist as Kasey Michaels. Despite her more than 100 books published, many written in the Regency era, this long-time reader of regency romance had never read one of Ms.
This hit all the right notes for some easy reading and had some love scenes in it. A break for my brain you could say.

Lady Chelsea is about to be given away in marriage, which is normal during this time period. Too bad she thinks her brothers choice is a pig with a ‘wet mouth’. So she runs away to the very man her brother, and sister, detest more than anything.... bastard Oliver ‘Beau’ Blackthorn. He has revenge in his mind after being humiliated by Chelsea’s sister in refusing his marriage pro
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.blogsp...

One man’s whipping sets a course of events that ultimately takes a path of vengeance and turns it into a journey of love. A reader will figure out that the two beleaguered protagonists will get their happily ever after, eventually. What happens along the way however, is a grand bit of storytelling where some of the characters end up in very different places than what a reader is initially presented.

Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn is the eld
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable and entertaining. Great read.
Jul 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2011, galley
This was my first Net Galley read so I was pretty excited to jump in! It caught my eye when browsing NG and I quickly requested it. I love historical romances, specifically this time period.

The Taming of the Rake is the first book in the Blackthorn Brothers trilogy. I enjoy trilogies or series' because I get to follow friends or family through several books. I usually get more attached to the characters that way. Oliver "Beau" Blackthorn is a wealthy bachelor and he has no intention of changing
The Taming of the Rake is first in a series about the three Blackthorn brothers. The oldest son of a marquess and an actress, Beau's parents never married, leaving their sons with the unenviable title of bastard. After a marriage proposal goes sour, Beau leaves England to make his fortune. He returns years later wealthy and successful with a plan to get back at the man who humiliated him years before. As the younger sister of the woman whom Beau's attentions were the focus of all those years ago ...more
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I've always loved Kasey Michaels writing style and Harlequin's editors are top notch. With all the new authors self publishing or not being given the editing support needed to develop a high quality novel, it's like getting wrapped up in a comfy cloud when everything is just right.

This book gave me a sense of déjà vu. It's like I've read it before, but not quite. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. The story of young couples running to Gretna Green against their family's
Romancing the Book
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
Reviewed by Jen
Copy provided by NetGalley for review

I am a fan of Kasey Michaels, so when I had a chance to read her new historical series, I grabbed it. The premise for this series is quite interesting. The Blackthorne brothers are all bastards... literally. Their father is an earl and their mother is an actress who abandoned them pretty early in life. Their father raised them, provided everything the boys could ever want... except to be legal heirs.

So in this first book in the series, Beau has
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Taming of the Rake, by Kasey Michaels, is the first book in her new trilogy about the Blackthorn brothers.

The most important thing to remember about the Blackthorn brothers is that they are bastards. That's not a value judgment, it's a statement of fact. Their parents were not married, at least not to each other. Their father, the Marquis of Blackthorn, loved their mother, but married their aunt to protect her from being sent "away" because she was a bit, well, simple. Not to mention slightl
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am writing this review on behalf on

I don’t usually read Harlequin books because in my mind Harlequin=trashy novels. When I saw that this book was on, I thought it sounded interesting and I would give it a try in the hopes that they would prove my opinion to be false. I must say, this book has changed my mind about Harlequin novels. I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. I was in the middle of reading another book by one of my favorite authors and had to stop tha
Oct 05, 2011 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.
Riccarla Roman
Feb 20, 2012 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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 06, 2015 10:00AM  

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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

Other books in the series

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