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The Rake

(Davenport #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  6,483 ratings  ·  436 reviews
A man's past doesn't have to map his fate, especially when a woman holds the key to his destiny in this timeless novel by New York Times bestselling author and legend in historical romance Mary Jo Putney...

Disinherited and disgraced, Reginald Davenport's prospects cried for a dire end. But fate has given him one last chance at redemption—by taking his rightful place as the
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Zebra Books (first published 1989)
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,483 ratings  ·  436 reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Another example of how romantic fiction is not fluff. This book was deep as the ocean. I loved how this book brought together two people who had been hurt or damaged by life, and helped them to find peace and love.

The Rake is an excellent portrayal of a person suffering from alcoholism. And coming from a family where both side has members who were alcoholics, I can testify to this. Reggie reminded me of a few of my uncles. They could have been better men had they not been under the influence of
Lady Wesley
Alys Weston is running from her past, and Reggie Davenport is fleeing his future. Fate brings them together on Reggie's Dorset estate, Strickland.

It's uncommon, to say the least, for a woman to be an estate steward, yet Alys has been able to pull off that job for four years, communicating with the absentee owner in writing. When Reggie's cousin, the new owner, gives the estate over to Reggie, Alys sees her idyll coming to an end. Yet, when Reggie arrives at Strickland, he proves to be surprising
I have some rather mixed feelings about this book. It is not exactly what I expected. I generally enjoyed it but still.

Let’s start with the good things. I really like the characters. Alys is a strong and smart heroine without being annoying. And I really like Reggie – he is not your typical alpha man from the historical romance. Even disregarding his addiction to alcohol, he is a very interesting hero – intelligent, with witty humour and tragic past. And it should be stated that despite the fact
Opening Line: “When two gentlemen are related by blood, they do not usually address each other with formality.”

Based on all the glowing reviews and accolades THE RAKE has received I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this regency romance. And I guess because I’d heard so many good things I was a little surprised at well, frankly how dull this was. Even with Putney’s great writing, attention to detail and a reprobate bad boy as our hero this was a bit of a grind to get through.

Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rake, huh?
More like ‘The Alcoholic’ but that probably wouldn’t make a good title for a bodice ripper and supermarkets wouldn’t stock it.

This must be the first historical romance written along the lines of 12 steps of AA clubs. You can see it in its structure but I am not admonishing Putney for using it. It provided a good frame for an exciting novel which would get more stars from me if the heroine’s secret and at the same time her reason for hiding from the world for a decade weren’t so ut
Lady Wesley
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
Fabulous. If you like this book, I highly recommend this audio version by Mark Meadows. If you haven't yet read this book, ditto. It's one of the classic historical romances of all time.

Alys Weston is running from her past, and Reggie Davenport is fleeing his future. Fate brings them together on Reggie’s Dorset estate, Strickland.

It’s uncommon, to say the least, for a woman to be an estate steward, yet Alys has been able to pull off that job for four years, communicating with the absentee owner
Jacob Proffitt
While part of a series and with characters you're clearly expected to know, I didn't feel that left out without having read the first.

I liked the idea of this story well-enough but have a hard time rating it very high now I've finished it. It was fun getting to know Alys and I enjoyed her confidence and strength. I didn't enjoy so much her insecurity about being unattractive—mostly because she let it define her so much despite having respect and acknowledgement for her skill and competence in pr
I've given this an A for narration and an A- for content at AudioGals.

Dear Dreamscape Media,


So often have I seen a favourite and/or long awaited book come out in audio only to have my heart sink when I see the name of the narrator, or for me to start listening with high hopes – only to have them dashed within minutes because the narration is poor. I cannot tell you how happy I am that this didn’t happen when I started listening to your new recording of Mary Jo Putney’s The Rake, one
♡Karlyn P♡
What a GREAT historcial regency-era romance. The passion, desire and tension is taught between the hero/heroine, but in a typical 90's style regecy romances there was very little bedroom action. But I swear I didn't miss it as the romance and tension was so good.

The story centers around Alys, a 30-year old spinster working as a land manager at a country Estate. And Reggie, a wealthy commoner who takes ownership of the estate where Alys works and is shocked to discover a woman running the proper
Reginald Davenport has a well-earned reputation as a Rake. Known as the "Despair of the Davenports", Reggie has no prospects. He spends his days sleeping off a hangover, and his nights drinking and carousing. When his cousin calls him to his estate, Reggie believes his allowance will be cut off. Instead, his cousin offers him an unentailed property called Strickland which happened to be Reggie's boyhood home. Reggie agrees to move to the country and take over the very prosperous property.

4.5 "The Reformed Rake & The Lost Heiress" Stars for the story and 5+ Stars for the narration!

This book started a little slow (especially in the romance department), but give it time. If you love HR with great character development that extends beyond the HEA, The Rake will not disappoint. Moreover, the narration is simply divine. I will definitely be looking for more of Mark Meadow's narrations in the future.

Source: audiobook trial.
Juliana Philippa
Absolutely utterly fantastic!! Wow - a definite reread. Completely distracted me from my homework, but it was just so wonderful. I was glad to read a good Putney book after finding her most recent release pretty weak. The Rake, however, is not weak at all, but rather completely 100% great!!!

One of the greatest things about this book was that it tackled the very serious issue of alcoholism extremely well, dealt with it compassionately, and portrayed it very vividly/starkly. I *never* get emotiona
I'm glad I finally gave MJP a chance, always heard good things about this book and it was excellent. Seemed a little on the long side and took me a while to finish. I'd given up on angst and stress in my reading for April, but decided to try something a little more heavy - this was - and did well.

The hero, Reginald Davenport or Reggie, has a serious drinking problem. He realizes it but is not sure what to do. This may seem like a very negative thing, as it is, but somehow the way the author wro
I put off reading this book for seven months because I was really afraid that the hero being an alcoholic would drag the book down, but MJP reminded me of one fact that I had forgotten: addicts are typically very charismatic. And Reggie's charm really kept this book afloat.

I struggled with how to rate this book: I wanted to give it five, but there were a few things that got on my nerves - although I think it's because I just read an MJP title a few weeks ago, and the same thing that annoyed me a
Miranda Davis
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper
I tried to enjoy this slowly, in modest servings over time to make it last like a bag of cookies. But come on, this is sooo great I couldn't put it down. Damn you, Mary Jo Putney! Wonderful heroine capable on a dozen levels (as a guardian of young people and female steward of an estate she runs successfully, obscuring the fact she's a she to absentee owners). She's got spine and intelligence but is unaware of her own attractiveness. (The hero's mojo goes Schwing the first time they meet even tho ...more
After being an avid romance reader for the past 15 years, this is the first book I've ever reviewed. I felt compelled to review this book because it is quite simply the best that I've ever read,...(and I've read a lot!).

Reggie Davenport is the quintessential rake. He is a womanizer, gambler, fighter, and an alcoholic. He is, in essence, on a spiral downward and is basically drinking himself to death. That's Reggie on the outside. On the inside Reggie is a kind, considerate, unselfish, humorous,
I liked this. The minor characters were well done. I like it when they feel like real people. And the alcoholism was dealt with very well.

What I didn't think was dealt with well was Alys's struggles with self-confidence. I mean, I've been there, but it DOES get better as you get older and as you gain confidence in other areas of your life.
That was touched on a little--that she was self-confidence in other areas of life--but it didn't quite work for me anyway. (view spoiler)
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This may be the top HR in my Hall of Fame historical romances. Or at least it's in a tie with Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels for top billing. LoS has a bit more humor and this one has a tad more poignancy but each is excellent in its own special way. I have this Putney HR already in 2 paperbacks: The original 1989 The Rake and the Reformer (Super Regency, Signet) and the slightly rewritten 1998 reprint The Rake. For me it's such a great HR that I've now bought the e-book also . That way it's ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane Stewart
Average at best.

A few times I was thinking “shouldn’t I be done with this soon?” It was easy to put down. I was not drawn in. And a couple things bothered me - in spoilers.

(view spoiler)
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
What an emotional rollercoaster.

9/5/14. I am very behind on reviews and life and work has been busy and there are plenty of other reviews on the book page to help readers decide if this book is a good fit. I loved it, and really appreciated the way MJP handled Reggie's story and his battle with alcoholism without turning him into a whiny walking pity-party. Well done.

Kindle copy obtained via library loan.
This was so good! It felt a teensy bit long, because all of the misunderstandings just kept piling up in absurd ways, but since I largely found the characters delightful I didn't much mind. The hero is flatly an asshole at many points during the book, but I still found him a viable romantic lead because of the rest of his characterization, which is a credit to the author. And the secondary characters are great.

Definitely enjoyed this one. Sorry it took so long to finally read it.
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had an impulse to hold the hem of this story and to let it walk me around. That is the child in me talking, needing comfort, something/somebody to look upon. In the world of reading, in the genre of HR, you won’t find a better book to admire, to get fascinated with, to mold your opinions around its moods and pace. It’s a very grown-up, exceptionally adult and mature masterpiece.

It made me dry my tears with my fingertips, trying to swallow without the burn in my throat. The understanding of th
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May contain spoilers.

It's a good book with good characterization, good interactions and good dialogue. There are some inspiring moments but two stood out for me.
The first was when Alys taking the backseat of her own romance drama to support Reggie in his struggling to get sober.
Alys's feelings for Reggie was growing more complicated and it affected the way she behaved towards him. But then she realized that it was hard enough for Reggie to deal with his own shit without she's adding the burden w
I loved this book. The romance and the struggles of the eponymous rake are beautifully enmeshed; in fact they both carry equal weight within the story. “The Rake” is Reggie Davenport, who is in his late thirties, and who has spent most of his time drinking, gambling and womanising. He’s beginning to realise that his way of life – the drinking especially – is going to kill him sooner rather than later, but continues to drink to excess, despite the warning signs of memory loss and the fact that hi ...more
Regan Walker
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reforming an Alcoholic Rake Takes a Good Woman

Set in 1817, this is the story of Lady Alys Weston, who fled the shallow affections of her fiancé because he only wanted her money to become a governess and then an estate manager. She excels at her work and hides her sex from her absentee landlord while making him money. But when Strickland is given to Reginald Davenport, the disinherited alcoholic—a rake all of London is aware of—Alys knows she is in trouble.

Reggie means to reform and Alys is his i
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, hist-rom
Reggie, The hero has a drinking problem AND he’s a notorious womanizer. Lo and behold when he meets Alys, the heroine and the reformer to his reformee- he wants to change.

Although this is the biggest fantasy/fallacy pet peeve out there for me in romance, (in other words, the dream that our love can actually change a man), I went along with it because hey, that's why i read romance- to get away from reality. But I will give that it doesnt always work for me, if it feels too implausable.

The reaso
I LOOOVE Reggie.

This took me a while to finally read and it's not perfect, but MJP's characters can be so charismatic and full of heart that it's easy to forget any issues I have with the story.

So while it may not win a Pulitzer Prize, this book was still very sweet and charming and I definitely recommend it if you like historical romances.
As far as historical romances go, there isn't anything all that unique about this story. Well, I guess you could say that the fact that the heroine of this story, Alys, is masquerading as a man and serving as the successful steward of a wealthy property is pretty unique. But underneath it all is the typical story of a strong(ish) heroine and a rake(ish) hero finding love under totally unrealistic circumstances. I liked this story. I really did. But I'm not sure that if I had read it I would have ...more
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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably

Other books in the series

Davenport (2 books)
  • The Diabolical Baron (Davenport, #1)
“Heresy is just philosophy that the establishment doesn’t approve of,” 4 likes
“—La mayoría de las mujeres son extraordinarias. Compensa el hecho de que la mayoría de los hombres no lo sean —soltó Alys y, al instante, se mordió la lengua".
(de "Pecado y virtud")”
More quotes…