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Lords of Time #1

The Rake And The Recluse: REDUX

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A woman out of time.
A man stifled by propriety.
A nemesis determined to take her away.
A brother to the rescue.

How will a powerful Duke deal with a woman who doesn't know her place? How will a woman used to the 21st century survive in time where she is considered property?

THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE Part One brings Francine to the world of the Duke of Roxleigh, clashing worlds in first installment of the completely revised novel, with all new material.

Part two finds Francine in the world of the Duke of Roxleigh. The clashing of worlds in first installment of the completely revised novel continues as Francine finds her footing, discovers secrets about her elusive host, and learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.

Part THREE brings Francine and Gideon closer than they ever imagined possible, until the unimaginable tears them apart. What will Gideon do if he loses her, this time, forever? This is the third installment of the completely revised novel, with all new material.

Part four : January 31, 2012
Part Five: Fabruary 14, 2012
Part Six: February 28, 2012

Each additional part will be added to the book as it is released. YOU WILL NEED TO DELETE THE BOOK FROM YOUR READER AND RE-DOWNLOAD IT FROM THE WEBSITE you purchased it from for it to update with each part.

This is also available as a serial novel independently.

Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn’t quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to another horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.
How does she find herself in the past, when she couldn’t even find herself in her present? How does a self sufficient businesswoman survive in a time when women were still considered property for the whole of their lives and what is she going to do with this man who draws her to him so fiercely.

700 pages, ebook

First published January 20, 2011

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About the author

Jenn LeBlanc

39 books204 followers
Jenn LeBlanc is a Colorado girl living in a Hollywood world. She writes “wildly original” illustrated Victorian erotic romance.
She wrote, photographed, and published the first ever Illustrated Romance and is Queen Of StudioSmexy.
She loves getting new research books and chatting with readers.
The Rake and The Recluse is the first book in the illustrated Lords of Time erotic romance series.



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Displaying 1 - 30 of 154 reviews
Profile Image for Kati .
198 reviews67 followers
January 15, 2016
1 Part Outlander+ 1 Part Jane Eyre= Me, Lost in LeBlanc™.

I spent a week (yes, A WEEK) on this book. It might be mostly due to the fact that I flipped through it 8 times just drooling over the pictures. Within those 8 flip throughs, I read the story. The concept is GENIUS! I mean, who hasn't wanted to know exactly what the author sees when she's writing her book? Who hasn't wondered what the hero REALLY looks like? Well, wonder no more. Ms. LeBlanc takes us into her vision, complete with pictures.

Profile Image for KP Pryce.
104 reviews5 followers
April 14, 2013
In a word - a waste of time and money.

The concept was promising, the execution however, was poor. The hero was promising, and his brother was delightful, but the heroine pulled them down.

The plentiful photographs meant to illustrate the book added to the disaster. There is no way the female in those photos can be a vision of paleness - so fair in colouring (according to the author's description), when the female in the photos that were constantly thrust in your face showed a woman who was neither fair, or whose complexion could ever be described as flawless. By the time I'd come to the fourth photo within the story, I was feeling thoroughly insulted. Did the author think I lacked the imagination to read her verbal descriptions and be able to build a suitable picture of the characters in my own head? Or did the author think she lacked the authorial expertise to create in words characters we could see?

The heroine's nemesis - this creature we are given to believe in the beginning of the story to be some brute of a man who tortures women by chasing them with hounds and horses like they're a two legged fox, but then brutally rape them and leave them for dead.

But then we get to actually see the downtrodden little man, and though he's apparently corpulent given the fleshy folds that flutter like flubber when he shakes his head, he's a snivelling little coward whose terrified of his mother. Possible, but the characterisation wasn't seamless or well executed to be convincing.

The story also dragged. There is SO MUCH internal dialogue, most of it doing nothing to advance the story. And while this is a time travel story, I have to say I lost whatever remained of my determination to read what I'd paid good money for the moment the heroine started ranting and raving like a pre-menstrual 20th century teenager who lacks self-discipline or any sense of dignity in self. At that point, the shaky world-building was shot to pieces, and I was kicked out of the story. Maybe I used up what was left of my tolerance by the time the heroine started riding out in London, without shame or apology, in loose fitting mens clothes and without giving a damn for how her behaviour could reflect on this man she's supposed to be falling for. But it's a common theme throughout the book - to her, it's all about her.

I have no idea if she grows and matures later on. Because after the scene with her nemesis following her 'ruination' when she went ballistic like a hyped-up streetkid, I closed that book with not even a smidgin of regret and lots of heartfelt relief that the torture for me was over. I then dropped the book in the rubbish rather than putting it in the charity bin and subjecting someone else to the torture.

Profile Image for Joyfully Reviewed.
510 reviews239 followers
May 11, 2012
“Freedom”
Francine Larabee is plucked out of the twenty-first century thrown back in time and forced into another life. When she awakens, Francine is startled not only by the time and place she awakens in, but also the stunning man in charge. Francine had thought her father’s ramblings about their family line being in the wrong time were crazy but as she now finds herself surrounded by dukes and duchesses she realizes there may be some truth to it.

Duke of Roxleigh, Gideon Alrick Trumbull is known for his reclusiveness. He likes his quite life just the way it is. When an unfortunate accident injures a lady he feels it’s his responsibility to see to her recovery. He must also find her true identity as she cannot remember anything from her past. He never counted on developing feelings for the lady.

“Freedom” is an excellent start to what is sure to be an entertaining story. There are just enough questions and chemistry to heat this romance up. Francine’s voice may be injured but she has no problem communicating with the dashing duke. I am intrigued by Gideon. His character has layers and layers of potential.


“Found”
In part two, Francine is learning to navigate her new world and she is trying to find out about her elusive host, Gideon. Gideon travels to London to visit with his rake of a brother, Perry. It is Gideon’s duty to find a wife and he must search among London’s ton all the while struggling with his feelings for the mysterious Francine.

“Found” gives us a look at the circumstances of Gideon’s life and title. A new mystery begins to unfold surrounding events that took place the night that Francine arrived in Gideon’s life. I like the addition of this new bit of mystery. It adds layers to this story. The relationship between Gideon and Francine is sweet and flowing quite well when Francine’s “parents” arrive to claim their missing daughter. I loved how this played out and can’t wait for the next installment!


“Taken”
Francine and Gideon take their relationship to a new level in the third part of The Rake and The Recluse. The passion between them rises as Gideon begins officially courting Francine. A new side of Perry is revealed—one he didn’t even know existed. Danger stalks closer threatening to destroy Francine and Gideon’s love.

“Taken” brings the couple closer and keeps the reader engaged. The connection between Francine and Gideon only intensifies as the two grow closer on many levels. I really like these two. They each have many qualities that make them characters you root for. The jaw-dropping ending of “Taken” left me aching to find out what happens next to this wonderful couple.


“Ruination”
In part four of The Rake and The Recluse things come to a head as Gideon must race against time to save his beloved Francine. Gideon valiantly tried to do right by Francine but he comes to realize that if he wants to save her from their enemy he will be forced to sacrifice propriety.

“Ruination” brings the first part of The Rake and The Recluse to a stunning and beautiful end. I loved the way Gideon and Francine’s story culminates in “Ruination.” I love the relationships between Gideon and his staff and the focus on them during “Ruination.”


“Submission”
Perry Trumbull is known as quite a rake among London’s hierarchy but recently he has taken on more responsibility than even he ever imagined. Needing a break from his new wards, Perry leaves his brother Gideon’s home seeking some peace back in London. However, his peace doesn’t last long as he finds a stowaway in his carriage. Unfortunately, for him this is one charge he cannot run away from. Perry finds himself mesmerized by the beauty at his mercy. A dalliance may turn into something more but can Perry protect his woman from the danger that stalks her?

“Submission” begins Perry’s story. I have been eagerly anticipating getting to read more about the handsome rake. I believe Ms. LeBlanc found the perfect woman to match with Perry. Perry and his woman heat up the pages of “Submission.” Perhaps I’m being a bit vague here but I don’t want to spoil the surprise of who lands in Perry’s arms.


“Retribution”
In the final novella installment of The Rake and The Recluse, Perry and his love battle the dastardly Hepplewort and deal with their social class differences. They learn to maneuver in their world together. There is also an introduction to quite a few cousins.

“Retribution” is a great ending to this exciting novel. I really enjoyed Perry and his love’s romance. I felt they grew into their relationship nicely. There are some sexy scenes in this story and I would expect no less from the Rake of the story.


The Rake and The Recluse is a highly entertaining novel. The Rake and The Recluse features pictures interspersed throughout the novel. While I don’t have a problem with using picture illustrations in novels I didn’t feel they added anything. The Rake and The Recluse stands up quite well by itself. Ms. Leblanc’s interesting premise is very intriguing. I loved watching Francine adapt to being sent to the past. I also love that she doesn’t entirely lose her twenty-first century attitude. The scenes of her on horseback and Gideon’s reaction to her on horseback are hilarious. I also love Perry and his lady. Their parts of this story are sensual and beautiful. I was excited to see this lady come into her own and I enjoyed watching Perry make strong decisions. You can absolutely feel the heat between this couple! I’m so glad Perry found his muse. The Rake and The Recluse is overflowing with wonderful characters and rich romance.

Reviewed by Miranda for Joyfully Reviewed
Profile Image for Catherine.
Author 13 books38 followers
March 12, 2012
Francine Larabee has life figured out. Career, husband, kids. In that order. But fate had other plans.

Welcome to the world of The Rake and the Recluse. 21st century businesswoman Francine, through a fate-changing car accident, is thrust into 19th century England in the body of her ancestor Madeline Larabee. She wakes up on the estate of the delicious and stoic Gideon, the Duke of Roxleigh (AKA the Recluse), who’s just as confused by her improper attitude as Francine is by his obsession with propriety.

This book…oh this book. There’s a lot to love about it. Francine is a firebrand in a time when women are no more than property. She immediately grabs Gideon’s attention and holds on through a gripping story that will keep you turning pages from beginning to end.

Also, those pages? Some are illustrated. With photos. Beautiful photos. Jenn shot and designed all of her cover art. I love her deeply for it.

Apart from Gideon and Francine, Jenn gives us a great supporting cast through Gideon’s servants and extended family, including his delicious brother Perry, Viscount of Trumbull. We’ll get to Perry momentarily.

What I loved about Gideon and Francine’s relationship is watching Gideon’s self-restraint slowly, almost painstakingly, unravel. There are deliciously seductive moments, intense moments, beautiful moments between these two people who seem so wrong for each other and yet fit just right.

There were a few parts where I felt like Francine was accepting her life a little too easily, where I wanted to see her fiery personality come out. She tries to fit in, really, she does, but she doesn’t succeed very well or very often to the dismay of Gideon’s servants and the embarrassment of the ton. But it’s impossible to deny the chemistry between Gideon and Francine, the way moments between them smolder. They’re incredible to read and some parts will leave you breathless.

Now to Perry, the Rake.

Jenn’s book is written in six parts. Parts 1-4 are primarily about Francine and Gideon. Parts 5 and 6? Aaaaall Perry.

Perry has a bit of a reputation among the ton. He is the George Clooney of 19th century London, never gonna settle down because there’s no point. As long as Gideon is okay and able to serve his duties to the Crown, Perry’s free to do whatever he wants.

Until he meets Lilly, a servant in Gideon’s household.

Lilly offers an entirely different set of challenges than Francine. She’s been through a horribly traumatic experience that has left her fearful of a man’s touch. After her recovery, she hides away in Perry’s carriage as he’s leaving Gideon’s estate for his townhouse in London. She asks him to help her by…well…ya know. And Perry has no idea what to do. He agrees, reluctantly, at first, thinking it’ll just be casual, but as he and Lilly get to know each other, he realizes he can’t be without her.

Perry’s amazing. Normally I go for the dark and broody like Gideon, but something about Perry gripped me from his first entrance into the story. He’s hilarious, he’s sexy, and he’s wild. His relationship with Lilly adds more depth to his character than I ever expected, and by the end of TRATR, I was in love with him. I want my own Perry.

Jenn’s writing is solid throughout. She has a tendency to head-hop and gives us different perspectives from all sides of the story. However, there are frequent instances when I had no idea what was going on because there are no breaks. These changes are jolting, and a few times I got really confused. Also, there are A LOT of names, and titles and things to remember. I mention that solely because I’m lazy.

I would definitely recommend TRATR to fans of regency romances and to people who are new to that era of romance in general. Through Francine’s confusion and Perry’s unorthodox relationship with Lilly, the reader learns a lot about the courtship rules and the all-important propriety.
Profile Image for Crys Harris.
270 reviews
June 4, 2011
This book was insipid, boring, and ridiculous. I will admit, I'm no fan of time travel romances as I find the premise too unbelievable. I only thought Outlander was so-so, and that is the gold standard of the genre. However, there are so many things that stand out as completely dumb about this book as to make it unique.

First, one cannot easily transition from living with smart phones and being independent women of the world to missish, retiring Victorian maidens. She rode a horse, for heaven's sake! She barely complained, and when she did her voice conveniently went out. She was as shy and virginal as any maiden in romance novels... What?!

She walked in the shoes and clothes of the time, she spoke their vernacular, except for a cloddishly placed 'awesome' or some such modern nonsense. No one talked about her accent?! Her business acumen was never needed?

The inconsistencies and ridiculous devices are too numerous for me to go on. I found the story of Shaw and Alice more interesting and Perry more compelling than either main character.

Horrible drivel.
Profile Image for Hardly.
62 reviews
April 15, 2017
Most of the reviews at Amazon list occasional misspellings, bizarre word choice ("steed"? LOL), pointless details that possibly had a purpose when the author included them but which she never showed why they mattered (Francine's throat injury), and unnecessary sex scenes among other things are entirely valid. Since those others have mentioned them, I won't harp on about them. You can toddle over to Amazon and read a few dozen folks griping about it :D

Subtlety: a good thing. Also, and sadly, not a thing that is present in this book. The main plot premise is not awful. However, the many weaknesses of structure and execution make this a 1-star book. The author's ham-fisted approach to writing only draws attention to poor characterization, feeble plot progression, overwrought descriptions, bad pacing, and unnecessary and overactive switching of points-of-view. Do we need to be in the housekeeper's head, as well as the heroine's AND the hero's? If it were a plot point, and pertinent that we have access to her thoughts or motives, it might work. However, the more POVs in a story, the choppier it is. This practice adds nothing except weakness to an already weak overall structure.

Francine is crass. When she wakes up in the Victorian era, she screams abuse at everyone, makes excessive demands ("Explain to me how I ended up here... and how you are going to get me home!" -- why is it up to them to get her home?), and then engages in something only drama-queen teenagers use: giving the middle finger.

Listen, I get that she's upset-- anyone would be, after having a car accident on the day of her big presentation, and waking up where people won't or can't answer your questions-- and I get that the author wants to represent her heroine as spunky instead of a wilting flower, but writing Francine like this makes her seem trashy and ill-mannered rather than upset. A thought formed in my head: thank god Francine has metaphysics on her side, forcing Gideon to be her soul mate or whatever, cuz that personality isn't going to be attracting anyone.

Gideon's just another romance hero who pops a boner at the very sight of our fair heroine, and suffers a tragic case of constant blue balls until blah blah blah. Who cares? There's nothing to differentiate him from any other romance hero with the requisite jewel-like eyes. He's utterly generic. I have to at least give props to Francine: she is *uniquely* trashy and definitely atypical for romance heroines.

As for the other characters: whatevs. Two plots in a single book interrupt the narrative, just like over-switching POV.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews210 followers
May 5, 2012
Review by Jen:
I won this book months ago on GoodReads and it's been sitting on my self just taunting me. So when I arranged to have Jenn guest at Romancing the Book, I figured this would be the time to read the book. What I found was a delightful debut novel... complete with pictures.

I'll be honest. I don't think the photos in this book really added much to me. It's an interesting concept, but in the end it just felt like filler to me.

However, I did enjoy the story. A girl time travels back to Victorian England, falls in love with a reclusive Duke, has an evil Earl chasing her, and ends up with a rake as her guardian. At times the characters (in particular the rake, recluse and bad guy) all seemed a little cookie cutter in characterstics and action. But luckily, the plot and the character of Francine helped make this an enjoyable read.

There were a few times where actions or situations seemed a little too unbelievable and there were a few editing issues. But this is still a solid, read that kept me turning the pages. And I hope that "the rake" from The Rake and the Recluse gets his own story since he was left hanging as this novel concluded.
Profile Image for Delilah Marvelle.
Author 38 books511 followers
July 18, 2012
Witty, sensual, and just downright fantastic. Words and pictures collide in this unique and sigh worthy read.
Profile Image for Catherine.
Author 13 books38 followers
March 12, 2012
Francine Larabee has life figured out. Career, husband, kids. In that order. But fate had other plans.

Welcome to the world of The Rake and the Recluse. 21st century businesswoman Francine, through a fate-changing car accident, is thrust into 19th century England in the body of her ancestor Madeline Larabee. She wakes up on the estate of the delicious and stoic Gideon, the Duke of Roxleigh (AKA the Recluse), who’s just as confused by her improper attitude as Francine is by his obsession with propriety.

This book…oh this book. There’s a lot to love about it. Francine is a firebrand in a time when women are no more than property. She immediately grabs Gideon’s attention and holds on through a gripping story that will keep you turning pages from beginning to end.

Also, those pages? Some are illustrated. With photos. Beautiful photos. Jenn shot and designed all of her cover art. I love her deeply for it.

Apart from Gideon and Francine, Jenn gives us a great supporting cast through Gideon’s servants and extended family, including his delicious brother Perry, Viscount of Trumbull. We’ll get to Perry momentarily.

What I loved about Gideon and Francine’s relationship is watching Gideon’s self-restraint slowly, almost painstakingly, unravel. There are deliciously seductive moments, intense moments, beautiful moments between these two people who seem so wrong for each other and yet fit just right.

There were a few parts where I felt like Francine was accepting her life a little too easily, where I wanted to see her fiery personality come out. She tries to fit in, really, she does, but she doesn’t succeed very well or very often to the dismay of Gideon’s servants and the embarrassment of the ton. But it’s impossible to deny the chemistry between Gideon and Francine, the way moments between them smolder. They’re incredible to read and some parts will leave you breathless.

Now to Perry, the Rake.

Jenn’s book is written in six parts. Parts 1-4 are primarily about Francine and Gideon. Parts 5 and 6? Aaaaall Perry.

Perry has a bit of a reputation among the ton. He is the George Clooney of 19th century London, never gonna settle down because there’s no point. As long as Gideon is okay and able to serve his duties to the Crown, Perry’s free to do whatever he wants.

Until he meets Lilly, a servant in Gideon’s household.

Lilly offers an entirely different set of challenges than Francine. She’s been through a horribly traumatic experience that has left her fearful of a man’s touch. After her recovery, she hides away in Perry’s carriage as he’s leaving Gideon’s estate for his townhouse in London. She asks him to help her by…well…ya know. And Perry has no idea what to do. He agrees, reluctantly, at first, thinking it’ll just be casual, but as he and Lilly get to know each other, he realizes he can’t be without her.

Perry’s amazing. Normally I go for the dark and broody like Gideon, but something about Perry gripped me from his first entrance into the story. He’s hilarious, he’s sexy, and he’s wild. His relationship with Lilly adds more depth to his character than I ever expected, and by the end of TRATR, I was in love with him. I want my own Perry.

Jenn’s writing is solid throughout. She has a tendency to head-hop and gives us different perspectives from all sides of the story. However, there are frequent instances when I had no idea what was going on because there are no breaks. These changes are jolting, and a few times I got really confused. Also, there are A LOT of names, and titles and things to remember. I mention that solely because I’m lazy.

I would definitely recommend TRATR to fans of regency romances and to people who are new to that era of romance in general. Through Francine’s confusion and Perry’s unorthodox relationship with Lilly, the reader learns a lot about the courtship rules and the all-important propriety.
Profile Image for Heather Book Savvy Babe.
496 reviews135 followers
August 26, 2011
Not only am I giving this book 5 stars, but it is my favorite book of August! See more about it on my blog @ www.booksavvybabe.com

In The Rake and the Recluse, Francine is somehow transported from present day to the late 1800's where she finds herself injured at the home of a reclusive Duke. Not understanding what happened to her, Francine rails against her "captors" and acts quite strange, making those around her fear for her sanity. As time passes, the Duke (Gideon) and his household realize that Francine is not crazy, but she is very odd and has no memories of her previous life. Gideon and Francine are strangely and powerfully drawn together and the Duke must find out who she is before he can claim her for himself. Gideon and Francine's relationship is threatened by Francine's vulgar former fiancé, who claims to "own" her. Gideon must find a solution for Francine, without permanently ruining their reputations.

The Rake and the Recluse is an all-together beautiful book filled not only with an engaging time-travel historical romance story, but also with stunning photographs illustrating the story.

When you hear that a book is different or unique, sometimes that is just words, and there really is not too much unique. With The Rake and the Recluse, historical romance fiction is completely re-vamped, illustrated with stunning photography throughout the novel. The story is very well developed and written, and both unexpected and captivating. I loved the characters, their development and their personalities. The Rake and the Recluse is not a one-track story. Gideon's brother plays a prominent role in the story as well as the reform-in-progress rake, and there is a side story romance between side characters giving the story more depth.

What I really likes about The Rake and the Recluse is that after what could have been the climax of the book, the story did not just wrap up and end. There was not an instant "happy ever after" (the characters did not just get home and everything was alright again). The story continued, creating an extremely well rounded book. This is not to say that everything in the book was answered. I would still love to know what comes next for several of the characters, including the Duke's brother. That is a story line left open that I hope to learn more about in the future.

The Rake and the Recluse is brilliant and beautiful, a historical romance novel that should not be missed. Historical Romance readers, I very highly recommend reading The Rake and the Recluse!
10 reviews
April 30, 2018
I don't rate many books. I read romance novels as my guilty pleasure for mind numbing relaxation. I don't have high expectations of these books. I don't expect literary masterpieces. If they don't overly tax me with poor editing I can overlook it. I can suspend some disbelief in reality if the author entertains me. If this criteria is met, I generally give four stars and keep reading. If the author pulls me in, grips my emotions, moves me to tears, motivates me to continue purchasing the rest of the books (sequels, not cliffhangers); then I'm quite likely to award five stars.
With that being said: This author seems to be a decent writer, but she annoyed me to no end with this book. First of all, it's barely even a time travel book. Secondly, it's really two books in one, which is not normally a problem. The detail is exquisite to the point of tedious. You get to know many characters in great detail, but don't expect to know how any of the situations turn out.
The next part could be considered spoilers if you wish to stop reading. I really want to know what was in Francine's father's journals about family members out of time. I want to know what was in Video's mother's diary that implied she may have been from another time. How did she die? Did Gideon ever know Francine was a time traveler?
These are just a few questions left unanswered. I thought perhaps the next books would answer, but I will not know because they are a completely different genre of book altogether. These a type of book I do NOT read and will NOT read. (And that's all I shall say on that.)
Profile Image for MarytheBookLover.
448 reviews956 followers
March 22, 2013
My Opinion: Amazing! That’s right, I said it – A M A Z I N G!!! I don’t know why it took me this long to talk about it. This series and for me it was a series, as I read each one individually and they were all amazing! I loved them! Go out, get your self this book or books, how ever you would like to break it up. Read them, enjoy them, fall in love with them! I know I sure did. In fact, I read them all back to back and right away. I did nothing else. I had to keep going. The writing is fantastic and the pictures are HOT! You will enjoy these steamy pictures that capture you and bring the story to life for you. The pictures are sexy and creative and a wonderful addition to the story. It helped me to envision the time period, the people, the outfits and I had fun reading this story. This series is bound to draw you in. If your a lover of romance, steamy scenes and adventure you are going to love this series. I only wish there was more to read.
I give The Rake and The Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc 5 of 5 stars!
April 30, 2015
Poetic... sometimes you just get that feeling you belong in another time.

I could have done w/o the whole time travel premise because the Regency writing was well versed. I didn't need the extra plot twisters. However, if this author is figuring on writing about any of these other characters such as Lady Alice and Shaw, or Meggie and Daniel, heck I want stories about Warrick and his unknown past. The characters were so well formed that I've become enthralled, drawn in. I want all the Trumbull cousins to have their own story. What doesn't belong is the time traveling parts. There are about four references that identify certain characters either moving behind or ahead in time. The epilogue gives way for a contemporary romance piece to be written, kind of like a Kate and Leopold.
Anyway, I'd love to meet Gideon in all his delectable stodginess that Francine just pushes it aside or uses to her advantage. I want to sit at the dinning table with Auberry and her horde, just to be a part of that family. And that's what matters, family.
Profile Image for Sara.
52 reviews4 followers
November 19, 2011
First this book needed to be edited down. For reals. It would have been so much better. When francine waited for the dressmaker to make her dresses, I felt I was waiting a week for the book to move along.
In a nutshell: time travel!, interesting stuff, boring things, boring things, boring things, dresses are made, boring things, boring things, boring things, ooh kisses!, boring things, boring things, boring things, he has a brother!, boring things, boring things, old gross guy wants to marry her, boring things, boring things, boring things, more kisses!, boring things, boring things, boring things, Kidnaped!, exciting things, sex!, the end.
Profile Image for Juliana Veale.
270 reviews7 followers
April 26, 2018
A book that should have been shorter

The premise is really good, especially if you love time travel romances. Except this book didn't take. The main protagonist, Francine is so annoying I wanted to shake her into some sense. The book itself is yawn inspiring, the was simply too many unnecessary descriptions and additional stereotypical characters that added little to the story. The main villain isn't bad if not a bit flat. Overall, if you can stomach the heroine and the saccharine sweet romantic hero the book can be enjoyable. Just not for this reader. 1 star for the premise and another for some historic accuracy.
Profile Image for Caroline.
Author 48 books310 followers
July 12, 2017
I found it hard to follow with puzzling motivations. Even for a time-travel it had tons of anachronisms Not my cup of tea. Still, in fairness, I found myself skimming forward to see where she took it. There were no big surprises.
Profile Image for Under the Covers Book Blog.
2,818 reviews1,364 followers
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October 18, 2018
I've had this book on my TBR for such a long time and I was craving some time travel reads recently so I finally picked it up.  THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE is a story about two brothers getting their HEA throughout one story.  I always love stories with a side HEA that can make me care for both.  Double happiness!

Francine is from the twenty first century.  Her parents were killed years ago in an accident and she's left with her father's journals which talk about a family legacy that makes it possible for certain people to travel back in time to meet the person they were always meant to be with.  So when Francine is in a car accident and wakes up in the late 1800s in the body of a woman from her family that she carried a picture of, she starts questioning her fathers ramblings.  She still has to deal with the situation her new self is in and she's in the protection of the Duke of Roxleigh after a devious man tried to force himself on her.  Now they must save her again from his clutches and she has to figure out how to accept being in this time and never going back to her old life.  Throughout the story, we also get a romance for the Duke's rakish brother, Perry.

I was hoping for a little more from the time travel element but I really enjoyed the premise of it.  It's not just anybody that can travel back in time and it's not without a purpose.  The right person will travel back to the right time they should've always been in, to meet the person they should've always been with.  There's something so romantic about the premise of this series and to be honest it'll keep me coming back to read the rest of the books.

This was a steamy slow burn story.  Is that a thing?  While I always considered these as erotic, I found that while this was a spicy read I don't know that I would classify it as such.  It's certainly sexier than your standard Outlander but no whips and chains in sight.  It was a sweet story with a touch of insta love that didn't bother me at all because that time travel description made the magic of insta love believable for me in this case.

There's an innocence about Francine that Gideon needed to soften up and it was charming to see them come together.  Perry might've stolen the show for me though, I adored his character.

I'm excited to see where this series goes to next and hopefully we find out if Francine's parents also traveled back in time and are still alive!

Favorite quote:

"My lady," he said, standing in front of her, so close that the heat from his body permeated her gown.
"My intention -"
He paused as his breath quickened and his baritone deepened in his chest. "- is to ruin you."

*Reviewed by Francesca❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤
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838 reviews132 followers
July 30, 2011
Francine Larrabee is in a cab on her way to work one day when the cab stops suddenly, she hits her head on the partition and she wakes up in another century. She is now in the late 19th century and she’s being taken care of by the Duke of Roxleigh and his staff. Not only is she in a different time and country she doesn’t even look like herself. Her hair had changed color from blond to brown – from short to long. She has one great tantrum at the Duke about being kept against her will and then she loses her voice. The doctor wants to take her to Bedlam as he doesn’t think she’s quite right in the head but the Duke refuses to let him. For quite a length of time she is unable to do anything but whisper but that doesn’t stop Francine from finding an intense connection to the Duke.

The Duke is confounded by his guest. She is beautiful but when she yelled at him he was astounded by the fire of her personality. He takes care of her and slowly starts to come out of the self-induced shell that he had created. He starts to get to know Francine and he very much enjoys her company. But she is betrothed to a wretched little man who is determined to get Francine back. The Duke and his brother, Perry, decide to take matters into their own hands and Perry becomes not only Francine’s guardian but the guardian of her two younger sisters as well (not that Francine – who in this century is French and is known as Madeleine - knows her sisters or her supposed parents but she plays along). The Duke and Francine fall in love and want nothing more than to be together but Lord Hepplewort, her previously betrothed, won’t give her up quite that easily.

Now for my problems with the book…unfortunately there were more than a few. First there was SO much going on that the love story was almost lost in the shuffle. We also had Perry and his guardianship; we had the sister of one of the Duke’s servants who is attacked and almost killed; we had the tragedy of the Duke’s mother that comes to light; we had the architect and his discovery of a secret room; we had the love of said architect for an Earl’s daughter…um, I think that’s it, but that’s a lot! Even for a long book, which this was, there were too many side stories for me. I know the book was entitled The Rake and the Recluse, and yes, both of those were included in this story but really, the story was about the recluse and his love story. While Perry, the rake, was a lovely secondary character I felt that his part was really just a set up for the next book.

I also felt that Francine’s personality was too mercurial. She seemed like a regular 21st century girl when she arrived and threw her tantrum. I realize that she didn’t want to be sent to the loony bin so she tried to keep her temper under control and act like a regular 19th century woman, but then when her normal personality showed up again it was so unexpected and I just couldn’t see everyone accepting it as they did as she was acting a bit crazy. I also kept waiting for the revelation to the Duke by Francine about the whole time jump thing but that was skimmed over in the story and accepted by him unquestioningly – really? No questions about her story at all? I find that impossible to believe.

This was an illustrated version and personally I didn’t feel that the pictures enhanced my reading experience in any way but some people might like them.

The end of the book was another portion of it that I was greatly confused by. The book was written in sections so when there was yet another section at the end of the book I thought it was part of the book but after reading it and being left in what felt like the middle of the story I think I was reading an extremely large excerpt of the next book which is Perry’s. But I really have no idea. There was no part that said it was an excerpt…there was no part that said “The End” after the previous section so I’m not sure what to think. If it wasn’t an excerpt and just the end – I didn’t like it at all. But if it was, then why was it not stated? I can honestly say I don’t like being this confused at the end of a book! lol

Now that I’ve told you what I didn’t like about the book let me tell you what I did like. It’s really quite a lovely love story when you get down to the nitty gritty. Francine and Gideon, the Duke, had a wonderful romance and I loved seeing Gideon becoming the man I think he was meant to be. He truly blossomed with Francine and I loved seeing that.

I also really liked Perry and Gideon’s characters together. They had lost both of their parents and had formed a bond between them that was quite unshakable. I love reading about family ties that survive tragedy as I believe that the tragedy makes them stronger. The two men very much loved each other in their own way and it showed in their actions.

While there were chunks of this book that I didn’t care for I liked it for the most part. While I would have tightened up the story and shortened it a great deal (I probably would have ended the book at page 440 instead of 575 …or was it 533? – IDK as I’m still confused about the end) in quite a few places I wasn’t the author so there ya go.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Tracy.
June 3, 2011
Description:

Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn't quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to a horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.

Lord Peregrine Trumbull is a rake of the worst order. As the spare to the heir he went off to the Royal Navy then returned to conquer the young ladies of London. With never a care in the world save his brothers survival (which allows his freedom)

Gideon Alrick Trumbull, 10th Duke of Roxleigh, took the helm of his father's Dukedom much sooner than expected. Now with the weight of his responsibilities heavy on his shoulders, he needs an heir. Unfortunately this first requires that he charm a suitable woman to marriage.

Summary: One minute Francine was in a taxi on her way to an important presentation staring down at a photo, then the next she falls in front of startled horses and before an even more startled Duke. Roxleigh, also known as Gideon holds her close and brings her to his estate, and has a doctor tend to her injuries. When she comes to, she is in a proper bad mood and lets rants run free to his Grace, the Duke. In the process, her throat injury flares up causing her to have no voice. Thank God she knows sign language to communicate. No one has ever done that to him and in turn his interests are piqued and he cant get the feel of her or scent of her out of his head. What they didn't know, was when this occurred, she had been running from the horrid little man, Hepplewort. The man she was betrothed to, thanks to her parents, who sold her to him 10 years before but had to wait till she came of age. As the feeling and connection between Francine and Gideon, the rules of propriety must be taken into account, even if they're misplaced at times and passions flare. The Larrabee's set out to find their daughter, and once found, reclaim her to return her to her betrothed Hepplewort. Gideon is about to offer a solution to keep Francine with him but would ruin him. Younger brother and Viscount Perry step in and takes on the responsibility so his brothers name is not left in ruins. After All, as a rake, his is already questionable. They enter in a contract with the Larrabees and must break the news to Hepplewort that he is no longer betrothed. In which case Hepplewort is not happy at all. Upon learning this, he goes to a ball and interrupts the night when the Duke announces that he is now the betrothed to Francine. Hepplewort wont go soundly and winds up taking her. The Duke sets out to get back the love of his life, even if that means having to throw propriety out and ruin her.

My Thoughts: Jenn LeBlanc is a new author to me. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this book. As the feelings and passion grew i held my breath in anticipation cause i knew they were meant to be. I rejoiced for the characters when they dealt with Hepplewort. There were also times when I laughed out loud. I haven't read a book like this before but I can tell you that Jenn LeBlanc has been put on my favorite authors list. And I cant wait to see what's next. I'm hoping there is a book for the ever elusive rake Perry cause not only did Francine and Gideon steal my heart but so did he. Depending on how you get this book in the paperback there are pictures through out it that depicts the scenes she is writing and they fit so beautifully. The book was lovely. I enjoyed it thoroughly
116 reviews
April 25, 2017
I'm torn about this book. FIrst read the first two parts seperately and really liked them, but then continued reading the rest in this version and felt that it lost me. It was too long for the amount of actual action, and it just felt like I had to force myself to finish it. May be better to read the serialised version.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
219 reviews29 followers
June 11, 2013
Francine Larrabee is a modern day businesswoman in Denver. She misses her parents terribly as she was orphaned at a young age when her parents were killed. Francine belongs to no one, it’s just her in this big world. She clings to her farther’s research that there is a strong possibility that people sometimes end up in the wrong time and place in life and should find there way back or forward to that time. As most young woman she wants to find love, be in love, and belong to someone, but there never has been anyone good enough to fill that role.

Gideon Trumbull, Duke of Roxleigh is one of the most powerful men in all of England. He is young handsome and known as the recluse duke. He does not venture out to London, but stays at his northern England estate. He is a man that towers over people and expects results. He has been working hard to repair the dukedom after his father let it fall by the wayside after his mother sadly was sent away and later passed away. Gideon wears every problem and they weigh heavily on him. He is coming to an age where he must find a bride and that task is daunting….


This is the first time travel book I have read and I really enjoyed it. It was interesting to see how Francine would handle living in 19th century England. Especially, still having the knowledge of today’s world. The dialog is awesome; when she is talking about birth control and uses slang terms, Gideon has no idea what is coming out of her mouth. Those scenes are priceless! I really enjoyed the cast of characters in this story. They are all strong and unique. Even the supporting case of characters are unique and fun and really enhance the story. The love story of Gideon and Francine is beautiful. When they both realize that they are meant for one another they both will fight to the end to be together. Their’s isn’t the only love story you’ll find in this story. There are a couple of love stories happening durning Gideon and Francine’s. This story has it all; comedy, romance, drama, sadness, steamy scenes and a whole lot more. I believe at the beginning I did mention pictures. Ms. LaBlanc not only can write she is an amazing photographer. The pictures in this books are beautiful. I am not going to lie; this story may have taken me a bit longer to get through because I would stare a little too long at the pictures.

See more on my blog http://romancereadergirl.com/
Profile Image for Aislynn.
236 reviews47 followers
September 10, 2011
This is a drool worth novel - in so many ways. Jenn LeBlanc is an absolutely fabulous photographer and a phenomenal writer. This books showcases both her talents.. The cherry on top of this story - a sexy male lead who just oozes sensuality - both in photographs and in the written word.

Francine leaves her house in the 21st Century only to find her self whisked back in time and into the arms of Gideon, the Duke of Roxleigh. His staff tends to her wounds and attempts to make her comfortable in a strange place and time. Poor Francine doesn't understand at first what has happened to her! Will she at any moment wake up back in her own bedroom or is she stuck there forever?

Gideon is completely confused by Francine - who does not fit into the same category as the conventional women that he is use to. She cannot speak and signs symbols with her hands to communicate. He's extremely attracted to her and tries to keep her at arms length and his feelings in check.

I really enjoyed the story of Gideon and Francine - how they learned about one another and learned to trust one another. I am definitely looking forward to the next book by Jenn - about Perry...*sigh*

I hate giving away too many details about the story!! So I would recommend that anyone who loves historical romance to pick this one up and read it!!

The only downside I found was that the book didn't work so well on my Kobo - it kept freezing. So I had to read it at my computer - which I found out wasn't a bad thing ;-) Much bigger screen to look at the gorgeous photos!
Profile Image for Melodie.
910 reviews40 followers
Read
June 11, 2013
Freedom & Found:

First of all, LOVE the pictures!! This is my first time reading a serial novel and I have to say it is quite an experience. And the pictures that are scattered throughout the novel....OMG (so hot!) The novel has a promising start.

Taken:

I'm not sure I enjoy where this novel is going... My impression when I'm reading this part is that she's crazy. Her mood is so unstable that I fear for Gideon. And I don't know what to think when he thinks she's so awesome after she yelled at him for no reason, storms out of the house wearing his pants, and rode the horse through the park laughing like a mad man. Maybe they're both crazy...

I'm going to take a hiatus from this book. Maybe the second half would get better(she did get kidnapped so there's some knight-in-shining-armor action in the future)...or since I'm determined to finish this book, I'll just take it in small doses from this point forward.
February 17, 2019
Disappointed

I have never once left a poor review for any books I have read, believing that if You have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all.
However i leave this review not to be mean, but as an honest feedback.
The book started out wonderfully, with the time travel plot developing nicely, showing how Francine became Madeline. But from there it went downhill. The author was too focused on showing the intense feelings between Francine and Gideon and ignored the rest of the plot. What exactly did Heppelwort do to Lilly and why? What happened to Madeline? The time travel bit could gave been left out since it was not really explored. The editing was nice and the writing style was great. The plot however was not. It was a struggle finishing this book.
I.must say that I liked the characters though.
Profile Image for Lisa Hutson.
230 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2012
I am not normally interested at all in time travel stories. But the illustrated part drew me to this one. The time travel stuff was really kind of in the background mostly. The story was a really nice one. A girl trying to figure out what the heck and how she got herself into such a mess. The guy trying to figure why she is so different. And what he is supposed to be doing. Pretty good. Well told. But mix it with the illustrations and it jumps to excellent. This is such a great idea. And done so well. I never have any trouble picturing a face in my own mind to go with the stories I read. But it is more than that. Its emotion and touches. I cant describe it any better. And would recommend it to anyone.
Profile Image for Judy Lavik.
286 reviews14 followers
May 10, 2015
A tale of epic proportions

I enjoyed this book; you'd have to in order to stay with such a long story to its conclusion. It begins and ends with a bit of time travel, but it's only lightly touched on. Mainly it's a story about a reclusive duke and his rakish brother, a viscount. One finds love with a time traveler who has barely escaped unspeakable horrors; the other with the woman who suffered them in her stead. Those horrors are mostly just vaguely alluded to throughout the book until close to the end, when the author chooses to give us a bit too much information. That was the only complaint I have with the book, and it can be easily avoided once you know to expect it.
3,329 reviews10 followers
May 12, 2015
As I scrolled down I glanced at the reviews and once again I wonder if I read the same book. Maybe I had a later edition but there were no format or editing issues in The Rake and the Recluse in my copy. I thought Jenn LeBlanc delivered a well written (and yes, very spicy but I have no problem with that) story. I enjoyed the characters. This book could have easily been split into two books, but I'm glad it wasn't. The first part of the book involved time travel. I liked everything about this book, even though I'm not a big fan of time travel. This book had drama, humor and bits of action. I look forward to reading more from Jenn LeBlanc. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
336 reviews7 followers
February 4, 2019
WHY AM I EVEN READING THIS?!?

The impression I got from reading the synopsis was "oh this woman must be really bossy and sassy" you know, with her being a "sufficient businesswoman", but alas, she's pretty disappointing. I honestly thought that this book has a really good start, but then the story is dragged too long and our female MC here being mute temporarily doesn't help either. To summarize it, it friggin FRUSTRATED ME!!

I'm actually a bit surprised that this book would be really MEHH for me, I mean, so many people here in GR gave 4/5 stars (?!)

Oh, and another thing, this book could have been way shorter!!

Profile Image for (Nat) Reading Romances.
340 reviews422 followers
March 23, 2012
I adored the experience reading this serial novel. All the parts of this novel were so captivating and impressive not only for the gorgeous illustrations, but the delicious writing. The format left me expecting the next pictures, which was a nice touch to the story.* An outstanding and precious jewel. These books shouldn’t be read as a stand alone. (...)

Observation: didn’t have the experience to read this serial novel before the REDUX edition, so no comparisons could be made.

Full Review Can Be Found Here: http://reading-romances.com/review-ra...
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