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Once a Rake

(Drake's Rakes #4)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  498 ratings  ·  81 reviews
All he wants is her help . . .

Colonel Ian Ferguson may be a rake, but he's no traitor. Accused of trying to kill the Duke of Wellington, the disgraced Scotsman is now a fugitive--from the law, the army, and the cunning assassin who hunts him. Wounded and miles from his allies, Ian finds himself at the mercy of an impoverished country wife. The spirited woman is achingly be
Mass Market Paperback, 386 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Forever (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  498 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just finishing up with the next book in this series Sarah is tired of the weight of the burdens she carries – which we soon discover consist of more than just trying to support her small family – and tries to tell herself that she’s so strongly drawn to Ian because she is lonely and he’s the first man who has seen that or offered her a shoulder to lean on.

When Ian is well again, he begins making preparations to leave. Sarah knows this has always been his intention, but she can’t lie to herself a
i did not like it sam i am.

I had the misfortune of picking this up as an escape from The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie. Unfortunately, I found that Once a Rake eerily suffered from the same sins as Wicked Deeds: distasteful othering of Scottish men, incoherent plots, and ever-changing character motivations. I did not like it *at all*.

If the heroine of the book thought of Ian one more time as a "berserker" this would have become a wallbanger in truth.

Dreyer's plots are always choc-full of douc
This continues to be a very exciting series. Ian and the rest of the Rakes are still trying to figure out who is behind the attempts on Wellington's life. This time he has been caught in the middle, and in attempting to stop an assassin has been shot and is now on the run, accused of the deed himself. He ends up at Sarah's farm, feverish and in danger of being captured.

Sarah takes him in, hides him and cares for his injuries, for the sake of his sisters. She was friends with them at school and
Mary Gramlich
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Can one single moment change everything?

Lady Sarah Clarke is keeping everything running until her husband returns from battle. She tends to the lands and the animals fighting off a blood thirsty relative looking to take it all away. The last thing Sarah needs is any more complications so find a traitor in her barn is really turning things in a negative direction

Colonel Ian Ferguson has been accused of an attempted assassination for which he had no part and was in fact wounded himself. He has bee
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Eileen Dreyer is dividing her Drake’s Rakes series into trilogies. Once a Rakeintroduces the second trilogy, the Last Chance Academy series, which was introduced by a novella, It Begins with a Kiss (July 2012). Readers who have followed the series will recognize Ian Ferguson and his plight. I confess to a weakness for red-haired heroes. I was already fascinated by Ian, and I have been looking forward to his story. It does not disappoint. Ian has all the necessary qualities for a romance
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lady Sarah Clarke, “born on the other side of the blanket,” is the wife of Lord Boswell Clarke, who has recently signed up to join up with the military and fight in the war. As she has not heard from him in months, many assume that he has been killed. Sarah’s day consists of working to care for her husband’s crumbling estate, Fairbourne, along with his self-centered mother and sister. With very little money to be had, this is a constant trial that has fallen completely on Sarah’s shoulders. Her ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thrilling and romantic, Once a Rake was a lovely historical romance. I really enjoyed reading this wonderful book. Really a lovely read.

Sarah was a great heroine. She was the kind of heroine that had a quiet strength. She wasn't overly bold and constantly sassy, but she was a tough woman who would do anything to survive and protect her family. I really liked her. I thought she was a wonderful character.

Ian was also great. He wasn't polished and charming, but he definitely had his own char. He wa
Jacqueline J
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book started off a bit slow but once I got twenty or thirty pages in it really held my interest. The writing was nicely done and the author did a good job of making me believe these were persons living in the regency era rather than people with modern sensibilities dropped into an historical setting.

One of the strong points for me was that there was sufficient conflict to carry the book. They were falling in love but there was plenty to keep them apart until the end of the book. Lately I've
N. Kuhn
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Typically I read 1-3 books A DAY. It took me 3 days to get 60% into this book. The beginning was very long winded and to be honest, boring. The plot, premise, all of it sounded great, but getting to the action, the interesting parts took forever. Once you hit that 60% mark, the book begins to pick up. Things get exciting and enjoyable. If you can make it through the slow half of the book, I think you'll enjoy the rest of it. It's just hard to make yourself push through it.
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
ARC received for review

3.5 stars

I realized the other day I have some really old books in my ARC "pile" and decided this year I would try to read one a week. That's a good resolution to have.

I read the first three books in this series a long time ago and didn't really remember them, but that's okay cause I wasn't lost reading this one. Immediate attraction between Ian and Sarah plus an adventure along the way.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Eh, this one was okay. Rather boring in my opinion.
Susana Ellis
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: regency
Loved this book! Haven't read any of the other books in this series, but I think I'm going to have to if I want to hear more about Ian and Sarah's happy ending!
Mandi Schreiner
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
This one was okay. I think the pig was my favorite character. lol

Review to come
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Ian Ferguson is on the run after being accused of attempting to assassinate the Duke of Wellington. He's injured and is far from London and his friends.

Lady Sarah Clarke is the sole caretaker of her husband's estate, and of her mother-in-law and her young sister-in-law. Funds are scarce and Sarah cannot afford to make a mistake as her husband's heir circles about them like a buzzard waiting for the kill. When a wanted man appears at her door, Sarah's first instinct is to protect herself and her
Joann Maggio
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once a Rake ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐by Eileen Dreyer
(Drakes Rakes #4)

Ian Ferguson finds himself on the run as he is accused of attempted murder of the Duke of Wellington. He is wounded and need of shelter as he wonders unfamiliar territory. As he scavengers for food and shelter he finds himself at the mercy of Sarah Clarke. Sarah lives an impoverished life with her husbands family. Her husband has been in service and not been heard from for many months.

When Sarah confronts Ian she cannot reject helping him even t
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Liked the rural locale and the bravery of the heroine.
Once a Rake is the beginning of a new trilogy in author Eileen Dreyers Drake's Rakes Series. A nice way to enjoy a series without having to wait for the entire series to continue. Basically, Ms Dreyer will be writing three trilogies in this series, 3 trilogies, separated by the heroines. The first trilogy was informally known as The Three Graces. The second trilogy will be Last Chance Academy. Then the third trilogy is patiently waiting to be named. So in a way, Once a Rake was book one in this ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fans of historical romance will not want to miss this intriguing, sexy tale. Taken from my review at

Colonel Ian Ferguson of the Black Watch, a Scot, is accompanying the Duke of Wellington home to England when he discovers that the duke’s new aide, Horace Stricker, has his own agenda. Seeing Stricker in the shadows with a gun aimed at the duke, Ian pulls his gun. But everyone believes Ian is trying to kill the duke, instead of protecting him. In the chaos, Ian is shot and the
Morwa Pal
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I read the last book in the Drake’s Rakes series (Always a Temptress) in February, 2012 and have been waiting anxiously to find out what happened to Ian Ferguson! We last left him in the ocean with a gunshot wound and presumed dead, not to mention that he was accused of being a traitor. Finally, we are able to see what happens next. My husband could not believe that I would anticipate a book for that length of time. Well, I somehow managed to wait and it was so worth it! I love Eileen Dreyer’s s
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Review from Backchatting Books

Colonel Ian Ferguson is in a spot of bother. He saved his beloved Duke of Wellington from an assassination plot but instead of being lauded, the Duke's comrades shot at him. Despite being injured, stuck in cold water and facing ten knot winds (this bit was confusing as I thought something this strong was like a gentle breeze), he managed to swim ashore to Sarah's estate of Fairbourne in Dorset where he encountered Willoughby, Sarah's pig. Obviously he needed to avoi
Diane K. Peterson
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In February, 2012 at the finish of the third of the Drake’s Rakes series (Always a Temptress) we left Ian Ferguson shot, in the sea, branded a traitor, and presumed dead. I have waited (impatiently) for 20 long months with Ian’s situation weighing heavily on my mind. Finally the story continues in Once a Rake. Was it worth the wait? You bet it was. I love this series and was delighted to rejoin this intriguing group of guys. Eileen Dreyer is a masterful writer. Her way of describing details pain ...more
Author: Eileen Dreyer
First published: 2013
Length: 386 pages
Setting: Dorset, 1815. Regency.
Sex: Explicit but not frequent.
Hero: Highlander, soldier, English Lord. Had a hard early life.
Heroine: Illegitimate orphan who was "sold" into marriage and is working to eke out a living. Very alone.
Almost Cheating: Hero is promised (almost betrothed) to another.
Trigger: heroine is almost raped, twice.
Trigger: suicide. (view spoiler)
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ouab-2014
John Edward George Ferguson Spence, Viscount Hawes, Colonel Ian Ferguson of the Black Watch is with the Duke of Wellington and on the way home to England. He is a Scotsman over 6 feet tall with flaming red hair and wide shoulders. Ian is strong, loyal and trying to keep promises to his sisters, his betrothed and his grandfather; who has no love or need of Ian, save as heir. He is injured, bleeding and running for his life; falsely accused of treason and attempting to shoot Wellington. In Sarah h ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
RATING: Five Stars!


Colonel Ian Ferguson may be a rake, but he's no traitor. Accused of trying to kill the Duke of Wellington, the disgraced Scotsman is now a fugitive--from the law, the army, and the cunning assassin who hunts him. Wounded and miles from his allies, Ian finds himself at the mercy of an impoverished country wife. The spirited woman is achingly beautiful . . . and hiding some dangerous secrets of her own.

All she needs is his heart . . .

She was a child nobody wanted
Jo (My House of Books)
Another book from my Goodreads "Currently Reading" stash. I received an ARC of Once a Rake but couldn't get into it to finish in a timely manner. I've also checked this book out a couple of times from my public library.

Reading the three previous books aren't necessary to understand the grand scheme of the entire series: Revolutionaries who seek to place Princess Charlotte on the British throne -- the Duke of Wellington the main block in such a move -- and Drake's Rakes must foil it.

Colonel Ian
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Once A Rake by Eileen Dreyer is a first-reads goodread due to release on October 29th, 2013. It takes place in England in 1815. Lady Sarah Clarke is just trying to keep her missing husband's estate above water and support his family until his return when she is beset by trouble. Trouble comes in many forms. One of the newest forms is in the shape of a big red-headed highlander accused of shooting at Wellington. Usually historical romance stories aren't that surprising to me, after all, it is all ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have thoroughly enjoyed The Drake’s Rakes series from Eileen Dreyer and I found that Once a Rake was another great addition to the series. Lady Sarah is toiling away on her husband’s estate waiting for him to return from the war. She works hard to provide food and money for the family that he left behind. As eggs and other small items begin to disappear from around the farm she knows that someone has been staying on the property but she just not sure who. Colonel Ian is protecting his country ...more
Ruckasaurus Rex
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical romance fans, fans of eileen dreyer, romance fans
Recommended to Ruckasaurus by: the author!
I stepped into this series at book four, meaning that I had no idea what was going on prior to book four and I had no emotional investment in any of the characters. Despite the lack of connection with the series, Once a Rake stands alone very well, and I am definitely interested in the rest of the series following this read. Ian’s struggle to survive and overcome the many obstacles that are thrust upon him is admirable, and the heroine is (delightfully) no dishrag herself, having taken it upon h ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 26, 2015 08:29AM  

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New York Times bestselling, award-winning author Eileen Dreyer, known as Kathleen Korbel to her Silhouette readers, has published 28 romance novels, 8 medico-forensic suspenses, and 7 short stories.

2012 sees Eileen enjoying critical acclaim for her first foray into historical romance, the Drake's Rakes series, which follow the lives of a group of British aristocrats who are willing to sacrifice ev

Other books in the series

Drake's Rakes (5 books)
  • Barely a Lady (Drake's Rakes, #1)
  • Never a Gentleman (Drake's Rakes, #2)
  • Always a Temptress (Drake's Rakes #3)
  • Twice Tempted (Drake's Rakes, #5)