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My Fake Rake

(Union of the Rakes #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  118 reviews
In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire…

Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes,
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Avon
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, avon, arc, historical
Sebastian Holloway has secretly adored Lady Grace Wyatt ever since sharing a pencil with her in the library they both frequent. But Sebastian is merely a poor scholar with no prospects, and Lady Grace is on a mission to make a famed naturalist she wants to wed notice her, a plan that includes molding Sebastian into a rake of the first order. But as these two bookish souls spend more and more time together, they realize that that happiness and true love may be right under their bespactacled ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Will two persons who have feelings deeper than friendship for another take the risk to damage their relationship and open their heart or will they keep their emotions shut down and risk to let happiness pass them by?

This is my first book written by Mrs Eva Leigh and it won’t be the last, this book was unputdownable, why I even chastised myself for choosing to read it on a working day!
Mrs Leigh has crafted a vivid tale of finding its with blood and flesh lively characters.

I simply adored this
3.5 stars

I’m always on the lookout for a new author or series and I absolutely loved this premise.

I really liked Grace and Sebastian. They’re both smart and good people. I enjoyed their friendship and how they bonded over science and the library. The friends of Grace and Sebastian are fun and even though Jane is already married, I’m excited to see that the next book is Rotherby’s story.

Plot wise, it was good. There’s a lot of inner monologue and pining away for the other. I wanted more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read this gem early... and, oh, my goodness... adorable! And soooo sexy...
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-copy
Despite not very good reviews, I read on. Hate to return a book un-read. Likeable characters but it's a plot that has been written many times before and perhaps much better by others. I am tired of reading about heroes and heroines that are purported with scholarly pursuits or a business acumen but demonstrate none of it in their acts or in driving of the plot. Ms. Leigh is a good writer, she did fairly well with character development but failed in the delivery with much too simplistic of a ...more
Julie (Jewlsbookblog)
4.5 stars

Sebastian was an anthropologist, basically penniless, even though his dad owned a profitable iron works factory. He was a total nerd, living on mutton and threadbare, yet functional clothes, spending his limited funds on books-I loved him! His stammer and anxiousness in new situations had me feeling for him, but it also presented him as a regular, likable fellow. Seb had a unique collection of steadfast friends from his school days, which served him well when he really needed help
Sissy's Romance Book Review
My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh is book One in the The Union of the Rakes Series. This is the story of Sebastian Holloway and Grace Wyatt. Grace is a Blue Stocking / Wallflower who has set her mind to a man named Mason. But of course Mason doesn't know she is alive. So her plan is to get her friend Sebastian to pretend to pursue her which will make Mason want her. But Sebastian is like her a bookish person so she knows she is going have to re-due him to make it more believable. Sebastian has feelings ...more
Two nerdy folks falling in love? A great idea for a historical romance! However, for me, this one fell flat. Sebastian and Grace were super adorable in their nerdiness and awkwardness, but when the heroine spends the bulk of the novel trying to win over some other dude it was really hard to believe in their romance. The happily ever after was assured, but the journey there was a tad boring because one character was intent on catching the eye of someone else and the other was intent on burying ...more
3.5 stars rounded to 4

This is my first Eva Leigh novel. Can I just say I love her covers? I don't like the font on this one, but I feel like the couple fits the characters so well.

This book is the first book in her new series Union of the Rakes. Apparently this is loosely based on the movie The Breakfast Club, which I have never seen and if I have I can't remember. A group of friends is formed in the prologue, and I'm assuming they will each have their own story in the series.

Grace is our
 ᴍɪᴄs ✖amante de los spoilers✖
It's the same old story, friends to lovers. Sebastian is secretly in love with Grace but Grace doesn't see him as a man, she actually has a crush on another man (Mason) and they pretend to court each other because she wants Mason to notice her (among other reasons...) and she ends up falling in love with Sebastian instead.

It gets me everytime.

Their relationship was so cute, Sebastian was the sweetest man ever, he even remembered what she was wearing the day they met!. He's definitely an ideal
Lubnaa (Romance Library)
I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

My Fake Rake (*cringe*) is my first Eva Leigh book...and boy, it was quite the disappointment. Zero originality and pure ridiculousness from start to finish. And not the good kind of ridiculousness.

Let's start with the series premise. The Union of Rakes consists of a group of boys who became friends during detention at Eton. I mean, we've all seen The Breakfast Club so I don't need to spell it out for you. Aside from their shared
4.5 stars rounded up.

Lady Grace Wyatt is very happy with her bookish life studying reptiles and amphibians and moving under society's radar. But there is one man she longs to be noticed by: her longtime acquaintance and fellow naturalist Mason Fredericks. The problem is he sees her as nothing more than a friend and he's leaving in just two months on yet another expedition, leaving Grace very little time to gain his notice and with her father ailing, she must seriously consider finding a husband.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Fake Rake is out today! 11/26!!

My favorite research dork babies written by Eva Leigh are out in the world in a reverse My Fair Lady, with a few nods to Pretty Woman thrown in for good measure (ahhh, the boat scene!). I love them so much. Also, Leigh so cleverly seeded in little bits for the other four heroes in this series - The Union of the Rakes - and I would like the rest of the books now please.
Tanya Sridhar
I'll defs read it, but *cringe* at that title
Victoria Stone
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. I loved it.
Megan Lavey-Heaton
TW: This book goes in-depth into social anxiety. I received a digital ARC of this book for reviewing purposes.

I had been following the progress of Eva Leigh's new series, The Union of the Rakes, via social media, and I was especially excited to read the first installment, "My Fake Rake." While an homage to '80s movies, the core of it is a gender-reversed tale of "My Fair Lady," but with scientists.

Seb Holloway is one of five Eton students on the fringes of society, having forged a bond with his
I’m not a person who cares if guilty-pleasure reads like historical romances are anachronistic where all the characters say ‘um’ and seem way too modern, but this time maybe it was a bit over-the-top. Actually, it was just one aspect that really stuck out and that was the woke statements just sort of randomly shoe-horned in. The main characters are a Herpetologist and an Anthropologist. Whilst they are discussing what they think he will need to pull off convincing the ton that he is a rake, she ...more
Norah Gibbons
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh is the first book in her delightful new The Union of Rakes series. Lady Grace Wyatt is a scholar with an interest in amphibians and reptiles, She is quite happy with her studies and spending time with her friends until her father becomes ill and in order to relieve his worries she agrees to look for a husband. The gentleman she has in mind is celebrated naturalist Mason Fredericks ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of inclusive romance, historical romance fans, readers new to Regency romance
I received a digital ARC of this book from Edelweiss Plus.

Grace and Sebastian, the heroine and hero of this delightful novel, are passionate intellectuals. They navigate life and love with a bit of social awkwardness. Grace has access to appealing men within a small circle of independent researchers, but may lose an opportunity that will change her life forever. Refreshingly, shy hero Sebastian is more of a beta than an alpha; he’s what could best be described as an anthropologist in this
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars
Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to “build” the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.
Sebastian has been in love with Grace for ages but she desires another
Diane K. Peterson
Oh, I so enjoyed this delightful book! Endearing characters, lots of humor, some insightful thoughts about how we are viewed and how we view ourselves make this a winner. This a bit of a mash-up of The Ugly Duckling, Pygmalion, and Cyrano. The big twist is that the one needing updating is the hero. And such a hero Sebastian is -- a bookworm and scholar with not much money, shy, insecure, and self-deprecating. Grace is his friend and colleague who thinks she has a major crush on another scholar. ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute delight. Grace is so smart and interesting, and the evolution of her friendship with Sebastian was lovely.

Sebastian is my book boyfriend. He's not a duke or an earl, he has little to no fortune. His father is an asshole, but unlike so many alphahole heroes before him, it hasn't made him selfish, cold, or emotionally closed off. That doesn't mean he has no room to grow, though, and it was wonderful to see his character find some ease from the social anxiety he
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book

What a wonderful story! Sebastian is one of my favorite heroes of 2019. He is socially awkward but intelligent, caring, and hard-working. He is also a great friend, and the representation of male friendship here is outstanding. I also really liked Grace. She stands up for herself and has a career of sorts even though she’s the daughter of an Earl (and she vocalizes her privilege in the process, showing gratitude for her blessings.) There is some annoyance here with the amount of
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like
- nerds engaging in nerdy banter that no one else understands
- The Breakfast Club
- makeovers
- mutual pining
- idiots who've been in love for years but didn't realize it
- really, so much nerdery

You should read this. I adored it.

There are a few little Easter eggs for those who've read her previous books, but for the most part I can see this as a great jumping in point if you're new to Eva Leigh.

I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher for Shelf Awareness
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2019
I don’t typically love Friends-to-Lovers as a trope (and truly rarely see it in historicals, where brother’s-friend-to-lovers tends to be more typical), but this 100% worked for me from start to finish. They both respected each other and nurtured attraction to each other to start, so when it blossomed to steamy steamy romance, it didn’t have the “I wore them down enough to acquiesce” vibes. There was NONE of that. I loved how they started off as a team and kept being each other’s biggest ...more
Jacqueline Francis
This was a really enjoyable read! I am a big fan of Eva Leigh and the cover TOTALLY sold me on it. I loved the hero and the heroine was such a sassy badass!

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review at The Alliterates

Trigger Warning: scenes of social anxiety and panic attacks.

“I’m happy,” she said, urgent. “I’m happy that if I’m to be mad, it’s with you.”

Imagine Chris Evan with glasses. Got it? Okay now Chris Evans is geeky and has lots of insecurities and some major social anxiety problems. He is very in love with his geeky co-star. She takes his glasses off and tells him how devastatingly handsome he is. If that is interesting to you (and why wouldn’t it really) than this book is
Elley Murray
Rating: 4.5 stars

I ADORE this book. Grace and Sebastian are just too freaking cute. I love that they're both nerdy bluestocking wallflowers (or whatever the man version of a bluestocking wallflower is...) and they're trying to give Sebastian a rake makeover (or rake-over, if you will...) using a super out of date book. In a society where it's noticeable when women wear last season's dresses, they look at this old-ass book on etiquette and go "Oh, how much could have changed in, like, forty years
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Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of determined women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoë Archer.

Other books in the series

Union of the Rakes (2 books)
  • Would I Lie to the Duke (Union of the Rakes, #2)