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My Fake Rake

(Union of the Rakes #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,816 ratings  ·  632 reviews
‘Charming, witty, and thoroughly adorable! You’ll fall in love with Grace and Sebastian…[Eva Leigh is] One of my favorite authors. Her books are pure romantic delight’. – Tessa Dare on My Fake Rake

‘a jolt of electricity, a blast of fresh air ― everything delightful and exciting you could want it to be.’ New York Times Book Review on My Fake Rake

‘This superbly entertaining,
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 2nd 2020 by HarperCollins (first published November 26th 2019)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,816 ratings  ·  632 reviews

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Start your review of My Fake Rake (Union of the Rakes, #1)
DNF at 21%.

I was getting second hand embarrassment from reading certain scenes and I don’t deal well with that shit.
Plus the writing/storytelling elements felt a bit forced.
Lacey (laceybooklovers)
I really loved this concept, a friends to lovers romance with bookish main characters and a heroine transforming the hero into a rake, but the miscommunication got a bit frustrating for me! Plus the narrator of the audio never differentiated the voices between the hero and heroine lol. So if anyone is interested in reading this, I would skip the audio
Addie H
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p-newauthor
1.5-1.75 stars


A summer vacation wouldn’t be complete without a slightly steamy HF romance... at least mine can’t.

Intelligent Lady naturalist is friends with bespectacled and slightly disheveled anthropologist. With the help of a real rake, nerdy (but handsome) dude begins to resemble a sophisticated gentleman. Confusion, chemistry and complications ensue.

I just love me some romance between early 19th century nerds.
Bookishrealm I was pleasantly surprised. This was my first historical romance.

My Fake Rake may have proven to little ole me that I actually might end up really enjoying historical romances. I didn't really think about the fact that a lot of them would probably end up being slow burn because of societal expectations of the time, but that's definitely right up my alley! I read a few reviews of this book before finishing it and I learned that these books may possibly be based on 80's films. If so, this
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This hit the spot for me in terms of both the trope combo and the writing. The tropes were some of my favs: slow burn friends to lovers, sweet/cinnamon roll hero, STEM heroine, geeky romance, & fake dating. Tone wise, I liked that this had a light, fun perspective rather than overly angsty, even though there were some definite FEELINGS and PINING happening
Elodie’s Reading Corner
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 rat
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“There’s no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren’t scientific laws when it comes to the human heart.”

With a little inspiration from The Breakfast Club, the Union of Rakes series introduces readers to five boys in detention, identified with similar-ish personalities from Breakfast Club movie characters. My Fake Rake stars “the brain”, Sebastian, a
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 th ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most absurd regency romances I have ever read. Had it been in the mid to late Victorian era, maybe I would've believed it's premise, a little. I re-read some Loretta Chase books this month and that makes it harder and harder to read these clunkers so badly written by this "new mode" of lazy regency writers like Leigh. The book is ridiculous, but I will say the duke who is a friend of the hero is scrumptious. ...more
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 pulli
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 flirtin
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: avon, romance, historical, arc
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 noses ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2020, romance, stars-4-0
“Jane looped her arm through Grace's. "Come. Let us seek out two things that never fall short of our expectations."
"Books and cakes?"

Entertaining Regency romance where it is the hero who transforms himself from shy, bookish, anthropologist into charming rake - all in order to assist his friend, the scientifically minded heroine, catch the eye of a celebrated naturalist! Add to this the help of a Duke with attitude... Yes, this is hilarious! The last quarter could have been abbrevi
SERIES: Union of Rakes.. book one
GENRE: historical romance
TROPES: fake dating, friends to lovers
SONGS: Russell Dickerson - Yours

Overall, this was very cute!
I didn't even mind the miscommunication between hero and heroine. They can be insufferable but understandable. I loved the writing, subtle humor, and side characters.
I will read book two immediately.
DNF around 45% cus it was due back at the library and I wasn’t that into the couple. Not bad, just didn’t draw me in. Disappointing cus I loved one of Leigh’s other books. Womp.
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...
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lady Grace Wyatt studies reptilese and amphibians. Even if it doesn't make her popular in the eye of the ton, she's confident in herself and is okay with being a wallflower.

Sebastian Holloway is an anthropologist. He comes from a wealthy family but he have no fortune, since he decided to pursued his own studies and doing what he loves. He's penniless and not the most suave when it comes to social interaction. At least he have great friends that he met at Eton years ago.

Sebastian also have Grace
Trigger warnings: social anxiety

4.5 stars.

This was a fucking delight from start to finish. I mean, it's historical fiction with two nerdy scientist best friend leads who a) turn him into a rake and b) subsequently fake date in order for her to attract the attention of the scientist she's decided is her dream guy. Except that (view spoiler)
I liked this a lot! I would have liked it even more if they had just talked to each other a little bit sooner, although at least here I got why they didn't. I also wish we'd gotten a little bit more at the end of the story about adjusting to their new lives together. But their relationship really worked for me, and I am obviously always going to love scientist heroines named Grace who don't quite fit in. I've somehow never read Eva Leigh before, and that's clearly going to need to change. Very e ...more
3.75 stars

Definitely a cute romance, I think friends to lovers is one of the best romantic tropes and this delivered. Recommend as a light read, I did struggle with maintaining my interest halfway through. I think it's an adorable story and I was rooting for them the entire time!
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 25%

A bluestocking zoologist/daughter of an earl asks a friend—a male anthropologist from a wealthy, but not titled, family—to pretend to be a "rake" so that his attentions to her at social events will lead another male scientist to whom she is attracted to pay attention to her. "Rake" here means someone who appears to be a seductive bad boy, but who doesn't have the reputation for actually sexually ruining any innocent women; this kind of rake is "the darling of the ton," rather than some
Jenn (The Book Refuge)
Soo... I'm conflicted about this novel.

There was a lot that I liked and a lot that I didn't like.

Great friendship between the H and h.
Unique jobs for both of them
Glow up scene for the H instead of the h.
She is seeing him in a new light.
Steamy sex scene in a barn (oh lalala!)
The Hero has social anxiety. Great rep for

Things I didn't care for so much:
Misunderstanding trope was over blown.
Hero did not stand up and say what he wanted. He made her make all the moves. That is sweet some time
Susan in Perthshire
I received an ARC from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Sorry but I am absolutely fed up with writers imposing a 21st. Century, anachronistic perspective on history. This is one of the worst.

This book shows a regency world where dozens of women are trained scientists and get their papers published and form substantial parts of expeditionary forces undertaking research? A regency world where girls routinely have sex with no concern about pregnancy, reputation or anything else? A regen
Yesy (The Book Vagrant)
okay, I definitely need more books about clueless nerds in love after this
Leigh Kramer
My new favorite kind of book can be summed up as "these two dummies.” It is clear to their friends that anthropologist Sebastian and herpetologist Grace have feelings for one another but it takes them much, much longer to figure it out. There was so much pining, especially on Sebastian’s part as he feels doomed to remain only friends with Grace. There’s a makeover transforming Sebastian into a rake, a scheme for Grace to catch a naturalist’s eyes, and then the dawning realization that Sebastian ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Partway through this book (which I was already loving) I found out it was inspired by 80's teen movies and totally blew my mind! My Fake Rake is very reminiscent of Pretty in Pink (with the ending that always should have been) meets Regency romance, complete with nerdy characters, a cinnamon-roll hero who undergoes a rakish makeover, and a great friends-to-lovers slow burn romance. This made me laugh out loud on several occasions and was just a whole lot of fun. I am alwa
Hannah B.
✨Mount me!✨

I’m normally not a friends to lovers person but these two were super cute and the passion was definitely still there. I loved watching them watch the other, realizing all the small things they loved and were attracted to. I also really appreciated that her parents were kind and didn’t tell Seb to fuck off for not being titled. It was sweet and unexpected!

I demand more sex! This was pretty good, and I really loved the friends to lovers here but I severely tuned out for an hour at the e

As a fledgling herpetologist and overall awkward bean, Lady Grace has spent most of her life on the outskirts of upperclass Regency society. She has friends she’s met through her studies, but lately…she wants more. And when her longtime crush comes back to England, she decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands. And that requires help from her charmingly awkward anthropologist friend, Sebastian.

Sebastian is a giant nerd with the body of a virile Viking warrior. He a
3.5 stars - Historical Romance

This is good and a unique HR in many ways, but I wanted the hero and heroine to just be honest about their feelings. Their dual insecurities and fear of revealing the truth grew tiresome. But I still enjoyed listening to the audiobook, and I'll read the next book in the series.
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Eva Leigh is a USA Today bestselling author who writes novels chock-full of determined women and men who are here for it. 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. As Alexis Stanton, she wrote the novel on which the top

Other books in the series

Union of the Rakes (3 books)
  • Would I Lie to the Duke (Union of the Rakes, #2)
  • Waiting for a Scot Like You (Union of the Rakes, #3)

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97 likes · 4 comments
“Jane looped her arm through Grace's. "Come. Let us seek out two things that never fall short of our expectations."
"Books and cakes?"
“Sebastian gazed at her cautiously. “Should I tell him?” “Do you trust him?” she asked. “Is he standing right here so there’s no need to speak of him in the third person?” the duke added.” 0 likes
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