Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Beginner's Guide to Rakes (Scandalous Brides, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Beginner's Guide to Rakes (Scandalous Brides, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Beginner's Guide to Rakes

(Scandalous Brides #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,479 ratings  ·  191 reviews

All of London is abuzz with the return of the utterly alluring, recently widowed Diane Benchley. Will she remarry? What will she do with her late husband’s fortune? Society is shocked by her announcement—at the Grand Ball, of all places!—that she plans to open an exclusive gentleman’s gaming club in the family mansion. But no one is more stunned than the Marquis of Hayb
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
A Lot like Love by Julie JamesThe Perfect Play by Jaci BurtonEleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLeanCall Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsJust Like Heaven by Julia Quinn
2011 Romance
393 books — 827 voters
Dark Lover by J.R. WardSecrets of a Summer Night by Lisa KleypasThe Duke and I by Julia QuinnMine Till Midnight by Lisa KleypasOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
Best Romance Series
1,076 books — 1,853 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,479 ratings  ·  191 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Beginner's Guide to Rakes (Scandalous Brides, #1)
Who named this book? Seriously, who? It has nothing to do with the storyline. At all. The same goes for the cover. It’s like someone just picked it at random. Ignoring the weird title and cover, this book turned out to be rather excellent. It was completely different than I assumed it would be. I can’t think of another time that Enoch has created a heroine quite like this. I loved it.

Diane was an awesome heroine. I think some readers might not like her because of how cold and manipulative she co
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: august-2020
first suzanne enoch book and it was soooooooooooooooooooooo boring.
♡Karlyn P♡

I made it halfway, so someone pat me on the back. What a snooze. Maybe this book only seemed worse than it is because I tried listening to it instead of just reading it. So not only did I get a boring story with characters I could careless about, but I had to suffer through the annoying voice of Anne Flosnik. I should have known better to get a book that she read. I know many like her, but I forgot how annoying her narration is. Still, the story is the story and I
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Talk about not judging a book by its cover. First, as others have pointed out, the title has zilch to do with the actual story. No clue why she went with this title. Second, the picture looks nothing like the characters. Why, would a woman who always dresses in black, be portrayed in a white dress?! Makes no sense.

Book covers aside, it's a fun read. Some of this has elements of other Enoch works, such as the use of totally implausible scenarios (an axe through the ceiling, anyone?), and the not
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Not one of Enoch's best, but the premise was very unique.

Not sure where the title or the cover came from, but this book did not involve a "beginner" in anything nor did the heroine ever wear white (in fact, she almost always wore black and she and the hero have a past and are the furthest thing from beginners or naive lovers).

In this first installment of a new series, Diane is a 23 year old widow who seems much older than her years. She is bitter, cunning, and resourceful. After her husband died
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it

How odd... The title has absolutely nothing to do with this surprisingly rich and delightful read.

For a complete review, visit Affaire de Coeur magazine, online or hard copy, - October 2011 edition.
This book was okay for the most part. I liked the premise of the hero breaking the heroine's heart in the past and then meeting up with her again. I kind of lost interest towards the end though. Also, the heroine behaved a little too alpha female for my taste and wasn't very likable. Some of the scenes were too OTT and stupid, like the heroine shooting the hero for kissing her, and the hero breaking through the heroine's bedroom floor with an axe to get to the her. I'm not sure if I will be on p ...more
There is a prequel novella to this book, titled The Wicked One, that gives a bit of background on Oliver and Diane. They start this book with a history and dislike of each other.

Diane has returned to London a widow, after an unhappy marriage. She has received a property from her late husband that was not entailed and she's determined to use it to create a living for herself. She creates The Tantalus Club in the mansion to ensure she will never be destitute and relying on a man ever again.

She do
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
For the first half of the book, I just did not like either Oliver or Diane and if I wasn't a "completist" I think I would have chucked it in. Luckily the second half was a bit better and hence my overall rating of 2 stars.

Why the dislike? Well, Oliver is a cad, a gambler and a cheat. He was cut out of his uncle's will and went to Vienna where he met Diane 2 years ago, who had just buried her husband and was left penniless and alone in Vienna. He seduced her and then left her when things got a bi
Aug 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Uneven, slapstick narrative. Diane is a heroine truly wasted on Oliver. Oliver is caught off guard when he first hears Diane has returned to England: "but if-when-he saw her face-to-face, he wouldn't be the one flinching. Not a muscle. Not any muscle. And she'd best keep her pretty mouth shut as well, or he would be forced to do something unpleasant."


He leaves her after a one-night-stand that he initiated a few years back when he first meets her acquaintance. But ok. She's the bad one. It doesn
Lady Wesley
This is only my second Suzanne Enoch book, and I realize she's writes witty, fun romances. This one, however, just didn't grab me. Who knows why? I liked it, but I'll probably not read it again.
Christine Seybolt
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reading one of New York Times bestselling author Susanne Enoch’s books is like getting a fresh warm chocolate brownie topping it with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge finished with a cherry and taking the first decadent rich bite...delicious. A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RAKES is a rich sweet decadent indulgence that readers were given last month from St. Martin’s Paperbacks who gobbled each.

Lady Diane Benchley is back in town and has all of London’s tongues wagging. Will she marry? Why is she back? Diane
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful book set within an interesting setting. I enjoyed Diane and her bold attitude and her cleverness for opening a gaming club with all female members (besides a few burly footman) where the females are treated just as females and not expected to be anything else unless they choose too. There were so little choices for woman born on the wrong side of the blanket or in other unfortunate circumstances, not all of them want to be companions or governesses, that Diane sort of becom ...more
Dec 31, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lady Lioness
I'm normally a big fan of Enoch's books, but I found the heroine to be extremely unlikeable. I was eventually able to sympathize with her, but it took the majority of the book to bring me around. I also had a lot of 'But what about' questions at the end. The premise was unique, but the execution wasn't up to Enoch's usual high standards.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jen by: Catherine
Shelves: enoch
Oliver and Diane

Loved this book! It was just what I needed to get me out of my slump. Funny dialogue and great characters. I found myself lol several times during the book. Excellent second chance romance.
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Better than a lot of HR out there, but the beginning was clunky, and the story and characters never fully engaged me.
Webb Milan
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
This had me enthralled the first 10% of the book. And then it hit a wall and didn't move anywhere at all. I couldn't get past the 42% point. It may pick up later in the book but when there was such a mysterious beginning that made me want to jump to the end of the book to see what was happening and where it was going you can't just slow it down again. I didn't actually look at the end so I may come back to this when I forget how exciting the beginning was to see how the story ends.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lady Diane Benchley's late husband was a dissolute gambler, who left her with nearly nothing after she paid off his creditors. She does posess the deed to his town house in London, however, and has very specific plans to make herself a fortune. Shocking all of polite society, she sets out to establish an exclusive gentleman's gambling club, run and staffed entirely by respectable women.
Oliver Warren, the Marquis of Haybury, has tried to forget Diane for two years, since they shared two incredib
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
In Ms. Enoch’s latest, The Beginner’s Guide to Rakes, the first paragraph reads: “Very few things in the world could make Oliver Warren, the Marquis of Haybury, flinch. He could count those things on one hand, in fact. The yowling of small children. The squeak of rusted metal. And the mention of that name.”

She had me at yowling.

That name is Diane Benchley. Two years ago, in Vienna, when Diane had just been widowed and made penniless, Oliver and she shared an intensely passionate two weeks which
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RAKES by Suzanne Enoch is an interesting historical romance set in Regency England.Book #1 in the new “THE SCANDALOUS BRIDES” series. It has scandal, passion, love, romance,gambling,an indecent proposal,secrets,a bit of blackmail,a rusque business,a past indescretion,sweet sensuality,an exclusive gentleman’s gaming club opening in the family mansion. This is the story of Lady Diane Benchley,recently widowed,alluring,and determined to never be impoverished again,she decides ...more
Zoe Wernick
May 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book has not aged well IMO. I think that the author set out to write a feminist heroine (at the end, the heroine states she's ready to take on a partner) but there are so many things in the book that negate that fact.

The biggest issue I have with this book is the lack of consent. We get absolutely 0% inward or outward development from the heroine Diane that she even likes the hero, calling him "evil" & "Satan," and "liar" constantly. And when he outwardly flirts with her, she replies very
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't certain I was going to like this one at first. Oliver and Diane have a painful history and when this book starts they truly do not like or trust each other. There is plenty of wit but it is more of the sarcastic, biting kind, not just banter. However, as they come to spend more time together the wounds begin to heal and their relationship turns from dislike to a tenuous partnership to friendship and love. And as this happens their conversations become more playfully witty and less cutti ...more
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Suzanne is a wonderful writer, but this book left me cold. I did not care for either main character and didn't care what happened to them. I found the female to be too calculating and the male to be too submissive. I hated the scene where she shot him. And where in the world did that title come from? It had nothing to do with the story and was not mentioned in the story anywhere. I had just finished reading her series of books about the men who belonged to the Duke of Stoneville's club and was h ...more
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Not the best by Suzanne Enoch. I found it very difficult to get into this storyline for the heroine was constantly irritable and cranky. Penniless widow who was suddenly dropped by her lover (our hero) two years earlier comes to London to open a gentleman's club. He's funding it because she's blackmailing him. Much happens, they can't resist each other, but she needs convincing he's changed. Not bad, but not great either, and can't understand the title, has nothing to do with the story! Still, I ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! It was so fantastic to see a smart, strong heroine that is determined to get her life together and be reliant on no one. I loved that the author didn't cop out and have her forced to marry at the end. She chose, on her own terms, because it was what she wanted. Fantastic!
Ada Ross
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it

This book was a complete chitshow.

I will never, ever, so long as I live, comprehend how this book made it past the author, the editor, and at least a few readers without anyone noticing that Suzanne Enoch used the word "chit" more than she used any single character's name. That's not an exaggeration. I counted, with the aid of an ebook and the "control F" function. She uses the word "chit" EIGHTY THREE TIMES in this book. 83! In a book with 21 chapters. One of those chapters (it's chapter
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ignore the generic title stapled onto the story. This is a story of intrigue and coercion ...until it's not. We start out with a woman who plays hardball, blackmailing her former lover into an incredible payout in money, time, social life changes, even moving into her place. Her reasons for hating and distrusting him, it is revealed, are pretty thin for the extreme emotional response she has-- to the point of shooting him part way through their blackmail arrangement. She would have thoroughly ea ...more
Enjoyed the story, dragged in the middle. Antagonist didn't really develop until 2/3 through the book. I finished it wanting to know what character the next book would focus on. So, since it's a continuing series, some of the dragging in the middle may have just been world-building. The narrator was okay. I struggled with wanting to go back to this one to finish listening. I'm not sure if it was the narrator or just that it dragged for me. There we're interesting interactions which didn't go any ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Bride Says No (The Brides of Wishmore, #1)
  • She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1)
  • Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3)
  • Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)
  • The Bride Says Maybe (The Brides of Wishmore, #2)
  • Would I Lie to the Duke (Union of the Rakes, #2)
  • And Then She Fell (Cynster, #19; The Cynster Sisters Duo, #1)
  • Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1)
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2)
  • Along Came a Duke (Rhymes With Love, #1)
  • The Bachelor (Duke Dynasty, #2)
  • What the Duke Desires  (The Duke's Men, #1)
  • A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin (The Debutante Files, #1)
  • A Rake's Vow (Cynster, #2)
  • Who Wants to Marry a Duke (Duke Dynasty #3)
  • The Virgin and the Rogue (The Rogue Files, #6)
  • The Switch
  • Ravishing in Red (The Rarest Blooms, #1)
See similar books…
Suzanne was born in Southern California sometime in the latter half of the 20th century. In the way that some people are born knowing they want to be astronauts or cellists, Suzanne always knew she wanted to be a writer. Early dreams of becoming a zoologist and writing true stories about her adventures in Africa were crushed, however, after she viewed a television special about the world’s most po ...more

Other books in the series

Scandalous Brides (4 books)
  • Taming an Impossible Rogue (Scandalous Brides, #2)
  • Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke (Scandalous Brides, #3)
  • The Handbook to Handling His Lordship (Scandalous Brides, #4)

News & Interviews

  Let your voice be heard! We need your help selecting the best books of the year during the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards, our 12th annual...
58 likes · 29 comments
“Don't compliment me in the middle of an argument. It won't make me stammer or blush, and it just makes you look desperate.” 3 likes
“We are not a couple,' she said softly. 'Therefore I cannot cuckold you.'
'Shall I pull out the note and point to the bit where it says we're lovers?'
Her lashes lowered a touch. 'Are you jealous, darling?'
'Sleep with whomever you please, Diane. But if you attempt to make me look the fool, I won't be so cooperative.' Even as he spoke the words he realized he was lying - which wasn't that unusual, except for the fact that he'd evidently been attempting to lie to himself. That was a damned useless waste of effort.”
More quotes…