Jennifer's Reviews > A Rake's Guide To Pleasure

A Rake's Guide To Pleasure by Victoria Dahl
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's review
Feb 19, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: kindle, period, romance

Another good period romance from Dahl. Very tense, great pacing. It is rather a cheesy cover, and title... not really indicative of the story. Emma is a young noblewoman whose family have all died, leaving her virtually penniless - she has undertaken to travel to London, under the guise of a widow, and engage in games of chance with nobleman suckers, to make her fortune in a few short months, before someone finds out the ruse and she has to flee. It's utterly brazen (not to mention preposterous) and you can't help but love her a little for pulling it off so well. Oh, and she is tortured because she holds herself responsible for her brother's death at the hands of her drunk father.

But then she encounters Hart, a dissolute and cold nobleman who immediately is intrigued with her, and a delightful game of cat and mouse ensues. Ultimately what makes the book work is the way Emma and Hart are together - insightful and bold with each other, constantly daring each other, and powerfully drawn to each other. The plot itself is not as strong as the connection between them. But, it works to get the job done. I did feel that Hart had to jump through a little more hoops than Emma did by way of making the relationship work - just not sure that was entirely plausible, that after she continually spurns him, he is going to say, oh she is just pushing me away out of fear, I'll go after her anyway... riiiiiight. Anyway, it worked for them, and was diverting for me for a few hours.

Another solid historical from Dahl - and might I add it was nice to have a historical (one with "Rake" in the title no less) that did not feature a cold, abusive hero taking advantage of a young innocent girl. Emma and Hart are on equal footing here, in their relationship if not in society. That is a big factor for me in my enjoyment of it, I think - and makes it feel more contemporary than some others I have read lately.
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