The Rake by L.J. Shen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The royal rake!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌎
Character development: 😕🤬🤯😎🥰
The Hero: Devon Whitehall – grew up in England as one of the British aristocracy. His father is a Marquess and is all about gaining more power through a good match for his firstborn son. Devon has been promised to marry Louisa Butchart since he was young, though he got out of that by moving to the states and never speaking to his father again. He is now 41 and considers himself a rake and is proud of it and never plans to marry.
The heroine(s): Emmabelle Penrose (a.k.a. Belle) – she is the thirty year old owner of a burlesque club in Boston. It is just starting to be profitable and Belle spent all her money buying her partners out. She finds out she has a medical issue which makes her chances of having her own baby smaller with each year she waits.
The Story: Belle wants her own baby but not a husband. She has no trouble using a sperm bank but the timing isn’t right since babies are expensive. So when Devon Whitehall proposes that he impregnate her and offers to support the baby, but also doesn’t want marriage, she agrees.
“She was perfect. And by perfect, I meant a mess. No one would touch me with a ten-foot pole if I got her pregnant. Least of all Louisa Butchart.”
Both Devon and Belle have past baggage that they haven’t quite been able to get over. I liked the fact that they are so similar in that their baggage has made them commitment phobes. I also like the fact that Belle is a strong woman who owns her sexuality and wants to live her life on her own terms.
I thought going in that this would be the standard bad boy, good girl romance with the Hero playing the jerk through much of it but I was pleasantly surprised this time in that Devon is actually a really great guy in every way. I won’t go into specifics but I really liked him and I would definitely want wouldn’t throw a guy like him out of bed.
The story was good, there was suspense in the form of things that happened to each of them in their childhoods that was told in flashback format throughout the book, where the reader finds out a little bit more with each flashback. There was also plenty of romance and the building of a friendship between Devon and Belle that I really enjoyed. And a bit of danger added in to the plot spiced things up just right.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.