To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched...to seduce the dukes' intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap...
After he's falsely blamed for a botched assignment during war, former cavalry officer Rhys Warrick turns his back on "honor." He spends his nights in brothels doing his best to live down to the expectations of his disapproving family. But one last mission could restore the reputation he's so thoroughly sullied. All he has to do is seduce and ruin Miss Olivia Symon, and his military record will be cleared. For a man with Rhys's reputation, ravishing the delectably innocent miss should be easy. But Olivia's honesty and bold curiosity stir more than Rhys's desire. Suddenly the heart he thought he left on the battlefield is about to surrender. (Taken From GoodReads)
Title: Waking Up With A Rake, Author: Connie Mason with Mia Marlowe, ISBN, 978-1-4022-7240-0, Publisher: Personal library, Format: Mass Market Paperback, $7.99, Release Date: January 2013, How I Read It: Mass Market Arc from Publisher, Rating: 4 Cups
This is the third book by Connie Mason and Mia Marlow that I have read devoured and I must say that each one I read is better than the last.
Miss Olivia Symon (both rich and virginal) has been selected to be a contender in the ‘Hymen Race Terrific’* yet certain people are not so thrilled with the House of Hanover succeeding and are willing to do anything to eliminate the duke’s potential brides.
After returning from the horrendous defeat at Maubeuge, France during the Napoleonic Wars Rhys Warrick has been content to live the life of a rake. Yet when Alcock tells him he must ruin the Duke of Clarence’s potential bride, Rhys immediately says no. However, Alcock has the power to ruin Rhys’s family, which was a rather persuasive bargaining tool.
However once Rhys meets Olivia he realizes things are not going to be as easy as he thought.
I loved this book. It had all of the right elements (scandalous behavior, a tortured hero, a heroine with moxy, drama, romance, and intrigue) and was well researched. I also enjoyed the fact that the Hymen race was brought into the story because it’s not something you see in romance novels.
Olivia was a clever mix of proper society lady and someone who is willing to push the boundaries. I found her interesting to read for the fact I was never sure what she was going to say next.
Rhys was the perfect tortured hero. From the first few pages you could see that the war, and the French, are still haunting him. Although he may be a self-professed rake, he has redeemable qualities that you can see develop throughout the course of the plot.
The plot was brilliant. I won’t get into the events because I truly believe that this is one of those romance novels that you have to read for yourself although I will say that the plot was so brilliantly developed that you will be constantly turning the page.
Lastly, I must say that Rhys Warrick is the perfect example of character development and it made one brilliant read.
This is the first book in The Royal Rakes series and I cannot wait to read the others.
* Hymen's War Terrific Race in 1818, the year Queen Victoria was conceived, to produce a future heir to the throne when George III was old and senile; his son, the future George IV, had produced one child, Princess Charlotte, but she had just died. The line of succession then passed to the siblings of George III or their heirs. The race involved three of George III’s 14 children: the Duke of Clarence (later William IV); the Duke of Kent (Victoria’s father), and the Duke of Cambridge.
Best Wishes & Happy Reading,