HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

A Rake’s Guide to Seduction, by Caroline Linden

Set in the early 1800s, this novel tells the story of Celia Reece, youngest daughter of the late Duke of Exeter, and Anthony Hamilton, heir to the Earl of Lynley. Ms Linden first introduced us to Celia and the rest of the Reece family in What a Gentleman Wants and again in What a Rogue Desires, which tell the stories of her brothers Marcus and David, respectively. It is not necessary to read either of them in order to fully enjoy this novel, however.

The back cover blurb:

He must rely on his talents in the bedroom…
Anthony Hamilton cannot help it. The way he looks, the way he lives, his past—it all conspires to make him a man men fear, women desire. His name fills gossip circles in a seemingly endless, lurid drama. But he’s never forgotten the only woman he’s ever truly wanted—yet could never have.
… to make her fall in love.
Celia Reece knew Anthony well before he forged his scandalous reputation. The young man she remembers spoke kindly to her, made her laugh, and his devilish good looks always quickened her pulse. But Celia’s mother had other designs—designs that didn’t include marriage to Anthony. Now, Celia is widowed, and her mother is intent on finding her a new husband. Refusing to let any obstacle stand in his path this time, Anthony sets out to win Celia’s heart by using the same skills that made him London’s most irresistible rake.

While most of the bare facts in the blurb are true to the novel, the tone of it is quite misleading. This is not a fluffy mindless story. No, it’s not a dark and angsty treatise on the miseries of the human soul, but there’s definitely much more to it than the blurb suggests.

Neither of these two is a stock Regency romance novel character; instead they both are very well realized people whom we see grow through the book, as much as we see their relationship change. (more…)