Thursday, October 24, 2019

#BookReview – “A Reputable Rake” by Diane Gaston


Cyprian Sloane's reputation is of the very worst. A gambler, smuggler, rake and a spy, he now faces the greatest challenge of all--respectability! He will force Society to accept him. Nothing will stand in his way....

Until he meets Morgana Hart, whose caring nature thrusts her into the company of ladies of the night and risks a scandal that will destroy them both. To become a gentleman Cyprian must sacrifice the lady--or is there a way for the rake to save them both?


When respectable Miss Morgana Hart realizes her young maid intends to run away with a scoundrel and join a bawdy house, Morgana intends to stop her by any means necessary. She just never expected a dashing, rakish stranger to help her in the middle of a dark park as she’s fighting with said scoundrel.
All Cyprian Sloane wants is respectability. He’s lived the life of a carefree rake, a smuggler, and an English spy, but he couldn’t stop himself from helping the woman and her charges. Then he learns Morgana is the cousin of the flirtatious debutante he’s courting. Though Morgana intrigues him, he’s determined to woo and marry Lady Hannah for her family’s connections. Once Morgana embarks on a crusade to help Lucy and a few other unfortunate girls (teenage prostitutes) to better themselves in their scandalous lifestyle (to become courtesans), Sloane sees the proper future he envisioned for himself slipping away. After all, he cannot allow Morgana to delve into London’s underworld and expect her to survive. Likewise, with his stained reputation, society would surely blame him for Morgana’s actions, especially since he’s her next-door neighbor. The only thing for him to do is help her run the “courtesan school” and introduce her to decent-enough people in that seedy world.
There was a lot of sexual tension between Morgana and Sloane, but very little romance, at least until the last quarter of the book. He’s determined to marry Hannah, and Morgana is determined to make sure he does. They’re both likable characters and their motivations for their actions are honorable.
A few loose ends aren’t tied up, so I have some questions. Mainly, I want to know what Sloane did that was so horrible during his time as a spy (he’s keeping this a secret even from Morgana) and I want to know about his past relationship with Harriette. Harriette is a courtesan, so it’s likely she and Sloane have been intimate, but Sloane has stated he’s never paid for a woman, so that leads to confusion.
The story is written in British English, which I enjoyed, but the single quotation marks for dialogue was hard to read. There were formatting issues in my print copy, such as the use of both normal and large font size for words.
Overall, I liked the plot and the characters, but I wish Sloane and Morgana would’ve spent more time developing their relationship than trying to manage the four girls in Morgana’s care.
3 Stars

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