My Fake Rake
by Eva Leigh
Series Union of the Rakes
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date November 26, 2019
In the first book in Eva Leigh’s new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking enlists a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire…
Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to “build” the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.
To further his own research on English society, Sebastian agrees to let Grace transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace’s feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn’t asked him to help her marry someone else…
Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he’s faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.
“You don’t need to alter yourself for anyone. Especially not Fredericks.”
No one had ever said such a thing to her. Something stung her eyes, and she realized it was the heat of unshed tears of appreciation. “But Rotherby said—”
Sebastian drew closer. “Trust in me, Grace. Trust that when the time comes, Fredericks will be utterly captivated by you. And if he still can’t get his head out of his arse, then he’s not worth the effort.”
“You seem to keep swearing in my presence,” she said, because it was either make a jest or gratefully kiss him.
This was such a fun read!
My Fake Rake is the first in Ms Leigh’s new series, Union of the Rakes, in which all the titular rakes become friends during a late-18th century Breakfast Club-style Eton school punishment session. (We only see the very beginning of their day in the prologue here, I cannot wait to see more in later books!) This first book is also a friends-to-lovers, fake relationship (with the fake rake bonus, of course), gender-bending Cinderella-ish story to boot. With a hero who’s secretly in love with the heroine, who friend-zoned him and who is in love with another guy, who friend-zoned her.
So of course she needs to make him notice her. By pretending to go out with the newly rake-ified hero. Because that will work like a dream, right? 😉
I loved Grace and Seb–they were both such unabashedly science geeks, and of course they were completely perfect for each other. The angst factor was a bit high with this one–the whole she thinks she’s in love with the other guy and he’s secretly pining for her while trying to help her land that same other guy–but it was hard to be mad at either of them for it (or Ms Leigh either). And making it through all the angst made their HEA seem even sweeter when we finally got to it, so… 🙂
I absolutely cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series! The two other Union members we met in this one were absolutely delightful–write fast, please, Ms. Leigh!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.a Rafflecopter giveaway