Tuesday, February 22, 2022

REVIEW: The Good Girl's Guides to Rakes by Eva Leigh



I first came across Eva Leigh's historical romances in an anthology last year, so when I had the chance to try a full length novel of hers, I took it. 

In The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes, our two main characters Celeste and Kieran find themselves in a predicament. Celeste has been "promised" to a perfectly nice titled gentleman who she feels nothing for. It seems that while she's resigned to having to marry this man (to maintain her family's standing in society because her brother really mucked things up), she'd much rather not. Meanwhile, Kieran's family has had enough of his (and his brother's and Celeste's brother's) shenanigans and has threatened to withhold all funding if he (and his counterparts) don't find a "good girl" in society to marry. Unfortunately for Kieran, his reputation is one of a rake and a rogue and unless he can turn that around, there will be no marriage for him. Enter Celeste. They come up with a plan that is truly what makes the novel sing, in my opinion. 

It's the plan to reinvent Kieran's reputation and to give Celeste some life experience before she settles down that made this novel stand out. Their extracurricular adventures and the inevitable falling in love that comes with it were interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed everything leading up to the inevitable conflict and the unexpected resolution to it all. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of this crew finds their 'good society girls'; if this novel is any indication, I know there will be fun reading times ahead. 

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When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in a massive scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most inveterate scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill. Or does he?

Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage, especially with her impending engagement to a stuffy earl. When Kieran—her older brother’s best friend and an irresistibly attractive rogue—begs for her help, Celeste makes a deal: she’ll introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London.

In between proper teas and garden parties, Kieran escorts Celeste—disguised as “Salome”—to rowdy gaming hells, wild fêtes, and sensual art salons. As they spend more time together, their initial attraction builds to a desperate desire that neither can ignore. But when someone discovers their midnight exploits, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are endangered, and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.  

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