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How to Romance a Rake

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Historical Romance with a touch of mystery.

This is the second book in Manda Collins’ Ugly Duckling Series. The heroine of this book is Juliet Shelby a lovely young girl with two strikes against her, a limp and a viper for a mother. Juliet has long concealed the severity of her leg injury and in fact has a missin...
This is the second book in Manda Collins’ Ugly Duckling Series. The heroine of this book is Juliet Shelby a lovely young girl with two strikes against her, a limp and a viper for a mother. Juliet has long concealed the severity of her leg injury and in fact has a missing foot and makes use of prosthesis. Interestingly, Ms. Collins reveals in her forward that she herself has a “high tech above the knee prosthesis”. In Juliet’s circle such a situation would make her a pariah in society and she has kept it a secret even from her two cousins, the other Ugly Ducklings Cecily and Madeline.
Alec, Lord Deveril, has secrets of his own dating back to his childhood with an abusive and dissolute parent. He finds himself attracted to the interesting Miss Shelby and steps in to protect her from society and her mother’s vitriol. The relationship flowers and they end up involved in the search for a missing friend of Juliet’s and Alec becomes the caretaker of the friend’s infant child, Alice.
The book is based on an interesting premise. Deveril has had to rise above his father’s terrible reputation to remain in favor with society. Juliet had had to conceal her physical nature to do the same but with much less success. They both have had to deal with difficult family issues and find each other to be a compassionate friend that turns into much more. Their relationship with the characters first introduced in “How to Dance with a Duke” adds to the likeability of both characters. The shrewish Amanda and Felicity from the first book also make trouble in this book as they did in the first.
“How to Romance a Rake” is a sweet romance between two people who have had difficult family situations and have decided that love and marriage would not be in their future. Although they could both have become mean and self-pitying, they are both kind and empathic people who find each other and fill the missing parts of their hearts. I can’t wait to see what happens with Madeline in the next book!

posted by SharonRedfern on July 31, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Enjoyed

Posted on Romancing the Book's blog
Reviewed by Laci
Review Copy Provided by Netgalley

How To Romance A Rake really surprised me. It had plot points and characterizations that I have never experienced before or come across, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was rea...
Posted on Romancing the Book's blog
Reviewed by Laci
Review Copy Provided by Netgalley

How To Romance A Rake really surprised me. It had plot points and characterizations that I have never experienced before or come across, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was really shocked, but the way the various scenarios turned out really made me happy. Manda Collins’ second book in her series didn’t disappoint in any way. She integrated new characters in with ones from the first book flawlessly and used them to really build upon the story.

There was plenty of laughter but wasn’t light on the overall story. The characters were enjoyably brought to life and I felt the camaraderie and interest between them. None felt awkward or out of place. How To Romance A Rake isn’t a typical, every day historical romance. I loved the twists and turns and the unexpected mysteries that sprang up.

I felt sorry for Juliet but admired her for her determination and how she never let the harpies that are the other young society maidens and her own mother get her down. I loved Juliet’s cousins, the other 2 “ugly ducklings” because they truly loved Juliet and wanted to see her happy. The way they went about that had me laughing and I know it confused Deveril.

I loved Deveril. He didn’t start out meaning to be a hero trying to save the day. He kinda just fell into it, much to his chagrin. To give him credit, he didn’t complain once and once he admitted Juliet was the one he had always wanted, he never once wavered in his decision to help her in her search for her friend and to protect her from anything that came along. He handled Juliet’s secret with aplomb and that made him one of my favorite heroes.
How to Romance A Rake doesn’t disappoint. There is so much more to the book than the synopsis tells. Juliet is truly an inspirational character and a true original. I can’t wait for Manda Collins’ next ugly duckling book. It’s sure to be as great as the first two.

posted by RtBBlog on August 1, 2012

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Historical Romance with a touch of mystery.

    This is the second book in Manda Collins’ Ugly Duckling Series. The heroine of this book is Juliet Shelby a lovely young girl with two strikes against her, a limp and a viper for a mother. Juliet has long concealed the severity of her leg injury and in fact has a missing foot and makes use of prosthesis. Interestingly, Ms. Collins reveals in her forward that she herself has a “high tech above the knee prosthesis”. In Juliet’s circle such a situation would make her a pariah in society and she has kept it a secret even from her two cousins, the other Ugly Ducklings Cecily and Madeline.
    Alec, Lord Deveril, has secrets of his own dating back to his childhood with an abusive and dissolute parent. He finds himself attracted to the interesting Miss Shelby and steps in to protect her from society and her mother’s vitriol. The relationship flowers and they end up involved in the search for a missing friend of Juliet’s and Alec becomes the caretaker of the friend’s infant child, Alice.
    The book is based on an interesting premise. Deveril has had to rise above his father’s terrible reputation to remain in favor with society. Juliet had had to conceal her physical nature to do the same but with much less success. They both have had to deal with difficult family issues and find each other to be a compassionate friend that turns into much more. Their relationship with the characters first introduced in “How to Dance with a Duke” adds to the likeability of both characters. The shrewish Amanda and Felicity from the first book also make trouble in this book as they did in the first.
    “How to Romance a Rake” is a sweet romance between two people who have had difficult family situations and have decided that love and marriage would not be in their future. Although they could both have become mean and self-pitying, they are both kind and empathic people who find each other and fill the missing parts of their hearts. I can’t wait to see what happens with Madeline in the next book!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyed

    Posted on Romancing the Book's blog
    Reviewed by Laci
    Review Copy Provided by Netgalley

    How To Romance A Rake really surprised me. It had plot points and characterizations that I have never experienced before or come across, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was really shocked, but the way the various scenarios turned out really made me happy. Manda Collins’ second book in her series didn’t disappoint in any way. She integrated new characters in with ones from the first book flawlessly and used them to really build upon the story.

    There was plenty of laughter but wasn’t light on the overall story. The characters were enjoyably brought to life and I felt the camaraderie and interest between them. None felt awkward or out of place. How To Romance A Rake isn’t a typical, every day historical romance. I loved the twists and turns and the unexpected mysteries that sprang up.

    I felt sorry for Juliet but admired her for her determination and how she never let the harpies that are the other young society maidens and her own mother get her down. I loved Juliet’s cousins, the other 2 “ugly ducklings” because they truly loved Juliet and wanted to see her happy. The way they went about that had me laughing and I know it confused Deveril.

    I loved Deveril. He didn’t start out meaning to be a hero trying to save the day. He kinda just fell into it, much to his chagrin. To give him credit, he didn’t complain once and once he admitted Juliet was the one he had always wanted, he never once wavered in his decision to help her in her search for her friend and to protect her from anything that came along. He handled Juliet’s secret with aplomb and that made him one of my favorite heroes.
    How to Romance A Rake doesn’t disappoint. There is so much more to the book than the synopsis tells. Juliet is truly an inspirational character and a true original. I can’t wait for Manda Collins’ next ugly duckling book. It’s sure to be as great as the first two.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Plodding

    This book isn't really bad...but I wouldn't buy it. The plot doesn't hold together, there is no emotional depth to the characters and it needs serious editing. Youend up skimming pages and the historical details are way off. Ithas some redeeming qualities and it seems like the author could get better with more practice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2012

    Wonderful and Engaging

    I will not bother recapping the plot to this book because other reviewers have already done a great job. What I will do is tell you what a fantastic book this is. The characters and brave and wonderful and they are two people that you truly want to see get their happily ever after. I love to read romance novels and one of the problems with reading a lot of the same genre is the feeling that you are reading the same book over and over. There is no danger of that happening here! There is no point in having a great story if you don't have great writing to tell it. This book has both in spades. Manda Collins is a woman with stories to tell and I can't wait to see what she has next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2012

    "How to Romance a Rake" is the second book in Manda Co

    "How to Romance a Rake" is the second book in Manda Collins' "Ugly Duckling's Trilogy” I had the honor and pleasure to get an early peak at reading it as an e-Galley. It is a rare gem of a book that tackles some very difficult topics. The fact that it does it so well, takes it into a much higher category than many genre historical romances. I will not give a summary of the book here because others have already done so. I’ll just stick with my opinions on the book.
    The protagonist of the novel, Juliet, is forced to hide the true nature and severity of an injury she incurred during the Napoleonic wars. This is not is a subject that is usually addressed in romantic fiction. We see plenty of male protagonists suffering from war injuries, but this is the first time I have come across a heroine with one. Collins takes a huge chance by putting herself out there with a subject that is rarely addressed in novels and romance novels in particular.
    Let me say: It has paid off big time! I know that this book will be a big hit with readers because we all struggle with some type of personal disability. It may not even be a physical one or even a visible one. What about shyness, poor self esteem, dysfunctional family dynamics, body dysmorphia, etc, etc.? You get the idea, and readers will relate in their own personal way.
    I would like to add that the subject of limb deformity and/or amputation is very current and important to today's reading community. It is an unfortunate fact that many of our brave military personnel, both male and female, are returning home with severe, life changing injuries. Juliet has a war related impairment; that is sure to resonate with this heroic group as well as with their families and friends.
    Brava, Manda!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Anyone who has read Manda's first 2 books can only give her a 5

    Anyone who has read Manda's first 2 books can only give her a 5 star. I loved both of them. Funny, engaging, and just a joy to read. I will defiantly be looking more of her books in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Better than book 1!

    The first book in the Ugly Ducklings series was okay, but this book is great! I found it difficult to put down until I'd devoured the whole thing...great hero and heroine...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Loved it

    I just loved it alot! Truly adorable!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2012

    Miss Juliet Shelby lives on the fringes of the ballroom, a wallf

    Miss Juliet Shelby lives on the fringes of the ballroom, a wallflower who does her best to go unnoticed. She wasn't always that way. As a young girl, she was the most animated of the three cousins who have been dubbed the Ugly Ducklings by a spiteful young woman of the ton. But, as a young teen, while living in Vienna with her parents, Juliet was critically injured in an accident, resulting in amputation of her left foot - an injury that left her self-absorbed mother horrified and embarrassed by her now "crippled" daughter. Juliet returned to London two years later a changed person; quieter, more subdued, telling no one of the severity of her injury, not even Maddie and Cecily, her cousins and two best friends.

    Juliet isn't the only one who has grown up with a less than perfect parent. Lord Alec Deveril has spent the past several years trying to undo the damage done to his family name by his reprobate of a father in order to insure a good future for his younger sisters. A gorgeous man, he is a leader of the ton's young fashionable set but, as of late, as grown weary of it and knows it's time to find a wife and settle down. His criteria is simple: find someone likable but for whom he feels not one iota of passion. His late parents offered him a front row seat to the devastating consequences of a passion filled marriage. He briefly considers Maddie as a potential candidate but it's the quiet, self-possessed Juliet who continues to draw his eye.

    When Mrs. Turner, Juliet's beloved music teacher, a woman who, over the years, has been more a mother to her than her own mother goes missing, it's Alec who offers his help in the search. As Juliet and Alec spend more time together, they forge a friendship and gradually a fondness for one another that then blooms into desire and, finally, love. But there are many obstacles to a happy ending for these two. Juliet's mother is determined to marry her off to a slimy older man Juliet has good reason to fear, her mother has done her best to convince Juliet that no man will ever find her desirable once he knows of her amputation and Alec fears the reprehensible actions of both his father and his uncle will make it impossible for him to love a woman passionately and bring her happiness. Then there's the mystery of Mrs. Turner's disappearance with twists and turns aplenty and a lurking danger that could put both Juliet and Alec in harm's way.

    I loved this story so much. I've read it three times and have no doubt I will read it many more times in the future. I applaud Manda Collins for creating Juliet, a physically imperfect heroine who is absolutely perfect in the eyes of her hero. Collins knows the subject well and brings to her character the realistic physical and emotional challenges as well as the quiet strength and determination that make Juliet one of my favorite heroines ever. Watching her grow throughout her journey and finally come into her own was wonderful. I cheered for her, hurt for her, feared for her and wanted to do unspeakable things to her witch of a mother for her but not once did I ever pity her.

    I usually prefer my heroes dark but Alec just may have won me over to the blond side. He's a wonderful man with a kind heart who champions Juliet, protects her, desires her and, ultimately, loves her with every breath of his being. The scene when they first make love is so exquisitely beautiful it brought tears to my eyes and the declaration he makes about Juliet after the villain is vanquished shows how much he respects and understands her and made me want to stand and cheer.

    The passion sizzles in this book and while Collins delves into deeply emotional issues she also infuses her stories with plenty of humor along with a terrific secondary cast. One of my favorite scenes is between Alec and Maddie while they wait for Juliet to be fitted for new gowns at the dressmaker's. I won't give away any spoilers other than to say it gives the reader a peek into the inner workings of Maddie's mind, something that has Alec pondering how useful she would have been to Wellington during the war, and has me anticipating her book even more. I have the feeling she's going to lead Monteith a very merry chase!

    If you haven't read Manda Collins yet, now's the perfect time to start. How to Romance a Rake is going straight to my keeper shelf. I highly recommend it!

    ~PJ

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    Posted August 5, 2012

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