The Last Days of a Rake

The Last Days of a Rake

by Donna Lea Simpson

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The Last Days of a Rake by Donna Lea Simpson

In Love & Scandal, Collette Jardiniere is outraged when notorious roué Charles Jameson appears to take credit for The Last Days of a Rake, a novel she wrote under the pseudonym Colin Jenkins to satisfy Victorian convention.

Can a rake be true to himself, yet remain free from sin?

Edgar Lankin has lived the life of rake, a man who cares for nothing but the pleasures of the flesh. But it is the seduction—and abandonment—of a gentle maiden that turns him from mere gadabout to immoral cad. Too late, Lankin realizes his self-centered ways have left him incapable of finding enjoyment in anything. Now on his deathbed, he relates the shocking tale of his wasted life to John Hamilton, a school chum who chose a different path.

In telling his story, can Lankin find redemption for the trail of ruined lives he leaves behind?

Companion piece to Love & Scandal by Donna Lea Simpson

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426890192
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 64,539
File size: 427 KB

About the Author

Donna Lea Simpson, nationally bestselling author of historical and paranormal romances and mysteries, loves to write and read more than anything else. Becoming a published author was her dream from the age of twelve, and she feels fortunate that she achieved that goal. She can get lost in historical research, is fascinated by unusual tidbits of knowledge and is enthralled by the romance of history. History is about people, after all, and Donna loves to create characters who are immersed in, and react realistically to, the times in which they live.

But after working—and when not reading a mystery or historical novel—Donna likes to cook, sing karaoke, drink wine on the patio in the summer or chat with a good friend while drinking tea. She's fond of cats and crafts, is a dedicated homebody and feels fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful family and faithful friends.

Donna loves a little mystery in her romance, and romance in her mystery!

For more information and to see Donna's publishing history, visit her at

Read an Excerpt

The shadow of Sheikh al-Kaatib's private jet raced over the desert sands, heading west into the blaze of the afternoon sun.

Inside the plane seven passengers sat in silence. They had exhausted their conversation days ago. Besides, there was much to think about. Three closed their eyes, deliberated and slept. Another three opened notebooks and tapped busily. The seventh passenger tilted back his seat and looked out the window.

A hundred years ago we crossed this desert on camels, Ilias Aboud mused. He could almost see the sway of a camel caravan. Its men would have measured time by the sun and stars and the distance to the next oasis. They would have lived by rules forced on them by the harsh landscape: hospitality to the stranger, loyalty to one's kin.

War had been brief. A raid, not a sustained campaign. The desert lacked the resources to sustain an army. Men tended their livestock and their trade. Violence flared and died in the face of the overwhelming task of surviving. You counted your wealth in camels and children, and thanked God.

But that was before the strangers and their discovery of oil. Suddenly there was money enough to indulge in the foolishness of war. Vehicles shrank the desert, and people let go of its ways to embrace city life.

And city life was pleasant.

Ilias smiled. His wife and two-year-old son awaited him in Istanbul. He would take a taxi from the airport and be home in time for the evening meal. He would kiss his son and answer his questions. Since little Yusef had learned the word why he used it continuously. Why must he eat carrot? Why didn't the cat have to eat carrot? Why didn't he have a tail like the cat?

It would be good to be home. After Yusef went to bed, he and Salwa would talk a little about the meeting and a lot about family news and local gossip. Then they too would retire and find comfort in reunion. Joy, peace, love. His family kept him sane.

"More fruit juice, sir? Or coffee? There is baklava."

Startled from his thoughts, Ilias glanced at the steward and the glistening jug of juice the man held. Ice cubes tinkled.

"No. Nothing, thank you."

The steward nodded and whisked away Ilias's empty glass. He walked on to the next passenger. "Sir, would you—"

The engines cut out. No warning, just an eerie silence with the impact of a bomb. The steward's eyes went wide and he ran for the cockpit. Fruit juice sloshed and spilled, falling sticky on the cream carpet.

Ilias clenched his hands, counting. One, two, three...the engines remained silent.

There was still a chance. They wouldn't make Istanbul but the plane would glide for a short while. Could the pilot land it in the desert without engines? Sheikh al-Kaatib would employ the best pilots.

"God, into your care I consign my family and myself."

Wind tore at the plane, a violent downdraft that shoved the nose down. A man screamed. Terror of imminent death drained the blood from Ilias's plump face. He would return to the desert, after all. Violently.

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The Last Days of a Rake 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm really baffled by all the negative reviews for The Last Days of a Rake. Maybe like so many other curious readers, I didn't realize this was just a companion piece to the larger novel Love & Scandal. This "little" taste of Scandal, is only about 60 pages. A short story but I personally enjoyed it. I had an opportunity to review Ms. Simpson's writing style and I have put Love & Scandal on my "wish list" as a result of this introduction. I felt she showed a real talent to capture the time period, the dialogue was genuine, her descriptions vivid and the simple message that is expressed at the very end of this snippet is worth venturing into other works by this author. I am personally very select in my historical-fiction reading choices (few pass these days) but The Last Days of a Rake has opened up another Regency-Victorian era work to my attention and I hope others will follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nicely written short story. Makes me curious to read more from the same author. You don't often get authors of historical romance who seem to actually know the time period beyond what they may have gleaned from made-for-TV movies, much less as well as this writer seems to know the period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book did not hold my attention completely. I am not sure that I would read anything else by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts out OK, then decends into some crass sexual comments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would suggest reading Love and Scandal first. I thought the author was very creative. In Love and Scandal a woman writes (Last Days of a Rake) but a man is assumed he has written it. So, the author actually writes a little book called Last Days of a Rake. So the book in the storyline of Love and Scandal becomes a real book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this story to be so pedantic I gave up reading after only about 15 minutes. Nothing interesting enough in the story up to that point to want to suffer through any more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought this was pretty bad! Wouldn't recommend it even though it is free.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably too true to reality! Sad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waste of time
nooklover42 More than 1 year ago
This wasn't a book, it was a chapter - and a bad one at that! It's a dying man's confession of how his life revolved around seducing virgins and getting young men to gamble away their entire fortunes. And that's the whole story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was alright but didn't really catch my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please do not wasre your time with this 63 page mess
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frisby More than 1 year ago
Nothing great just OK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a great read. Kind of depressing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dying man's reminences and regrets for a wasted and selfish life.