This Rake of Mine

This Rake of Mine

by Elizabeth Boyle

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060783990
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/25/2005
Series: Avon Romantic Treasures Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 180,020
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Boyle has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as “page-turners.” Since her first book was published, she’s seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and has won the RWA RITA® and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards. She resides in Seattle with her family, her garden, and her always-growing collection of yarn. Readers can visit her at, or follow her own adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

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This Rake of Mine

By Elizabeth Boyle

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Elizabeth Boyle
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060783990

Chapter One

Miss Emery's Establishment for the Education of Genteel Young Ladies
Bath, England

"I don't see why he has to be allowed in," Lady Philippa Knolles complained to her cousin, Miss Felicity Langley, as they crept down the back stairs of their school.

"Pippin, when the Duke of Parkerton sends his brother to perform an errand of such a delicate nature," Felicity explained, "one cannot simply bar the door to the man. Even if he is a disreputable ...a horrible ... "

"Rake," supplied Felicity's twin sister, Thalia, who brought up the rear of this illicit party. Tally, as she was known, was not one for delicacy of words, and besides, she was rather excited at the prospect of getting a look at such a man.

To Tally the word rake conjured all sorts of dreamy possibilities, like pirate or highwayman or smuggler. And the very notion that Miss Emery had banished the entire school to their rooms for the afternoon until their "visitor" had departed was just too much to bear.

A rake at Miss Emery's? Why, it was like history in the making, a moment not to be missed.

"Really," Tally had declared, "how does Miss Emery expect us to recognize this sort of man if we have never seen an example of one?"

Felicity had readily agreed. Pippin had been a bit more hesitant than her daring cousins, but in the end, she'd relented and joined the party, if only because she too held a secret curiosity about the infamous rake, Lord John Tremont.

"Who was it that Lord John ruined?" Pippin asked.

"Miss Miranda Mabberly," Felicity supplied without hesitation. "He kissed her rather inappropriately at the opera."

Felicity's knowledge of the ton never ceased to amaze Pippin, especially given that up until two years ago, the Langley sisters had never even set foot in England, having spent their entire lives traveling the world with their father, Lord Langley, a distinguished member of the Foreign Office.

"Oh, dear," Pippin said. "If that is so, why didn't he just marry Miss Mabberly?"

Tally finished the story, for at the moment Felicity was timing their descent to ensure that they didn't run into the headmistress or one of their other teachers, especially their decorum teacher, Miss Porter.

"Miss Mabberly was betrothed to the Earl of Oxley at the time," Tally whispered. "Oxley cried off when he learned what happened."

"And Miss Mabberly?" Pippin asked."What of her?"

Tally shrugged. "I don't particularly know. Probably the usual in those circumstances. A fatal decline, banishment from good society, not that it really matters, she was ruined after all."

"How dreadful!" Pippin whispered.

Not to let the story pass without her own stamp upon it, Felicity added, "I daresay Miss Mabberly ended up in some Eastern harem or married off to some Colonial merchant." To Felicity, either fate was of equal degradation, considering her own matrimonial aspirations were nothing less than to marry a duke, thus having earned herself the nickname of "Duchess" at a very early age.

Taking another look down the stairwell, and seeing that the coast was clear, she waved her accomplices to follow her.

Down the steps they crept and then dashed across the hall and into a nearby closet. Having feigned a megrim earlier, Felicity had been excused from Miss Porter's class and had used the time to remove the buckets, mops and brooms that usually filled the tiny space.

After they wedged themselves in, Tally looked about their quarters and sighed. "I suppose this is the best we can do," she said, setting down the fourth member of their party, Brutus, her ever-present companion. Though the small black dog had been a gift to Felicity and Thalia during their father's tenure in Austria, Brutus had taken to Tally from the first moment she'd gathered him up into her arms.

And Tally never minded (well, maybe a little) that her dog appeared to most like a little clown, with his big round eyes and funny tufted mane of hair. She took great pleasure in pointing out that Brutus possessed the heart of a lion, fearless and loyal, despite his demure stature.

Brutus immediately went to work inspecting their hiding place, sniffing at the pungent smells in the closet and finally giving his opinion by shaking his monkeylike head in protest. "Ruff!"

"Tally," Felicity whispered sharply. "Do make him be still! He'll ruin everything with his sniffing and yapping. I still say we should have left him with Nanny Gerta. It's a wonder Miss Emery allows him."

Tally gathered Brutus up and hugged him close, shooting her sister a dark glare, which the Duchess ignored with the imperial grace that only a future wife of a duke could possess.

Dogs at Miss Emery's were as much against the rules as rakes, however Lord Langley's infamous charm had gone a long way in convincing the usually impervious lady to allow Tally to keep her dear dog at school.

After all, Brutus could trace his bloodlines to Marie Antoinette's own beloved affenpinscher. Such lofty connections had a way of bending even Miss Emery's rigid rules.

"Are you sure Miss Emery is going to make Lord John use the back stairs?" Tally asked. She wasn't overly fond of dark enclosed spaces and had a growing look of panic about her.

"Yes," Felicity said with her usual certainty. "She can't let him go up the main stairs -- why, everyone would be peeping out their doors at him." She opened the closet door a bare crack to afford Tally some light. "Besides, with Bella's room in the back of the house, it is the most expedient route for him to take."

And expediency was the order of the day.

Lady Arabella Tremont, the Duke of Parkerton's daughter and Lord John's niece, was being sent home in disgrace. She was the first student in the history of Miss Emery's to have caused such a scandal, having been caught kissing one of . . .


Excerpted from This Rake of Mine by Elizabeth Boyle Copyright © 2005 by Elizabeth Boyle. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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This Rake of Mine 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1801, Miranda Mabberly has some doubts about her upcoming marriage to Lord Oxley as he and her parents fail to defend her honor besmirched by her future mother-in-law. However, things are taken out of her hands when notorious rake Lord John Tremont blatantly accosts and kisses her at the opera. The nuptials are over and her parents blame Miranda, completely cutting her off...................... After five years of begging her parents to let her come home and learning her mother died without anyone bothering to inform her, Miranda writes off her father. She takes a job as decorum teacher Miss Jane Porter at Miss Emily¿s Establishment for the Education of Genteel Young Ladies. After five years there she has inherited a small fortune so she plans to leave, but not before John visits the school to escort his disgraced niece home. He runs into Jane, but fails to recognize her though she knows him. Edged on by three matchmaking youngsters, John begins to court Jane who rejects the advances of a rake though they soon fall in love, but to persuade her remains impossible................... THIS RAKE OF MINE is an enjoyable regency romance that in many ways is typical of the sub-genre with a rake getting his comeuppance through love. The story line is refreshed by Miranda who gives up on those who should have rallied around her when she concludes that she will always be held culpable for the actions of John. This gives her the courage to move on and not to fear challenging the aristocracy including John and his older brother. Fans will enjoy this fine historical pot boiler starring an admirable heroine and the wastrel she reforms.......... Harriet Klausner
LUV_HISTORICAL_ROMANCE More than 1 year ago
Book 2 of the Bachelor Chronicals
melorem on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Miranda is a young girl caught in a kiss with an infamous rake who mistakes her for his mistress. She is only 16 and already ruined. We meet up with her ten years later as a decorum teacher in a girl's finishing school. She has been shunned by society, cut off by her family and has changed names. So, when she meets up with the rake that ruined her he doesn't recognize her underneath her plain clothes and dowdy chignon. The author weaves a good spy plot throughout this romance. The story is a bit slow at the beginning but towards the end you are caught up in whether or not Jack will ever realize that the woman he is dealing with is the young girl he ruined so long ago.
lina_em on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
at first i didn't like it. but then rereading it again, i love the story. it's so gothic and cute and suspenseful at all the right touches.
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