The Fate of England's Monarchy Is In The Hands of Three Notorious Rakes.
To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched...to seduce the dukes' intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap...
After he's blamed for a botched assignment during war, former cavalry officer Rhys Warrick turns his back on "honor." He spends his nights in brothels doing his best to live down to the expectations of his disapproving family. But one last mission could restore the reputation he's so thoroughly sullied. All he has to do is seduce and ruin Miss Olivia Symon and his military record will be cleared. For a man with Rhys's reputation, ravishing the delectably innocent miss should be easy. But Olivia's honesty and bold curiosity stir more than Rhys's desire. Suddenly the heart he thought he left on the battlefield is about to surrender...Celebrate the 80th birthday of Regency Romance with great books from Sourcebooks Casablanca!
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For the first time in his life, Lord Rhys Warrington wondered if he was too foxed to properly bed a woman.
"Nothing ventured," he murmured as he latched the door behind him and stared at the courtesan lounging on the bed. Light from a dozen candles kissed the curve of her bare shoulder. The boudoir was awash in scent, expensive jasmine and attar of roses, with a sensual undertone of muskiness.
She smiled, letting the satiny sheet drop enough to reveal the swell of her breasts. The lady knew how to tease. Miranda Doublefield had been Lord Tottenham's mistress for the better part of last Season and had lasted through the turn of the New Year. She might have been petite, but there was nothing the least small about her allure. Her eyelids half closed, she gave him a sultry look.
Despite having consumed enough spirits to drop a horse, Rhys roused to her silent invitation. He was relieved by his body's dependability. A woman like Miranda would trumpet a man's bedroom failures if she thought the tale would amuse and titillate others. Rhys wasn't her protector and wasn't likely ever to be. She'd have no need to guard his dignity.
Rhys wasn't interested in acquiring a mistress. Or in any encounter that lasted beyond the moment, for that matter.
With good reason.
Even among the demimonde crowd, he was alone.
Besides, there was much to commend a bedding that was purely carnal with no bothersome emotions to cloud matters. He'd made a concerted effort to feel nothing since he returned from the Continent, and the result was a hollowness in his chest. He considered it a fair trade for continuing to breathe.
His heart might be dead, but that didn't stop another part of his anatomy from demonstrating with regularity that it was fully alive. He ached to wallow in Miranda and feel the only dregs of emotion he'd allow himself.
"I fear you may think yourself ill-used," Rhys said, his words slurring only slightly as he weaved toward her. There'd been entirely too much rum in his evening's activities, but at least he was still upright. "Just because your protector was foolish enough to wager a night with you, do not feel yourself bound to honor his gambling debt."
"Ill-used?" She giggled musically. "Nonsense. My fingers were crossed that Totty wouldn't take that final trick. I look forward to being used by you, my lord. Just don't be surprised if I use you right back."
Miranda raised herself to her knees and let the sheet fall completely. As she settled between the plump pillows, she teased him with a glimpse at the shadowy heaven between her legs.
The house party at the St. James love nest where Lord Tottenham kept Miranda had degenerated into a bacchanalia within hours of its beginning. Then it stretched into a sennight of drinking, gambling, and indecent games. Rhys's bedding of Tottenham's mistress under his own roof was probably the least scandalous coupling that would transpire this night.
Rhys wondered absently if Tottenham had bored peepholes into the room to keep an eye on Miranda. If the earl was watching now, Rhys couldn't be bothered to care. Serve the fool right to be cuckolded before his very eyes.
Rhys plopped down on the side of the bed, hoping the room would stop spinning, and tried to tug off his Hessians. He really ought to have passed on that last round of Jamaican rum. He'd probably been drunk enough already not to have to worry about troubling dreams later.
Tottenham's mistress wrapped her arms around him, pressing herself against his back. She lavished kisses on his neck and then latched onto his earlobe, sucking hard.
Sinking into Miranda Doublefield's lush softness would be oblivion that trumped an alcoholic haze all to pieces. In the heat and friction of mindless rutting, Rhys could forget.
Or at least pretend he had forgotten, if only for a little while.
He turned and pinned Miranda to the mattress.
"Boots be damned," he declared. If Tottenham didn't mind Rhys despoiling his mistress, he wasn't likely to fuss over ruined sheets. Rhys would take his time with the lady later, but since she seemed more than ready, the first time would be hard and fast.
He lost himself in her mouth, in the abandon of suckling tongues and shared breath. Her hands rippled over his body, teasing and stroking. She moaned into his mouth.
Real passion or feigned? It was hard to tell with an accomplished courtesan like Miranda. Perhaps it didn't matter, Rhys decided.
Perhaps nothing did.
Laughter and shouting from the rest of the party floated up to his ear, a faint summons from another world. He shoved it aside to focus on Miranda's silky skin, the soft fuzz of tiny blond hairs on her forearms, the tight, responsive nub on each pert breast.
Steps pounded down the hallway outside the door, but Rhys figured they had nothing to do with him. His only problem was how to unfasten the stubborn flap of his trousers. The confounded button seemed too large to fit through the hole, despite the fact that he was almost certain it had slipped through there with ease when he put the blasted trousers on.
Where was his valet when he needed him?
"Here, let me." Miranda bent to take the button between her white teeth. He ached at the nearness of her lips, but the thread wouldn't give.
"Damned French tailor," Rhys muttered. "Too much thread." Damn the French altogether.
A familiar red haze descended on his vision, and for an instant, he was back on the plain near Maubeuge again.
Too much blood. Too many arms and legs. Too many cannonballs. Where's that relief column? I sent an urgent summons over an hour ago. His horse was dying, screaming its agony as only a dumb creature can. Or a man who knows his immortal soul is about to flee his all-too-mortal body. Have to put him down. Only one shot left...
"Damn the French," Rhys growled aloud this time, closing the invisible portal in his mind that led back to that cursed battlefield.
Then Miranda's real door shattered behind him and the pounding footsteps grew louder, tramping inside his head. The courtesan shrieked and pulled up the sheets to cover herself as the footsteps surrounded the bed.
Rhys turned, but too slowly. Something solid and unyielding caught him on the temple. A black curtain descended on his mind, and he went dark as a Drury Lane stage after the last ovation.
What People are Saying About This
"Full of sweet romance, explosive passion, and a few shocking twists... a marvelous read. " - Imagine a World
"Such a lovely read that when it was over, I wanted more... The love scenes were scorching and the romance on key!" - Romantic Romps
"Deliciously scandalous, with authentic settings, realistic characters and wicked seductions. 4 Stars" - RT Book Reviews
"From the very beginning of starting to read this story I could not put it down and read it into the wee hours of the morning." - Angles with Attitude
"A wickedly fun, hot, sexy heart pounding romance that will curl your toes!" - Rogues Under the Covers
"Full passion and mystery. The twists and turns in the plot led to a very interesting turn out. " - Cocktails and Books
"Engaging and entertaining... " - Under the Boardwalk
"A charming read that had me absorbed, entertained, and looking forward to future stories. " - Book Savvy Babe
"A fast paced and adventure filled story from the first page to the last. " - My Book Addiction and More
"A wickedly funny, sexy historical romance that is sure to captivate you." - Romance Junkies
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read all of Connie's books. And even though this has her name on it. She definitly didnt write it. It took me forever to read this book. And even though i paid for it, i deleted it. Connie is notorious for the hero having a mistress or leman who wont let go (my opinion makes the books very good). The heroine has obstacles to go through to get her man. In this book, nope, how can he be a rake w/ no mistress? I was so disappointed in this book, i was literally pissed off. This book didnt grab me but i kept reading hoping it would get better, it did not. THIS REVIEW IS MY HUMBLE OPINION!
ABOUT THE BOOK: The race is on in this sexy new Regency series. To prevent three dukes from shoving their way into the royal line, the monarchy will dangle the ton's most notorious rakes before the dukes' intended brides. They'll cause a scandal, then call off any plans of matrimony. But just who will have the last laugh? Rhys plans the seduction of Olivia like the cavalry officer he was, but when a series of mishaps convinces him that someone wants to get rid of her--permanently--he becomes her fiercest protector...even at the cost of his own heart. REVIEW: If you don’t know what character development is, then you need to read this book. It’s amazing the changes these characters went through and how their romance and true self changed throughout. Such a lovely read that when it was over, I wanted more. I loved the plot sitting behind the story and found myself riveted to each passing point. The love scenes were scorching and the romance on key! Ms. Marlow defines sexy historicals like no other I’ve read. Be sure to add this to your TBR pile, because I’ve marked her on my stalking list for new books! Five out of five stars for a job well done!
When Rhys is given the task of seducing Olivia he finds it tasteless and even more so as he comes to know her. However, once it becomes apparent that someone is trying to kill her, Rhys makes sure he never leaves Olivia's side, day or night. This leads to unplanned consequence, a trip to Gretna Green when Olivia's father catches Rhys in Olivia's bedroom! Once in Scotland, then Rhys is forced to face his own past and family but will Olivia still be safe? Olivia, for her part, is head-strong and independent, refusing to believe that her life is in danger which ultimately leads to the final showdown. Along the way both Rhys and Olivia discover a love for each other that neither thought was possible. A sure-fire hit and a great read.
This is a very nice easy read The story goes quickly and the romance is very good The only thing I didnt like was how Rhyes mystery ended Hopefully in book 2 or 3 of this series he will get his personal issue resolved in a winning way
A must buy! This is not your normal Rake romance book. I couldn't put it down. I laughed,cried, and at the end sighed knowing I had to wait for the next one....
WAKING UP WITH A RAKE by Connie Mason with Mia Marlowe is another exciting historical romance set in 1818 London. Book 1 in the new "Regency Rakes" series. "Three notorious Rakes hold the fate of England's Monarchy in their hands".A fast paced and adventure filled story from the first page to the last. Follow Rhys Warrick and Miss Olivia Symon on a journey of seduction,danger,passion,romance,a King's possible downfall,and love. These two author's have written a story that will capture your heart as you follow these notorious rakes and their Lady loves on a journey to regain the Rakes' "honor". If you enjoy historical romance,England Monarchy,and love you will enjoy "Waking Up With A Rake".I enjoy these two author's stories, and "Waking Up With A Rake" was no exception. Rather writing together or separate these two author's will pull the reader into the story with their witty banter,exciting historical romance,strong,realistic characters and interesting as well as intriguing plots. Received for an honest review from the publisher. For more details visit the author's website, Sourcebooks Casablanca and My Book Addiction and More. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
This review was first posted at Reading Between the Wines! What will a man do to protect his family from dishonor and to regain his own? Anything. Even ruin an innocent young woman by relieving her of her maidenhead so that she is no longer considered an acceptable option for a marriageable wife to three royal dukes. What our rake Rhys doesn't expect to find, is that innocent Olivia burns with untapped passion that intrigues him. Or that she would be suck a pleasure to keep company with that his heart quickly becomes involved. Making it an internal war between what he has to do to regain his lost honor, and what his heart wants to do. This was a pleasant read. It has intrigue. A few nice twists and turns in the plot, and even though you know that innocent Olivia will be ruined, it was done a tad differently than I expected. My only complaint is that Olivia gave Rhys like instant forgiveness after she'd found out that he'd been sent to ruin her, and well that doesn't fly well with me. Maybe because I'm a vengeful woman who would kick a man in the balls and burn down his house if he tried to pull that crap with me, but then, well that's just me. I guess Olivia is infinitely kinder than I am. Still a nice weekend read to help sweep you away from the real world. I give it a four wine glass toast and hope you enjoy it!