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How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins
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How to Romance a Rake (edition 2012)

by Manda Collins

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374313,489 (3.54)None
Member:barb0476
Title:How to Romance a Rake
Authors:Manda Collins
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (2012), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins

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Good book with two wonderful characters. Juliet is a quiet girl who is usually found around the edges of the ballroom. She has a pronounced limp because of an accident years earlier and is often made fun of by some members of society. She is stunned when Deveril comes to her defense against a couple of the nastier women and offers to teach her to dance. Alec isn't sure why he's so intent on helping Juliet, but help her he will.

Juliet is an amazingly strong woman. She has been through a trauma that would have broken many others and not only isn't bitter but has a terrific sense of humor and an intelligence that is truly unusual. She has been kept on the sidelines of society by her mother who is so concerned that Juliet might embarrass her because of her disability that she puts Juliet down constantly. She has made it clear that as far as she is concerned no decent man will ever want Juliet. She is pushing Juliet to accept the advances of a man that Juliet finds very disturbing. When she goes too far in her demands, Alec takes Juliet to her cousin's home, but knows the only way to truly protect her is to marry her himself.

I loved Alec from the very beginning. His rescue of Juliet from those women at the ball was wonderful and I loved the way that he stayed with her. His offer to teach her to dance was sweet, even as he couldn't understand why he was so drawn to her. He has spent years trying to build a good reputation in order to counteract the stigma of his father's actions. He fears that he has inherited his father's temperament and has sworn that he won't allow himself any strong feelings for a woman. He can't deny what he feels for Juliet and finds himself growing ever closer to her. I loved the way he couldn't resist kissing her and how surprised he was by the strength of their attraction. He is infuriated by her mother's actions and realizes that the best thing to do is marry her quickly and get her away.

I loved the trip to Scotland and the wedding at Gretna Green. Alec's did his best to make Juliet feel comfortable with him. He could tell she was nervous about something and tried to put her at ease. I really liked his nervousness and the way it showed how important she already was to him. Juliet's fears about his reaction to her injury were very realistic. I loved the way he treated her and how he showed her that it didn't change his feelings at all. His attitude went a long way toward improving her confidence in herself after years of abuse by her mother.

Thanks to her mother the extent of her disability became common knowledge and society didn't react well. Juliet wasn't so concerned about herself, but she worried about the effect on Alec, especially as their marriage had been going so well. Alec has been fighting some of his own demons and when his uncle tells Juliet some of it, Alec is sure that she will be disgusted with him. He is stunned when she not only doesn't blame him, but shows him how wrong he had been all this time. I loved the way that this really showed how much they had come to care for each other, even though they had yet to admit it.

The mystery that ran throughout the book was very good. Juliet's music teacher has gone missing, leaving her child behind. Juliet is very worried and accepts Alec's help in trying to find her. I loved the way they worked together and how much Alec respected Juliet's intelligence. While the bad guy was who I thought it was, there was a very interesting twist to the resolution that I really didn't see coming. It created some real danger for both Juliet and Alec, but it coming through it they were finally able to confess their feelings.

I really enjoyed the close relationships of the three cousins and how they supported each other. Since Cecily married in the first book, she is now in a better position to help the other two. I loved her efforts to get Juliet to believe in herself. I also enjoyed Maddie's advice to Alec and his complete shock over it. The three gentlemen were also great friends and great backup for each other when needed. Winterson gave Alec the kick in the pants he needed but also the support necessary to get Juliet to safety. I loved Monteith's snarkiness and am really looking forward to the matchup between him and Maddie in the next book.

The only issues I had with the book were a few editing ones. There were several problems with consistency that had me confused. One with Juliet's maid being where she hadn't been before, but the biggest being with Juliet's injury changing location several times. It wasn't enough to ruin the book, but I did find myself rereading a couple sections to make sure I hadn't missed something. I also found the title of the book misleading, as Alec was definitely not a rake. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Mar 21, 2014 |
The thing that bothers me about this book is that Manda Collins has a tendency, an over-tendency, to explain things. I can see and infer things on my own, you know? Explaining everything the way she does is a good way to talk down to the reader and insult their intelligence. I spent most of the time going "yeah, I got that." For example, she'd say something like 'the girls had a tendency to dismiss social conventions.' and I think about all the social conventions they dismissed, and I agree with the statement. BUT THEN, Collins decides she needs to explain/justify this statement. It's unnecessary and just a TAD annoying. And this happens all the time.

Also, I'm not really fond of romance that focuses too much on having children/heirs/raising children omg isn't the hero so cute interacting with a baby/young child?! The answer for me is an absolute no, it's not. Kinda makes me like the hero a bit less tbh. But I think the normal reader wouldn't find it as off-putting as I did.

But like I said, the biggest thing I have flaw with is the explaining/justifying. Juliet was an okay heroine, I like that she's an amputee/not perfect, though I was more interested in Madeline (though I'm not sure I'll pick up book #3).

It's a good novel for fans of regency.

copy won through goodreads first reads. ( )
  lovelylime | Sep 21, 2013 |
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. ( )
  RtB | Aug 1, 2012 |
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! ( )
  SharonR53 | Jul 29, 2012 |
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Manda Collinsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flosnik, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312549253, Mass Market Paperback)

You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can't make her bloom--unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat...

What's a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril's ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she's a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense--and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze...

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the "fashionable" ladies he's accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence--and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret--and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:18 -0400)

When he offers to teach her to dance during his party, Lord Deveril, London's most eligible bachelor, finds himself captivated by the brainy beauty Miss Juliet Shelby, who needs his help in rescuing a friend from the London underworld.

(summary from another edition)

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