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The Art of Taming a Rake

by Nicole Jordan

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388525,738 (3.67)None
Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen's club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do- He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible-except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl's life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do- He proposes. Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman-without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge- winning his wife's fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.… (more)
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Summary
Quinn Wilde, the Earl of Traherne is not what he appears to be. To many he is known as a disreputable rake, and to Venetia he is everything that rumors claims him to be. But for Venetia Stratham, she has reason to distrust Quinn. They have a history. Venetia previous bethrothed, she learned on their wedding day, that he had a mistress even though he claimed to love her. Venetia ended their bethrothal and a scandal erupted and Venetia had to deal with the fall out. She doesn't trust any man, especially since Quinn was once friends with the one man she gave her heart to and broke her trust in men. But when she learns that Quinn has been rumored to have taken a sincere interest in her sister, Venetia is determined to make sure that doesn't happen. She will do anything for her sister. But when Quinn and Venetia are caught in a horrible scandal, Venetia and Quinn will need to marry or the fallout will effect her sister in the worst ways. Neither Quinn or Venetia are looking for a love match, but when the unexpected happens will they embrace it or scorn it?
The Hero
Our hero, Quinn Wilde is such a delicious character. Boy did I have a blast reading him. Quinn is one of the Wilde's, very protective of his family, intelligent, a bit of a scientist and has been known to gamble, drink and enjoy the pleasures of the fairer sex. Quinn is quite well rounded, at first I would never have expected to see the depths of his character come forth as the story unravels. When we learns of his history especially considering his parents. He is driven to succeed and a bit of a mystery sleuth. But he isn't all seriousness...in fact he can be quite mischievous and devil may care at times. We see various facets to his character and this made him all the more charming and engaging. We also see that even though he doesn't believe in love, he has honor and integrity.
The Heroine
Venetia Stratham, is quite a match for our hero. Although I feel like her character isn't revealed bit by bit...we see her in her full glory from the beginning which was diffferent. Venetia hasn't had the best luck when it comes to men. She is bold, daring and says what's on her mind when the situation warrants it. She understands the culture that she wa raised in, and the strict code of honor and scandal she has to live by. She can be rash at times, but this aspect of her character is what makes her seem so vibrant in the story. She has this spirit that I loved, and on some level I connected with her. She was once betrayed, but she still believes in love and wants to have it for herself one day. Venetia has a quiet inner strength that I admired greatly.

She only knew that she intended to fight for his love with every ounce of strength and determination she possessed.

Her parents set her aside to live in France, when the scandal errupted. They refused contact with her younger sister, with whom she was very close to. We see how devoted she is to her sister, and what lengths she will go to to protect her....even if that means thretening Quinn with a pistol. She was quite a unique character.
Plot and Story Line
The Art of Taming a Rake was simply fantastic and I honestly couldn't get enough of these two!! I did have a bit of a headache while reading it, whihc I think contributed to not being able to enjoy it as much. However despite that...I found a very charming and likable romance and I adored getting more of a Legendary Lovers theme. Now this series is based on famous lovers. This book resembles "Taming of the Shrew". Its not a play I am super familiar with however. But I still enjoyed seeing these two fall in love. I can't help but admire the Wilde family...they are a very engaging and fun family. I love their sense of closeness, and I love the set up of each of them finding a love match for life.

In this story, we have a book that is very engaging. What I have always admired by this author is the way that she pulls the reader into her story. Nicole Jordan is quite unique and her writing style is one I can never get enough of. Both characters are simply wonderful for each other. In many ways they understand each other's needs. I really loved seeing the way these two work through mistrust and find a common ground. This book was such a quick read, and I couldn't believe it when it was over. I was thinking...wow did I just read all that??!!! But yes I did. What we see at first is a great chemistry between these two.

Her lips trembled under his. Encouraged, he changed the slant of his head and took her mouth more thoroughly, coaxing her to participate in her own seduction. When finally she opened completely to him, Quinn felt the unexpected impact like a jolt of lighting: heat, pleasure, excitement, sheer satisfaction

They could set a match to a forest fire with the heat that passes between them. I loved seeing the sexual chemistry grow into something more tangible with emotion.

Another great aspect to the story that was one of my favorites...was the mystery and a bit of "cloak and Dagger" themes. We have a mystery that Quinn is trying to solve about his parent's deaths. He suspects that it was no accident. But when he has multiple attempts on his life, he knows the killer is after him because Quinn is getting too close to the truth. This adds a unique element to the story that raises the bar. I found that this portion of the story is very much needed because this is what brings Quinn and Venetia together and makes them realize what they mean to each other and admit their feelings at the right time.

If you put your heart in my hands, I swear to cherish it and keep it safe always

The ending was simply perfect and I got a bit teary eyed while reading it. I loved how it leaves us fully satisfied with the romance, while giving us a teaser for the next book. *eek....I can't wait!!*
The Cover
What a beautiful cover....pure love!! The pose is so sensual and romantic. I love the mix of colors that really pop with the bright yellow and pink. Seriously....this cover is one you want to jump right into.
Overall View
The Art of Taming a Rake is a stimulating romance that takes us into another Legendary Lovers romance, we see passion, hidden depths of emotion and a thrilling tale to keep you excited from beginning to end. ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 30, 2019 |
Nicole Jordan's heroes are always suave and mysterious. Relatively good guys that dabble in some questionable behavior. Maybe that is why I enjoy reading her Legendary Lovers series, she shows us flaws, misconceptions and naughty but does in a stylish and pleasurable way. I received an ARC of The Art of Taming a Rake in exchange for an honest review. Quinn brought the dangerous sex appeal with his hidden layers and intricate personality. Venetia's hidden desires and heated temper brought the fire. With this novel Ms. Jordan did what she does best, write stories that are tumultuous and exciting.
( )
  Lashea677 | Feb 16, 2019 |
3.3 stars

Frowning slightly, she thought back to what she remembered of Shakespeare's comedy. Katharina, the headstrong elder sister of modest daughter Bianca, had scared away all of Bianca's suitors with her shrewish tongue until Petruchio appeared and promised to turn Katharina into an obedient bride.
When understanding dawned, Venetia gave Quinn an arch glance. "So I am the shrew?"
The gleam was back in his eyes, and so was the provocative devil. "You must admit you can be a real termagant when you choose. And you blighted your sister's prospects of marrying me."
"You never mentioned the parallels before."
"Because I knew you would bristle. I was bristling myself at the idea of being Pygmalion. Kate should have known better than to think I would ever want a statue for my wife."
"No, I can't imagine you would," Venetia returned with genuine amusement.
"I would rather have a shrew."
"Would you?" she asked skeptically.
"A shrew is more interesting by far. I am happy with the sister I married."


Although, I felt a little lost in the beginning and a little towards the end when more past characters came around, it wasn't too much of a trial to start the series here with book 4. I rather liked calm and cool Quinn and felt for Venetia every time she bristled because her view of men had been colored and she didn't have the life experience to see them any other way. I read some reviews that complained Quinn wasn't "rakish" enough to be called one but I thought that was one of the points the author was trying to make, he wasn't really one. The "tabloids" of the day sensationalized him and his doings to sell papers and Venetia fell for it. I do think the author could have emphasized this more by having more point of views from Quinn and giving the reader better insight to him. It's mentioned that he was always attracted to Venetia but as his friend grew attached to her first, he never made a move but he always liked her; this should have been played up more.

I thought after they were married and went to the country, about 35% in, is when the story really slowed down. Instead of having the couple grow to know each other with deeper interactions, most of it felt like filler. There would be hints to Quinn calmly but surely breaking through Venetia's misconceptions but other than tiny little look-ins to this, we mostly just get Venetia thinking "oh hey, maybe he's not a rake"; their time alone in the country felt like a wasted endeavor and I felt it all could have edited out.

I don't know if it was a consequence of having not read the other books but the whole assassin plot felt extremely tagged on, especially in the beginning. It consisted of three random short lived attacks on Quinn and then at the end it spun into a past generation decades old grudge that really didn't have anything to do with our couple.

The tropes of (sort of) enemies-to-lovers and forced marriage are often found in romance but I still found myself liking this story. There was a little more focus on the sensual aspects of our couple's relationship but I liked the way those scenes were written, in fact I found the whole story to be very affable. I wish we could have gotten more scenes from Quinn's point of view (I ended up liking him a lot with his calm, cool, but also unassuming teasing manner) and Venetia could have turned the corner a little quicker on her attitude towards Quinn but it captured my attention enough that I'll definitely check out the previous stories in the series, I hear talk of a pirate in the family! :) ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
The Art of Taming A Rake by Nicole Jordan
(Legendary Lovers #4)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I believe this is the first time I have read this author. I found her to have a very easy to read writing style that pulled me into the story.

Quinn was an honest, loveable hero with a great sense of humour. I found it refreshing that he was the one that secretly wants to stay married to Venetia. Usually, I find this to be the role that the heroine adopts. I love that he has always wanted her, has trouble resisting her and in fact steals kisses and caresses when he can. Venetia, is a strong heroine. She is very forthcoming and assertive, which sometimes gets her into sticky situations. The two together have good chemistry and I found Quinn's professed words to his wife very sweet.

As this was the only book I have read of Nicole Jordan's, I am interested in reading the others of the series. Those characters make appearances in this book and they make me think their stories would be equally as good.

** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review **

Original review posted at: http://paragraphsandpetticoats.blogspot.ca/
( )
  MyaB | Apr 25, 2018 |
Good story of two people, burned by love, who find themselves joined in a marriage of convenience. Two years earlier Venetia broke off her engagement on the steps of the church when her fiancé showed up for their wedding drunk, disheveled, and straight from his mistress's bed. Thanks to the resulting scandal, her parents banished her to France and refused to have anything to do with her. She has returned to England after hearing that Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne and notorious rake, is courting her younger sister. She is determined to prevent Ophelia from suffering the same heartbreak that she did. To that end, she disguises herself and confronts Quinn in the gentlemen's club where he is playing cards. But it does not go quite as she expected.

Quinn has earned his reputation as a rake. Years ago he fell in love with a woman who only wanted him for his title and his wealth. Since that time, he has avoided allowing his emotions to get involved, limiting his liaisons to women who know what to expect. In this instance, he has the best of intentions. He has long felt guilty for his part in Venetia's disgrace and has decided that appearing to court Ophelia will raise her up in Society's eyes. He is surprised by Venetia's appearance and somewhat amused by her demands.

I enjoyed this initial confrontation. Venetia is bold and determined to do what she must to protect her sister. Unfortunately, she gets into a bit of trouble when she is accosted by a drunken gambler. Quinn, who recognized her almost immediately, comes to her rescue by claiming her as his own with a searing kiss. A short discussion and agreement to meet the next day has them leaving by a discreet back entrance. Things go a bit sideways when Quinn is attacked by three thugs, but he fights them off and gets Venetia to safety. A second attack the next day delays his meeting with Venetia, and impatient; she shows up at his home, angry at being stood up. During another contentious discussion, Venetia pulls a pistol on Quinn at the same time someone takes a shot at him. Initially implicated in the attack, to protect Venetia's name, Quinn proposes marriage.

Venetia is not easy to convince. She had resigned herself to the life of a spinster thanks to the scandal of her non-wedding. Plus, the thought of marrying a man cut from the same cloth as her ex-fiancé does not make her happy. However, to keep her sister from suffering from the effects of another scandal involving Venetia, she agrees to a marriage in name only. Quinn had never seen himself entering into marriage but finds himself very protective of Venetia. Besides wanting to save her from more scandal, he is also afraid that whoever is trying to kill him would also hurt her.

I loved the development of their relationship. Venetia is determined not to trust Quinn. Because of her attraction to him, she can see herself being hurt when his inevitable infidelity occurs. Quinn is attracted and fascinated by Venetia but refuses to allow himself to fall in love. As they leave London for a time to allow Quinn's injury to heal and his friend to investigate the attacks, Venetia and Quinn are given the opportunity to get to know each other. As they do, Venetia discovers that Quinn is not the unrepentant rake that she thought he was. Instead, she finds an intelligent, charming and amazingly kind man that slowly overcomes her trust issues. For his part, Quinn finds Venetia to be honest, vibrant, and fun to talk to. Underneath it all is a simmering attraction that draws them even closer together. Though both resist the idea that they are falling in love, they don't deny the ever-growing passion. When they finally give in to it, the result is a far deeper connection than either expected. I loved seeing the mutual protectiveness, as Quinn worried about the assassin going after Venetia, and Venetia concerned that Quinn is putting his life at risk in attempting to draw the attacker out. It's rather fun to see them try to deny the feelings that are driving them while at the same time trying to figure out how to make the other one want to continue their marriage. It isn't until Venetia is in danger that Quinn can admit his feelings to himself. I loved his big moment at the end when he exposes his vulnerability to Venetia. It was a sweet and romantic beginning to the rest of their life together.

The mystery of the attacks on Quinn was very well done. The intensity of the attacks built with each incident, along with the puzzle of who is behind them. Quinn wonders if the attacks have something to do with the jewels that were supposedly lost during his parents' shipwreck deaths, but one of which is being worn by a former mistress of his. Or perhaps it is related to his work in building a steam-powered ship. Personally, I suspected the scorned mistress. The final confrontation was fast-paced and intense. One of my favorite things about it was that Venetia wasn't the helpless damsel in distress, but took an active and quite clever role in it. I did ache for Quinn when the motives behind it all were revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the various family dynamics. Quinn's relationships with his family members are close and loving, but also realistic. I loved his dual motivation in "courting" Ophelia - help her, and also get his cousin and sister off his back regarding getting married. I loved that they were there for Quinn when he needed them, both in making Venetia welcome and later in catching the bad guy. Venetia's relationship with her parents was starkly opposite. Their rejection of her because she refused to marry her cheating fiancé was so wrong. Even after she married Quinn, it took some not-so-veiled threats from him to get them to loosen up even a little bit. I did like her sister Ophelia, who was sweet and loving. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Oct 21, 2017 |
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Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen's club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do- He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible-except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl's life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do- He proposes. Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman-without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge- winning his wife's fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.

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