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A Good Rake is Hard to Find

by Manda Collins

Series: Lords of Anarchy (1)

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232805,396 (4.21)None
Leonora Craven seeks the help of her former fiancé, Frederick Lisle, to prove that her brother's death was no accident, and that the Lords of Anarchy, England's most notorious driving club, is responsible. Leonora needs Freddy in order to infiltrate the club, and, posing as an engaged couple, they work together to uncover the culprit.… (more)

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Full review posted at Reader's Edyn on 01/30/20

Leonora (Nora) knows her brother was murdered, and she aims to prove it but she needs help. Frederick is the perfect solution, past history notwithstanding. Nora broke their engagement five years previously for a reason she felt was justified, except she never told Freddy why she jilted him. Their reunion instantly sparks the passion they shared in the past and obviously never lost. But the engagement is a sham, created simply to gain access to those who assassinated her brother. When it comes time to part ways, it’s much harder than Nora anticipated, and Freddy isn’t letting her go so easily this time. But the truth may end all chances for them to have a future together and she isn’t sure she can handle a permanent rejection. At least if she makes the break, she still holds a bit of control because Lord knows when she is in Freddy’s arms her wits tend to disappear.

Frederick (Freddy) knows that the only explanation surrounding his friend’s demise is foul play. When Nora brings him proof of his suspicions, he quickly ponders a way to ferret out the truth. It won’t be easy and the people they will be associating with are nothing short of dangerous. He knows he will have to protect Nora and the only way he can do so effectively is to keep her close under the guise of a fake engagement. Parting with her the first time nearly destroyed him – a second time will seal his fate. Once the culprits are found and brought to justice, he vows to find out what drove her away from him. He has no intention of letting his second chance with Nora slip through his fingers and he will fight relentlessly to make her see just how perfect they are together.

And, just like that, another series has been born that I will definitely be a part of. Positively enchanting. True to form, Ms. Collins has brought us another wonderful story, sure to please all lovers of historical romance. Freddy is the perfect example of a rake, but with more freedom, because he isn’t the heir apparent. And as suspected, his heart could only be conquered by a woman as strong as he is. Nora is his match in every way. I enjoy that Ms. Collins always presents her female leads as those who are intelligent and mold breakers in the face of societal expectations. In this case, Nora is a writer and strong-minded about the rights of women. Her biggest flaw being that despite her independence and convictions, she takes Freddy’s ability to make his own decision away in a very serious subject which causes her to reflect over her actions. Many authors have successfully portrayed strong female leads for their counterparts, but Ms. Collins surpasses by placing her women in positions that allow change – maybe small change in some cases, but change none the less. Additionally, the dynamic within the Lisle family draws you in completely, leaving you longing to be a part of it yourself. I absolutely adored the Lisle’s simply from their whimsical dinner scene and will definitely be back to find out more about each of them.

In constant motion, and never stalling in action, this book engages the reader completely. I have never once been disappointed with any of Ms. Collins books in any way. She is my number one go-to author for historical romance. I’m am completely entranced each time I read a book she has written; once begun, always completed within the same sitting. The detail in every single scene is unique and vibrant; her characters perfectly splendid. I don’t know how she maintains such consistency from story to story, but she has a gift and I could not be happier to have discovered her work. Each character is invaluable to the story and created in such a way that the reader feels kindred; as if they are a part of their lives and could be living just down the street. The wit and snark are completely refreshing, making the characters that much more loveable and relatable. I was going to show a different highlight, but the comical prowess displayed in the portion of the scene I chose was too fantastic to pass up. You should be able to get a great sense of compatibility with Ms. Collins writing style by those passages alone. If I had a complaint, it would be that somehow, I failed to understand the timeline of how Nora came to realize the reason for breaking her engagement with Freddy. Trying not to provide spoilers here. It would have had to occurred prior to their engagement but would have been a situation that triggered ruin – so that part was a bit off. However, the complaint is minuscule in the grand scheme of the book and not nearly enough to turn me off from the series. I will be back very soon to experience the rest of the Lisle family as well as the daring Lords of Anarchy.

Kindle version provided by NetGalley/St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  GzNKz4evr | Jan 30, 2020 |
A Weebish Book Blog

I purchased this book at a time when I was in a historical romance slump because I knew it would be just the novel I would love the minute I found myself interesting in reading the genre again. I was not wrong in thinking this and thanks to Manda Collins I am now craving even more from this genre — and more from the Lords of Anarchy.

A DUKE IS HARD TO FIND by Manda Collins is a heart -touching historical romance about the once engaged Leonora Craven and Lord Frederick Lisle, forced to reunite to solve the suspicious death of Leonora’s twin and Freddy’s dear friend, Johnny. This historical romance is the first novel in the Lords of Anarchy series, a book that has sat on my TBR list for over a year.

Miss Leonora Craven is a poetess and a bluestocking past the “age of marriage” (boy do I hate that phrase) when she seeks out her old flame to demand his help. She is witty, strong-willed, and not afraid to speak out about controversial topics to change societal justice. Though she has flaws like the rest of us mere mortals, she is not afraid to admit she’s wrong. It is nice to see character growth in a strong female lead, especially since it doesn’t happen as often as it should in romance.

“Freddy” aka Lord Fredrick Isle was also a character I was very fond of. He is rather ashamed of his past as a rake, and it was a struggle for him to go undercover as a Lord of Anarchy when all he wanted was to prove he’s changed. However, he’d do anything for the man who was like a brother to him — even if it meant getting close to the woman who broke his heart.

The main characters were well rounded and tugged at my heart strings. They’ve been through so much and came out damaged, but resilient. I also liked the secondary characters – the two living close friends of Freddy AND Leonora’s two close friends. I cannot wait to read their stories next!

I recommend this novel to historical romance lovers and those who are knew to the genre. This is the perfect novel to for those who are curious to see if historical romance is right for them — just remember to keep the tissues handy! ( )
  aweebishbookblog | Jun 26, 2017 |
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Leonora Craven seeks the help of her former fiancé, Frederick Lisle, to prove that her brother's death was no accident, and that the Lords of Anarchy, England's most notorious driving club, is responsible. Leonora needs Freddy in order to infiltrate the club, and, posing as an engaged couple, they work together to uncover the culprit.

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