The Ruin of a Rake is Cat Sebastian’s third novel published in less than a year. I also own both of her other books, and I enjoyed them immensely. I spent my holiday in a leisurely fashion, and this was the perfect book to read while lounging. Like her other two books, this is a m/m Regency story.
Julian Medlock is convinced that dissolute Lord Courtenay is corrupting his sister. Eleanor assures Julian that Courtenay is just a friend, and then asks him to help improve Courtenay’s reputation. Julian likes things in his life to be neat, orderly, and predictable. Courtenay is the complete opposite, and Julian is reluctant to have anything to do with someone who is so different.
Courtenay knows that his very presence bothers Julian, but he doesn’t care. In fact, Courtenay deliberately provokes the staid Julian just to see his reaction. It doesn’t seem like these two could possibly have anything common, but as they begin to spend time together, they both discover a strong mutual attraction.
The Ruin of a Rake is an amazing book. There is just the right amount of angst, especially after the revelation of a regrettable secret. Julian is a moderating influence on Courtenay, and Courtenay helps Julian step outside of his comfort zone. They have great chemistry together, but they have to be very discreet because of the legal ramifications of the era, and Sebastian addresses these issues in a very clever way. Also, I spent a semester in college doing an independent study on gothic novels, so I appreciated the inclusion of an original gothic novel in this book! Oh, and this book also has tons of cats!
I would absolutely recommend The Ruin of a Rake. This book is loosely connected to Sebastian’s previous novels, but it functions well as a standalone. That said, if you haven’t read her previous books, you really ought to do yourself a favor and read them either before or after this one. Sebastian is truly a gifted writer with a knack for characterization and redemptive arcs. I am already looking forward to her next book- it’s going to be a long five months!