Gabriel and Edward were childhood friends, but then Edward went to London as the heir to the Caddonfell dukedom, and Gabriel (who has some sort of minor title) became a vicar.

They have not seen each other for over a decade, so it comes as a surprise when Edward returns to the ducal manor to find Gabriel passed out in the flowerbeds. Edward—scandal personified—is on the run from the vengeful Duke of Sussex, and Gabriel—who has always avoided scandal—quickly becomes entwined with Edward, both metaphorically and physically.

There’s so much to like about this book: the writing is absolutely gorgeous, and Greene does such a good job of drawing the reader into the gloomy atmosphere of a long-abandoned house. There’s so much history between the two protagonists and the unresolved sexual tension is evident right from the start.

Gabriel and Edward are supported by a strong cast of secondary characters, all of whom have well-rounded personalities and serve as excellent foils for the two leads. The most notable of these is Buttons the kitten, who stole the show at every opportunity.

I would recommend The Vicar and the Rake. It’s so wonderful to see more queer historical romance being published, and this is a solid debut. I am already looking forward to reading more from Greene in the future.  

I received a copy of this book from Carina Press/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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