The Last Crimes of Peregrine Hind – Sierra Simone
Peregrine Hind, known to all as the bloodiest highwayman ever to bedevil the road, seeks only one thing—revenge against the Dartham family. And so when a robbery sends the second Dartham son and notorious rakehell Alexander Dartham tumbling to Peregrine’s feet, it seems like fate has given Peregrine his vengeance at last. Except then Alexander offers him a desperate bargain: to kidnap him instead, so Peregrine can harvest a generous ransom from Alexander’s family first. Peregrine agrees, but he’s in no way prepared for a captive like Alexander, who insists only on the softest beds and the finest wines…and who enjoys being tied up a little too much…
Two Rakes for Mrs. Sparkwell – Eva Leigh
The last thing Mrs. Vivian Sparkwell wants is to tie her life to another stifling husband. But thanks to the surprise terms of her last marriage contract, if she refuses any reasonable offer to wed again, she loses her widow’s portion. What she needs is a thorough and public ruining to make her would-be suitors cry off. Who better to provide the necessary scandal than notorious rake Rushton Cantley? Yet when Rush proposes that his friend, gaming hell bruiser Jack Morgan, join in on the ruination, Vivian can’t decide if she’s shocked—or aroused. How far is too far when infamy is on the line?
A Rake, His Patron, & Their Muse – Nicola Davidson
London playwright and notorious rake Lennox Townsend is renowned for bold melodrama and bolder pleasures. When he loses interest in both, his shy yet devoted patron Lord Jonathan Grant escorts him to a country boarding house managed by repressed widow, Mrs. Viola Prescott. The trio soon surrender to sizzling—and forbidden—passion, made sweeter as each share their deepest secrets and find acceptance of their true self. Yet cold reality is ever ready to intrude, and they know happiness is fleeting. Or is it?
Monsieur X – Adriana Herrera
Joseph Cantor Marshall never imagined reaching the pinnacle of artistic success would be so… uninspiring. Desperate for a spark of excitement he attends the notorious masked soirée at the most exclusive sex club in Paris. The moment he walks in he’s entranced by the mysterious X, the embodiment of the painter’s darkest fantasies. But X is as slippery as he is tempting, and soon Marshall’s days and nights are consumed by growing desire for his elusive lover. Will falling for X prove to be Marshall’s undoing or his greatest masterpiece?
Sold to the Duke – Joanna Shupe
Though she once lived a life of privilege, Lady Eliza is now destitute and desperate to care for her ill sister. She decides to sell the one thing of value she has left: her virginity. At the auction, a shocked Duke of Blackwood recognizes Eliza and refuses to allow her to fall into the clutches of a depraved bidder. But his role of noble rescuer is upended when the proud beauty insists on giving him his money’s worth…
I thoroughly enjoyed the authors’ anthology from 2020, Duke I’d Like to F***, so I was thrilled to find out that they were putting together a new anthology for 2021, and pleased as Punch to receive early access via an ARC.
The five stories span “the long 19th century”, and then some—with stories delving firmly into Georgian territory. What they have in common is a RAKE at the center of everything.
And wow, these rakes can… rake? I feel like the people who give romance novels one star for “too much sex” would have an apoplexy if they read this anthology. If, however, seeing an aforementioned “too much sex” designation is an insta-buy for you, then you will be most pleased by these five stories.
I loved the queer representation in several of the stories, but that doesn’t mean I liked the strictly m/f story any less than the others. In fact, I couldn’t even pick a favorite among the five—each brought something unique, and I liked them all equally.
I would absolutely recommend Rake I’d Like to F*** to fans of historical romance. The novellas are all fairly meaty—apologies, I can’t help myself—with plenty of room to accommodate well developed plots, giving the reader hours of enjoyment discovering the exploits of rakes.
I received a digital ARC of this book