This book made me gag a little.
I can't tell you how tired I am of reading books about women who weren't beautiful...or even pretty really, but there was just SOMETHING about them, etc. *Yawn* To add insult to injury, THIS heroine is the plain sister to 4 gorgeous ones and of course she OUTSHINES THEM ALL! The hero is completely dazzled by her, enough to be kind of a buffoon. But of course, Prudence, who is supposed to be smart, doesn't quite get that he's into her and not her sisters even though her something-ness makes him stoopid ... UGH. And throw in the cartoonish evil grandfather who tries to beat the evil red hair off of Prudence's head...I mean, I just can't.
A long-winded tale of a girl who falls for a rake. The book starts with a dark chapter with young women and children being viciously beaten by their grandfather. Then the minute they're away from him the dialogue goes fun-loving and silly, the actions of the girls don't seem to fit people who are running away from a childhood of torment. It remains practically a side issue until nearly the end of the book when it is finally resolved.
The romance was cute and the characters were cute but there wasn't enough story or action to justify the length of the book. Considering the terrible history of the young women, there should have been more lasting scars and repercussions, instead it seemed easy for them to move on to being obnoxious "ladies".
What I enjoyed about this book was that while the heroine was described as someone not particularly attractive, the hero sees her as beautiful. More beautiful than anyone else. Instead of him acknowledging that she's not pretty, then later "learning" her beauty, he just finds her beautiful right off the bat. It was a very refreshing approach.
Anne Gracie's style, at least in this book, is to have the entire book be a build up to a sex scene at the end, a very 70's/80's style of romance writing. The payoff wasn't really worth the book but it was written well enough that I'd give this author another try.
Prudence Merridew, the oldest of the brood, is a plain, brown wren compared to her dazzlingly beautiful sisters. But renowned rake, Gideon, Lord Carradice, doesn't see her as plain; instead, he thinks she is beautiful. And, even though he swore he'd didn't believe in love and would never, ever marry, he pursues Prudence. But Prudence is secretly betrothed to another man whom she hasn't seen in four years. Gideon, determined to win her, told Prudence that he would wait for her until he was "old and gray."
This is a wonderful story; a lot of sadness and a touch of humor. I should have read this one before I read its sequel, "The Perfect Waltz," but they are both excellent stories.
The Perfect Rake started out as a fantastic novel, it is a fun and light hearted romance that fits perfectly in the genre. I dont mind saying that I am a little bit addicted to your bodice rippers, while I try to go with some that go against the grain lightly I still love the formula and the happily ever after. Which with The Perfect Rake you do get. However, the story ends up being a little lack luster.
About midway through this book it drags, and you will get a little tired of the Hero and Heroine. It becomes a point where the hero is just TO perfect, to sweet. He sets himself up like a martyr and it gets a little bit old. Over all the characters are likeable, and they arent absolutely horrible. But I think around page 180 or so I wanted to club our hero Gideon over the head with a cup of raffia. I mean is supposed to be a rake, it would have been a bit nicer if he acted a little bit more like a rake.
But all is not lost, the book may not be perfect but its not a failure either. Over all the characters are likeable, and there are some rather amusing moments between Gideon and Prudence. So if you dont mind a little bit of melodrama, and a slight drag in the center, you will enjoy the book. And for me while it wasnt perfect, It did make me want to continue on and read the next book in the series.
This is a new author for me and I really enjoyed this book. A very satisfying romance novel that addresses some of the social problems of the day.
In addition, there is some very humorous dialogue in this book.
I've liked Anne Gracie's books well enough that I'm hunting them all down, but this one was special - perfectly wonderful, you might say! I need humor to really love a book (that's why I like the Amanda Quicks and Julia Quinns so much), and Gideon and Prudence are a hoot. He is an absolutely charming hero and the banter starts right away. Perhaps it's too much for some people, but I loved it. Also loved the double romance, the fact that the heroes were willing to drop everything to rescue a whole family of abused sisters, and the wacky great-uncle and aunt thrown in for good measure. I read Perfect Kiss (the last one) first, but recommend reading them in order (Rake, Waltz, Stranger, Kiss). Enjoy!
Fate has lavished beauty on the Merridew sisters - that is, all save the eldest. But plain Prudence bears no grudge - she loves her four beautiful sisters infinitely. So when their brutal grandfather is laid up with an injury, she seizes the opportunity to concoct an ingenious escape plan for all five of them - and fast...
Renowned rake Gideon, Lord Carradice, has a way of making ladies swoon. But when Prudence arrives at his doorstep - mistaking him for his cousin, the duke - it is Gideon who'e infutuated. For some reason, this delightful spitfire has told her uncler that she and the duke are engaged...although a taller tale was never told. But so taken is Gideon with this charming miss that he's eager to join the game, especially if it includes a stolen kiss or two. Now Prudence's plot is going terribly - is deliciously - awry...
Okay this book had a promising beginning. Towards the middle though I started getting annoyed at the hero and heroine. How sickly sweet is the hero? It was great that the author made the hero realize his feelings right away and not have him all wishy washy--but it was a bit too much. Also, the heroine was JUST TOO PERFECT--almost like a martyr. She did not have the looks but she was kind, loving, trust, loyal, etc etc. She was sooo foolish in regards of her "betrothal" and when she did learn the truth--did she do anything? NO! She took it like a ninny. I would have bashed his head in. She didn't even scream at him! She was a PUSH-OVER! Then her grandfather and the whole situation about her parents being so much in love..blah blah blah..it was an overworked plot-line. Also, the sisters seem cavalier about their attitude regarding their beatings..it was as if the author just added it in as a side note! I give it 3 stars for effort and the sheer number of words she managed to stretch.