Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Publication Date: November 26, 2019 by Avon
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Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire…
Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to "build" the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace's colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.
In exchange for funding his passage on an expedition leaving London in a few months, Sebastian allows Grace to transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace's feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn't hired him to help her marry someone else...
Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he's faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My Fake Rake was one of my most anticipated books, and overall I was really disappointed with it. The premise sounds amazing. It’s your typical historical romance, with fake dating and giving the wallflower a makeover to make everyone jealous, except in My Fake Rake the roles are reversed and the nerdy bookish guy is the one getting a makeover.
From the beginning I loved the two characters. They’re both such nerds. Grace and Sebastian are friends who met years ago in the library where they often go to study and learn more about their field of choice, Sebastian anthropology and Grace reptiles and amphibians. I love how their love for learning was such a huge part of who they were. Both characters were constantly going off on tangents talking about the topics they love, and somehow everything they talk about has a scientific twist to it. Not only were the two characters always talking about books and studying and research, but quite a few scenes take place in a library or bookstore.
“There’s no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren’t scientific laws when it comes to the human heart.”
I really loved so much from this novel, but I just couldn’t get over how Seb and Grace wouldn’t just talk to each other. I know this is a popular plot device used in romance novels, and something I complain about pretty often, but it just felt so excessive in this story. Right from the start both characters have feelings for each other, but won’t bring it up and let so many things get in the way until right at the end.
Something else I really loved in this book was Seb’s portrayal of social anxiety. It’s not written in a cute way that seems typical when writing about social anxiety, Seb legitimately struggles with speaking and being around people he doesn’t know, and secluding himself so he’s not put into situations he doesn’t feel comfortable. Not only was his social anxiety well written, but I love how he learned how to deal with it, it didn’t just magically go away. He learned multiple different coping skills to help him when he felt uncomfortable in situations.
Overall I was disappointed with this book because I had such high expectations going in, and didn’t feel that they were met. I loved the writing style and side characters and am definitely planning on picking up the next book in the series.