Review – My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

About the Book:

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.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                    My Fake Rake: The Union of the Rakes

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Anthropologist Sebastian Holloway is the stereotypical image of a nerd.  He wears glasses, he’s socially awkward, he’s an outsider from society, and he has trouble conversing.  However, he very much enjoys the company of Grace Wyatt, an earl’s daughter, who is also a bit geeky.  The two have become friends since they started seeing each other at similar events, and now they often attend lectures together.  Ironically, they both suppressed an initial attraction to the other, believing it was one sided, and settled on friendship.

Grace has since developed a crush on Mason Fredericks, a naturalist, who does a lot of traveling.  Though Mason respects her intelligence and is friendly enough, he treats her as a younger sister, not seeming to notice that she’s an attractive woman.  Mason is making plans for another of his expeditions, and he needs to find a colleague, one whose qualifications Grace fulfills to perfection.  How can she make Mason see her as being perfect for the job, as well as a woman who may be perfect for him?

Grace concludes that men are very competitive creatures, and that if Mason sees another man showing interest in her, it may pique his own desire.  She just needs a man to pretend to pursue her, and who better than her dear friend, Sebastian?  He is as far from being a rake as is possible, but surely with some coaching, he can handle the masquerade.  Sebastian is hurt at being asked to help Grace secure another man, but he cares about her enough to want her happiness.  As for becoming a rake, his good friend, the Duke of Rotherby can surely help him.

What happens is that Sebastian succeeds all too well.  Though he’s uncomfortable, he learns how to give the appearance of being at ease in social situations, how to make the minimum amount of conversation, and how to dress.  Soon he’s a social success, and his interest in Grace has made Mason take notice.  The plan is working perfectly, so why is Grace now noticing all of Sebastian’s assets?  And why is Sebastian feeling more and more jealous over Mason?  And when Mason does ask Grace to come with him on his expedition, she feels she has no choice but to accept.

MY FAKE RAKE is a light and delightful read, though it does have all the emotion of Sebastian’s unrequited love, and Grace’s uncertainty and regret.  If you’re like me, you’ll be imploring Grace to stop and see the solid gold man who is right in front of her instead of some insubstantial dream.  I love nerdy heroes, and I adored Sebastian, who failed to see his own worth.  The conclusion of this story is very fairytale-like and satisfying.  I totally enjoyed this steamy and warm romance, and recommend it to readers who enjoy some levity along with all the feels.    ~Rose

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