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Search tags: never-kiss-a-rake
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review 2015-08-14 06:00
Not-So Terrible Boss
Never Kiss a Rake - Anne Stuart

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing is sly, sensual, humorous and firmly ensconced in the period. Even if I wasn't the biggest Anne Stuart fan on earth, I will still have found this book utterly enchanting.

I was really nervous with the storyline because I hate adultery with a burning passion. I'm happy with how things unfolded. There was no line crossing in this book that I couldn't live with. While Lord Kilmartyn is supposed to be a sleazy rake, I was completely in love with him quite early on in the book. I found him very seductive and I could see why Bryony fell for him, despite being a very sensible young woman. I liked the importance of his Irish heritage to his persona, and how it had gotten him into a shaky situation of late, but defined him in a way that he couldn't turn his back on. I wish that Ms. Stuart had delved more into where his marriage went wrong, but I got the impression that he wanted to be a good husband to his wife at some point, and he loved her, but now he hated her. In some books with the unrepentant, adulterous rake, I question the character's ability to remain faithful to the heroine, but I have no doubt that Kilmartyn would be capable of that with Bryony. His caring for her when she was in need was very touching and showed more than words.

I also loved Bryony as a character. Her pain in feeling unloved and unattractive because of her smallpox scars made sense. While it scarred her self-esteem, she was still a strong-minded person and no fainting flower in the face of her family's recent change in fortunes. I like her pluck and how her natural personality comes out in her interactions with Kilmartyn. I rooted for her to get him, and win him over in a way that didn't cross the line into adultery or illicit affair territory and I was glad Ms. Stuart gave her that happy ending with no compromise in that area.

The secondary characters are a fun addition to the book, with a little bit of the "Upstairs, Downstairs" vibe as Bryony gets engrossed in the world of the servants and they take her in, especially Mrs. Harkins the kindly chef.

I confess I read the last book before this, so I sort of know how it ends, but it didn't spoil things for me. There is still plenty of mystery in the storyline with what happened to Bryony and her sisters' father to keep the story interesting. That is if steamy romance with a soon-to-be reformed rake isn't enough to keep things exciting.

Never Kiss a Rake is a promising start to this newest historical romance series by Ms. Stuart. She brings all the steamy romance and engaging characters that make her books delicious reads for me. I hope to read Never Trust a Pirate very soon.

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review 2015-07-29 00:00
Never Kiss a Rake
Never Kiss a Rake - Anne Stuart I like the writing. I believe I could love Anne Stuart if the plot is right. This book however, has the heroine "infiltrating" the hero's household and the hero immediately started scheming to get her into his bed. This is one plotline that almost always turns me off right away. With a "plain Jane" of a heroine, the book has no chance with me.

If you like such plotlines I do think the book is a good read. I personally find plotlines in which the devilishly handsome heros "notice" the plain-looking heroines a turn-off. Worse is when the plain Jane is the devil's employee. This poor book is exactly that. Not for me.
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text 2013-10-03 10:11
54%
Never Kiss a Rake - Anne Stuart

really, i don't mind that kilmartyn and his wife have extramarital affairs and completely despise each other, but what immensely bothers me is how byrony is kissing and feeling all these things for her master, and letting him have his way with her, all the while not even considering that he's still a married man, and his personal relationship with his wife aside, shouldn't it cross her mind at least once that he's still freakin' MARRIED??

 

also, i predicted half the ending about 2 chapters in. -_-

 

also also, i'm still enjoying the book, the above-mentioned issues aside.

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text 2013-10-02 17:57
50%

 

so far, never kiss a rake has been extremely interesting and suspenseful. loving the interaction between the hero and heroine, and the added mystery is a great bonus. my first read by stuart was a dnf, so i'm pleasantly surprised by how much i'm enjoying this. 

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review 2013-09-03 00:00
Never Kiss a Rake
Never Kiss a Rake - Anne Stuart Never Kiss a Rake, is an engaging romantic suspense novel set within a historical backdrop. It starts with finding Bryony Russell and her sisters right after they were left destitute by their father's demise. The sisters weren't convinced he was an embezzler and that his death was accidental. To find proof, Bryony has set herself up as housekeeper in the Earl of Kilmartyn's home. Convinced the Earl was involved, Bryony instead finds herself falling for his rakish dark charms. Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, knew that his housekeeper was a spy. Instead of firing her, he decided to let her stay. The attraction was mutual and however much they fight it, they eventually give in to the forbidden. I loved this book. The tone was definitely dark, the writing deft and successfully kept the pace that built the tension so tight you didn't really know what to expect. The characters were well developed. Both Adrian and Bryony were not perfect heroes which adds uniqueness to the novel. The dialogue between Bryony and Adrian were witty, rapier sharp and the sexual tension palpable within. Adrian was not your usual gentleman hero, in fact he lives up to the title of rake. He had no compunction about seducing Bryony and toying with her initially. He thinks himself not a good man, "a liar, a cheat, a shallow, conscienceless cad." Bryony's feelings were also a dichotomy, she hated him for his trifling and his seductive ways and his probable involvement in her father's death. And yet she also could not deny that she was so very much attracted to him. The way the words were used puts emphasis on what feelings these two have for each other which is a testament to the author's talent. The ending, although somewhat happy for our couple , was still in a cliffhanger way with regards to the motives for the murder of Bryony's father. Overall this was still a great read that fans of romantic suspense should not miss.
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