Unmistakably, Diane Gaston’s approach to the Regency period is often SURPRISING. And her newest novel, A REPUTABLE RAKE, is no exception! The author’s latest historical certainly doesn’t follow the usual Regency standard, but her storyline is certainly innovative and original.
Miss Morgana Hart cannot help her soft-hearted manner; intensely, she cares. However, now, she pushes the boundary! Her latest liberal idea and unorthodox scheme will probably bring about her damnation - or so her neighbor, the dashing Cyprian Sloane, thinks! Indeed, her plan to teach and to turn destitute girls into Courtesans is unbelievable! Does this lovely woman, of the beau monde, not know what she is doing? Good heavens she is destroying everything - everything that Cyprian has accomplished. All Cyprian wants, is acceptance - an entry into proper society - and that little hoyden, next door, and is hell-bent on destroying it!
Initially, author Diane Gaston made romance history by writing her stunner “THE MYSTERIOUS MISS M.” Such lofty achievements are usually hard to duplicate! Nevertheless, in A REPUTABLE RAKE, Gaston’s sense of doom and ruin, surrounding the idea of the Courtesan school, is palpable. Likewise, the intrigue of a scorned Madam is tangible, thus creating the storyline’s “rocky road.” And the glandular pull between Morgana and Sloane is well portrayed. When they are together, Gaston’s pages practically steam. Unfortunately, the author chooses to delay the much anticipated buff action. Regrettably, when the lovers finally get it on, the effort feels forced; as if the author suddenly realizes, she HAS to get these two people into a bed. What a shame, for Gaston has the PRIZE - THE prize to exploit - the courtesan instructions. Just imagine the rakish Sloane and the innocent Morgana - experimenting - with her sexual lessons!
A REPUTABLE RAKE does refer to characters and references from Diane Gaston’s previous two books, but such recognition has absolutely no effect on this reading. Without a doubt, this story stands alone. So, in conclusion, A REPUTABLE RAKE may not be “ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER,” but it is a pleasant read and it does deserve consideration!
- Overall Rating: B
- Overall Sensuality: Lukewarm.