Title: The Ruin of a Rake
Author: Cat Sebastian
Series: Turner series #3
Genre: M/M Regency Romance
Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.
Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.
As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.
Source: Bought it
Cat Sebastian returns with another intriguing pair of Regency men who really shouldn’t have anything in common, let alone fall in love. Julian is an extremely wealthy merchant who has perfect manners, no particular interest in emotions and has worked incredibly hard to make a place for himself in London society. Courtenay couldn’t be more different: high born, relatively poor, disgraced, frequently entangled in romance and has never worked at anything in his life. And yet, somehow, these two very different men are kind of made for each other.
I really liked Julian, even though he’s the type of hero not everyone will take to. He is rigid, rude and proper, more understanding of numbers than human emotion. He’s fiercely intelligent and rather cutting, and I loved that about him. He has his reasons for everything, even if they’re not clear for a long while, but his sheer helplessness over how to help his sister – or even connect with her again – meant I couldn’t help but feel for him. His fierceness when he defends someone he loves proves that there is a good man underneath it all, but he’s never had a chance to be valued for anything other than his business skills or his strict control.
Then along comes Courtenay, thoroughly ruffling Julian’s feathers and shaking him loose from his secure existence. I liked Courtenay too, even if he was far more subdued than I was expecting, given his reputation and everything we learnt about him in the last book (The Lawrence Browne Affair). There’s not really any rakish behaviour on show here (except with Julian), he’s more of a broken man who has lost the only people he truly loves and has been left adrift in a disinterested world. Until Julian’s sister launches a plan and unleashes Julian upon him.
I loved the pair of them together, even though I struggled at first to see how they could last beyond their unwanted attraction. But there is far more to Courtenay than his beauty and deeper depths to Julian than his brain. Courtenay’s history – particularly with his mother – made me really feel for him, and I loved the way Julian threw himself into taking care of Courtenay’s business. The way he defended him was everything.
So much so that I lost a little patience with Courtenay towards the end with all the conflict. The first round was most definitely understandable, considering the unintended consequences, but the next one not so much. After all, everything he needed to know was already there and he knew what Julian was like… Still, when the pair of them aren’t being foolish – Julian with his unthinking remarks and Courtenay being oversensitive – they are wonderful together.
Less wonderful for me was Julian’s sister. I felt pretty let down there. It was almost as if she didn’t know her brother or care much for him at all. I also wanted more at the end. I’m not sure quite what, but I genuinely did not want it to end when it did. Not because I was in love with the story, particularly (on balance I think enjoy the previous two books more), but because I just wanted more. More time for them to grow, more resolution to their problems… just more.
Overall, though, this was another great read. Whether you’re complete new to this author or familiar with what’s gone before, this stands alone well enough to be enjoyed by all comers. Especially if you like Regency settings, antagonistic romance, hot heroes and well developed characters. I can’t wait to see what Cat Sebastian comes up with next.
The Ruin of a Rake is Out Now.
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