Review: How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins

Review: How to Romance a Rake by Manda CollinsHow to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins
Series: Ugly Ducklings #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on 07/31/2012
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Format: Ebook
Source: Amazon

You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom—unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms...

I’ve been reading new-to-me historical romance writers, and when I I saw someone expressing their love for Manda Collins, I popped on over to Goodreads to look at her books.  How to Romance a Rake caught my eye, however, although I absolutely enjoyed How to Romance a Rake, it wasn’t love for me.

Definitely one of the things I loved most about How to Romance a Rake was how wonderful the hero, Lord Alec Deveril was.  He really isn’t a rake (I’m not sure why the powers that be chose this title), but he is handsome (naturally) and certainly has been with women before.  Alec is really kind, and I loved seeing him try to help Juliet whenever possible.  He defends her when people are rude to her, but he also lets Juliet take care of herself.

I also liked the heroine, Juliet, although not nearly as much as Alec.  Juliet suffers from a noticeable limp due to an accident, and people of the ton are not kind to her because of it.  Juliet is strong, but she’s been burdened by the secret about her limp.  A secret she hasn’t told anyone, even her best friends.  But even though Juliet is definitely someone I rooted for and admired, I also wasn’t able to connect to her.

As for the mystery aspect of How to Romance a Rake, well I pretty much felt “meh” about it.  I wasn’t really invested at all in that part of the story, although there was a twist, that was a bit surprising.  Another aspect of the plot that I didn’t love was how often Alec and Juliet would run into each other, or how Alec would just happen to see Juliet going somewhere when she was trying to be secretive about it.  I mean, London’s a big place, even back then it was pretty populous.  That was a little too convenient for me.

So, I didn’t love How to Romance a Rake, although it isn’t a terrible book at all.  I think I will try another of Manda Collins’ books, but I won’t be in any hurry.


5 Responses to “Review: How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins”

  1. Amanda @ On a Book Bender

    I’ve read a couple Manda Collins books (though not this one) and had some of the same reactions. The mystery wasn’t much of a mystery and the characters were okay. Not a bad book, but certainly not a favorite, either!

  2. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I love a good hero and an unusual heroine. It’s too bad about the lack of connection with the character and plot. I’ll put her on my list of authors to try but I don’t think I’m going to be out searching for this one immediately either. Great review!

  3. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairytale Reviews

    I read the first Wicked Widows book (Why Dukes Say I Do) and, like you did with this one, liked it, but wasn’t blown away. I do enjoy Manda Collins style so I’ll probably try another one of hers soon. Her new series looks interesting!

  4. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    Hmm. Historical romance, while I love it, can be hit and miss for me. Sometimes the writing just plain blows. But even tho you didn’t LOVE this one, it still sounds interesting! I might have to check it out. 🙂
    Lovely review!

  5. Renee (lover of romance)

    I actually love this author. But I haven’t read this series yet. I plan on reading the first book soon. But its always a shame when there isn’t as strong of a connection as you expect. I will probably will still read this one, but thanks for the wonderful review and sharing your thoughts on it.

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