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Publisher's Summary

He's the most notorious rake in England. She's a Perfect Lady. Neither are what they seem.

When Lady Emily is trapped while fern hunting in an old mine shaft overnight with irresistibly sexy Lord Markshall, she indulges in the sin of his delicious, melting kiss. After all, it's just one night....

Until the newspaper gossip forces him to propose. Lady Emily can't marry him, but a fake engagement can save her ruined reputation and prevent her scandalous secret from being revealed.

The censure of prim Lady Emily is the ideal way for Lord Markshall to reinforce his image as a scoundrel and a rake. He didn't mean to compromise her, or to be overcome with desire for a clever woman hiding her real self. But to protect her, he'll have to choose: his covert mission or his heart.

©2019 Eve Pendle (P)2021 Eve Pendle

What listeners say about Falling for a Rake

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  • Love in Panels
  • 02-08-2021

A slightly subversive historical romance

Eve Pendle takes some common tropes and subverts them in Falling for a Rake, book 1 in her Fallen series. While out hunting for ferns, botanist Lady Emily falls in a hole. With a rake. Overnight.
The rake, Lord Markshall, shows her a bit of his inner truth but is insistent that he's a consummate ne'er-do-well and that she shouldn't expect anything good from him. Except, of course, they're stuck in a hole overnight and this is Victorian England.
To save her reputation, Markshall declares them engaged to the onlookers the following morning as they're rescued and well... here comes the fake engagement/marriage of convenience/oh no we have feelings. At one point, I was utterly tired of Markshall's insistence that he was not in fact a rake to be redeemed, even as he kept up his public facade as a way to secretly influence politics on behalf of the poor and oppressed.
Turns out though, he had done some truly despicable things in the past and I wasn't sure I wanted him to be redeemed. Here's where it gets interesting though: Pendle has him acknowledge on page that he can't fix any of the things he did in the past. He can only try to do better from now on. AND Lady Emily has quite the skeleton in her proverbial closet as well.
So while I was annoyed by Markshall's "she's too good and pure for me" internal monologue, I was pleased that both of them have a less than pure past and they kind of deserve each other.
Have we ever had a heroine who needs to be redeemed as much as the rakish hero? Hm. Probably, but I've not read it.
I also liked that the two of them have a physical relationship before it turns into an emotional one. He falls first, but doesn't want to. She is caught up in ideas of what a "proper" lady does and feels and chastises herself for wanting physical intimacy... but she can't keep herself away. I liked her whole journey with accepting her past and present to make way for an emotionally healthy future. It's really well done.
There's quite a bit of gender essentialism here, however. Not at all the worst I've read and it falls far shy of a lot of older historical romance, but the author chooses to write in bits about how male or how feminine each character is and that's one of the standards of the subgenre that I'd love to do away with. There isn't one way to perform gender nor is there one way for a body to look. ie, if my waist doesn't flare gently into rounded hips, am I not feminine? Hm. We should be able to appreciate a body in ways that don't imply that bodies that don't fit that archetype are less. However, this is a society thing and it's not like any one book is responsible for the gender binary.
In all, this was a solid historical romance read with a botanist heroine, a secretly-good politician/rake hero, quite a bit of steam and a satisfying ending.

Audio notes: Catherine Bilson does a great job here. I sometimes struggle with dual POV romance with a single narrator, but I thought she captured Markshall and Emily's internal worlds well. It's hard to tell if that was due to her skill or the author's, so I give credit to both. :)

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  • cheryl
  • 02-08-2021

An engaging story

4.5 stars
Lady Emily Ravensthorpe and Oscar, Lord Marksall, were complex characters. They both had a past that affected their attitudes at the present time. I don’t want to give anything away but there was so much more to them than the face they presented to the world. I did like the way in which Oscar saw Emily for herself and that Emily also began to realise the truth about Oscar. Oscar also encouraged her to be honest about her self, much as he had done. I enjoyed the relationship that Oscar had with his valet, Jones. It was interesting to read about the political agenda at this time and I loved the parts where Emily and Oscar worked together as a team. This was a very engaging story. The narrator’s voice suited the characters and was easy to listen to. She changed her voice for the different characters.

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