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How to Romance a Rake Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2012

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How to Romance a Rake + How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings) + How to Dance With a Duke
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312549253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312549251
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Collins' second installment of the Ugly Duckling trilogy is both a lovely, sensitive romance and a taut thriller....the type of love story readers take to heart. With compassion and perception, she delves into the issues faced by those who survive physical and emotional trauma. Brava to Collins!" -RT Book Reviews


“With her trademark wit and charm, Manda Collins has penned a deeply romantic and emotionally satisfying story in How to Romance a Rake. Her heroine is plucky and tremendously appealing, and I cheered for her well-earned happily ever after.” —Vanessa Kelly, award-winning author of Sex And The Single Earl


“Collins’ second installment of the Ugly Duckling trilogy is both a lovely, sensitive romance and a taut thriller. Collins brings a dashing hero and a wounded wallflower together in the type of love story readers take to heart. With compassion and perception, she delves into the issues faced by those who survive physical and emotional trauma. Brava to Collins!” —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars


“Absolutely delightful, HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE, the second book in talented author Manda Collins’ UGLY DUCKLING series, is an emotion-packed, passionate historical romance” —Romance Junkies, 5 stars, Blue Ribbon Review


“How to Romance a Rake is a wonderfully moving story about two damaged people coming together to form a unique bond. Manda Collins is now on my auto-buy list, and I can’t wait for the final book in this series.”  —Rakehell, Where Regency Lives


How to Romance a Rake is a wonderful story in which a quiet and shy heroine triumphs over adversity, overcoming obstacles to win the heart of one of London’s most eligible bachelors. It is the sort of story that warms the heart and reaffirms the notion that love conquers all. Books like How to Romance a Rake are why I read romance.” —Romance Novel News


“The passion sizzles in this book and while Collins delves into deeply emotional issues she also infuses her stories with plenty of humor along with a terrific secondary cast…If you haven’t read Manda Collins yet, now’s the perfect time to start. How to Romance a Rake is going straight to my keeper shelf. I highly recommend it!” —The Romance Dish


“Manda Collins’s How to Romance a Rake is one of those rare books I enjoyed in pretty much every respect. There were too many exceptional elements to mention everything, but I was particularly blown away by the quality of the writing, the excellent humor, the integration of subplots, and the characters. I would not hesitate to recommend How to Romance a Rake to any reader of historical romance.” —The Historical Romance Critic

From the Back Cover

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…


sure to sweep readers off their feet!”—Tessa Dare

More About the Author

Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she'd been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches college students how to navigate the tangled world of academic research. A native of coastal Alabama, Manda lives in the house her mother grew up in with two cats, sometimes a dog, sometimes her sister, and more books than strictly necessary.

Customer Reviews

I also enjoyed the deftly drawn secondary characters.
I applaud Manda Collins for creating Juliet, a physically imperfect heroine who is absolutely perfect in the eyes of her hero.
PJ Ausdenmore
So good that I always find myself unable to put my Kindle down until I've finished the book.
Ramblings From This Chick Blog

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 16, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First off, major accolades to anyone who has actually gone through the harrowing processes of writing, editing, and publishing a complete work. It's a major accomplishment in itself, and one which I fully admit I haven't ever engaged in myself. Like all reviews, take this with a grain of salt and a dash of personal bias. That being said, I felt How to Romance a Rake was a mildly entertaining historical romance that carries a clearly defined plot, but pulls no real emotional heartstrings. I guess I'm a girl who loves a few more tears before I can believe any angst is truly slain by the HEA.

The main characters are all interesting, but (in the best-worst way possible) they fit together just a little too easily. Collins provides a back-story for each character that contains enough trauma that would make any reader automatically root for the final success of the hero and heroine. But rather than show any emotional growth--from tragedy to trust to love--Collins lets her protagonists fall into synch just a little to easily, and her villains just happen to be conveniently crazy enough to provide a few macabre hints that move the plot along. And once all the characters (hero, heroine, and a not-uninteresting backup crew of characters from the previous book) reach the inevitable resolution, it feels a bit like the Scooby Gang has just pulled the mask off another old kook. The characters all accept the identity of the villain, and then proceed to have tea and chit-chat as if nothing has changed in their scone-filled world. Throughout the book I was being told how the characters have grown closer, without really being shown how the characters and their relationships are developing.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By PJ Ausdenmore on August 12, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Miss Juliet Shelby lives on the fringes of the ballroom, a wallflower who does her best to go unnoticed. She wasn't always that way. As a young girl, she was the most animated of the three cousins who have been dubbed the Ugly Ducklings by a spiteful young woman of the ton. But, as a young teen, while living in Vienna with her parents, Juliet was critically injured in an accident, resulting in amputation of her left foot - an injury that left her self-absorbed mother horrified and embarrassed by her now "crippled" daughter. Juliet returned to London two years later a changed person; quieter, more subdued, telling no one of the severity of her injury, not even Maddie and Cecily, her cousins and two best friends.

Juliet isn't the only one who has grown up with a less than perfect parent. Lord Alec Deveril has spent the past several years trying to undo the damage done to his family name by his reprobate of a father in order to insure a good future for his younger sisters. A gorgeous man, he is a leader of the ton's young fashionable set but, as of late, as grown weary of it and knows it's time to find a wife and settle down. His criteria is simple: find someone likable but for whom he feels not one iota of passion. His late parents offered him a front row seat to the devastating consequences of a passion filled marriage. He briefly considers Maddie as a potential candidate but it's the quiet, self-possessed Juliet who continues to draw his eye.

When Mrs. Turner, Juliet's beloved music teacher, a woman who, over the years, has been more a mother to her than her own mother goes missing, it's Alec who offers his help in the search.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Smitten by Books on August 10, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second book in the Ugly Duckling series is sexy and romantic.

Juliet Shelby is used to hiding in the corners and not letting anyone know her secret. Even her closest friends and cousins, Cecily and Maddie, don't know the truth about the injury she sustained as child. Juliet is an unusual heroine - she has a prosthetic leg. Due to an accident she lost her foot and has hidden the injury from everyone in her life. Although they see her limp and she uses a walking aide, no one knows the extent of the injury. She comes into her own with the help of an unlikely friend.

Lord Alec Deveril has spent his adulthood working to overcome his father and uncle's reputations. To that end he plans to marry someone that doesn't elicit great passion and that will allow him to maintain his fashionable status. His plan is interrupted by an unwanted attraction to a certain debutant and her need for someone to help her find a friend that has gone missing.

Alec and Juliet's romance is wonderful. I love the way that their relationship develops from friends with an attraction to each other to full blown love. The feelings between them progress slowly and sweetly. I loved the progression and how they take time to get to know each other before acting on their feelings for each other.

The two characters have one thing in common that bonds them together - their parents. Juliet's mother has hidden her daughter away since her accident, not allowing her to build a life of her own. She treats her terribly and tries to force her into a marriage that would be a disaster in many ways. Alec's father was physically abusive to his mother and Alec fears that he will become just like him.
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