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Never Kiss a Rake (Scandal at the House of Russell, Book One) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Scandal at the House of Russell, Book One (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477807322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477807323
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stuart takes a break from paranormals and romantic thrillers (Risk the Night) to launch a historical romance series about three sisters unexpectedly orphaned and left destitute. In 1869 London, Miss Bryony Russell, the eldest sister, applies pseudonymously for the position of housekeeper for the household of Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, her father's former business partner and the man she believes may be responsible for her father's financial ruin and suspicious death. While the pampered Cecily, Lady Kilmartyn, refuses "Mrs. Greaves" because she bears some smallpox scars on her face, Adrian decides that Mrs. Greaves is the perfect person to revamp his shambles of a household. As Bryony searches for clues to Adrian's perfidy, she falls victim to his immense charm. Bemused by the estrangement between Adrian and his faithless wife, Bryony soon realizes that there is a hidden depth of character behind the earl's easy grace and seductive wiles. Stuart deftly combines scintillating romance with a hint of mystery in this straightforward story marred only by a somewhat abrupt conclusion.

Review

"Stuart is back with an absorbing gothic romance full of deadly secrets and shocking passion. While her heroine's pluck and determination are consistently admirable, her real triumph lies in the creation of a hero steeped in fascinating historic details and unbending in his sense of self and his devotion to the woman who finally touches his heart…Stuart's fans and new readers alike will find much to enjoy in this unconventional story and the series to follow." —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

"Anne Stuart is truly the queen of historical romance. In Never Kiss a Rake, she has written a captivating and engaging tale of a woman on a mission to clear her father's name, while falling in love with the very man whom she suspects." —The Romance Reviews

More About the Author

I've been writing since the dawn of time. A child prodigy, I made my first professional sale to Jack and Jill Magazine at the age of 7, for which I received $25 (admittedly my father worked for the publisher). Since then I've written gothics, regencies, romantic suspense, historical romance, series romance -- anything with sex and violence, love and redemption. I misbehave frequently, but somehow have managed to amass lots of glittering prizes, like NYT, PW and USA Today bestseller status, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America, and a decent smattering of Romantic times and RITA awards.
I live on a lake in Northern Vermont with my incredibly fabulous husband. My two children have flown the coop, but the three cats do their best to keep us from being lonely.
In my spare time I quilt and play around with wearable art, and the rest of the time I write write write. Apparently women of a certain age get a rush of creativity, and I'm currently enjoying it. Too many stories to write, not enough hours in the day.

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Customer Reviews

It just was a little too much of a stretch for me.
J. Kollasch
Enjoyed reading this book very much it was interesting and held my attention.
Tana
Characters were interesting and the story well developed.
Sarah Randle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By elaine on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the worst Anne Stuart book I have ever read. The H and h are both less than admirable people--in fact, by the end I rather despised them both. H has NO admirable qualities at all that are apparent other than his good looks. The h is a ninny who falls for him solely based on his good looks, even though he is married, even though she has been mistreated all her life because of her lack of good looks and even though he may have murdered his wife. There are plot gaps a city block wide in this book. SPOILERS The wife is apparently murdered and the H and h start to move along that same day with their romance??? She is not upset by this little fact, after cleaning up blood?? and thinking he did it?? And even if he disliked his wife, her death doesn't stop him from trying to seduce the h a few hours later?? Come on. So unbelievable, or else these two are heartless. Also unbelievable are the seduction scenes where they are making love while she is in pain and injured. Just totally unbelievable that she was not in agony given her injury, much less than she is enjoying making love. This was so off-putting--insulting to the reader's intelligence. The author tried to make us care about the H and h, but succeeded only in making them seem like totally amoral scoundrels--as bad or worse than the wife the author wants us to hate but never told us why we should. This book is just a rambling disjointed disappointing mess.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Melissa VINE VOICE on July 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a huge Anne Stuart fan, I especially enjoy her historicals. She is a master of creating the redeemable bad boy and her new series beginning with Never Kiss a Rake has a bad boy element to the story. This is a Victorian setting incorporating mystery, intrigue and masquerades into the story line.

Byrony Russell and her sisters are destitute after their father dies in a carriage accident. After his death, he is accused of embezzling from the company and he is also accused of planning on leaving England and the girls behind to face his misdeeds.

Byrony, the eldest, does not believe this story and neither do her two sisters. She is convinced that Lord Adrian Kilmartyn, her father's partner, is the culprit behind the embezzlement and her father's death. She decides to infiltrate his home as a housekeeper and find proof of his treachery. Byrony knows that the London homes is ill run thanks to Kilmartyn's beautiful but dissolute wife.

Byrony is aware that Adrian has a reputation as a ladies' man but she has no fear of him casting his eyes on her. She had a bout of small pox as a child and has scars on her face. Byrony's entire self perception is based on her pox scars and this has shaped her life, she really does not see herself as attractive nor does she believe anyone else would either.

Adrian is a rogue, an Irish Lord who is a fish out of water in England. His wife who he once loved is venal and vain and his contempt of her is obvious. Adrian hires Byrony more to cause his wife trouble than her skills. He does find her attractive though and like any hunter, he chases that which tries to elude him.

Byrony is way over her head when it comes to Adrian and their relationship is a source of delight for Adrian.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Olofsson Jennie-ann on August 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This Author writes so well sometimes, but this is truly awful. The heroine sets out to find her fathers murderer, but she is naive to the point of stupidity. She is supposedly used to manage her family's home for years, but knows nothing about the hierarchy of servants. She blunders along, falls in love? with the the hero, who she thinks is her fathers murderer, in one day, goes three days without sleep and very little food, but cannot sleep for dreaming about him. It goes on and on, and I had to skim through the murder of the hero's wife, the heroine being shot without realizing what has happened(growing up managing a gentlemans residence in the country?)and then marries the hero...the story never stopped being irritating. It is so full of holes it irritated me to a point of accelerated heartbeat. Read the House of Rohan stories instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judi M. McCaslin on February 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Poorly written, too much useless conversation between the sisters to build the backstory. I read two chapters thinking it surely had to get better, but it didn't. Don't waste your money or your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Kilgore on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Main female character was annoying and totally illogical just like the story line.
A real let down from Anne Stuart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BJ Fraser VINE VOICE on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I like to tease my sister about all the "Rake" books she reads. Though it's not always a rake; sometimes it's a scoundrel, just for variety's sake I suppose. I remember I saw a book once called "The Last Rake" and joked, "Whew, good thing that's the last of them." Sadly it's not so we have yet another book where some girl meets a rake but like Han Solo in Star Wars he turns out to have a heart of gold and they fall madly in love...blech.

That is all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on September 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...heaving bosoms and throbbing members, then you will enjoy this book. Throw in murder and intrigue to fill in the spaces between, and there you have it. I expected more, but it is an okay read. Just don't think it is anything more than a romance novel. The one redeeming note is that the heroine is no "raven haired beauty with skin like porcelain and eyes as blue as the sky". She has physical faults, just as most of us do.
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