- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Quillfire Publishing (April 18, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0990022978
- ISBN-13: 978-0990022978
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,055,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beauty and the Rake Paperback – April 18, 2015
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"A bittersweet historical love story that tells a story of love, loss, and redemption...A nice change from the usual trend of historical romances playing out among the aristocrats. Dynamic characters and a well-plotted storyline shows Monroe's obvious attention to detail and allows readers an intimate view of the attitudes towards the lower class and the struggles that they endured day-to-day to survive." -Smexy Books, Reviewer's Top 2015 Books
"Fast paced tale with a deliciously wicked blend of danger, suspense and romance. Well written with Ms. Monroe's aplomb for history and her unique writing style." -My Book Addiction
"An exciting tale of intrigue and love." -Tracey Devlyn, USA Today Bestselling Author
"The angst of her hero and heroine as two wounded individuals, both inside and out, was palpable throughout the author's well written work." -Jenerated Reviews
"A gritty, realistic, and superbly written love story. Erica Monroe demonstrates yet again her superb writing abilities, her profound understanding of human nature, and gives us a wonderful historical romance that is wonderfully different from anything out there!" -Fresh Fiction
"A tender and sensual romance...an engaging and satisfying read, and one I'd certainly recommend." -All About Romance
"I was fully involved in this novel emotionally. It is so rare that we are given a window into another part of the Victorian-Regency-Georgian London that does not involve Dukes and Duchesses, and ballrooms...This novel was gritty, realistic and paints a picture that was engaging and a joy to read." -The Keeper Bookshelf
"Beauty and the Rake is a well-written and developed romance between a pair of engaging protagonists. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for whatever Ms Monroe writes next." -Romantic Historical Reviews
"I liked how the tension was put into the story through the twists and turns of wondering when Abigail's nemesis would finally make his move. From beginning to end this story had me enthralled and I was delighted with the final result and Michael and especially Abigail getting their happy ending." -Straight Shootin' Book Reviews
From the Author
Beauty and the Rake: A scarred factory worker enters into a scandalous wager believing herself to be a beast, but the roguish Metropolitan Police Inspector who wins her virginity only sees the beauty inside of her.
- Full of Secrets and Mysteries
- Pre-Victorian Romantic Era London - 1832
- Alpha Hero
- Class Warfare/Cross-Class Romance
- Fish Out of Water
- Law Enforcement
- Scarred heroine
- Tortured hero/heroine
- Ugly Duckling
- Woman/Man in Peril
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Top customer reviews
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Abigail lives in Whitechapel with her younger sister and their gambling addicted father. Her entire life was focused on getting out of the slums until her plans were thrown awry when she was captured and tortured by a serial killer. She managed to escape, but has been dealing with the physical and mental scars ever since. Now, her life is taking another difficult turn when she discovers her father is on the brink of being thrown into debtor's prison. Abigail decides to take advantage of this situation and convinces her father's opponent to forgive the debt in exchange for having her in his bed for two weeks.
Michael is an inspector for the Metropolitan police and is feeling disgruntled with his job and his life at the moment. His chance meeting with Abigail and her offer to warm his bed seems like an opportunity to escape from his unhappiness for a short amount of time. It also doesn't hurt that he is very attracted to Abigail. Beauty and the Rake follows the two weeks that Abigail and Michael interact in his house and, because this is both a romance and a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it showcases the growing relationship between these two complex individuals.
This is the third book in the Rookery Rogues series and, while I haven't read either of the prequels, I was able to dive right into the world and it didn't miss a beat. Erica Monroe does a wonderful job of providing insight into the less than savory aspects of Victorian London and the setting really comes alive. I have been trying to read more historical romances that don't focus on the aristocracy and this worked perfectly for that initiative. Abigail and Michael both come from humble beginnings and are used to working for survival and their happiness. This made it very easy to relate to them and their struggles.
What I liked the best about this book was the way that the author played with the familiar aspects of this type of story. There are plenty of references to the original fairy tale and the Disney movie to make me smile without feeling like the story was following a checklist. The connections were subtle, but fun to discover. The most fascinating part was the way that both Abigail and Michael embodied the characters of Beauty and the Beast. Abigail's scars make her feel like she is a monster while Michael feels guilty for being part of the investigation team that left her vulnerable to her captor in the first place. I love it when writers play with familiar elements of tropes and give them upgrades which is definitely what happened here.
I just had a fabulous time reading Beauty and the Rake. It was dark, romantic, and full of things that hit all my buttons. Abigail and Michael are complicated characters who definitely deserve their happy ending and it does not come easy. I will be reading more in this series and was super excited to see that I had previously purchased book one. Yeah for discovering a new to me author with a decent-sized backlist!
Michael has not been able to forget Abigail since she was a victim in one of their biggest cases that left her scarred for life, she can never work again due to the loss of the use of her hand so she feels less than beautiful but that's not the way he sees her and now that the monster that scarred her has escaped from custody, he will make it his top priority to keep her safe.
She doesn't want to get used to living in the luxury of Michael's home but she is falling for him. And he has never believed I'm monogamy because he doesn't know anyone that it has worked for.
But they are both in for a surprise
This is the third book in the series and to fully understand the heroine - you really should really read the previous book - Secrets in Scarlet before reading this book.
I thought the book was well written, but it was not a quick read and it seemed to drag in places. That might just be me - I found myself repeatedly becoming irritated with Abigail (the heroine). She has suffered and is bitter - but she acts like everyone is to blame for her pain and acts irrationally at times. I found myself mentally shouting "build a bridge and get over it already" at her too many times to count.
Michael is a fairly decent hero - he is far from perfect, but he tries to be honorable and he is kind to Abigail.
I would recommend the book, if you have been following the series. It was ok - but for me, not a keeper.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of Ms.Monroe, having delightfully consumed her two previous titles in the Rookery Rogues series, A Dangerous Invitation and Secrets in Scarlet (the latter being where Michael and Abigail were first introduced as characters, though with no sense at the time that they might end up together). She has the knack of putting you in the scene with her meticulous attention to detail. Her research is thorough and describes everything from the different areas of London and the class of people living there, to the types of dress, mannerisms and expectations of low and middle income level characters. Yet far from being boring, this adds much to the points of view of Abigail and Michael and is instrumental in understanding their positions in society and how they interact with each other. The fact that they are attracted to each is dismaying for Abigail who is trying hard to isolate her emotions from the acts she's expecting to perform. She's a bitter woman now, her disfigurement having resulted in the loss of her only source of income and having the burden of taking care of her young sister and her gambling addicted father. She understands what Michael wants from her and nervous as she is about it, is determined to make the best of her situation. On the other hand, Michael is, (admittedly even to himself sometimes), a bit of an ass. He doesn't see anything wrong with this deal he's made with Abigail, thinking he's doing her a favour in getting her started on the road to a lucrative courtesan career, never realizing the selfishness of his actions until he starts to see the real Abigail, the one under the damaged and curt exterior. There is a slow unfurling of sexual tension between them and it leads to some steamy and yet tender love scenes, though not in the way that Abigail or Michael originally expected upon making their bargain.
One thing that is fairly clear is that Michael and Abigail both display qualities of a beauty and a beast, Abigail in physical form and Michael in his emotional state. I really enjoyed the allusions to the Disney version of the story that were woven throughout, from Abigail having to save her father by making a deal with "a beast", the tall thin butler and round womanly housekeeper that befriend Abigail in Michael's home, the cavernous library that delights Abigail even as she finds tomes hidden in the dusty corners that would have made Belle blush, and a delightful scene in the snow complete with a fur lined cloak. I'm sure I'll think of more gems that were subtly hidden throughout the story.
Along with the sweet romance is the suspense subplot with the man who tortured Abigail, having escaped from prison and threatening mayhem and murder on those responsible for his incarceration. It's also a good excuse for Michael to explain why he's keeping Abigail close without alerting his superiors to his true reasons for having her with him. I liked how the tension was put into the story through the twists and turns of wondering when Abigail's nemesis would finally make his move.
From beginning to end this story had me enthralled and I was delighted with the final result and Michael and especially Abigail getting their happy ending. 5 stars!
Most recent customer reviews
(The Rookery Rogues Book 3)
This story takes place in the rookeries of Whitechapel and Spitalfields.Read more
As the blurb says, it's dark, gritty, and sexy. It's full of details--definitely not a light or clean read.Read more