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How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society) Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 2016

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fresina gives a nod to her Book Club Belles reading selection, Jane Austen's Persuasion, by capturing the charm and sentiment of Austen's novel with her own hallmark emotional depth and likable characters. Fresina has crafted a quick-paced, atmospheric tale that's heartwarming story is just what many readers crave." - RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

" I read this book as a stand-alone novel, but I'm now eager to go back and read the earlier novels of the Book Club Belles! You can tell that their world is very Austenian, and as a fan of Austen, I'm eager to see how Fresina plays with the rest of her novels in her other books. Fresina's writing is smooth and quick, which made it a nice and easy read. Overall, How to Rescue a Rake is a charming and sexy story! " - Night Owl Review

"A fun, witty romance!" - Fresh Fiction

About the Author

Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England. Entertained by her father's colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters, she's always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. She lives in upstate New York. Visit www.jaynefresina.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Book Club Belles Society (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (January 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402287828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402287824
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By OLT TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 10, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jane Austen's heroines have run the gamut from pert and lively Elizabeth to sweet and docile Jane to sensible and prudent Elinor to overly romantic and impulsive Marianne to busybody matchmaker Emma to insipid and colorless Fanny. And then there's Anne Elliot of PERSUASION. She was not one of my favorites because she was so easily swayed by others rather than following her own heart, but as I've aged I've become much more sympathetic to her plight. She was, after all, a victim not just of her own weakness but of the times she was living in.

And now Jayne Fresina gives us Diana Makepiece's story. Diana is one of Buckinghamshire's Book Club Belles, a group of young women who get together to read and discuss romantic novels, mostly those written by Jane Austen. Two of these "belles" have found romance in previous books of Fresina's series and now it's Diana's turn.

Poor Diana, at the beginning of the story, is perhaps more pitiful and colorless and repressed than Austen's Anne. She lives under her mother's domineering thumb, has become a shadow of the person she could have been, has no spirit, and her looks, at the age of 27, are faded and dull. 3 and a half years ago the brother of her friend Rebecca, Nathaniel Sherringham, a rather immature fun-loving rake, had declared his love for her and proposed marriage (in an unfortunate state of inebriation) but she was persuaded by her mother than he was no good for her and must be refused.

Sherry and his broken heart leave the village and aren't seen again until the beginning of this story. During his absence Diana has managed to fade away to the extent that both her personality and her looks are so subdued that she is almost invisible.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Bookclub Belles, a reading group formed by the young ladies of Hawcombe Prior, are reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion when a real-life version of that story begins to transpire in their midst. Captain Nathaniel Sherringham returns to the village, more handsome and charming than ever, and sporting a fortune to boot.

Thus begins Jayne Fresina’s charming homage to my favorite Jane Austen title. Diana Makepiece has lost her bloom, and if anything she is more pitiful and repressed than Austen’s Anne Elliot. Diana lives in genteel poverty with her domineering mother, who had once persuaded Diana to reject Sherry’s impetuous proposal of marriage. At the time, Sherry did indeed look to be a poor sort of a husband. After returning from the army, he was a fun-loving flirt without connections or prospects. Now, after a three-year absence, the tables are turned, but Sherry can barely recognize girl who once broke his heart.

Although the plot more or less follows the main events of Persuasion, the author has wisely chosen to change certain circumstances and characters, such that the reader does not always know exactly what will happen next. Diana travels to Bath to visit her toplofty cousin, Lady Elizabeth Plumtre, and we encounter an even more unpleasant version of Anne’s querulous hypochondriac sister, Mary, with a touch of Sir Walter Elliot’s snobbery. Her husband, Sir Jonty Plumtre, a newly minted baronet, is a wealthy tradesman whose jolly mother and hoyden sisters recall Austen’s Musgrove family. Although Elizabeth sees Diana as a spinster who will become her companion and dogsbody, the loving kindness and good cheer of the Plumtre family begin to work a bit of a miracle.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Diana is a child of her times. She follows the rules, she listens to her overbearing, overly strict mother even when it’s the last thing she should have done. Nathaniel is a rake through and through – right up until the moment he realized that Diana was the one woman for him. He proposed, perhaps foolishly considering his reputation, and has his heart broken at Diana’s refusal and her scathing words (taken directly from her mother’s influence). Even in the pain of rejection, Nate does realize some truths in Diana’s words – and sets out to make some changes.

Almost three years after Dina’s rejection Nate has returned to her home town. a far different man from the rake the town and Diana had known. Now a wealthy man, Nate has never forgotten his love and perhaps to stir things up makes an outrageous declaration to the town – and their eligible misses. In spite of her answer, Diana has always cared for Nate and to watch the ladies fawn over him in order to be considered for the position of his bride was simply too much. When an escape to Bath was offered Diana gratefully took it never realizing that the time away from her mother’s influence would change her life. Nate is also headed for Bath, and with determination and charm intends to win over the woman he loves.

As the ladies of the Book Club Belle Society take up Jane Austen’s newest novel, Persuasion, they never thought that the events in the life of one of their own would be running an almost parallel course in the pursuit of love.

I have enjoyed all of the stories in this series, and it was delightful to see Nate and Diana finally get their happy ever after ending – even if it took years and a lot of changes for them both. It was heartwarming to watch Diana grow into a smart, lovely woman.
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