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Sandy M’s review of How to Disgrace a Lady (Rakes Beyond Redemption, Book 1) by Bronwyn Scott
Historical Romance published by Harlequin Historical 21 Aug 12

Get ready for some fun in this book. Merrick St. Magnus is a total rake, no redemption in sight. Until he meets Alixe Burke, but even then he resists the happiness that could be his for the taking, despite the last few obstacles that stand in his way. For once in his life, Merrick wants redemption. The question is, will he fight for it?

Having his fun of the season curtailed by the imminent arrival of his father, Merrick leaves the Greenfield twins in his bed to hie off to a friend’s garden party, thereby postponing the dressing down sure to come from his sire. He and his friends decide to make a stop at a nearby lake to “freshen up” before arriving at the party. And what fun they have! Frolicking naked as the day they were born,  pure joy conveyed in their laughter, this is one of the best scenes in the book. It’s even more so when Alixe Burke, brother to Merrick’s friend Jamie – though Merrick doesn’t know this until later – comes dashing through the trees to help whoever she heard in trouble, only to find men with no clothes on and playing like children in the water. Merrick stalks from the lake toward the spellbound woman, and all his rakishness comes to the fore. Priceless!

Alixe is mesmerized by the male perfection coming at her. Though she’s never seen the nude male form before, she just knows this form is perfect. And while this would be a perfect place to have them caught together in an improper situation, Ms. Scott continues to tease the reader with more and more lovely scenes between these two before their luck runs out. Both Alixe and Merrick know they should stay away from each other, each for their own reasons, but that’s just one rule they can’t stick to. Then with the help of a scorned pursuer of Alixe, they are thrown together while Merrick grooms Alixe to be the hit of the London season, thus finding a husband for her – or Merrick will find himself married to this woman who seems to be and have everything he needs in his life.

These two characters are from opposite ends of the social spectrum; Merrick in the middle of it, having the time of his life. Alixe nixes all proposals in favor of her books and the current historical translation she’s working on. But now she’s about to be the star of a very big production. Men will want to know what it is about the woman whom Merrick St. Magnus is interested in. She’ll have her pick of suitors. Except for one vindictive and greedy man, who has it all worked out to have Alixe in the end. What he doesn’t count on is Merrick as a new man, determined to protect the woman he loves, even though he may not realize it right at that moment.

An enjoyable beginning to this trilogy. I like Merrick and Alixe a lot, they’re well matched for one another, bringing different experiences in life to the relationship. Their banter works wonders in allowing the reader to get to know them so much more. You’re in for a treat when you start reading this series. So don’t delay!

SandyMGrade: B+


Arriving for a party, Merrick finds his season of outrageous scandal takes a challenging turn. Caught in a far less than usually compromising situation with Lady Alixe Burke, this so-called gentleman is tasked by her father with making his bluestocking daughter marriageable! Lady Alixe – more happy in the library than the ballroom – is most definitely left-on-the-shelf material. He’ll never walk away from a wager, but Merrick’s expertise extends way beyond society etiquette. Never before entrusted with a woman’s modesty, Merrick sets about teaching her everything he knows…Rakes Beyond Redemption Too wicked for polite society…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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