Publisher: HQN Books
Author Twitter – Author GoodReads
MEET THE BLACKTHORN BROTHERS—
THREE UNREPENTANT SCOUNDRELS INFAMOUS FOR BEING MAD, BAD AND PERILOUS TO LOVE
Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can’t forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.
Desperate to escape her family’s control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she’s only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he’ll choose love over vengeance? (SOURCE)
This was my first Net Galley read so I was pretty excited to jump in! It caught my eye when browsing NG and I quickly requested it. I love historical romances, specifically this time period.
The Taming of the Rake is the first book in the Blackthorn Brothers trilogy. I enjoy trilogies or series’ because I get to follow friends or family through several books. I usually get more attached to the characters that way. Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn is a wealthy bachelor and he has no intention of changing that status. Mostly because the members of “the ton” look down at him and his brothers for being bastard children. He’s treated so horribly that years ago he came to tell his love of his feelings for her and he was violently attacked by her brother. He has been secretly getting revenge on him ever since. Leading him toward horrible investments that fail miserably.
Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman runs to Beau for help when her brother is determined to have her married to a creepy and disgusting ‘man of the cloth’. Really, I use that term very loosely. He thinks a wife should be submissive and if needed, beaten and bent to a husbands will. Also, a woman reading books and gaining knowledge was just ridiculous, in his opinion. I hated him immediately. I guess that’s the point of that type of character though. He’s out to get as much money out of the Mills-Beckman family as he can.
Beau is not a fan of Chelsea’s. He’s always found her to be an irritating brat. So when she shows up on his doorstep he’s none too thrilled. However, since he’s determined to bring down her brother he starts to consider how he might be able to do that through her.
They argue almost constantly. Throwing insults, fighting attraction. I like that kind of relationship. That goes for either annoyance or borderline hate, and attraction, then grows into respect. Does that make me weird? Nevermind don’t answer that.
The two of them take off, planning to travel to Gretna Green and marry. The ultimate revenge for Beau and a way for Chelsea to escape a horrible future marriage. On their journey they meet one of Beau’s brothers, who is probably my favorite character in the entire book. He’s funny and sarcastic and I can’t wait for his book.
Since Chelsea knows about Beau’s revenge she’s ok with being used as a pawn against her brother. She also thinks that maybe she can make him fall in love with her eventually. In general, she’s a little abrasive and bossy and doesn’t show a soft side too often. I wish that more of that shined through, especially when she starts to grow attached to him.
Beau begins to soften toward Chelsea and his attitude change, whereas hers doesn’t as much. I think I’d have enjoyed it more if she had opened up more, shown compassion and been more giving. Beau shares things with her, tells her the truth, about his scandalous family. Something very few people know. While she doesn’t judge him when she learns what happened, she doesn’t offer up much of herself either.
The two of them make it work out and they do confront her brother, who promises she won’t have to marry the horrible Reverend. Beau takes care of that and makes sure he knows Chelsea is in good hands. He even tells Chelsea’s brother about the revenge plot and that he knows he was behind his own plot to ruin Beau, completely clearing the air. I was happy to see that he finally got what he deserved after what he did to Beau years before.
Overall, I enjoyed it. The Taming of the Rake was a fun read that kept me entertained with it’s sassyness, high-jinx, adventure and scandal. I’m anticipating the next book. Be sure to check this one out!