Review: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian


Note: This ARC was provided by Avon Impulse via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.

“Bollocks.” Julian tried to pull his hands away, but Courtenay held fast. “You can’t tell me that this is how people always feel when they love one another.”
Courtenay pulled him closer, so Julian could feel the warmth coming from his body. “I’m not the seasoned expert you take me for,” he murmured into Julian’s ear, “but I gather it’s a common experience.”
“How dreadful.” Julian put some sham chilliness into his voice, mainly because he liked when Courtenay tried to cuddle him out of his frosty moods. Indeed, Courtenay’s hands were now sliding suspiciously low along Julian’s hips and arse.
“It’s terrible, isn’t it?” Courtenay was doing a bad job of suppressing a smile.
“How can you stand it?”
“There’s only one way. By being together.”

When I read Cat Sebastian's debut novel, The Soldier's Scoundrel, in September of last year, I was thoroughly impressed while trying to remain realistic when it came to expectations for her future releases. That first book had me wanting to get to know one supporting character, which happened with the release of The Lawrence Browne Affair, and then the cycle repeated. With The Ruin of a Rake, which I consider the third and final novel in this unofficial and untitled series of interconnected standalones, Cat Sebastian has thoroughly established herself as a force to be reckoned with, not just when it comes to M/M Regency romance in particular but in M/M romance in general. The third time wasn't the charm here because I was already charmed the first time around and that doubled with the second time and then tripled by the time Julian Medlock and Lord Courtenay's story came along.

In The Ruin of a Rake, we meet Julian and Courtenay--whose real name is simply not worth repeating--once again, both having been introduced in The Lawrence Browne Affair, with Courtenay as Lord Radnor's, aka Lawrence Browne, former brother-in-law and beloved uncle to Simon and Julian as younger brother to Lady Standish, aka Eleanor Standish, and loosely connected to Georgie Turner by way of someone Georgie had targeted for one of his schemes. You don't necessarily need to read either or both of the first books, but I do highly recommend that you do, not only because there are recurring characters and there's a bit of back story involved, but also because these are outstandingly written tales that are worth putting your time into. Julian and Courtenay initially become involved with each other when Julian's sister Nora, who is also one of Courtenay's closest friends, asks her brother to help Courtenay clean up his reputation in hopes of having a chance by Lawrence to re-establish ties with young Simon. Julian, knowing Courtenay's rakish reputation isn't thrilled at the prospect, but Courtenay is quite intrigued.

I adored the whole love-hate aspect of Julian and Courtenay's story because for as much as these two had things about one another they didn't like, it was quite obvious that there was a connection, one, of course, that couldn't openly be acknowledged. The more that they got to know each other--and the more I got to know both men--the more curious I was to see how their attraction and growing affection for one another would play out. There's also a twist in the story that's brought to the attention of the reader early on, and it isn't the sort of twist that can easily be swept under the rug or excused either. On the sidelines, there's also the floundering marriage of Edward and Nora Standish, and these two do play major roles with the ups and downs of Julian and Courtenay's relationship. Fans of the series will be thrilled to learn that familiar faces--in particular, Jack Turner and Oliver Rivington and George Turner and Lawrence Browne--are accounted for here and we get to see where these couples are in their respective relationships as well. There isn't a sufficient enough of a word to describe what I think about The Ruin of a Rake and this collection of three books, but I hope that saying how much I loved getting to know these men and falling in love with their stories will do for now. I can't wait to see what the author has for us next! Five-plus stars. ♥

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Read my reviews for the series:


The Soldier's Scoundrel - five-plus stars - My Review

The Lawrence Browne Affair - five-plus stars - My Review

The Ruin of a Rake - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)

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Date Read: 08 July 2017

Learn more about Cat Sebastian.

Purchase The Ruin of a Rake on Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.

Comments

  1. Fabulous review!!!!!! I so have to start this series! Thank you for sharing!

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