Hot Best Seller

My Fake Rake

Availability: Ready to download

In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire… Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire… Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to "build" the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace's colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires. In exchange for funding his passage on an expedition leaving London in a few months, Sebastian allows Grace to transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace's feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn't hired him to help her marry someone else... Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he's faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.


Compare

In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire… Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakes series, a bluestocking hires a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire… Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to "build" the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace's colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires. In exchange for funding his passage on an expedition leaving London in a few months, Sebastian allows Grace to transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace's feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn't hired him to help her marry someone else... Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he's faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.

30 review for My Fake Rake

  1. 5 out of 5

    Addie H

    1.5-1.75 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Usha

    Despite not very good reviews, I read on. Hate to return a book un-read. Likeable characters but it's a plot that has been written many times before and perhaps much better by others. I am tired of reading about heroes and heroines that are purported with scholarly pursuits or a business acumen but demonstrate none of it in their acts or in driving of the plot. Ms. Leigh is a good writer, she did fairly well with character development but failed in the delivery with much too simplistic of a Despite not very good reviews, I read on. Hate to return a book un-read. Likeable characters but it's a plot that has been written many times before and perhaps much better by others. I am tired of reading about heroes and heroines that are purported with scholarly pursuits or a business acumen but demonstrate none of it in their acts or in driving of the plot. Ms. Leigh is a good writer, she did fairly well with character development but failed in the delivery with much too simplistic of a plot. 2.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. “There’s no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren’t scientific laws when it comes to the human heart.” With a little inspiration from The Breakfast Club, the Union of Rakes series introduces readers to five boys in detention, identified with similar-ish personalities from Breakfast Club movie characters. My Fake Rake stars “the brain”, Sebastian, and I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. “There’s no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren’t scientific laws when it comes to the human heart.” With a little inspiration from The Breakfast Club, the Union of Rakes series introduces readers to five boys in detention, identified with similar-ish personalities from Breakfast Club movie characters. My Fake Rake stars “the brain”, Sebastian, and Lady Grace, the woman he has become friends with as they both frequent a library. Grace has always been an outsider as she gets labeled a bluestocking for her interest, love, and study of amphibians. She has a big crush on another member of the library, Mason, a naturalist and a plan gets concocted to have Sebastian play the rake hitting on Grace in public, thus drawing Mason's attention and waking him up to the idea that Grace is desirable. However, as fake relationships are wont to go in romanceland, Sebastian and Grace find their “fake” feelings are very real. Reptile or human, you were guaranteed to make a cake out of yourself when mating season arrived. No, that wasn’t fair—to reptiles. As a child of the '80s, I was very excited about the Breakfast Club inspiration but it turned out to be a very faint one. We get a brief prologue introducing the five boys but no scenes with them all together bonding. Only one of Sebastian's friends from the group is shown throughout the book, giving readers a hint of the emotional connection between those two but not the group, as the other three only make a brief appearance towards the end. I, personally, felt like this could have a been a fun theme strung out throughout the book and gave readers an intimate and male friendship angle. Grace has a couple scenes with a female friend and she seems to have bonded with her romance reading maid (I can't be the only one wanting her to have her own story!) but I felt secondary character emotional additives were mostly missing and the five detention boys bonding angle could have fulfilled this. He was also poor as a churchmouse, which, unfortunately, meant that he hadn’t the financial means to court anyone. When readers come into the scene, Sebastian already has feelings for Grace but he's not an heir and his father disapproves of his anthropological studies, making him feel that he could never support Lady Grace as she would deserve and keeping him from declaring his feelings. Grace has focused all her attention on Mason and though she occasionally sees Sebastian in more than a friend light, until she starts spending more time with him, she never consciously considers it. Grace's changing feelings for Sebastian started popping up pretty quickly but the acknowledge, push away, and “Oh, Sebastian could Never feel that way about Me” goes on for far too long and drags down the pace of the story. There was something external or missing outside forces that made this story a little dull. I liked the outline but there was some spark and emotion missing that made this hard to pick back up. The focus lasts too long on Mason when Grace keeps saying how much she likes Sebastian and the only thing keeping them apart is her thinking he couldn't possibly like her back, even when she points out times he seems jealous and they have intimate moments that should make someone who is brave in going against the grain and fairly self-aware, ask even covertly “Do you like me?”. She realized at that moment that scholars didn’t just read, they knew things, naughty things. Sebastian being an introvert and shy but working to be a rake provided some sweet moments but these two seemed to be forced into cross-purposes when in contrast their personalities probably would have figured it out much quicker. Sebastian and Grace's relationship with their family, Grace's friendship with her maid and other lady, and the group of five, felt too faint to gain any emotion from. Rothbury (one of the five detention club boys and possibly “the princess”) was the only secondary character that I felt pulled his weight and gave something to the story, his friendship with Sebastian helped flush Sebastian's character out. Shouldn’t someone take an interest in her on the basis of who she was, rather than who they believed her to be? Yet that was precisely what she had done, and couldn’t help but feel some regret that she’d set her sights on someone who needed to be shown—by another man—that she was worthwhile. The beginning and Breakfast Club inspiration excited me but the middle dragged and failed to animate the characters and their relationship, there were also some obvious points that the author wanted to make and when you personally agree with them, want them stated and they still feel jarring and take you out of the story, they probably weren't woven in naturally enough. The ending failed to recapture the spark I lost and while I think this series still holds promise, My Fake Rake was a slow start. But, bloody hell, pretend or no, his kiss would haunt her to the end of her days.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    Will two persons who have feelings deeper than friendship for another take the risk to damage their relationship and open their heart or will they keep their emotions shut down and risk to let happiness pass them by? This is my first book written by Mrs Eva Leigh and it won’t be the last, this book was unputdownable, why I even chastised myself for choosing to read it on a working day! Mrs Leigh has crafted a vivid tale of finding its with blood and flesh lively characters. I simply adored this Will two persons who have feelings deeper than friendship for another take the risk to damage their relationship and open their heart or will they keep their emotions shut down and risk to let happiness pass them by? This is my first book written by Mrs Eva Leigh and it won’t be the last, this book was unputdownable, why I even chastised myself for choosing to read it on a working day! Mrs Leigh has crafted a vivid tale of finding its with blood and flesh lively characters. I simply adored this rather reversal of my Fair Lady with Sebastian Holloway as Eliza Doolittle. I immediately fell in love with Mrs Leigh hero, I loved Sebastian, I rooted for him, my heart arched and broke for him, I cheered too for him! As all along his relationship moved from caring to deep love for Grace, he also found his voice and his confidence. He is not the usual alpha man so oftenly portrayed in romance novels, he is the one waiting in the shadows, the one who will notice the heroine and give his handkerchief is needed. For her, he accepted to become someone else, to face his own fears and stand by her side to make her felt desired. Even ready to fade away back in the edges of her life if necessary to provide her what she asked for. Don’t ask me why but I portrayed him as Eddie Redmayne as Newton Scamander, his gangly physic, his long frame avoiding other’s glares, his mane of hair ... « he could not consider failure. He’d been a disappointment to his family—he refused to disappoint someone he truly cared about. » For a clever woman, Lady Grace was one very slow on the uptake, she catalogued all the things she liked then loved about him as she wanted to remember them but it took her so very very long to comprehend her own feelings I wondered where her big brain has gone. She is a recognized entity in her field but really guileless reading love. But I loved her, she is just ignorant and by analyzing all her own reactions and feelings, she accepted she made a mistake, a big one. The main problem was she did acknowledge him as her friend but didn’t really saw him for the man who makes her heart beats faster, her belly flutters. She needed closeness and nearly losing him to understand how perfect he was, this man who faced his fears only for her. The period of Sebastian metamorphosis from a bookworm to a rake was quite full of witty banters and quips between the trio of friends, Grace, Seb and Rotherby, at time it was really hilarious. It was really a marvel of twists and bounces from one situation to an other. « “What I wear is serviceable enough. I’ve had this waistcoat for years.” “And it deserves some rest to repay its decade of valiant service,” Rotherby noted. “A rake is never dressed in clothing that’s old enough to marry.” » The Love triangle trope is far from my favorite as it always leaves one party hurt. And in this story, there is no vilain in this story, just a young woman who didn’t understand fully the range of her action when she jumped on the battlefields to win one man’s interest when her heart was already pulsing faster when close by an other. Why I even felt more sorry for FredericKs, as he is the underdog of the book, but stairs do gracious even in his defeat. « “I wanted Mason, but it’s Sebastian I need.” » Until the very last chapter, I was on edge, worried by Grace and Seb inability to see past their own mask, then there was this love declaration scene, one of the most beautiful I have read since long. My heart had stopped to beat for some seconds, as I was keyed up by what I was reading. This was the perfect rendition of Sebastian’s personality, a knight with or without a shining armor, who would follow to the end of the earth the woman he loved. A special mention for Rotherby, for a duke, he is quite an amazing character too, aware of his flaws and playing with them, his friendship with Sebastian was so refreshing, a peer with a commoner and this same lofty peer, a rake of a Duke, playing matchmaker for his friend. Why I was so happy to learn he will be the next rake in this series, what a fabulous hero he will make. A big fat 10 stars I was granted through Edelweiss an advance copy by the publisher Avon. I had previously to it preordered my own copy. Here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?stor...

  5. 5 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    Sebastian Holloway has secretly adored Lady Grace Wyatt ever since sharing a pencil with her in the library they both frequent. But Sebastian is merely a poor scholar with no prospects, and Lady Grace is on a mission to make a famed naturalist she wants to wed notice her, a plan that includes molding Sebastian into a rake of the first order. But as these two bookish souls spend more and more time together, they realize that that happiness and true love may be right under their bespactacled Sebastian Holloway has secretly adored Lady Grace Wyatt ever since sharing a pencil with her in the library they both frequent. But Sebastian is merely a poor scholar with no prospects, and Lady Grace is on a mission to make a famed naturalist she wants to wed notice her, a plan that includes molding Sebastian into a rake of the first order. But as these two bookish souls spend more and more time together, they realize that that happiness and true love may be right under their bespactacled noses. I had a grand time watching these two nerds blushingly fall in love with each other and I cannot wait to read more in this series! There are a lot of great lines, but I'll wait until I see a finished copy before quoting. I received a free ARC in exchange for a fair review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    Two nerdy folks falling in love? A great idea for a historical romance! However, for me, this one fell flat. Sebastian and Grace were super adorable in their nerdiness and awkwardness, but when the heroine spends the bulk of the novel trying to win over some other dude it was really hard to believe in their romance. The happily ever after was assured, but the journey there was a tad boring because one character was intent on catching the eye of someone else and the other was intent on burying Two nerdy folks falling in love? A great idea for a historical romance! However, for me, this one fell flat. Sebastian and Grace were super adorable in their nerdiness and awkwardness, but when the heroine spends the bulk of the novel trying to win over some other dude it was really hard to believe in their romance. The happily ever after was assured, but the journey there was a tad boring because one character was intent on catching the eye of someone else and the other was intent on burying their own feelings. There was something about Sebastian's insistence that Grace get what she wanted irregardless of his own feelings that just didn't sit right. It smacked of disrespect for himself and his own feelings and quite frankly wasn't romantic. While I appreciated the fact that Grace did come to the realization that making Sebastian into a "fake rake" was wrong, it came much to late. So, this one just wasn't for me. *Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    3.5 stars I’m always on the lookout for a new author or series and I absolutely loved this premise. I really liked Grace and Sebastian. They’re both smart and good people. I enjoyed their friendship and how they bonded over science and the library. The friends of Grace and Sebastian are fun and even though Jane is already married, I’m excited to see that the next book is Rotherby’s story. Plot wise, it was good. There’s a lot of inner monologue and pining away for the other. I wanted more 3.5 stars I’m always on the lookout for a new author or series and I absolutely loved this premise. I really liked Grace and Sebastian. They’re both smart and good people. I enjoyed their friendship and how they bonded over science and the library. The friends of Grace and Sebastian are fun and even though Jane is already married, I’m excited to see that the next book is Rotherby’s story. Plot wise, it was good. There’s a lot of inner monologue and pining away for the other. I wanted more flirting and banter between them. Even though the romance felt like it was on the back burner, I loved the way these two respected each other. The grand gesture is fantastic, but I definitely could have done with more from the ending and epilogue. Overall, it was the characters who kept me reading and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. **Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie (Jewlsbookblog)

    4.5 stars Sebastian was an anthropologist, basically penniless, even though his dad owned a profitable iron works factory. He was a total nerd, living on mutton and threadbare, yet functional clothes, spending his limited funds on books-I loved him! His stammer and anxiousness in new situations had me feeling for him, but it also presented him as a regular, likable fellow. Seb had a unique collection of steadfast friends from his school days, which served him well when he really needed help 4.5 stars Sebastian was an anthropologist, basically penniless, even though his dad owned a profitable iron works factory. He was a total nerd, living on mutton and threadbare, yet functional clothes, spending his limited funds on books-I loved him! His stammer and anxiousness in new situations had me feeling for him, but it also presented him as a regular, likable fellow. Seb had a unique collection of steadfast friends from his school days, which served him well when he really needed help pulling off the transformation of his lifetime-how to become a rake. All in order for his closest friend, Lady Grace, to win the attentions of another man. Oy, the things you do for a friend... Grace was an herpetologist. A unique job for a Lady, I thought, and much respect for her, because slimy reptiles and amphibians make me shudder just thinking about them:) She was sweet, witty with sharp intelligence, and a little odd, but she was happy as is. Confidence can take you pretty far and Grace knew where she wanted to be. When she finds herself in a pickle to get married, she decides to enlist Seb in a quack scheme to make another man interested in her, not realizing the one Grace really needs, not wants, has been in front of her all along. Love is truly blind people... I was excited to read My Fake Rake when I caught a look at the cover and blurb, however, I was doubly excited after hearing Eva Leigh talk about the premise behind the Union of the Rakes series-1980’s classic movies! Maybe I’m dating myself, but these days....well, they don’t make movies like they used to. The Breakfast Club tops my list of all-time must-watch films, so when I learned the Regency would mash with The Breakfast Club.... laughs, shenanigans, and a strong friends to lovers romance kept me entertained from beginning to end! This is a strong start to what looks like a fabulous series and I am looking forward to The Duke of Rotherby’s tale! I received an advanced reader copy and this is my honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shiloh

    I was lucky enough to read this gem early... and, oh, my goodness... adorable! And soooo sexy...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    One of the most absurd regency romances I have ever read. Had it been in the mid to late Victorian era, maybe I would've believed it's premise, a little. I re-read some Loretta Chase books this month and that makes it harder and harder to read these clunkers so badly written by this "new mode" of lazy regency writers like Leigh. The book is ridiculous, but I will say the duke who is a friend of the hero is scrumptious.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Partway through this book (which I was already loving) I found out it was inspired by 80's teen movies and totally blew my mind! My Fake Rake is very reminiscent of Pretty in Pink (with the ending that always should have been) meets Regency romance, complete with nerdy characters, a cinnamon-roll hero who undergoes a rakish makeover, and a great friends-to-lovers slow burn romance. This made me laugh out loud on several occasions and was just a whole lot of fun. I am Actual Rating: 4.5 stars Partway through this book (which I was already loving) I found out it was inspired by 80's teen movies and totally blew my mind! My Fake Rake is very reminiscent of Pretty in Pink (with the ending that always should have been) meets Regency romance, complete with nerdy characters, a cinnamon-roll hero who undergoes a rakish makeover, and a great friends-to-lovers slow burn romance. This made me laugh out loud on several occasions and was just a whole lot of fun. I am always a fan of romances with nerdy characters, strong friendship, and a cinnamon roll hero. This was right up my alley, so thank you to whoever recommended it to me, since I unfortunately cannot recall!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    3.5 stars rounded to 4 This is my first Eva Leigh novel. Can I just say I love her covers? I don't like the font on this one, but I feel like the couple fits the characters so well. This book is the first book in her new series Union of the Rakes. Apparently this is loosely based on the movie The Breakfast Club, which I have never seen and if I have I can't remember. A group of friends is formed in the prologue, and I'm assuming they will each have their own story in the series. Grace is our 3.5 stars rounded to 4 This is my first Eva Leigh novel. Can I just say I love her covers? I don't like the font on this one, but I feel like the couple fits the characters so well. This book is the first book in her new series Union of the Rakes. Apparently this is loosely based on the movie The Breakfast Club, which I have never seen and if I have I can't remember. A group of friends is formed in the prologue, and I'm assuming they will each have their own story in the series. Grace is our heroine. She's a scientist, a herpetologist, to be exact. She adores the lives of reptiles and amphibians. She spends much of her time at the library researching, or in the field exploring. She's set her sights on fellow scientist Mason Fredericks as a husband. She ropes her good friend Sebastian Holloway, fellow scientist and researcher of anthropology to assist her in appearing desirable and catching his attention. Sebastian is our hero. And he's not your usual hero. Hes bespectacled and shy, he clams up in social situations and suffers from anxiety. It's almost your usual heroine ugly duckling story, yet the hero is the duckling. Sebastian's friend, the Duke of Rotherby, helps transform him in a fake rake, so that his attention to Grace with show her in a marriageable light. Sebastian is definitely not an alpha hero. I'm not sure if that makes him beta or gamma, or whatever, but he seems content to let Grace take the lead. And she does, putting him through the ringer with becoming her fake rake. I think you would enjoy this book if -You want a change of hero, or aren't into alpha males -You love the friends to lovers trope -You prefer a slow burn story -You want a lighter story with a few laughs and fun I can't say I loved this story. I always struggle when there is another 'love interest' in the book and this book just drug on and on with her thinking about Fredericks, yet noticing Sebastian, but the fact that Fredericks still gave her butterflies when he wasn't even the hero, made me want to slap her. I guess it was showing how her feelings shifted from seeing Sebastian as nothing but a friend to more, but the fast that it took her over half the book to realize it annoyed me. Sebastian isn't the typical kind of hero I like. And while he didn't drive me crazy, I guess I was left wanting more from him in some parts. I was disappointed in the way he acted and his lack of drive in pursuing Grace. He really does amazing in some scenes. I'll admit the first sex scene blew me out of the water, because I was expecting not much after how I felt the first 70% of the book. And I loved him at the end when he finally came to his senses and realized he needed to tell Grace how he felt. This book isn't particularly steamy. There's 1 kiss and 2 sex scenes (I think). The first sex scene was AMAZING. I loved it. The 2nd was at the very end of the book and for some reason I don't love them there, just a personal preference. But it was still great. I think she has a lot of feels in those scenes and they gripped me even though I was less than in love with a lot of the rest of the book. There is a lot to love about this book. I can tell Eva is a fabulous writer. The flow was great, she's funny, witty, the sex was hot. She does use the f word infrequently if you're sensitive to that. It doesn't cross into vulgar or anything. I would 100% try her again and plan to. I think this was just a character disconnect for me and I'm still not sure friends to lovers is my favorite trope. But I do recommend this book, I think it will be enjoyed by many. The Duke of Rotherby will have the next story in the series and I will definitely be trying that book. I think he was my favorite character in here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh is book One in the The Union of the Rakes Series. This is the story of Sebastian Holloway and Grace Wyatt. Grace is a Blue Stocking / Wallflower who has set her mind to a man named Mason. But of course Mason doesn't know she is alive. So her plan is to get her friend Sebastian to pretend to pursue her which will make Mason want her. But Sebastian is like her a bookish person so she knows she is going have to re-due him to make it more believable. Sebastian has feelings My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh is book One in the The Union of the Rakes Series. This is the story of Sebastian Holloway and Grace Wyatt. Grace is a Blue Stocking / Wallflower who has set her mind to a man named Mason. But of course Mason doesn't know she is alive. So her plan is to get her friend Sebastian to pretend to pursue her which will make Mason want her. But Sebastian is like her a bookish person so she knows she is going have to re-due him to make it more believable. Sebastian has feelings for Grace but her mind is set on another so he tries to help her but it just brings his feelings up more. Enjoyed their story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    There were a lot of little things I LOVED about this, but also a lot of big things I... didn't :( Full review coming soon!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Grogan

    I read and reviewed this title for Fresh Fiction, courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher. For my full review please visit: http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tales Of A Bookbug

    Eva Leigh has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the historical romance genre and that is mainly because she writes stories that are so different from the typical HR books, with equally unconventional protagonists! I've read The London Underground series and The Wicked Quills of London books too and loved them both! So, I was eagerly waiting to see where the author would take this new series! And I was not disappointed! This book features two nerds(Yes! You heard that right! Not just a Eva Leigh has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the historical romance genre and that is mainly because she writes stories that are so different from the typical HR books, with equally unconventional protagonists! I've read The London Underground series and The Wicked Quills of London books too and loved them both! So, I was eagerly waiting to see where the author would take this new series! And I was not disappointed! This book features two nerds(Yes! You heard that right! Not just a bluestocking, but two adorable geeks!) who are so clueless about many things! Grace is the daughter of an earl, and a herpetologist (she studies reptiles and amphibians) who is quite adept at research, but clueless when it comes to securing a match. She has had an eye on a fellow naturalist Mason Fredericks for quite a while, but he sees her as nothing more than a colleague! He doesn't even see her as a woman! When her father falls ill and wishes for her to get married, she is desperate to do so immediately, and to a man of her choosing. But, how does one attract the attention of someone who won't even notice you? There comes the plan of making her more desirable! Enter, her friend and fellow nerd Sebastian Holloway! Sebastian is an anthropologist and the son of a successful industrialist, but has no money of his own as he and his father don't really see eye to eye when it comes to matters of his research. He has also never been able to fit in with the rest of society as easily as the others do. But, Grace and his band of schoolmates are the only ones who see him for who he is and make him comfortable! When Grace notices that Sebastian has been hiding a rakish face(and an equally appealing body) under his glasses and the nerd-persona, she enlists his help in the plan where he will pretend to be a rake interested in her, to make her more desirable and noticeable! The only problem is that both of them are basically clueless when it comes to society's customs and even more clueless about their feelings for each other! They basically friendzoned each other for literally 60% of the novel! If I hadn't loved these two as much as I did, I would have definitely punched my kindle in frustration! Lol! I really loved watching the relationship between Grace and Sebastian develop in a slow but beautiful manner! The author managed to handle Sebastian's social anxiety in such a graceful manner and I loved watching him discover the confident side of himself! Seb's friend, the Duke of Rotherby and Grace's parents made this book even more enjoyable! I just wish we would have had more opportunity to see the Union of Rakes together and watch their friendship develop from the first meeting during childhood! I also felt that the path to the inevitable resolution between Grace and Seb was a little too drawn out! I almost gave up in the middle out of frustration, but I kept going! Bonus : I enjoyed the cameos of some of my favorite characters from the other series! I would definitely recommend this book to you if you're looking for something adorable in the HR genre, that is different from the typical books! I can't wait to read Rotherby's book next and hopefully it would be even more refreshing than this!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    3.5 stars This was just the agony purge I needed after the last novel I read. It has its share of silliness, but Grace and Sebastian are both sweet characters, and it’s pretty easy to root for them. It would have been less interesting without the Duke of Rotherby joining the scheme. The history of his friendship with Sebastian and the other “union of rakes” fellows was one of my favorite things about the book and my main reason for being interested in the next one. Sometimes the characterization 3.5 stars This was just the agony purge I needed after the last novel I read. It has its share of silliness, but Grace and Sebastian are both sweet characters, and it’s pretty easy to root for them. It would have been less interesting without the Duke of Rotherby joining the scheme. The history of his friendship with Sebastian and the other “union of rakes” fellows was one of my favorite things about the book and my main reason for being interested in the next one. Sometimes the characterization felt a bit overdone—a neon sign flashing These Guys Are Scientists—and there were a few things that felt jarringly modern, like the mindfulness techniques Grace teaches Seb to cope with his social anxiety. Not that mindfulness is a new thing—it was just weird to see characters in a Regency romance novel practicing it. I also prefer a more straightforward romance to all the mutual—and rather clueless—misunderstandings that were happening between these two. But I liked Leigh’s sense of humor and pacing, and I adored the scene when they finally declared themselves. I’ll be grabbing Would I Lie to the Duke when it comes out next year!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maria Rose

    I enjoyed this friends to lovers romance with the classic 'help me attract this other guy and whoops, when did you get so handsome!' theme. It's great to see two characters who are intellectuals - Grace and her study of reptiles and Sebastian with his focus on anthropology, and who appreciate that aspect in each other. And the third, the man Grace thinks she wants and discovers she actually doesn't is an all around decent guy too (which I appreciated as often they turn out to be wankers). I enjoyed this friends to lovers romance with the classic 'help me attract this other guy and whoops, when did you get so handsome!' theme. It's great to see two characters who are intellectuals - Grace and her study of reptiles and Sebastian with his focus on anthropology, and who appreciate that aspect in each other. And the third, the man Grace thinks she wants and discovers she actually doesn't is an all around decent guy too (which I appreciated as often they turn out to be wankers). Naturally as Grace and Sebastian start to realize they have feelings for each other they are reluctant to say so, not wanting to ruin their friendship and so it takes until the very end for them to own up to things, with Sebastian making the big gesture. I'd have liked to see him not give up so easily earlier, when he thinks that he and Grace have succeeded in their initial quest. That said, it's an enjoyable read with some sexy bits and likable characters. 3.5 star. I'm interested in reading more about Sebastian's friends. Note : a copy of this story was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mics ✖siempre romances✖

    It's the same old story, friends to lovers. Sebastian is secretly in love with Grace but Grace doesn't see him as a man, she actually has a crush on another man (Mason) and they pretend to court each other because she wants Mason to notice her (among other reasons...) and she ends up falling in love with Sebastian instead. It gets me everytime. Their relationship was so cute, Sebastian was the sweetest man ever, he even remembered what she was wearing the day they met!. He's definitely an ideal It's the same old story, friends to lovers. Sebastian is secretly in love with Grace but Grace doesn't see him as a man, she actually has a crush on another man (Mason) and they pretend to court each other because she wants Mason to notice her (among other reasons...) and she ends up falling in love with Sebastian instead. It gets me everytime. Their relationship was so cute, Sebastian was the sweetest man ever, he even remembered what she was wearing the day they met!. He's definitely an ideal hero, supportive, sweet, caring, shy with others but with her he is his confident self. I really liked the romance but the plot was too unrealistic and ridiculous at times and I couldn't enjoy the book at the 100% because of it. I kept wondering "is this historical accurate?". Most of the time it seemed like I was reading a contemporary romance book but with characters that liked to do cosplay. To sum up: for fans of the trope "friends to lovers" and light historical romances, entertaining but you have to suspend your disbelief for a while.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Luz Trevino

    I was really looking forwards to reading this since the day it came out....and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. The MCs were very unique in the sense that both were very intellectual and loved science. I was more of a fan of Sebastian than Grace. He put himself out there to overcome his social anxieties to help her catch the attention of another man. Seb was a very sweet guy. His friend Rotherby also was a great character. Their friendship was one of the best I was really looking forwards to reading this since the day it came out....and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. The MCs were very unique in the sense that both were very intellectual and loved science. I was more of a fan of Sebastian than Grace. He put himself out there to overcome his social anxieties to help her catch the attention of another man. Seb was a very sweet guy. His friend Rotherby also was a great character. Their friendship was one of the best bromances that I’ve read. I’m excited to read his story next. I hope it’s good. He deserves it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

    3.5 stars - Historical Romance This is good and a unique HR in many ways, but I wanted the hero and heroine to just be honest about their feelings. Their dual insecurities and fear of revealing the truth grew tiresome. But I still enjoyed listening to the audiobook, and I'll read the next book in the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brigid

    Review at The Alliterates Trigger Warning: scenes of social anxiety and panic attacks. “I’m happy,” she said, urgent. “I’m happy that if I’m to be mad, it’s with you.” Imagine Chris Evan with glasses. Got it? Okay now Chris Evans is geeky and has lots of insecurities and some major social anxiety problems. He is very in love with his geeky co-star. She takes his glasses off and tells him how devastatingly handsome he is. If that is interesting to you (and why wouldn’t it really) than this book is Review at The Alliterates Trigger Warning: scenes of social anxiety and panic attacks. “I’m happy,” she said, urgent. “I’m happy that if I’m to be mad, it’s with you.”   Imagine Chris Evan with glasses. Got it? Okay now Chris Evans is geeky and has lots of insecurities and some major social anxiety problems. He is very in love with his geeky co-star. She takes his glasses off and tells him how devastatingly handsome he is. If that is interesting to you (and why wouldn’t it really) than this book is for you.   Eva Leigh plays with the old misogynistic tropes of the genre and flips it entirely. The most obvious is the old trope where the hero takes the heroine’s glasses off and GASP he realizes how beautiful she is. With women, there’s a reason this is so misogynistic. In a world where women are expected to be perfect and that perfection determines their mobility in the world, that trope diminishes the value of women. But if you flip it around to men, whose appearances are typically not determined by their worth and likeability in the world? It suddenly becomes a fun and feminist trope. I’m very okay with this. The hero’s friends even tease him for it. That’s just delightful cuteness.  Thus, the smarty pants of Madam Leigh.   Grace is the daughter of an earl but that’s her status. She’s a herpetologist. She’s the guy friend (Keith) in Some Kind of Wonderful. Sebastian is not titled but an impoverished scholar (his father disinherited him). He’s scrappy and bookish. He is one member of the Union of the Rakes (a group of boys who banded together after spending the British upper-class version of detention together). Think Harry Potter meets The Breakfast Club but they’re rich and they don’t have any wands. Just one incredibly British prologue that made this girl very happy.  Grace asks Sebastian for his help in attracting another scholar’s notice (Mason Fredericks). Sebastian, his friend the Duke of Rotherby, and Grace make Sebastian into her fake rake. He goes from pre-Queer Eye hero to happy and gorgeous Queer Eye makeover.   “Look at me.” He spread his hands. “I’m just a tongue-tied scholar in scuffed boots. The idea that anyone would mistake me for a suave man about town is ludicrous.” This is a love letter to those of us with social anxiety. Typically, the shy and insecure love interest is the heroine. Nope. Instead we get Chris Evans with glasses and daddy issues. Sebastian gets a panic attack every time someone he doesn’t know begins to talk to him. Grace helps him figure out how to ease his anxiety. It made me uproariously happy to see friends gather to help each other with their anxieties. I never felt that Seb’s anxiety is magically fixed. It’s a part of him. Grace just helps him manage it. As someone with anxiety and panic attacks, I felt the anxiety represented to be accurate.   Side note: I should also give appreciation to the author for putting that trigger warning in her acknowledgments.   People with social anxiety don’t just have anxiety with strangers but also to their closest friends. Being honest with those close to us is the hardest thing of all because anxiety makes the fear of rejection worse. It stops us from being honest with our friends and family. That is what Sebastian must face with Grace.   Grace is the hero who doesn’t recognize what is right in front of her. Except she’s the flipped gender expectation. People that don’t like flipped gender tropes may not get on board with the heroine because she is very much placed in the hero’s role rather than a typical gender role for a woman. In her, we get to see how that plays out in a heroine instead of a hero. If you only like the hero to be the one who doesn’t recognize he’s in love with the heroine then I’d recommend skipping this one.  This is not a torture your loved one romance that is so common in the genre. It’s a friendship. It’s a makeover/ friends-to-lovers romance. Two things I don’t usually like because they’re so often misogynistic. I don’t like friends-to-lovers romances because women become something for her friend to objectify and sexualize. It usually has a friend zone expectation and puts everything on the heroine. Leigh revises all the misogynistic habits in friends-to-lovers romances. The hero is very aware of how women are often objectified. He feels shame whenever he catches himself looking at her in a way a friend shouldn’t, which I appreciated.   “Men and women can be friends,” Seb declared hotly, “without things becoming romantic or sexual.” AHEM. The only caveat I have is that internal monologue sometimes tends to veer a little into repetitive.    We have this idea that ogling your friend’s body is okay if it’s a friends-to-lovers romance. I’d argue with that. It is never okay to look at your friend as something to fuck. Sebastian is very careful to respect his friend as a human being and does not objectify her. He is not one of those heroes constantly thinking about how his body is responding to her. Eva Leigh is revising the more normalized misogyny in romance and that makes her a feminist star of the genre.   “Jealousy isn’t appreciated by women. We’re not things. There’s nothing flattering about being treated like an object.” Do you see the feminist narratives going on here? I had to stop so many times because it made me so emotional to read so much feminism in a single book.  Lastly, I want to appreciate the diversity that occurs in this book. It made me feel happy to see so many BIPOC side characters. Librarians and restaurateurs and friends. Now, I want to talk about Sebastian’s occupation as an anthropologist. My opinion about historical romance is that it isn’t exactly historical and more in the realm of contemporary fantasy. Fiction critiques the past and finds something to say about the present. That is what this book is doing. It’s doing that in terms of privilege, both with titled white people and men. Grace dislikes that she lives in a world where she has to ask her male friend to highlight her own status in her society. There are a lot of men checking their privileges. The one thing about contemporary fantasies is they must not erase history. This is why dukes are a problem. As slaveowners, they are the rule and not the exception. I read a review for this book that lamented at the Duke of Rotherby being described as arrogant while also feeling Sebastian’s occupation has too much of a racist history.   I have news for you. Dukes AND anthropological professions were a problem because of their inhumanity concerning BIPOC. Not all anthropologists concerned themselves with BIPOC cultures but a lot of them did. That’s sort of the problem with Sebastian’s profession. It painted a lot of cultures as animalistic in the same way other scientists studied extinct cultures or animals. Leigh, however, paints Sebastian as studying rural British communities and not indigenous cultures. The very thing he got in trouble for involves his arguments against popular scientists’ opinions. He even makes a comment about how using smudge is racist and disingenuous to North American indigenous cultures. If we’re going to have a discussion on this let’s not make out dukes to be the good guys. I appreciate Leigh acknowledging the racism of the anthropological field and the racism of white people of the English empire.  “Many of them drip with a sense of cultural and racial superiority-and they twist science to defend abhorrent ideas and practices.” I don’t feel that it does any good to make the titled ton to be the good guys and scientists to be the bad guys. In history, both were bad. What I think Leigh is doing is bringing it into contemporary thought and having the modern reader look at the racism rather than forgetting. This history is tied to the racist world we currently live in. She has privileged people checking themselves in the same way modern white readers must check our own. White people are part of this privilege. I’m glad that is being acknowledged here.  “Now you can study London high society, too.” She spread her hands encouragingly. “Just imagine the book you could write. A thorough investigation into British courtship rituals of both commoners and nobility.” This entire book is about acknowledging privilege. Leigh is making the conversation difficult. She does not take the easy way out. This book doesn’t let white titled people feel comfortable. It forces us to look at ourselves and at European history.  Now for the things I didn’t like: Grace and Sebastian are joining a project reporting on the damage done by the British Empire’s designs on South America. However, I have a problem with the epilogue. It would have been better if Leigh clarified that it’s an environmental and anti-colonial project rather than some white savior nonsense. They aren’t going to contact the indigenous populations there, but it did say “report” on the empire’s damaging impact on South America. It just feels a little too invasive and makes it seem like indigenous cultures aren’t already fighting against colonizers. I am typically not a big fan of epilogues. All the god damn baby-logues everywhere. I’m not happy about this three-page thing at the end, despite its good intentions.   I loved most of this book up until the boat scene. That felt a little too convenient for me. Even though I loved this book, I am lowering my grade due to the epilogue and the slight implausibility of one scene.  This book is very memorable and one of the more feminist romance novels I’ve read. It’s attentive to acknowledging privilege and it’s aware of the misogyny of the bodice ripper romances. Both the hero and the heroine acknowledge their privileges in this world. As someone who works very hard to do that myself, it put a smile on my face.  It made me absurdly happy to see nerdy Chris Evans fall in love with his nerdy best friend. 

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    To slow for me. Read just about halfway and wondered why I kept reading something I found so boring. D N F

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria (Latte Nights Reviews)

    This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Fake Rake was one of my most anticipated books, and overall I was reallydisappointed with it. The premise soundsamazing. It's your typical historical romance, with fake dating and giving the wallflower a makeover to make everyone jealous, except in My Fake Rakethe roles are reversed and the nerdy This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Fake Rake was one of my most anticipated books, and overall I was really disappointed with it. The premise sounds amazing. It's your typical historical romance, with fake dating and giving the wallflower a makeover to make everyone jealous, except in My Fake Rake the roles are reversed and the nerdy bookish guy is the one getting a makeover. From the beginning I loved the two characters. They're both such nerds. Grace and Sebastian are friends who met years ago in the library where they often go to study and learn more about their field of choice, Sebastian anthropology and Grace reptiles and amphibians. I love how their love for learning was such a huge part of who they were. Both characters were constantly going off on tangents talking about the topics they love, and somehow everything they talk about has a scientific twist to it.  Not only were the two characters always talking about books and studying and research, but quite a few scenes take place in a library or bookstore. "There's no should when it comes to what we feel. There aren't scientific laws when it comes to the human heart." I really loved so much from this novel, but I just couldn't get over how Seb and Grace wouldn't just talk to each other. I know this is a popular plot device used in romance novels, and something I complain about pretty often, but it just felt so excessive in this story. Right from the start both characters have feelings for each other, but won't bring it up and let so many things get in the way until right at the end. Something else I really loved in this book was Seb's portrayal of social anxiety. It's not written in a cute way that seems typical when writing about social anxiety, Seb legitimately struggles with speaking and being around people he doesn't know, and secluding himself so he's not put into situations he doesn't feel comfortable. Not only was his social anxiety well written, but I love how he learned how to deal with it, it didn't just magically go away. He learned multiple different coping skills to help him when he felt uncomfortable in situations. Overall I was disappointed with this book because I had such high expectations going in, and didn't feel that they were met. I loved the writing style and side characters and am definitely planning on picking up the next book in the series. Have you read this yet? What were your thoughts? This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    My Fake Rake is out today! 11/26!! My favorite research dork babies written by Eva Leigh are out in the world in a reverse My Fair Lady, with a few nods to Pretty Woman thrown in for good measure (ahhh, the boat scene!). I love them so much. Also, Leigh so cleverly seeded in little bits for the other four heroes in this series - The Union of the Rakes - and I would like the rest of the books now please.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    These precious, darling idiots.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Sridhar

    I'll defs read it, but *cringe* at that title

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lubnaa (Romance Library)

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. My Fake Rake (*cringe*) is my first Eva Leigh book...and boy, it was quite the disappointment. Zero originality and pure ridiculousness from start to finish. And not the good kind of ridiculousness. Let's start with the series premise. The Union of Rakes consists of a group of boys who became friends during detention at Eton. I mean, we've all seen The Breakfast Club so I don't need to spell it out for you. Aside from their shared I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. My Fake Rake (*cringe*) is my first Eva Leigh book...and boy, it was quite the disappointment. Zero originality and pure ridiculousness from start to finish. And not the good kind of ridiculousness.  Let's start with the series premise. The Union of Rakes consists of a group of boys who became friends during detention at Eton. I mean, we've all seen The Breakfast Club so I don't need to spell it out for you. Aside from their shared time spent in detention, we are told that the boys "shared the kind of bond that only struggle could create." What struggle, pray tell?? You can't just tell me 'oh they struggled with something that link them together as boys and adults' and not tell me what that struggle is? How did 5 completely different boys become friends? How come they are still friends as adults? We know that they were sensitive towards Sebastian and his shyness. But is that it? What about the struggle they all supposedly share? Is this pure laziness from the author? This is the premise of the entire series. At least The Breakfast Club showed us how a group of different people became friends. Moving onto the fake rake training. Grace asks her friend Sebastian to practice being a rake and pretend to court her in public so that the guy she's into will finally notice her as a woman. Sounds fun, right? The nerdy characters even manage to turn this whole experiment into something scientific. But this entire scheme just ends up being so damn nonsensical. First, Grace decides that the best way Sebastian can learn how to become a rake is by simply following the rules of gentlemanly behaviour outlined in an outdated book. Grace doesn't always go out in society, but she's gone to enough parties to know how popular gentlemen behave. Yet, she couldn't distinguish between the ridiculously outdated book's instructions and the way Sebastian is actually supposed to behave. It feels like the heroine was made purposefully oblivious for comedic reasons. Next, wouldn't it have been easier if Grace had asked Sebastian's Duke friend to pay attention to her in public? She was reluctant when Sebastian first mentioned it, but she eventually became friends with the Duke...friendly enough to get him to ask her for one dance so that the guy she likes can look at her. Everything about Sebastian learning to be a fake rake feels so forced and ridiculous. It's a great way to push Sebastian out of his comfort zone so that he grows as a character. But the context itself — the why — is just too damn ridiculous and I couldn't take it seriously. The romance also left a lot to be desired. Grace spends majority of the book being confused about her feelings. She spends a good portion of the story being attracted to both the hero and the guy she supposedly likes. She is constantly confused and can't decide whom she has feelings for. It takes her forever to realize that Sebastian is the one she's in love with. She has feelings for both of them for at least 60% of the book. The romance between Sebastian and Grace was ruined every time she swooned over the other guy and had butterflies in his presence, which happened A LOT. I can't deal with heroines who are so damn indecisive about their feelings. And the thing with Sebastian is that he's too much of a beta hero — he gives up so easily. He doesn't even try to win her heart and he easily lets go of her. No, thanks, that's not what I want in my romance novels. thank u, next

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gaele

    Sebastian is shy, retiring and mostly comfortable only in his studies. An anthropologist, he’s not far removed from the boy he was at 15 in Eton when he and his four friends started their “union”. He’s familiar with Grace, and the wallflower who was content to continue her studies in herpetology is now interested in a famed naturist returned from an expedition. But, as a penniless scholar, more comfortable with books and libraries, she’d never give him a second glance. Until lightning strikes, Sebastian is shy, retiring and mostly comfortable only in his studies. An anthropologist, he’s not far removed from the boy he was at 15 in Eton when he and his four friends started their “union”. He’s familiar with Grace, and the wallflower who was content to continue her studies in herpetology is now interested in a famed naturist returned from an expedition. But, as a penniless scholar, more comfortable with books and libraries, she’d never give him a second glance. Until lightning strikes, and they make a deal – she will secretly transform him into a man that others notice, and find her own shine in his reflected light. Now – these two aren’t poorly matched, and intellectually they both have a wonderful connection. Sebastian’s shyness and awkwardness is the first hurdle Grace will tackle, and she has to admit that his transformation intrigues her. For his part, he’s falling harder for Grace than their ‘agreement’ allows, in fact, he just may have to take some dramatic steps to prove his love to her. I love an Eva Leigh novel, and the set-up for this one allowed us to see the groups in which they both functioned and gave us a real sense of both Grace and Sebastian as people, with interior monologues and questions, their obvious reliance on the friendship, and the few sparks that flew between them. While the “Union of Rakes” was brushed over a bit, the others in the group actually like Sebastian, allow for his shyness, and don’t seem to be all that ‘rakish’ at all. A lovely start to a new series with plenty of characters to get to know in coming books – I can’t wait to peek into this world again to see what time brings this couple and others. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan in Perthshire

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in return for an honest review. Sorry but I am absolutely fed up with writers imposing a 21st. Century, anachronistic perspective on history. A regency world where dozens of women are trained scientists and get their papers published and form substantial parts of expeditionary forces undertaking research? A regency world where girls routinely have sex with no concern about pregnancy, reputation or anything else? A regency world where a mistress gives a maid I received an ARC from Netgalley in return for an honest review. Sorry but I am absolutely fed up with writers imposing a 21st. Century, anachronistic perspective on history. A regency world where dozens of women are trained scientists and get their papers published and form substantial parts of expeditionary forces undertaking research? A regency world where girls routinely have sex with no concern about pregnancy, reputation or anything else? A regency world where a mistress gives a maid half a crown (about £20 in today’s money) to disappear for a while? No way! This book might well have worked If it had been set in the mid to late 19th century but as a Regency? I know we have to suspend disbelief but there is a limit. The premise - Grace fancies Maddox and uses Seb to make him jealous - is not a new one. It's reasonably well executed and Seb is a worthy hero but Grace annoyed me and I got really bored with her. In fact, I simply was bored altogether because apart from the info-dumps about various subjects, there was nothing new in the way this story was developed. This was not a terribly bad book; it just was not an awesome book. I found myself skimming through it. I guess if I hadn’t seen such glowing reviews for this writer, I might not have been so disappointed, but I did, and I was. Won't be bothering with any more of her books - just not my taste I'm afraid. We can't all like the same things!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.