Historical romance with a rake

Welcome to Romanceopoly, the yearly reading challenge . You’ve landed on The Cobbles where your challenge is to read a historical romance book with a rake hero or rake heroine. Alternatively, if you want to take it easy, read any historical romance book of your choosing.

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THE COBBLES

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What is it with our love of bad boys? No matter what the genre, we all develop a soft spot for them. For historical romance, the classic bad boy type character is the rake. He’s the guy your matchmaking mother doesn’t want knocking on your door. He drinks too much, he gambles too deeply and chases skirt too ardently. He’s a rogue that can’t be tamed by anyone. Or can he?

(I am using the male pronoun a lot of this one, as a overwhelming majority of rake characters are men. But, if you find a female rake…go for it!)

Genre only challenge

If you’re doing the genre only version of the challenge, pick any historical romance book of your choosing! For more historical romance book recommendations take a look at our Historical romance page on Under the Covers book blog.

The recommendations

a-week-to-be-wicked-tessa-dare

A Week to be Wicked
by Tessa Dare

Publisher’s synopsis

When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin… time is not on their side.

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.

Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be… anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week to

• fake an elopement
• convince family and friends they’re in “love”
• outrun armed robbers
• survive their worst nightmares
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe… just maybe… love.


Devil-in-winter-lisa-kleypas

Devil in Winter
by Lisa Kleypas

Publisher’s synopsis

A devil’s bargain.

Desperate to escape her scheming relatives, Evangeline Jenner has sought the help of the most infamous scoundrel in London. A marriage of convenience is the only solution.

No one would have ever paired the shy, stammering wallflower with the sinfully handsome viscount. It quickly becomes clear, however, that Evie is a woman of hidden strength—and Sebastian desires her more than any woman he’s ever known.

Determined to win her husband’s elusive heart, Evie dares to strike a bargain with the devil: if Sebastian can stay celibate for three months, she will allow him into her bed. When Evie is threatened by a vengeful enemy from the past, Sebastian vows to do whatever it takes to protect his wife . . . even at the expense of his own life.

Together they will defy their perilous fate, for the sake of all-consuming love.


notorious-pleasures-elizabeth-hoyt

Notorious Pleasures
by Elizabeth Hoyt

Publisher’s synopsis

Their lives were perfect . . .
Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiance. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn’t bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother . . .

Until they met each other.
Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is far from perfect – and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire – desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero’s wedding nears, and Griffin’s enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?


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The Perfect Rake
by Anne Gracie

Publisher’s synopsis

Fate has lavished beauty on the Merridew sisters—that is, all save the eldest. But plain Prudence bears no grudge; she loves her four beautiful sisters infinitely. So when their abusive grandfather is laid up with an injury, she seizes the opportunity to concoct an ingenious plan that will allow all five of them to escape the clutches of their legal guardian. All it will take is a little matrimonial deception…

A renowned rake, Gideon, Lord Carradice, has a way of making ladies swoon. But when Prudence arrives at his doorstep and mistakes him for his cousin, the Duke, it is Gideon who’s infatuated. The delightful spitfire claims she and the Duke are engaged—although a taller tale was never told. In spite of the lies, Gideon is so taken with charming Prudence that he’s eager to join her game, especially if it will award him a stolen kiss or two. Now, Prudence’s plot is about to go terribly, albeit deliciously, awry…


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Ruthless-anne-stuart

Ruthless
by Anne Stuart

Publisher’s synopsis

Few outsiders will ever witness the dark misdeeds of the Heavenly Host. And among this secret society, where exiled Georgian aristocrats gather to indulge their carnal desires, fewer still can match the insatiable appetite of their chief provocateur, the mysterious Viscount Rohan.

Pursuit of physical pleasure is both his preferred pastime and his most pressing urge, until he encounters the fascination of a woman who won’t be swayed. And while his dark seduction appalls the pure and impoverished Elinor Harriman, she finds herself intrigued…and secretly drawn to the man behind the desire.


ten-things-i-hate-about-the-duke-loretta-chase

Ten Things I Hate About the Duke
by Loretta Chase

Publisher’s synopsis

Cassandra Pomfret holds strong opinions she isn’t shy about voicing. But her extremely plain speaking has caused an uproar, and her exasperated father, hoping a husband will rein her in, has ruled that her beloved sister can’t marry until Cassandra does.

Now, thanks to a certain wild-living nobleman, the last shreds of Cassandra’s reputation are about to disintegrate, taking her sister’s future and her family’s good name along with them.

The Duke of Ashmont’s looks make women swoon. His character flaws are beyond counting. He’s lost a perfectly good bride through his own carelessness. He nearly killed one of his two best friends. Still, troublemaker that he is, he knows that damaging a lady’s good name isn’t sporting.

The only way to right the wrong is to marry her…and hope she doesn’t smother him in his sleep on their wedding night.