Read The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie Online

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She ran from a brute...Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster....into the arms of a rakeAristocratic GidShe ran from a brute...Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster....into the arms of a rakeAristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence's game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry......

Title : The Perfect Rake
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425203958
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 360 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Perfect Rake Reviews

  • Nalini Singh
    2018-11-22 20:25

    Egads. Why have I not written of my love for this book? It's amazing, one of my favorite historicals! The hero is so *into* the heroine, it's wonderful. Sometimes, it's nice to get a dissolute rake who gets hit over the head with love and has to convince the heroine he can be who she needs him to be. Also, this book is just plain fun (though it does also have a more serious vein that runs through it).

  • Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness
    2018-12-01 23:14

    COME live with me and be my Love, And we will all the pleasures prove.There will I make thee beds of roses And a thousand fragrant posies, 10A cap of flowers, and a kirtle Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me and be my Love.THE PERFECT RAKE...was a beautiful love story that revolved around Prudence Merridew and Aristocratic Gideon romancing under the light of the glossy ballroom of London's ton. The story starts out with young prudence deciding to leave her childhood home with the rest of her sisters in hope of safeguarding her young sisters from their abusive uncle,her father brother who despised her mother for ruining the family linage before dying away.orphaned and abused pure, doesn't believe that love was something she would ever get, until she meets,our young,dashing and Aristocratic Lord Gideon,whose promised to win her heart and marry her , if that the last thing he's ever going to do...her fiance be damned. ;)Initially when i started out, i expected the tale to follow in a very typical pattern that's usually the layed out plot for all rakish story..but boy wasn't in for a surprise.This the plot was hilarious.....“What if I shave?" he said. "I look much better when I'm shaved. My cousin will vouch for that—do I not look almost handsome when I shave, Edward? " He didn't wait for the duke's reply but turned earnestly back to Prudence. "Do you think you could marry me if I shaved?” full of mayhem,drama and romance from its initial pages to its very romantic end....“I shan't mind if you don't," he agreed. "But I'll not let you go, Prudence. Til not pester you, but know this: I will wait until you choose to listen to your heart.""Pshaw." It was a feeble effort. She took a deep breath and tried again. "Humbug! How can you presume to know my heart?"He smiled a slow, devastating smile. "You are my heart." And you know it.” with strong ah-mazing and hilarious leads AND secondary characters..,(especially the Gideon ! rakish devil ,he stole my heart !) this book was an absolute delight to read,and defiantly a promising debut to the rest of the series...RECOMMENDED :To anybody in search of a fun yet absolutely entertaining historical read for the day.trust me this is one of those books you'll never regret picking up in the first place =)

  • Dina
    2018-11-20 01:23

    I loved this book! It was funny and endearing at the same time. I don't remember when was the last time I laughed so much with a book, and I "blame" Gideon for that. :) He played the role of the charming rake to perfection but, wow, when he fell for his beloved "Miss Imp", he really fell hard and fast! I cheered out loud - in my mind, that is! - with his final act of bravery and heroism.Prudence, Gideon's beloved "Miss Imp", was a hoot too. Her failed attempts at resisting his charms had me smiling throughout the whole book. Her loyalty to her "fiancé" Phillip seemed a little exaggerated at first, considering how young she was when she made her vow to him and how long had been since they were separated, but it was all explained when she revealed her "secret" to Gideon. That was a very sad moment and I really hated Phillip for what he did, and the sentiment only got worse with his further actions. Thankfully, Gideon was there to save the day and love Prudence as she deserved!Some of the antics performed by Gideon and Prudence were almost silly and did not have any resemblance to reality, but I really didn't care because I was just having too much fun. Kudos to the author for writing scenes and dialogues so entertaining that you find yourself immersed in her storytelling and forget everything else!

  • Jilly
    2018-12-03 21:11

    Who doesn't love a reformed rake in HR? They are so charming and funny. And, funny is my Achilles Heel. My hubs should know. You get me to laugh and I'm helpless to your charms. You would think that this weakness would make me like clowns. But, you would be wrong. Clowns are an abomination. They are pure evil and should never be thought of as anything less than spawns of satan.Holy shit! Nightmares commencing now..Lord Carradice is a proper rake. He is immune to the charms of women, until he meets Prudence. She is a plain girl with beautiful sisters and was being held prisoner by an abusive grandparent until she made an escape to London. When these two meet, it doesn't exactly go well at first. It basically culminates with her beating the crap out of him with her purse. I like this girl.But, she has inadvertently gotten herself into a fake betrothal with him, so she is stuck with him. I can think of worse things. This guy really cracks me up.When they are at a party where the hostess's daughter is playing the violin:"..from the sounds emanating from her, she must be standing on a cat, and I don't approve of cruelty to animals - or ears!..... Whoever that girl's music master is, he should be hanged, drawn, and quartered - preferably while she plays him a dirge on that thing."Oh jeez, this guy would have ruined me within minutes of meeting him. He's my kryptonite.But, Prudence is secretly engaged to a total asshole (although she doesn't see it. Yet.), so she is determined not to let this rake get to her. And, of course, this makes him want her more. He sees her as the most beautiful woman he has ever met. He sees her sisters as plain, although they are beautiful. He can't even wrap his head around the idea that others think she is plain. I have to say that if the humor didn't get me, his vision of her did. It was super adorable the way he found her so irresistible. When he is talking to his cousin about Prudence and her sisters:Cousin: "Prudence's sisters are all quite extraordinarily beautiful."Gideon frowned. "Beautiful? Are they" Are you sure?... As lovely as Prudence?"The duke's jaw dropped. "much lovelier than Prudence. Each one of her sisters, even little Grace would outshine Prudence in every respect."Gideon stared at him in a moment's disbelief. "I might not have taken much notice of the other sisters, but I did spend upwards of half hour with young Grace, and though she's a nice little thing and quite pretty, she's not a patch on Prudence."Edward observed him solemnly for a moment and then gave a large, satisfied sigh. "This," he said, "promises to be vastly entertaining."Now, that's a keeper! A guy who always looks at you with beer goggles on!This story was fun and amusing, but there were a few darker elements as well. The grandfather was very horrible and there is an obvious rape that happened, but wasn't actually addressed. Still, those dark things did not bring down the story at all. I was still smiling through most of the book and got the warm fuzzies by the end.

  • Shawna
    2018-11-20 19:07

    4 ½ stars – Historical RomanceOh what a delightful, sweet treat this turned out to be! Gideon, Lord Carradice is a devilishly charming, flirtatious, affable, seemingly carefree and superficial rake, but he harbors an underlying heart of gold, an innate caring, protective nature, and a hidden, deep yearning for love. And all it takes to rumple his composed, raffish façade and reveal the truly sweet, adoring, and devoted man within is a feisty, spirited, redheaded, fiercely loyal, and nearly on the shelf spinster and sister, Prudence Merridew. There are some sad parts because of the abuse Prudence and her sisters suffer at the violent hands of their grandfather and painful secrets in both Gideon's and Prue's pasts, but it's also filled with numerous funny, tender, and romantic moments.Overall, The Perfect Rake is a nearly perfect read with a sexy, lovable, to die for reformed rake hero and sweet, endearing romance that will leave you with a big, happy smile on your face. It certainly did that for me!

  • Phrynne
    2018-11-19 21:05

    This was lots of fun. Anne Gracie has picked up the style of Georgette Heyer, added some sex and made it her own. Gideon (the Rake in the title) is a wonderful character worthy of anything Miss Heyer could have written. I still want to know how eyes can actually look limpid but it sounds marvelous. I am a sucker for anything Regency and this one scored high. I shall be reading more of her books.

  • Rane
    2018-11-30 17:12

    Amazing book! I had to stop reading a few times from laughing so hard! I couldn't help but feel sorry for Prudence as she dig her way deeper into her funny lies with Gideon right there beside her, to make the situation even worse and funnier.Even with the dark undertones of abuse, the story never lets up from it's lightheartedness and humor, with Gideon always ready with a joke and Prudence having to hold her tongue from not laughing or blowing her cover.The secondary characters are also a blast with Uncle Oswald and the sisters. Great book and I’ll picking up the rest of this great series for sure!

  • Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
    2018-12-01 19:20

    This book went from aninsanely hilariousbeginning to a sadly ordinary middle, to end in a dramatic and satisfyingly bloodlusty climax. So an above average read despite the story and the plotline leaving me just a bit dissatisfied.I won’t go into details but I liked the book for two and a half reasons – First, because I was tickled silly, lolling-about-holding-my-sides tickled silly!The book finds its funny groove in the 3rd chapter and keeps shooting one sharp witticism after another.“….and I thought you would suit my purposes perfectly, being a famous hermit—”“Are you really?” he interjected interestedly.“Am I what?” demanded Prudence, confused.“A famous hermit.”“Not me, lack-wit—you!” she snapped. Across Prudence’s head, Sir Oswald waggled his eyebrows at Gideon in a man-to-man fashion. Gideon, not knowing what else to do, waggled his back. ........“Do you think ladies’ eyebrows can communicate as well?” she asked.“No, they don’t have sufficient thicketry,” he said with authority.“Thicketry?”“Yes, that is the official term.”Oh yes, the half point is for Great Uncle Oswald (probably the father of modern herbalism) with his penchant for secret concoctions and herbal teas (dandelion, rhubarb, cowslip and what have you!) and those deadly purges! She felt a sudden twinge in her stomach; Great-uncle Oswald’s herbal purge making its presence felt. She grimaced and rose hurriedly, wishing there was an equally effective herbal remedy against rakes.And the second solid reason is the H!I can safely say I haven’t encountered another like him ever before – he’s just perfect! Sweet, kind, generous, gentle, caring, witty and so in love with the plain-Jane h. He combines the best of alpha and beta qualities. (This book, by the way, has the best and worst examples of masculinity- while there are two who resemble the kind of things one hopes to not step on while out dog walking, the other two - the H and Great Uncle Oswald - leave you with the warmest loveliest feeling ever.)The whole world, including her own sisters think her plain, but from the moment the H meets her, he has eyes for no other – not even her celebrated beauties of sisters! It was almost like a love potion/spell effect on him or simply true love! “I shall wait for you until I am old and gray if I must. But I’ll have you in the end, my Prudence. And you’ll come to me with a whole heart, you’ll see.”“If you were mine, I'd never leave you, Prudence. I couldn't.”And so..“When a rake falls, he falls so hard.”A solid 4 stars just for him!

  • Didi
    2018-12-09 22:19

    I'm not a huge fan of humorous HR, I much prefer more emotional angst, seriousness interspersed with bits of wit, and depth of feeling. Not to say there wasn't emotion here, there was, but not the kind I love. I loved Gideon, seeing a notorious rake fall hard and fast is always a winner for me. Prudence was okay, not a memorable heroine exactly, maybe because she was of the humorous variety. There also seemed to be many exclamation marks as if everyone had something loud or exciting to say. Anyways, this is a well loved book so it's more my tastes that prevent me from rating it higher.

  • Susanne
    2018-11-30 19:03

    This book was amazing! Amazing, amazing, amazing. It was so good - straight to favs. And Gideon *swoons* might very well be the most amazing hero ever. This was the funniest, most heart-warming, romantic book I have read all year. If you like historical romances this is a must-read. I can't believe I had this on my TBR-shelf for so long - but the better for me right now :-)It is always difficult to review an amazing book because nothing you say can really explain the magic of the story and all words feel to small. The plot was wonderful. Prudence is the eldest sister of five and takes care of her your sisters and try to protect them from their abusive guardian. When he falls down the stairs they escape to London and must marry soon - before their Grandpapa recovers. Their great uncle wants to marry of Prudence first, but she's already secretly betrothed to her childhood love who she hasn't seen for over four years. But since her sisters cannot enter society before she is wed she conjures a fake betrothal to a duke who never visits London - only he has just arrived. Prudence tries to save the day but only tangles herself further when she mistakes Gideon for the duke, and it doesn't get any easier when they start to fall in love.This book was so funny without being silly. Gideon was the sweetest, most protective, adorable rakish hero and following his confusion about falling in love with Prue was adorable. Prudence is so loyal, a protective motherly hen who does everything for others and really never put herself first. All her sisters are beauties but she's the ugly duckling - only Gideon cannot see that."Plain? Why the devil does everyone keep saying she is plain?" declared Gideon in exasperation. "Do you all need spectacles?"I give up. I cannot describe this amazing book. The character development and the plot was wonderful and I couldn't stop reading. I loved all characters (except the evil ones) and little sister Grace warmed my heart. Gideon provided laughter, charm, super sweet sigh moments and totally hot possessive alpha moments *swoon*.

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    2018-11-27 01:22

    At first I thought I would be annoyed by Prudence's sisters. One of them was so overwhelmed by the prospect of escaping their grandfather and marrying that in an instant she forgot what their oldest sister did for them. Fortunately, that sister didn't play any important role in the book so it was good. Since it seems the second book is about her, I am not in a hurry to read it. I need to forget or at least dull her presence here. There is so much unexpected darkness in this book. Their grandfather is truly evil and horrible man. He hates women. He beats his granddaughters because his son left him when he fell in love with their mother. The book starts with them trying to save their youngest sister, a ten-year-old, from a severe beating. Only because she was trying to make something Egyptian-looking. Others get regular beatings for using their left hand or having red hair or whatever he thinks next. I was glad when they got away. The fun part starts when the two protagonists meet for the first time. One of the reasons I enjoyed this was that the only secrets they have between them are those they just haven't thought of discussing (his family history and what happened when she was sixteen). I loved Gideon from the first moment. He never acts a rake though. We are told he is one by others. There is nothing pathetic or forceful in his relentless pursuit or what she sees as his play. The hilarious fact is he doesn't see her sisters as more beautiful than her. I was getting annoyed by the constant emphasis how the sisters are beautiful but poor Prudence is not. When their grandfather's brother says that Prudence needs to be married first because the others would ruin her chances, Gideon thinks there must be something very wrong with them. To be honest I didn't expect to like this book this much. Two sisters get their happy ending in this book. I am not in a hurry to read about the third until I forget she was in this book. I did love the youngest. it was heart-breaking when Gideon thinks what could possibly scare a fearless ten-year-old Grace?

  • Jo
    2018-11-29 00:07

    And when a rake finally falls, he falls forever.Oh, how I absolutely loved this book, every single part of it.Gideon is the perfect rake, really he is. I loved how flirtatious he is, and he was just amazing with Prudence. To him she wasn’t plain like she was to everyone else, to him she was the most beautiful woman in the world. “If you were mine, I'd never leave you, Prudence. I couldn't.”Prudence was just an amazing character, so loyal and protective of her sisters. All she wanted for her sisters was sunshine, laughter, love and happiness. Never believing that she could have that too.Prudence sisters were so adorable, especially little Grace, and I loved the secondary characters in the book.The chemistry between Gideon and Prudence was intense, and I loved their romance. “I shan't mind if you don't," he agreed. "But I'll not let you go, Prudence. Til not pester you, but know this: I will wait until you choose to listen to your heart.""Pshaw." It was a feeble effort. She took a deep breath and tried again. "Humbug! How can you presume to know my heart?"He smiled a slow, devastating smile. "You are my heart." He lifted her hand and kissed it. "And our hearts beat in tune. I know it—I, who used not to believe in such things. And you know it.”This book is going on my keeper shelf, and I will reread it again and again. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

  • Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
    2018-12-05 22:27

    **5 CAPTIVATING …”when a rake finally falls, he falls forever” STARS**This was my first book by Anne Gracie and I will certainly be dipping into more of her books, based on how much I loved this one. It’s romantic, funny and full of characters who totally captured my heart. There are some darker moments, but they never overshadowed the lovely heart-warming feeling I had after I finished reading it.How could anyone love such a wicked, funny, foolish man? How could they not?Oh, Gideon is such a wonderful hero. Wickedly charming, amiable and flirtatious, he hides a vulnerable heart beneath his frivolous rakishness. A lonely, sad, loveless childhood has made him determined to embrace a carefree lifestyle, determined to show the world that he cares for nothing and no-one. He sees love as a weakness but that changes the moment he meets a certain Prudence Merridew!I love how, when everyone else regards Prudence as plain, Gideon sees her as unique and beautiful.“Plain! Is there something wrong with your eyes? She’s not the slightest bit plain! Those eyes, that smile, that hair— from top to toe, Prudence Merridew is a rare little gem!”It is refreshing to see Gideon as the one falling hopelessly in love first and being open and honest about his feelings for Prudence. His kindness and thoughtfulness is so clearly revealed in the way he treats Grace, the youngest of the Merridew sisters, and how he brings joy back into all the sisters’ lives.Prudence could have hugged him. Not since their parents had died had her sisters laughed and sung and giggled with such riotous glee.It is chilling to read the abuse that Prudence and her four sisters suffered at the hands of their grandfather, a bitter, hate-filled old man, and discovering the true extent of his cruelty towards Prudence is truly heart-rending. Their plight seems more poignant knowing how different their lives had been before their parents died… filled with sunshine and laughter and love and happiness.Prudence’s overwhelming love for her sisters shines through and she finds the strength, determination and courage to plan their escape from their grandfather’s clutches and find a safe haven with their caring Great-uncle Oswald. It tugged at my heartstrings when Prudence promises them that one day their lives will once more be filled with sunshine, laughter, love and happiness.Gideon’s determination to win Prudence had me rooting for him all the way but Prudence’s misplaced loyalty to the pompous, mercenary Phillip Otterbury had me so frustrated. Luckily, as with any good romances, Phillip’s true colours are revealed. I love the scene where Gideon outmanoeuvres him with just wit alone.I loved the kind-hearted Great-uncle Oswald, such a contrast to his brother, and the forceful Aunt Gussie who makes short shrift of Otterbury.“I am morally responsible for this young lady, and I can see it will do her no good at all to be alone in your company. In fact, Mr. Ottertosh”— she rose from the sofa—“I think it is high time you departed. Shoebridge shall show you the way out.” She reached for the bellpull and yanked hard.(Ottertosh is just one of various amusing names Otterbury gets called)There is a sweet secondary romance between the Duke of Dinstable and Charity Merridew which is mostly played out off page and doesn’t detract from the main romance at all.I love the humour which runs throughout the story and acts as a counterpoint to the darker moments. Here are a couple of my favourite humorous quotes…“I would appreciate it if you would stop… stop… ogling me like that,” she hissed, tugging her very modest neckline higher. “It is very embarrassing.” She folded her arms across her breasts defensively.“It wasn’t me”. He tried to look contrite. “It wasn’t me,” he confessed. “It was my eyes. They are bold and easily led and have no sense of propriety.’~~~~“You mustn’t disdain the protection of a frippery shag bag and a medium-sized duke with a tendency to stoutness. We can be formidable fellows when we try, you know.”~~~~MY VERDICT: A LOVELY GEM OF A BOOK AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARSThe Merridew Sisters series (click on the book covers for more details):This review is also posted on my Rakes and Rascals Blog:https://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com...

  • Edwina
    2018-11-12 23:15

    The Perfect Rake is a story about 5 young girls (sisters) that suffer horriable physical and mental abuse at the hands of their grandpapa who has taken them in because their parents ar dead. The Grandfather is very sadistic. the eldest sister is Prudence (heroine) in the story escapes with her sister to go to London to live with their Great Uncle. To accomplish this Prudence had to lie more times than I can count as the story goes on.The Grand Uncle wont let the other sister come out until Prudence has found a husband because she is very plain looking and her sister s are beautiful. The very selfish sisters convenience her to lie once again. she does this by arriving at the Duke of Dinstable house were she want to tell him she has ensnared him in a betroth to her by telling her uncle they are engaged, but it is not the Duke she is speaking with it is his cousin Lord Carradice( Hero) in the story. May problems with the book was Prudence has been engaged with a man name Phillip for 4 plus years he has taken her virtue barely write as he in living in Indian, an she also has to keep the betroth a secret. A 12 year old can see the writing on the wall that hes just not that in to you!!! She defends him constantly and berates Lord Carridice and treats him very nasty because she has been told he is a rake and libertine, but he is the one who is always willing to help her with her lies and deception to keep her and her sisters safe from their grand papa . So how can Prudence treat him so badly after all of her abuse and neglect she has received from Phiilip? It is obvious to the reader that Philip has got from her want he wants! and now he just doesn't want her to not tell anyone!!! and she cant figure this out!!! how stupid can you be? Very depressing story it just doesn't work for me I don't understand authors who write romance novels and put all the child abuse and rape in the story. That's not a romance story for me a bit to depressing I wont be buying the other books in the series!!! Also their could have been a lot more sensual romance in the story to balance it out instead of the constant repeating of how Ugly Prudence was this was sad really!!!

  • Juliana Philippa
    2018-11-20 00:22

    Prudence Merridew is very plain (you will hear about this *a lot* in the book), especially when compared to her four extremely beautiful younger sisters. Oddly enough it is notoriously infamous rake, Gideon, Lord Carradice, who sees only a strong-minded spitfire with beautiful grey eyes and proves the saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." This book is utterly fantastic, Gideon is definitely one of my favorite heroes of all-time, and - while very dark in some parts - THE PERFECT RAKE will have you laughing out loud in others!

  • Caz
    2018-12-08 19:03

    4.5 starsThis is my second year taking part in Super Wendy’s Multi-Blog TBR Challenge, and even though I don’t read the various romance sub-genres widely, I’ve nonetheless managed to find something in my TBR pile to fit the prompts each month. But I’m afraid I’m going to wuss out for the first time. November’s prompt is “It’s all about the hype” – and I don’t have anything that fits the bill. For one thing, historical romances don’t attract that sort of attention any more and for another, as an ex-PR professional, one whiff of hype is enough to make me head for the hills and almost guarantee I’m NOT going to read the book in question!So instead, I decided to pick up a book from my TBR pile that has been recommended to me various times and is regarded as one of those that every self-respecting historical romance reader should have read. I don’t have too many of those on my TBR these days, and while Anne Gracie’s The Perfect Rake is no Lord of Scoundrels or Flowers from the Storm, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable story which, while mostly light-hearted and humorous, is nonetheless peppered with some darker themes and incidents which add weight to the overall texture and provide a necessary counterpoint to a book which could otherwise have turned into a farce. It’s unusual to open an historical romance on a shocking scene, but The Perfect Rake does just that, as our heroine, Prudence Merridew has to rescue her youngest sister, Grace, from the severe beating being inflicted upon her by their vicious, maniacal grandfather. The five girls were left to his guardianship following the death of their parents, and he frequently beats and abuses them all. When the old man falls and breaks his leg chasing Prudence down the stairs, she decides, once and for all, that they must get away before one of them is killed. With their grandfather confined to bed, and with the help of the local doctor, Prudence concocts a scheme which sees them away to London to stay with their great-uncle Oswald. In a few weeks, Prue will be twenty-one, and the guardianship of her sisters will revert to her; and if one of them can marry quickly, the fortune left them by their parents will become available to them. With her sisters being such beauties, Prudence is utterly convinced that they will attract the right sort of male attention, and so she has high hopes of their being able to escape their grandfather for good.Great-uncle Oswald, a fashionable and very kind older gentlemen, is delighted to see his five nieces, and is not only keen to have them stay with him, but also kits them out with new wardrobes and agrees to sponsor their débuts in society. There is, however, an unforeseen snag when Oswald, believing that anyone who sees the younger sisters will not look twice at Prudence, decides that he will “fire her off” alone, and not allow her sisters to appear in public until she has attracted a suitor. She is dismayed – this was not part of her plan at all, and besides, she regards herself as betrothed to Philip Otterbury, a young man employed in one of her grandfather’s businesses out in India, so cannot possibly contract another engagement.Desperate to find a way to change her great-uncle’s mind, Prudence tells him she is betrothed to the reclusive Duke of Dinstable, knowing that the duke lives far away in Scotland and never leaves his estate. Unfortunately, however, the duke has decided it’s time to find himself a wife and has just arrived in London. Frantic, Prudence goes to his town house early the next morning to pre-empt Uncle Oswald’s call, and finds herself face-to-face with the handsomest – and most annoying – man she’s ever met. Lord Gideon Caradice is actually the duke’s cousin, and has a reputation as a rake of the first order. Beneath the façade, however, is a truly good, kind-hearted man with a protective streak a mile wide. He’s adorable - gorgeous, funny and charming and even though his flippancy annoys Prudence, she can’t help but be amused by him and struck by his good-looks. Their conversation here sets the tone for most of their interchanges throughout the book, which are frequently laugh-out-loud funny, often insightful and sometimes beautifully tender. Prudence has become used to thinking of herself as the ugly-duckling of the family, yet she is not envious of her sisters or bitter, wanting only the best for them. So it comes as a major surprise to her to realise that to Gideon, SHE is the beautiful one and he hasn’t even noticed her sisters."Plain? Why the devil does everyone keep saying she is plain?" declared Gideon in exasperation. "Do you all need spectacles?"Where Prudence has looked at herself and seen a small, freckled, unfashionably red-haired young woman, Gideon sees a spirited, curvaceous beauty who trades him quip for quip and heats his blood. I do love the “rake felled by love” trope, and there’s no doubt that Gideon falls fast and hard for Prudence. She is equally smitten, but holds herself back; at first, she thinks his compliments are just the offhand flirtations of a hardened rake, and also feels bound by her betrothal to Philip. Prudence doesn’t take her promises lightly, and her loyalty is another of the things Gideon loves about her, even though, in this instance, it works against him.Both principals are beautifully drawn characters and the reader is left in no doubt that they are perfect for each other. Given his background as the child of an unhappy marriage, Gideon could easily have been one of those stereotypical brooding heroes who swears off love, but he isn’t. There is a hint of darkness there, but he covers it with a lovely self-deprecating charm and his quick wit, often concealing his keen intelligence behind a buffoonish mask. The depth of his affection for Prudence is wonderful to see, and she truly blossoms under his care. She’s been holding her family together for so long, shoring up her sisters’ spirits by telling them stories of their young lives in Italy:“We were all born in Italy, in a house filled with sunshine and laughter and love and happiness, and I promise you, no matter how bad it seems, one day we shall all live like that again. With sunshine and laughter and love and happiness. I promise!”- and of their loving parents, vowing that she will get them away from their nightmarish life; and I loved that she at last found someone who could relieve her of some of that burden. As is obvious, I really enjoyed The Perfect Rake, although I do have a couple of minor niggles. I’ve already mentioned that the opening is shocking, and while I don’t have a problem with that, I found the sudden change from dark to light once the girls have arrived in London to be a little jarring. I had the same feeling towards the end of the book when the mood again changes abruptly – this time in the opposite direction, and takes a turn for the overly melodramatic. What worked better were the hints dropped throughout the story about Prudence’s past and the truly disgusting treatment she received at the hands of the men who were supposed to care for her. It’s that which makes her story all the more uplifting; she suffered mistreatment and a terrible tragedy and yet she is still able to find it within herself to face the world and to fall in love.Ms Gracie’s writing flows beautifully, and the humour in the book never feels artificial or forced. There is a strong cast of secondary characters including Prudence’s sisters and their formidable Aunt Agatha, the wonderfully unconventional widow of a South American nobleman. In spite of my small reservations, I’d definitely recommend The Perfect Rake to anyone looking for a light-hearted read with a bit of substance to it.

  • Nadia
    2018-12-09 20:05

    The first 40% were spectacular, but it just went south from then. The southest that ever southeted.

  • Mei
    2018-11-16 18:14

    A sweet and very cute book.I liked the heroine, Prudence, even if I was torn. On one hand I liked her quick wit and her ingenuity, on the other I hated her stubborness when it went against her. But still, I liked her and sometimes even admired her!If I liked Pru, I adored Gideon! He was fantastic! His devious mind was plain genius! His way of confounding Pru with double meanings was fantastic!The very best part of this book was the dialogue! Brilliant!All in all a very funny and enjoyable book!

  • Zumbagirl
    2018-12-11 22:10

    4.5 stars.The Perfect Rake was a very enjoyable read - styled somewhat like a Georgette Heyer book, mixed with a dash of Mary Balogh and Loretta Chase. It was funny, witty, beautifully written and cute (tons of exclamation points like Ms. Heyer). This is the first book I've read by Ms. Gracie and I look forward to the next in the series (can't believe I've got involved in another series). The heroine, Prudence, is somewhat plain - but the hero, Gideon thinks she's beautiful - and falls for her on the spot. Prudence is the oldest of 5 daughters, whose parents died 10 years previously. Their grandfather - who is pure evil - has been their guardian and abused them terribly. They plan an escape to London to visit the great-uncle, under false pretense, and set out to have a season and marry one of the girls - not Prudence, who is supposedly betrothed. Her betrothed, Phillip, has been in India for over four years and she's been waiting for him. Everything we read about him, we see he's a total idiot and later we learn the full extent of this (it's really bad, much worse that I could have imagined). I loved Prudence's loyalty and strength - she is everything to her sisters, who depend on her and look up to her. She's the best big sister and wants the best for them and couldn't bear to see their grandfather continuing to beat them, especially the youngest sister, Grace. Gideon presents as a carefree, flippant man, but he has skeletons in his closet too. He's besotted with Prudence for the entire story, tries to convince her of this, but she's set on Phillip. Really, she loves him too, but just doesn't want to jilt Phillip. There are secrets kept, but nicely explained and we quickly see Gideon is the perfect man for Prudence. Despite his initial misgivings about love and marriage, he realizes Prudence is the girl for him. Things I loved about this book: The relationship with the sisters - they were all so cute!! Especially how Prudence was the big sister, playing the mother hen role (that was me with my sister). There's nothing better than a besotted hero/reformed rake/plain Jane trope. He treated Prudence so kindly and I loved their interactions and dialogue. It's not a steamy read, mostly kisses, but well-written. The comeuppance of the idiot-ex-fiance was great. I wish the grandfather got a better punishment, he was a devil. The second love story was also a treat. Highly recommend this book to anyone who likes regency romances!

  • Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
    2018-11-13 01:21

    4.5 StarsPrudence Merridew and her beautiful sisters have runaway from her evil Grandfather. After seeing her youngest sister, Grace, being beaten by her Grandfather Prudence knows they have to escape. Pulling off a massive deception they run to London to stay with their Great-Uncle and hope to find husbands so they can be forever out of the influence of their Grandfather. But Prudence tells one lie too many and manages to become betrothed to the charming rake Gideon, Lord Calladice.I think I must be in the Plain Jane mood, this is the second book I have read like this, one sister completely different in looks from her blonde and slender sisters! But I love it. If anyone knows more of these kind of books, don't hesitate in letting me know! I think Gideon may be the perfect man. I LOVED him, I don't know how Prudence resisted him. Here is a list of Why I Love Gideon:1. Despite Prue being the "plain" one he only sees her as beautiful and is truely bewildered when people say her sisters are the gorgeous ones, he just doesn't see it. 2. He falls in love with Prudence first and isn't afriad to admit it and pursue her. 3. He is a rake, but rather then being a dark brooding *yawn* tortured rake, he is fairly light hearted and just enough wicked to keep it interesting4. He is adorable with 10 year old Grace, the youngest Merridew sister and takes a good, and well deserved, kick in the shins from her without complaint. 5. Did I mention he was hawt?I liked Prudence as well, although Gideon did kind of steal the show for me, what was good was that rather then the hero being the tortured one, she was, some truely terrible things had happened to her but she moves on and does her best for her sisters. A fantastic read, which I am sure I will reread at some point. I definitely recommend it!

  • Linda
    2018-12-08 21:32

    Prudence Merridew was the oldest of the Merridew sisters and responsible for the young ladies. They were all 'lookers' whereas Prudence was on the short side, had a long nose, bright red uncontrollable hair and was, just maybe, on the plump side. She was also unofficially betrothed to a childhood friend whom she hadn't seen in four years and she had a dastardly abusive grandfather. So......Once upon a time, five sisters lived with their Grandpapa. They would have been a happy but the man was vindictive and abusive. He intended that the young women live with him forever. Marriage was out so they saw little recourse except to take off while he was incapacitated and on the mend. With some little white lies, they pawned themselves on to their great-uncle Oswald. And, within a short time, Prudence met the popular rake Lord Carradice, Gideon; she mistook him for the Duke of Dinstable. Gideon immediately fell in lust.This is a light historical romance with Gideon pursuing Prudence. He finds her beautiful even when everyone else thinks the sisters are the lovely ones. It contains quirky, goofy and nonsensical moments. And I relished Gideon's sweet charm. He was the reason for my investment in the storyline with his smouldering good looks, charming banter and swoon-inducing actions.If I didn't know better, I would have thought he had fallen under a spell but it was simply Prudence. And love. This enchanting story is for all of us that secretly wish for a champion.

  • Jane Stewart
    2018-12-03 17:31

    2 ½ stars. Not a good story for me.I liked the first half - the way the sisters ran away to get away from the abusive grandfather. I did not like the second half which was mostly the relationship between Prue and Gideon. It was all about she likes him but tells herself she must not have him. She acts like she doesn’t like him, but she does. He keeps doing nice things and romantic things. All she does is reject him, but she doesn’t want to reject him. Throw in some inaccurate assumptions like Prue thinks Gideon wants her as a mistress instead of a wife. But she doesn’t ask him to clarify, she just avoids him. I want something more than vague relationship mumbo jumbo.Prue’s thing is that four years ago at age 16 she promised herself to Phillip, who has been in India. She doesn’t feel free to love another. Phillip has not written to her for a long time. This was a secret promise. No parent was involved. DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 360 pages. Swearing language: mild. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 3. Setting: early 1800s England. Copyright: 2005. Genre: historical romance.

  • BJ Rose
    2018-12-10 18:02

    What a great first book in the series about the Merridew sisters. Prudence is a courageous heroine who protects her sisters from their verbally & physically abusive grandfather. While he is bedridden with a broken ankle, they escape to London to their Granduncle Oswald (who becomes a great secondary character in the series). Their goal is to get married as soon as possible to escape the guardianship of their grandfather, but Oswald puts a kink in their plans when he insists that Prudence marry first. She is considered a 'plain jane' in comparison to her lovely younger sisters, and also has a PAST that she feels makes it impossible to marry, so she invents a fake engagement to a very eligible man who never comes to London - SURPRISE! Enter Gideon, who quickly becomes infatuated, then falls in love, but keeps his sense of humor, even (or especially) when mayhem occurs. His Aunt Gussie is another great secondary character.I love Gracie's witty and humorous style - the storyline in the later books in this series did not always hold up, but this one kept me involved all the way.

  • Wendy
    2018-11-14 00:15

    Wonderful, witty and romantic with a dark story running in the background, I loved the first in this series and it certainly won't be my last Anne Gracie. She writes with a great insight and understanding of human nature, notwithstanding the darker elements of this story this is a beautifully written, charming and extremely humorous love story.The Merridew sisters have escaped their tyrannical grandfather after years of physical and mental abuse. Their goal is to marry off Charity, the second eldest of these delightful siblings. Prudence, the eldest, has always been the surrogate Mother of the family after the tragic death of their beloved parents and has been the one to have suffered the worst treatment at the hands of their grandfather - her self esteem is at an all time low. The reason she has been the main butt of her grandfather's cruelty become clear later in the story.Prudence embroils herself in all sorts of scrapes trying to explain the appearance of her family in London; they arrive at the home of their great uncle Oswald, the younger brother of their grandfather who is the antithesis of his brother, being kindly, loving and eccentric. He immediately agrees to launch the eldest two girls into society. However, he is a stickler for propriety, and will not allow Charity to appear until her elder sister is 'fired off'. Prudence has her own reasons for not wanting to be married and devises a scam involving a man she has never met, Edward, Duke of Dinstable. Feeling herself to be safe from the reclusive Duke, who hasn't been seen in society for many years, she tells her uncle they have been secretly engaged for more than four years: first mistake - the problems snowball from this point on, the reclusive Duke has arrived in town and Prudence must somehow stop her Uncle from calling on him to persuade said Duke 'to do the honourable thing'!The comedy of errors continues when Prudence arrives at Edward's home to explain and beg for his complicity in her lie and to assure him she is not attempting to trap him into marriage. Unwittingly she explains to the wrong man and Edward's cousin, Gideon, a rake and confirmed bachelor, is highly and comically amused, and utterly captivated by the plucky little Prudence. He sees a beauty, invisible to most, and there follows a brilliantly funny interchange between these two characters talking at cross purposes. Prudence does not realise she is not talking to Edward and Gideon very quickly realises what is happening and ruthlessly exploits the situation, initiating her into the joys of kissing.The rest of the story follows at a fast pace with some sad, poignant moments but also some hilariously uproarious interactions between Gideon and Prudence, whom he renames 'Imp' deciding her name is totally inadequate to her nature - he much prefers 'Imprudence'.There is also a comical and entertaining scene between Gideon and great uncle Oswald where Gideon unwittingly becomes betrothed to Prudence; however, not unhappy about the situation he does his best to make it fact. His complete and utter belief in Prudence's beauty - the phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" comes to mind - and his fear that every other man will try to take her away from him is endearingly sweet and funny and proves that this rake has fallen completely under her, albeit unintentional, spell. He becomes her champion and protector whether she wishes it or not. Gideon has his own demons to slay but in the process of falling heavily for his Prudence his strong loveable and honourable character emerges, in short, Gideon is the perfect hero...5 stars for a wonderfully funny, sad but poignant read, pure entertainment. Gideon is one of those heroes I will not forget.

  • Sha
    2018-12-09 19:26

    (view spoiler)[Did she even see the child? Would she be allowed? Did she even know where he or she was? Was it a boy or a girl? He pictured a tiny girl with Prudence's eyes. He hoped it wasn't a girl. He couldn't bear a little girl with Prudence's face growing up alone and unloved. And if it were a boy... He imagined a small boy with curly red hair, a look of dogged determination on his little face, a stubborn little chin, just like Miss Imp's firm little chin.Oh, God, the whole idea was unbearable. He had to speak to her at once. (hide spoiler)]This is a re-read, mostly because I remember far too little about books I read years ago and I want to rectify that. A little.I seem to recall I didn't like any other Anne Grace book as much as I liked this one, and no wonder.For the most part, this book is a very light and very fun read. It essentially follows the story of a heroine who finds herself... embroidering the truth (sometimes out of whole cloth) and a hero who is consistently delighted to be part of the embroidery. Prudence and Gideon overact and improvise marvelously, adapting themselves seamlessly to situations and in the process going through some of the most adorable flirting I've seen in books. Both of them are consistently good-humored and compassionate, and I was rooting for this ship from the first meeting. That said, there is a darker undercurrent that runs throughout the story, dealing with far more serious issues. It mostly becomes evident halfway through the book, because the characters do not spend all their time staring soulfully into the moors being upset about their horrible and tragic lives. (view spoiler)[Gideon had his mother run away with her sisters' husband, and his father committed suicide over the matter, so his aversions to strong romantic feelings make far more sense than those of the hero who has been jilted and is too much of a baby to get over it. Prudence and her sisters have a horrifically abusive grandfather, and Prudence was once beaten so hard over an affair that she miscarried. (hide spoiler)] But both of them deal with the very real blows life has handed them by squaring up their shoulders and moving on with things, because shit happens and they have other things to worry about right now. In this, I have to make a note of Prudence in particular. It's often very hard to find a romance novel heroine whose character extends beyond "pretty, unobjectionable and unremarkable", but Prudence FIGHTS every step of the way with a single minded determination that's just beautiful. Towards the end of the book, she had to be tied up and gagged to allow the hero have his moment in the spotlight, and even then she temporarily incapacitated a henchman by kicking a stool at him. I would feel like tucking her up in a blanket and protecting her, but I'm honestly sure she can take care of herself, and the entirely of her relationship with Gideon- one built on mutual trust, friendship and teasing, was lovely.Also, I completely buy THIS particular love at first sight for Gideon. Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I find "oh my god this is hilarious I AM ENTERTAINED WHO IS THIS WOMAN SHE IS INSANE AND I LOVE HER" far more believable than "DROOL SEXY BODY PRETTY FACE- attention everybody I am now committed to a relationship kthnxbye." Also, every scene where Prudence and Great-Uncle Oswald affirm their familial feelings for each other. It's just really heartwarming for some reason.One star cut because I'm not sure of a lot of the writing and editing choices, and frankly there were more sex(ish) scenes in the first half than were required. It's not that I object to sex(ish) scenes as much as I skip them if they have no relevance to the plot and well...//shrugs

  • Anisashraf
    2018-12-01 01:06

    Thanks to Ririn for recommended to me. The Perfect Rake is the first novel Anne Gracie I read. The Perfect Rake is a story about 5 sisters escape from their grandfather's abused. Before this, they still can bear what Lord Dereham did even though they badly abused. One day, Prudence, the older sister take decision to escape from Court, brings her sisters to meet their great-uncle Oswald.“We were all born in Italy, in a house filled with sunshine and laughter and love and happiness, and I promise you, no matter how bad it seems, one day we shall all live like that again. With sunshine and laughter and love and happiness. I promise!”“We’re escaping. We’re never coming back to the Court!”Impact from escape, Prudence had to pretend 'engaged' with Gideon for cover her 'secret'. With Gideon, Prudence strongly told herself not to fall in love with him because had promised to Phillip. Certain time, I laugh when Prudence was enthusiastic to deny her feeling towards Gideon. Though, Gideon always put many sweet talks to flirt her. Phillip, the wicked character I've read. He's so evil, make promises to Prudence because her money. Not truly love her. At last, Phillip's evil was revealed. He thinks he smart, but Gideon is far better.When Gideon saves Prudence from lord Dereham, I knew Prudence would be his.“Come live with me and be my love, and we will all the pleasures prove.”

  • Denise
    2018-12-01 00:26

    This is my first Anne Gracie book and I am certain will be the first of many! What a delightful surprise this book was. It was cute, sad, sexy, funny and dark all within these well written 368 pages.This story could have been very dragged down in angst given the life Prudence Merridew has lived so far. Orphaned at 11 along with her 4 younger sisters. Forced to live with a brutal grandfather, raped by her "betrothed" along with other horrors of her life. When she flees to London taking her siblings in tow to the home of her great uncle, she begins to tangle herself up in a web of lies to try to save her sisters and help them find husbands.The story takes a screwball comedy type of a turn when she tells her granduncle that she is betrothed to a Duke ( because she believed this Duke is a hermit who never comes to London) Upon finding out the Duke is in residence in London and granduncle plans on paying a visit to him in the morning, Prudence makes sure she gets there first. She mistakes Gideon for the Duke and he plays along. Things spiral out of control at this point and I found myself laughing out loud from the dialogue between Prudence and Gideon.... loved the part where she was out with her reticule made of netting :) I am eager to read the rest of this story as all the sisters were adorable!

  • Gobokairina
    2018-11-10 21:28

    This HR just made my day. Phewittt... :DAnd, guess what? I'm finished it with a big and happy smile. Everyone whether you love HR or not should read this. Its definitely an all time favorite and Gideon would be one of my most perfect HR hero -- charming, protective, adorable rakish hero and his confession towards Pru stole my heart too. Plus points:-1. Prudence. She is considered a 'plain jane' in comparison to her sisters. But I loved her courage to protect her sisters from the abusive grandfather, the way she playing the mother hen role, and when she started to fall in love with Gideon but in the same time she had betrothed to Phillip. Goshhh! I. Heart. You. Pru..mmuahh2. Even its quite heavy (abuse issues), the book still have its humor/funny side.3. We have series okayyy... can't wait for the next book!Kudos Ririn, for recommended this to me ;))

  • Jacqueline
    2018-11-18 01:13

    Absolutely lovely. Anne Gracie rarely disappoints and this one may be my favorite so far. A lovely heroine. She was strong honorable and loving while also being a bit ditzy at times. The hero was a charming witty rake who fell hard for the heroine and let nothing she did put him off of his determination to marry her and take care of her.This story did not depend on a bunch of sex scenes that were inappropriate for the regency period. There was a strong believable story line, sparkling dialog and real emotions. Good secondary characters.

  • Keri
    2018-12-11 23:09

    Absolute fun read! The situations that Prudence would get into for stretching the truth. The Gideon would pick up on her lies and just dig her in deeper, some funny dialong. Reminded me a bit of Lucille Ball shenannigans. For sure it did have a dark undertone of past abuse, but it didn't detract from the book. This was my first AG, but it sure won't be my last.