Series: Legendary Lovers #4
Published by Ballantine Books
Publication Date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ B&N ♥ Kobo
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Sparks abound in this sizzling new Legendary Lovers tale fromNew York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan, in which a seductive rakehell must woo his spirited but love-shy bride while unmasking a mysterious assailant.
Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen’s club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do: He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible—except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl’s life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do: He proposes.
Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman—without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge: winning his wife’s fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.
Venetia Stratham fell from grace with the ton two years ago when she broke her engagement to her rakish fiancé on the day of her wedding and even her parents turned their backs on her in favor of their social standing. She’s given up on the idea of marriage and has been living in France as a companion since then, but the news that her younger sister has caught the eye of a notoriously wild earl has Venetia determined to save her sister from a fate similar to hers, especially because the earl in question is a good friend of her ex-fiancé .
Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne is on a quest to uncover the mystery surrounding the sudden appearance of a piece of jewelry that was his mother’s and was believed to have sunk with a larger collection when his parents’ ship went down in a storm. His quest finds him in a gentleman’s club where he matches wits with Venetia. Quinn has always been attracted to Venetia, but did the honorable thing and stayed away from her due to her betrothal to his friend. His attention to her sister is his way of making up for his role in Venetia’s fall from grace and when an attempt is made on his life and she is falsely blamed, he knows that she and her family would never recover from another scandal and offers a marriage of convenience to save her.
The marriage of convenience is an all-time favorite story-line in historical romances. Some of my favorite books have combined that trope with some suspense and action for a very interesting read and with the action-filled start, I was hoping for the same from THE ART OF TAMING A RAKE. Both Venetia and Quin have been hurt by love and are no longer open to it, but their marriage gives them the freedom to explore other similar interests, at least until the mystery surrounding the attempts on Quinn’s life has been solved. Quinn hopes that he can convince Venetia to give him and their marriage a real chance, while Venetia fights to resist his appeal, making for some delightful dialogue and passionate interludes.
However, while I enjoyed Venetia and Quinn’s characters and their interactions, the rest of the story fell flat for me. It started out with a lot of momentum that fizzled out in the middle and made the revelation of the villain at the end feel like filler and unnecessary, instead of an integral part of the story. I feel like the beginning and the end could have been one book and the middle another, both interesting on their own. This is a new-to-me author and while this book did not blow my socks off, I’ll be checking out the rest of the series.