Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review: Mary Jo Putney’s THE RAKE – Reforming an Alcoholic Rake Takes a Good Woman

Beginning this September, I’m going to have a Best Georgian & Regency Romances list, so all month long I’ll be reading and reviewing stories from this era. The era covers the period from 1714 to 1830, with the sub-period of the Regency defined by the Regency of George IV as Prince of Wales (‘the Prince Regent”) during the illness of his father George III.

To begin, I’m starting with a classic, The Rake by Mary Jo Putney.

Set in 1817, this is the story of Lady Alys Weston, who fled the shallow affections of her fiancé because he only wanted her money to become a governess and then an estate manager. She excels at her work and hides her sex from her absentee landlord while making him money. But when Strickland is given to Reginald Davenport, the disinherited alcoholic—a rake all of London is aware of—Alys knows she is in trouble.

Reggie means to reform and Alys is his inspiration, running his estate well. But alcoholism is something that has him by the throat and it will take much to see him on the other side. Reggie is attracted to the tall brunette “the Amazon” his friend calls her) but he will not ruin his employee.

Putney takes her time to develop the story and the addiction that Reggie struggles with, all of it reflecting much research and a sensitivity to anyone who struggles with such an addiction. An honorable man who is throwing away his life, Reggie realizes he has one chance to reform and he takes it. Estate life and the Regency after the war with Napoleon are displayed well. Lots of detail makes it a rich story.

Buy on Amazon
Read about Reggie's cousin Richard, the earl, who was wounded at Waterloo in The Diabolical Baron, Putney’s first Regency. On Amazon

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