Roman Alexander is a known rake with mistress after mistress. But what most of the ton and that certainly includes Lucy Lancester, his friends little sister, doesn’t know is that Roman has a secret. Roman’s father just about destroyed the family with his gambling which caused his own death in debtor’s prison, but also caused each of his sons to face that problem differently. Roman is the oldest and holds the title of Marquis, but it is his brother Tony that kept the business matters of the estate going as Roman gallivanted about town. When his father went to prison, Roman was immature and wanted costly things but had no money. When approached by a woman of the ton who offered in exchange for his ….ahem…personal favors she would cover his debts at one of his establishments, the young Roman Alexander had no problem with such agreements. Soon, Roman was a kept man by enough women that he earned the name of “whore” but which of course was spoken behind closed doors and not in polite society. The knowledge of what he has become rips Roman apart when he must open his secret up to Lucy and risk losing her.
Lucy Lancester has been in love with Roman since she was a little girl, but doesn’t believe she can offer anything other than a fling because of her Mother’s history. Her Mother was crazy and in a fit she killed Lucy’s father and then herself. Lucy believes she is the same as her Mother and that history will repeat itself. During a night of seduction, Lucy has her one night with Roman. She then steals away and begins a new life as headmistress of a girls school. Months later who should come knocking at her school but Roman! “Get out” she says, but somehow they are found in a compromising position with her legs wrapped around him not long after! Lucy is asked to step down as headmistress of her own school. Now what is she to do?
Roman wants to marry Lucy but she continually turns him down. What started out for him as asking to keep her from ruination, develops into quite the interest as he becomes closer to her and learning more about what makes Lucy, well Lucy. In trying to make an honest man of himself he sends notice to his women which all but one seems to accept. That one will make things very difficult for Roman and Lucy. Roman also throws himself in to his role of Marquis and begins his journey of maturing and building a life that he can include Lucy in. Lucy on the other hand is building her own life. She is to become an authoress and be famous! She feels she must refuse Roman’s marriage to protect him from herself and decides that only a friend with benefits relationship is what they can have.
As these two souls move forward, and slide a bit now and then they must also battle outside influences. They have jealousy from both men and women surrounding them, an arsonist on the loose, abounding titillating gossip and their own undeniable attraction for one another. Will these two finally get together? Especially when they can’t keep their hands off each other? Will they finally share their secrets and admit their love or continue to deny that love as only a physical attraction? Who is the arsonist and what is their purpose? Ah, Roman and Lucy are quite the pair in this wonderful regency romance by Emma Locke. Luckily, these two will find some unexpected help from their siblings.
The Art of Ruining a Rake is the fourth book in The Naughty Girls Series by Emma Locke. Roman and Lucy first begin their journey in the book 3, A Game of Persuasion: Extended Prologue for The Art of Ruining a Rake. I received this eBook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Art of Ruining a Rake is a great read in a wonderful series. It was amusing to read a story where it wasn’t the woman who had the reputation for being a mistress but the man! Enjoyable read!
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TpfBI0