Friday, June 5, 2015

#Review: When a Rake Falls by Sally Orr - 2.5 Wine Glasses

22221137Title: When a Rake Falls
Series: The Rake’s Handbook  #2
Author: Sally Orr
Format: Paperback & eBook, 320 pages
Published: April 7, 2015 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ASIN: B00Q3269FE
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: First reads Goodreads
Reviewer: Kimberly
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

To win a race to Paris, dashing Lord Boyce Parker hires a balloon. He expects to be crowned the victor and become famous for his courage and intelligence. Only then can he regain his father’s respect from the scandal of publishing the naughty book The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide.

Bluestocking Miss Eve Mountfloy makes a bargain with the handsome Pink of the Ton. She’ll fly the balloon during the dangerous crossing to France, if he lets her finish her scientific experiments to predict violent storms and thereby save lives.

Eve proceeds with her studies, but the results are not what she expected. Chafing to keep warm creates unusual sensations everywhere. Then when Lord Parker asks if she is curious about the heat generated by a kiss, well, she is curious. It seems Lord Parker is performing experiments of his own that will forever change Eve’s perception of the word "results."

Kimberly’s Thoughts:
After being involved in the writing of a scandalous book, Lord Boyce Parker has been determined to win back his father's respect.  When a contest involving a race to France, with trophies for good deeds awarded, and the opportunity to win the hand of a fair Lady is announced, Boyce looks upon this on his chance to redeem himself.  He charts a hot air balloon to get a leg up on the competition but doesn't account for running into the scientifically driven aeronaut Miss Eve Mountfloy.  It's a dangerous undertaking to attempt to take a balloon to France but the lure of being the first woman to do so is strong.  Eve finds herself going along with Boyce's crazy plan only to end up on an adventure neither saw coming.

When a Rake Falls has a very misleading title, our hero is far from a rake, but the cheery, bright yellow, and fun cover accurately foretells what is inside.   I'm hard pressed to think of a leading hero who would be similar to our Boyce.  He often bursts out into song to express his joyfulness and when put out by Eve he says "You leave me like a butterfly, unable to sing."  Boyce's character was very light and fluffy and at times he crossed over into empty headed land with a house in doltishville.  (I have a slightly strange satisfaction I'm typing that about the hero as I find myself having to describe a fair share of heroines that way)  He's different than the mass of dark and broody often found in this genre; you're enjoyment of this book is going to be based on if you like that or not.

Eve is our heroine and leader of the story, her actions direct the show.  She calls Boyce a "tulip" and is the mind and powerhouse behind their safety in the balloon and scientific experiments they conduct.  There is a fair amount of scientific storyline/talk and while it bogged the story down in the middle it also added a different flare and showcased Eve as a highly capable and intelligent woman smothered by her times.  This was important because most of the book I found to be extremely fluffy and mostly Eve's story but towards the end, Boyce takes a stand for Eve.  It then becomes more of their story with this very loving moment and gives heft to a relationship that felt more along the lines of friendship.

Quirkiness can be a difficult thing to pull off because, well, it's quirky.  This story is meant to funny in that vein and could work for others, for me, it felt unbelievably silly and lacking in substance for most parts.  Wanting to win the race and marry the allusive Lady was a pretty thin story thread to get our leads together that stretched on for way too long with Boyce still thinking it was going to work.  Then the side adventures with our leads being stranded, looking for Eve's scientific journal, Boyce fighting off a lonely abandoned wife, a plotting old matriarch, and a weak love triangle, clogged the middle up with more wan plots and characters.  

This was a pretty clean romance until towards the end where a sex scene was added and while I usually like the bedroom door wide open, this one felt unnecessary and injected in.  When a Rake Falls has a light and fluffy beginning, bumbling along middle, and a sweet ending.  Boyce may not be the type of hero I usually gravitate to but I certainly appreciated how the author wrote him to stay true to character throughout the story and didn't suddenly have him become serious and broody.  If you ever wanted Mr. Bingley to be the hero of the story, then this is for you.


  1. I definitely agree with you on this just didn't work for me the way I wanted it to. I wanted to like it but couldn't.

  2. It is so different than the usual historical romance from this time period, that like you I was pulling for it. Boyce was a fresh hero but again, like you, the overall story didn't quite work support or work for me.



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