If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen

RAKE

If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (341 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Her Mysterious Past is the Best Revenge…

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her a Dazzling Future…

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line…

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what makes her his heart’s desire…

Full of daring and danger this regency romance sizzles with sexual tension, breaks rigid Society rules, brims with subtle humor, and entertains with characters that sweep the reader into a whirlwind of high-risk action and euphoric love.

The Three Diamonds and the Diamonds in the Rough aren’t really that “hardest natural substance on earth” but people that reveal their strengths in ways that lure the reader into dangerous, delicious, and daring adventures and into sensual, sweet love scenes that sizzle.

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, one f the Three Diamonds, with her dark hellish secrets, knows how tenuous her place in London Society is, but she’s lived on the edge in for more perilous situations. She is beautiful, brave, kind, resourceful, smart, and with skills learned in the underbelly of London’s mean streets and those learned from Lady Sinclair, the Iron Countess, she copes remarkable well. She keeps herself alive and helps keep the man she loves alive. The caring and loyalty she gives and receives is a vivid thread in the tapestry of the story.

Warrick Fitzhugh has no desire to be part of the Ton’s doings other than to use them to help him save the network of spies he is a part of. With “soldier’s neurosis” (now called post traumatic stress disorder), he has to fight battles on more than one front. He must struggle to overcome debilitating flashbacks of the hellish battlefields while ferreting out the most evil men in London and defeat them. And on a more personal level, he fights to withstand the disapproval of his father that he loves very much.

If you read the first of this series WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE DIAMOND, you will recognize many of the secondary characters that offer intriguing little side stories that add texture to IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY. However, the diabolical characters like Bayley, Gabriel, and the absentee Lucifer add a rough texture that chafes the nerves and causes the reader to shudder. Their disregard for human life is chilling making Fallon’s and Warrick’s encounters with them heart-pounding fearful experiences.

Shana Galen taps into deep emotions to create characters that live life on the edge and live it full speed ahead. Her settings for various actions come alive to reveal the time, social mores and depravities vividly as the characters deal with conflicts and dangers aplenty. Of course, at other times, the love scenes she creates take the reader on a sensual, ecstatic, lost-in-love experience that is breathtaking and beautiful.

This well-written regency romance with its remarkable characters keeps one turning pages. It races along with scary action and with love that shimmers and shines even in the darkest of times as the enigmatic Fallon and the war-scarred Warrick find their happy-eve-after.

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