Wednesday, August 8, 2007
A Reputable Rake - Diane Gaston
I've read and enjoyed Diane Gaston's two previous books so I had high expectations for this one. While I didn't enjoy it as much it was still a very satisfying read.
The stakes are high in Cyprian Sloane’s latest game--to reform his reputation as a wagerer, womanizer, and worse--and thumb his nose at the father who’s always despised him. The prize is nearly in hand when Sloane encounters seemingly respectable Morgana Hart, a baron’s daughter, who engages in fisticuffs in Hyde Park and embroils him in her scheme to train young women to be courtesans. The lively and lovely Morgana proves the biggest risk of all, even more dangerous to Sloane’s quest for respectability than the violence of Regency underground threatening to close down her Courtesan School. Morgana makes Sloane long to be the rake again--with her.
I really liked Cyprian Sloane! Although he has been a rake and a gambler in the past he has decided to change his ways to became a respectable gentleman. He has even found the perfect bride to help him achive it, the only problem is when he meets her cousin Morgana and finds himself attracted to her despite all efforts in the contrary.
Morgana is an independent young woman, although she likes to go out in society she is already on the shelf and sometimes wonders about her cousin's luck in having a man like Cyprian Sloane courting her.
Full of inovative ideas she decided to help one of her maids became a courtesan to save her from being exploited in whore houses. This will lead her to help other girls in the same situation and as the word spreads she is in danger of being ruined. I must admit that when I first heard of the book story as being a lady helping young girls to become courtesans I dreaded what I find when I read it. Now I can safely say it wasn't as schocking as that initial idea may seem but Morgana does have a way of getting into trouble very often. For a while it seemed Cyprian was lot more intelligent, always trying to help her getting out of trouble and trying to stop her from going to dangerous places. I think Morgana suffered a bit of the TSTL syndrome and that's what made the book grade come down a bit. I also liked Cyprian's family subplot of past bitterness. It showed how he truly was the gentleman he wanted to be in how he behaved towards his father and brother.
Cyprian is a recurrent character from her previous books and I wish she would continue to write in this world as I wouldn't mind visiting these characters again.
Now I'm off to find her Diane Perkins backlist