Review: The Rake and the Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc

The Rake and the Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc
Release Date: January 20, 2011
Publisher: Iris Photo Agency
Pages: 377
Source: won at GoodReads

Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn’t quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to another horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.

How does she find herself in the past, when she couldn’t even find herself in her present? How does a self sufficient businesswoman survive in a time when women were still considered property for the whole of their lives and what is she going to do with this man who draws her to him so fiercely.

Review: I won this book months ago on GoodReads and it’s been sitting on my self just taunting me.  So when I arranged to have Jenn guest at Romancing the Book, I figured this would be the time to read the book.  What I found was a delightful debut novel… complete with pictures.

I’ll be honest.  I don’t think the photos in this book really added much to me.  It’s an interesting concept, but in the end it just felt like filler to me.

However, I did enjoy the story.  A girl time travels back to Victorian England, falls in love with a reclusive Duke, has an evil Earl chasing her, and ends up with a rake as her guardian. At times the characters (in particular the rake, recluse and bad guy) all seemed a little cookie cutter in characterstics and action.  But luckily, the plot and the character of Francine helped make this an enjoyable read.

There were a few times where actions or situations seemed a little too unbelievable and there were a few editing issues.  But this is still a solid, read that kept me turning the pages.  And I hope that “the rake” from The Rake and the Recluse gets his own story since he was left hanging as this novel concluded.

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