Review: How To Romance A Rake by Manda Collins

How To Romance A Rake by Manda Collins
Series: Ugly Duckling (# 2)
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Pages: 366
Source:  NetGalley

You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom–unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…

What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense–and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…

Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence–and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret–and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms…


Review:  How To Romance A Rake really surprised me. It had plot points and characterizations that I have never experienced before or come across, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was really shocked, but the way the various scenarios turned out really made me happy. Manda Collins’ second book in her series didn’t disappoint in any way. She integrated new characters in with ones from the first book flawlessly and used them to really build upon the story.

There was plenty of laughter but wasn’t light on the overall story. The characters were enjoyably brought to life and I felt the camaraderie and interest between them. None felt awkward or out of place. How To Romance A Rake isn’t a typical, every day historical romance. I loved the twists and turns and the unexpected mysteries that sprang up.

I felt sorry for Juliet but admired her for her determination and how she never let the harpies that are the other young society maidens and her own mother get her down. I loved Juliet’s cousins, the other 2 “ugly ducklings” because they truly loved Juliet and wanted to see her happy. The way they went about that had me laughing and I know it confused Deveril.

I loved Deveril. He didn’t start out meaning to be a hero trying to save the day. He kinda just fell into it, much to his chagrin. To give him credit, he didn’t complain once and once he admitted Juliet was the one he had always wanted, he never once wavered in his decision to help her in her search for her friend and to protect her from anything that came along. He handled Juliet’s secret with aplomb and that made him one of my favorite heroes.
How to Romance A Rake doesn’t disappoint. There is so much more to the book than the synopsis tells. Juliet is truly an inspirational character and a true original. I can’t wait for Manda Collins’ next ugly duckling book. It’s sure to be as great as the first two.