The Rake’s Handbook (Including Field Guide)

Sally Orr. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-0211-8
In Orr’s pleasant Regency romance debut, Ross Thornbury writes The Rake’s Handbook, which makes him famous—and infamous—as a libertine. He escapes to the small town of Macclesfield to build a foundry, settle down, and perhaps regain his respectability. Elinor Colton, recently widowed, owns land that Ross’s business needs, but she is concerned about the environmental and human costs of his venture. Ross and Elinor’s sensual and emotional connection is tested by their opposition in business, as well as by the risk to Elinor’s reputation if she’s seen associating with Ross. Elinor is still in mourning for her husband, and relatives on both sides pop up to cause trouble. Orr’s style is vivacious and her characters are interesting, but a penchant for repetition and the flat narration of important information weigh her light comedy down irreparably. The conceit of the handbook is unique and clever, but it never plays as great a role in the narrative as its placement in the title suggests. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 11/04/2014
Genre: Fiction
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