Review by Booklist Review
Herpetologist Grace Wyatt loves the fact that fellow naturalist (and hottie extreme) Mason Fredericks treats her with the utmost professional courtesy, but she can't help but wish that, just once, he would look at her as a woman, too. Perhaps if another man were to express a more earthy sense of interest in Grace, that might prompt Mason to look at her in a different, much more natural manner. While Grace doesn't know any rakes personally, she is certain that with enough elbow work her best friend, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, can be turned into a suitable fake rake. What Grace doesn't factor into her little experiment is that underneath Sebastian's tongue-tied, scruffy scholar exterior is the irresistible man of her dreams! Inspired by several popular 1980s movies, including The Breakfast Club, RITA-nominated Leigh improvises cleverly in the launching of the Union of Rakes series. This superbly entertaining, perfectly executed Regency-set love story is not only dazzlingly witty and intensely sexy; it is also a sweetly crafted love letter about the power of learning, literature, and lifelong friendships.--John Charles Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A pair of bookworms goes from friends to lovers in the charming first regency romance in the Union of Rakes series from Leigh (Dare to Love a Duke). Shy, awkward Sebastian "Seb" Holloway has been secretly pining for his good friend Lady Grace Wyatt for years, but Grace only has eyes for Mason Fredericks, a wealthy naturalist who is indifferent to her bookish charm. When Seb suggests that she'd have better luck catching Mason's eye if he saw another man wooing her, Grace convinces Seb to play the role, and they enact a plan to transform Seb into a dashing rake. Seb's best friend, the Duke of Rotherby, pitches in to instruct Seb on how to behave in society. As Seb secures a new wardrobe, takes dance lessons, and practices his seduction technique on ladies in the park, Grace realizes she's been as blind to Seb as Mason has been toward her. The plot is as well developed as the lovers' growing feelings. Readers will delight in this heartfelt, swoon-worthy tale. Agent: Kevon Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Nov)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Sebastian Holloway and Grace Wyatt are the perfect colleagues; he's a brilliant anthropologist dedicated to the study of courtship rituals, and she's content as a wallflower pursuing her life's passion of studying reptiles. Together they attend scientific discussions, study at the library, and visit museums. To ease her father's worries for her future, Grace agrees to look for a husband and sets her sights on Mason Fredericks, a naturalist and son of a viscount. But Mason, who admires Grace only as a peer, will need some convincing when it comes to marriage and fast, before he leaves on his next expedition just weeks away. Grace hatches a plan, believing that if Sebastian will pretend to be interested in her, Mason will realize what he's missing. As Sebastian and Grace begin to enact their scheme, Grace realizes that Mason isn't the only scientist she's drawn to. Poised to accomplish everything she set out to, she's suddenly faced with following her heart or her brain. VERDICT In this first book of her new "Union of the Rakes" series, Leigh ("The London Underground" series) adopts the fake dating trope to the Regency Era in a wildly fun and entertaining way, introducing characters who are sure to delight fans of this beloved genre.--Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Frothy first in a series of historical romances inspired by classic 1980s teen movies.In this Regency romance with a decidedly modern feel, Leigh (Dare To Love a Duke, 2018, etc.) pairs the bluestocking daughter of an earl with a bookish commoner. Lady Grace Wyatt is a scientist, content studying reptiles and amphibians until her ailing father begs her to find a husband. She has a man in mind: handsome, charming Mason Fredericks, a naturalist whose viscount father generously bankrolls his research. Alas, Grace's womanly virtues are lost on Mason, so she enlists the help of anthropologist Sebastian Holloway to generate some attention-getting buzz. Seb finds it all too easy to "pretend" to be infatuated with the confident, intelligent, and lovely Grace, but, in a gender-swapped Pygmalion, he needs lessons in etiquette before anyone will believe he is a serious rival. As he puts it, "I'm just a tongue-tied scholar in scuffed boots. The idea that anyone could mistake me for a suave man about town is ludicrous." Grace and Seb show off their fauxmance at the usual Regency romance haunts, growing closer every day. The friends-to-lovers plot always requires a certain obliviousness, but both protagonists are ignorant to a credibility-stretching degree. Otherwise, Grace and Seb are delightful together, and Seb is a breath of non-alpha-hero fresh air. When the dashing Duke of Rotherby, Seb's boarding school chum, arrives to impart some roguish lessons, he almost ends up outshining his pupil. Luckily, his book is next in The Union of the Rakes. Should be satisfying for readers of Courtney Milan and Tessa Dare.A sweet faux suitor romance between two scientist friends who find a new passion in one another. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.