Book 1 of The Rake's Handbook
A witty new Regency Romance series with a unique take on the infamous London marriage mart from debut author Sally Orr.
The definitive guide to seduction...
The Rake's Handbook was written on a dare, and soon took the ton by storm. Now its author, Ross Thornbury, is publicly reviled by the ladies-who are, of course, forbidden to read the handbook-but privately revered by the gentlemen. Unfortunately, Ross's notoriety is working against him and he flees London painfully aware of the shortcomings of his own jaded heart.
Spirited young widow Elinor Colton lives next to Ross's country estate. She's appalled not only by his rakish reputation, but also by his progressive industrial plans. Elinor is sure she is immune to Ross's seductive ways. But he keeps coming around...impressing her with his vision for England's future and stunning her with his smiles.
The Rake's Handbook Series:
The Rake's Handbook (Book 1)
When a Rake Falls (Book 2)
To Catch a Rake (Book 3)
Praise for The Rake's Handbook:
"Orr debuts with a charming romp. The witty repartee and naughty innuendos set the perfect pitch for the entertaining romance.". -RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
"[A] pleasant Regency romance debut." -Publishers' Weekly
"This one will have you grinning and laughing from page one to the last." -Bookworm 2 Bookworm
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A well-mannered rake, Ross Thornbury, has plans to build a foundry, but he needs a partnership of sorts with one particular neighbor, Elinor Colton. Elinor's an independent widow of good reputation in her community, yet she keeps getting tangled up with Ross in compromising situations. She's as adamant about keeping the foundry out as she is not to remarry. She truly loved her first husband. Ross and Elinor attempt to stifle their attraction, but the sexual tension escalates. And when it does, watch out! There's a cravat scene which makes me see Regency neck wear in a new light. From the opening pages, you find humor and innuendo throughout the book. If you like your romance with whip-smart humor and tons of sexual subtext, then this is the book for you.
This is book 1 in the Rake's Handbook series. Elinor Colton has just come out of mourning for her husband. Just starting to enjoy society again, she attends the local assembly where she is told that a rake is now amongst them and warned to stay clear of him. Little did she know, he was the man to enchant her earlier in the night. Ross Thornbury can't live down his reputation as a rake. Having written The Rake's Handbook with two of his friends on a drunken dare, everyone thinks they know what type of man he is. He just wants to make improvements to his land and move ahead with plans for building steam engines on his property. Only one thing stands in his way. He needs permission to cut across Elinor's land to get his project to work. As Ross spends time with Elinor to convince her to go along with his ideas, his attraction for her grows and he allows his rakish ways to show. When he lets his attraction to Elinor go too far, will he lose the girl and his plans for the future? I liked Elinor. It's not often that we have a widow in a story who is still in love with her husband. They are often relieved that their husbands have passed because of some reason or another. This added another element to the story. Elinor didn't feel it was right to feel what she was feeling toward Ross. She thought is was a betrayal her late husband's memory. Ross on the other hand, had no qualms about his attraction to Elinor and finds himself going after what he wants. Showing that he is a good guy under all that rakish behavior, he steps up when he has compromised her. Orr had me laughing out loud throughout the story and I'm looking forward to reading about the other two authors of The Rake's Handbook! Thanks go out to Sourcebooks via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
An overall okay read, The Rake's Handbook was a witty and entertaining romance. It had some issues, but I still thought it was a nice read. Both characters were okay. Elinor was determined to be independent and have her own mind, rather than allow herself to be swayed by others. Sometimes that led to unnecessary stubbornness, but it was mostly a good thing. Ross was an adorable charmer who had an instinct for business. He was sweet and I liked him. My issue with the characters wasn't something specific. But, for some reason, I didn't fully connect with them. I didn't feel invested in their situations. It doesn't mean I didn't like them, but I didn't feel engaged with them. The romance was...not bad. Because I wasn't invested in the characters, I wasn't invested in the romance. I did think Elinor and Ross were a good couple (once Elinor stopped being stubborn), so I was okay with the romance. The plot was good. Like with the characters, I didn't feel fully invested with the story. However, I was still kept interested the entire way through. I liked the story and I thought the ending was sweet. The Rake's Handbook was a lovely historical romance. Though it wasn't perfect, I did enjoy it. Romance lovers, this might be a book you'll want to look up. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Ross Thornbury, the grandson of a duke, has promised his beloved and mentally fragile mother to leave his rakish ways behind him in London while he’s in the countryside, working on a new financial endeavor: manufacturing a foundry which will restore his family’s coffers. He has also penned a salacious manual on seduction that everyone whispers about and secretly wishes to read. Ross needs a lease to Elinor Colton’s vast property to have river access for his steam engine manufacturing, a venture that she fears will ruin her house and the atmosphere of the countryside, not to mention pollute the waters of the river. The foundry and its repercussions create nice tension throughout the novel and Sally Orr's research is evident in these detailed descriptions. Despite his wicked reputation, Elinor sees only kindness and concern in Ross, especially when he helps care for her precocious but goodhearted seventeen year old nephew, Berdy. This situation is very reminiscent of Georgette Heyer’s Venetia. In that story, a virgin debutante falls for a notorious rake when he takes in her injured younger brother and nurses him back to health. Elinor wants Ross to be a mentor of sorts to Berdy, to help him discover a possible profession as an engineer, despite Ross’ past indiscretions and scandalous reputation. She finds Ross kindhearted and sincere and feels his business sense and maturity outweigh any of his past sins. Indeed, Ross takes care of Berdy emotionally as well when they venture to London, much to Elinor’s relief and gratitude. Berdy matures before our very eyes and I especially like his analogy of engineering being similar to tying cravats. It shows he retains his humor, sense of fun, and penchant for fashion even as he finds himself and grows into manhood. There is plenty of humor in this novel. Ross’ persistent use of the slang expression “Hell’s fire” made me smile. The secondary characters, too, are amusing: Ross’ rather juvenile friends and their antics and Elinor’s attorney and friend, the taciturn and righteous Henry, who chastises Elinor’s vivacity and charm at every opportunity. I enjoy reading about literary references and there is mention of The Necromancer, one of Isabella Thorpe’s “horrid novels" in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. The romance between Elinor and Ross is mature yet it has a joyfulness and flirtatiousness to it. Innuendoes about the infamous Rake’s Handbook are sprinkled throughout the story adding to the sexual tension in many scenes. Elinor’s first marriage was a love match and she finds it impossible that she could ever love another, yet she does. The proposal scene is especially touching and romantic; Ross is a true sweetheart. Lighthearted, charming, and sweet with plenty of sexual spice. An enjoyable debut and the first in The Rake’s Handbook series.
The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide was a quirky but steamy historical romance. Ross Thornbury is a rake. Ross has promised his mother that he will put aside his rakish ways and settle down…but what she sees as suitable and what Ross desires might be two totally different things. Moving to the countryside, Ross is attempting to build a manufacturing plant which has his neighbors up in arms. The widow, Elinor Colton, is just one stumbling block in his acquisitions for his plant. Elinor Colton has just come out of morning when she meets the rake, Ross. There is a camaraderie between them but they have extremely polar opposite opinion on the plant’s construction and effect on the community. This is a fun loving, HEA, historical romance. I enjoyed reading this story but did have a few plot issues. Overall, it is very entertaining with marvelously spirited interactions between Elinor and Ross. I give The Rake’s Handbook 3.5 stars.