... it's gratifying to read about a heroine in a historical romance who wields some power over the hero ... the makeover romance can be controversial at times; everyone wants to be loved for who they are. But Leigh uses the trope to critique societal pressure — and ultimately transforms it into a positive experience for her characters ... a feast of female empowerment, positive friendships, feel-good moments, and social satire. And as the first book in a series, it builds a delicious world you'll want to come back to — hopefully because the delightful supporting characters will get their own stories next.
Eva Leigh puts inspiring, forthright female characters at the forefront of her delectable romances, and Lady Grace Wyatt is no exception in My Fake Rake ... Like many stories with this plotline, you’re left on the edge of your seat as you wait for Sebastian and Grace to discover their feelings for one another. With a keen eye for pacing, Leigh takes the reader along for the sensual ride, immersing them into Grace and Sebastian’s intimate friendship as they discover feelings that simmer just below the surface ... Leigh excels at giving appropriate modern and relatable touches in a historical romance. Grace’s deep intelligence and Sebastian’s social anxiety hook you in and transport you to their time with ease. And the other rakes, such as the scene-stealing Duke of Rotherby, possess sensitive qualities that humanize each man and complement the passionate and engaging female characters. Another benefit of Leigh’s subtle modernity? The sensual scenes are all the steamier ... With down-to-earth characters and an enthralling friends-to-lovers storyline, My Fake Rake is a hard one to put down.
... has the makings of comic farce, but Leigh skilfully avoids such pitfalls, developing instead the rich potential for wit and irony; for insightful commentary upon the courtship rituals of the aristocracy; and for the importance of honesty. Highly recommended.
In this first book of her new Union of the Rakes series, Leigh 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.
In addition to a character-driven plot that the characters refuse to drive, the book is marred by superficial, clichéd characterization. Grace’s science career… yikes. Having the characters throw science-y words around is not a substitute for giving them actual scholarly personalities. Scientist Grace and anthropologist Sebastian assume that a thirty-year-old etiquette manual is an infallible resource and never think to try observation. Our dedicated herpetologist never appears in a scene with any live animals. Grace loves using Latin nomenclature, which is not done in casual conversation by any scientist I’ve ever met. Other than read books about other cultures, I can’t figure out what Sebastian actually does. And I disliked the cliché of yet another nerd girl who was ‘above’ conventional femininity. Female scientists can still love fashion, dancing, and conversation on topics other than their academic field! ... Historicals can and should address genuine social issues, but not in a way that makes their characters sound like time travelers ... If an author wants to make sure their characters express the views of our current day, why write a historical? ... The conceit of making over the hero instead of the heroine is cute ... And while it’s a terrible match for me because I’m someone who prizes settings, I can see this being a reasonable read for someone who doesn’t. You may also like it if you’re someone who’s just happy to see the issues listed above mentioned at all, even in an awkward and implausible way. You’ll still have the problem of two characters who can’t just have the ‘So… maybe we like each other?’ conversation for weeks, but you won’t be smacking your head like I was.
... [a] Regency romance with a decidedly modern feel ... 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 ... 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.
Inspired by several popular 1980s movies, 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.