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Thursday, February 14, 2013

ARC Review: If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen

Format: .mobi (provided by NetGalley)
Release Date: March 5, 2013

Her Mysterious Past is the Best Revenge...
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She's adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her a Dazzling Future...
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he's putting his life on the line...
To Warrick's shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she's keeping are exactly what makes her his heart's desire...

This is why I started reading historical romance. For books like this. The mystery, the danger and of course, the passion. Not every author can make a historical romance with espionage work, I've read some that didn't engage me as a reader. I know of only two other authors who bring such excitement, anticipation and romance to their spy romances, Gaelen Foley and Celeste Bradley. Those two women have made me fall in love with spies and their adventures and have set high standards.

Shana Galen has reached those standards. The second book in her Jewels of the Ton series, If You Give a Rake a Ruby excels at engaging readers with it's quick pace, likable characters, witty dialogue and the continuing mystery of the Diamonds in the Rough.

The first book in the series (When You Give a Duke a Diamond) was entertaining and fun, it set up the main story line and introduced three very likable courtesans to readers. However it's If You Give a Rake a Ruby that really makes this series stand out.

Fallon is just the type of heroine that I adore and root for in romance novels. She has had to fight her way up to security and contentment and that fight has left her tired and wary of people in general. Not only does she have the strength to keep going forward but she isn't exactly defenseless in a physical confrontation. There isn't a weak or whiny bone in this woman's body and she makes the story that much better, and makes Warrick sound like the best kind of man.

Warrick is the man every woman should dream of falling in love with. He's strong, intelligent, patient handsome and, unlike most men, can appreciate a strong, intelligent woman who at times may know more than he does. He's so confident in himself that he can step back and admire a woman like Fallon who is more than what she seems. Early on, Warrick had me falling hard for him when he tells Fallon that in his line of work he had learned to not only put aside gender prejudices, but appreciate a woman who can take care of herself and has the ability to talk about more than just the latest fashions and scandals.

There's no shortage of danger and no fear of readers getting bored, Warrick and Fallon's adventure keep up the brisk but smooth pace of If You Give a Rake a Ruby. Adding more mystery is the appearance of Lily, the Countess of Charm, the third courtesan of the series, and good friend of Fallon. Lily's appearance in the story teases readers with a glimpse into her questionable background, however, that's all it is, a glimpse.

If You Give a Rake a Ruby is even more entertaining than its predecessor, a sexy and thrilling story that will keep readers glued to the pages until the very last scene. Be sure to add this book to your list, and read it as soon as possible!


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