Memories Schmemories, Part IX, The Rake by Mary Jo Putney, 1998
Wow!! Memories have played a trick on me!
While I remember this book as good and I even have it on my 10 best romance novel list, I failed to remember how really good this books is! In fact, I think this book might just be pushing toward the number one spot on my list!
This book was originally written as The Rake and the Reformer in 1989, and then some pages were added and it was released in 1998 as The Rake. Both books are wonderful, but since I just read The Rake this is the one I'm going to talk about.
Let's start with that wonderful hero Reggie Davenport, who as of now has made it to my favorite hero list. What a flawed hero Ms. Putney has created in Reggie... he lost his entire family, was raised (sort of) by a really cruel man and is now a drunkard or an alcoholic if we were defining it for contemporary times. His cousin, Richard, the hero of The Diabolic Baron, signs over Reggie's childhood home to him. Reggie, who knows that the life he is leading is killing him, grudgingly goes. That childhood home has been managed over the years my someone known only as A. E. Weston... and of course A. E. turns out to be a Alys - female! female! female!
Reggie and Alys are a wonderful, mature couple... no games are played, no cruel tricks, no spies, no pirates, no kidnapping. Along the way we find out why Alys is the steward and we watch Reggie as he struggles with his drinking problem. We watch them first as friends, then as lovers They have humor, wit and they support each other. There are also some strong, wonderfully-written secondary characters.
This is quite a journey and if you haven't read this book, you really should. Great love story!
Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm