Waking Up With a Rake by Mia Marlowe and Connie MasonWaking Up With a Rake by Connie Mason, Mia Marlowe
Series: The Royal Rakes #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 1, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romance
Pages: 346
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley

The Fate of England's Monarchy Is In The Hands of Three Notorious Rakes.

To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched...to seduce the dukes' intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap...

After he's falsely blamed for a botched assignment during war, former cavalry officer Rhys Warrick turns his back on "honor." He spends his nights in brothels doing his best to live down to the expectations of his disapproving family. But one last mission could restore the reputation he's so thoroughly sullied. All he has to do is seduce and ruin Miss Olivia Symon, and his military record will be cleared. For a man with Rhys's reputation, ravishing the delectably innocent miss should be easy. But Olivia's honesty and bold curiosity stir more than Rhys's desire. Suddenly the heart he thought he left on the battlefield is about to surrender...

Rhys Warrick is kidnapped and then blackmailed into deflowering the virginal Miss Olivia Symon, and 2 of his friends meet the same fate. What are 3 of London’s most eligible and debauched rakes to do?

Rhys may not have much honor left, but seducing a virgin is not on his list of things to do. This proves harder once he meets Olivia. It turns out that he actually likes her, you know, as a person. His mission to ruin her becomes harder and harder, while at the same time, she is proving harder to avoid. Meanwhile, there are several attempts to harm Olivia that are made to look like accidents, and Rhys is the only one who can protect her. And if protecting her allows him to sleep in her bedroom at night, well, he’s that much closer to his goal of seducing her.

I loved how plainspoken Rhys was with Olivia, and I love how Olivia kept turning Rhys’ plans up in the air. The two of them are great together and their sharp banter makes the book that much more interesting. Because Rhys is so blunt with Olivia, and at one point he promises never to lie to her, I love how when he fell in love with her, he told her. There was no beating about the bush or debating or scheming. He told her.

Another thing I loved was the resolution. At one point, Olivia finds out that he was supposed to ruin her so a certain wealthy duke wouldn’t want to marry her. She is hurt and betrayed by this, but she is also strong. Olivia is a great heroine who is easy to like and identify with. Rhys is a great rake-turned hero who you’ll want to root for from the get-go.  The resolution at the end is really well-done and the epilogue made me smile. All in all, this was a great romance, and I can’t wait for the next in the series.

***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca via netgalley