by Donna Simpson

February 2002
ISBN: 0821771930
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

A Rake’s Redemption was a very hard book to read. It felt like it took hours upon hours to read and in fact it took twice as long or three times longer than it should have taken. This book would have been better if it was part of an anthology, instead of a single title. It was just too long and drawn out.

I chose this book because of the blurb. It sounded right up my alley. But it did not have, Earl of Hardcastle, telling Phaedra Gillian, tales of his misdeeds before he met her. In fact he tried to keep that a secret - until they discovered who he really was, they knew him as plain Mr. Lawrence. Then he didn't really say much about it. He talked about honor, his honor and bets made on a gaming table. Which was why Hardcastle was where he was when he was nearly beaten to death in the dead of the night, on his way to collect a wager of an estate that young Baron Charles Fossey had put up against Hardcastle’s stables.

But Hardcastle’s road to redemption has one more block. In order to save the foolish Charles Fossey, a friend of the family, and his estate, Phaedra herself wagers what no woman should wager in a game of cards with the master gambler himself – Hardcastle. She’s innocent and sheltered and not very experienced in any sort of gambling… who do you think will win?

I must admit the book did get a little better the last 80 to 100 pages of the book. I was tempted several times to put the book down permanently, but I was determined to finish! Mr. Gillian, Phaedra’s father, a retired vicar, seemed to run at his own speed of things but rarely missed anything, especially what was transpiring between his daughter and their recovering guest, Hardcastle and always left Hardcastle thinking about the pearls of wisdom given by Mr. Gillian. So the rating comes from the book picking up some of the steam near the end with the help of Mr. Gillian, some neighbors, and soon to be fiancée of Mr. Fossey.

Reviewed in May 2002 by Pam.

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