First Fifty Pages | A Confirmed Rake by Martha Keyes

Synopsis: When Rebecca Russell’s brother marries, she finally has the opportunity she has been dreaming of: to leave the seclusion of her reclusive grandfather’s home and enter into Society. But when her inexperience has her making blunders and courting embarrassment, help comes from an unexpected source: the brooding, irritable brother of her chaperone.

Valentine Donovan is a rake, mountains of gaming debt and all. With his only hope for financial relief tied up in the Admiralty Court, he must temporarily rely on his father’s charity—and all the strings attached to it.

His father demands Valentine show evidence that he is changing his ways, so when the engaging but naive young woman living with his sister presents a plan, he can’t refuse the opportunity to fulfill some of his father’s requirements, albeit reluctantly.

But Valentine is unprepared for Rebecca’s guileless optimism and how impossible he finds it to say no to her increasingly onerous requests—requests that put both their hearts and reputations in danger.

If there’s one word I could use to describe this story overall, it would be “typical.” Typical for the guy to need money. Typical for the female lead to be a little more than naive, and typical for that one friend to throw the h and H together.

I mean, it wouldn’t be a romance novel without all that, wouldn’t it? I guess I shouldn’t have expected it to follow a different formula and accept it for what it is: a romance novel.

The story is very well written, and things like a person’s age are spelled out correctly for the time period. (When someone can’t even do that I am greatly annoyed. At least Ms. Keyes has done her research here). However, by page 86 I was rightfully and truly bored. I need more than a broken vase to convince me that two characters should belong together.

Not only that, but some scenes dragged on over the most mundane gestures while others happened far too quickly. There was no happy medium in terms of pacing. While I could easily picture each scene with ease, I did debate long and hard if I should even continue. Unfortunately, A Confirmed Rake didn’t do it for me.

If you’re in the mood for a short, light story, then this is the tale for you. I do not think, sadly, that this was my “cup of chocolate,” though I could really go for one right about now.

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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