Sunday 12 February 2017

Book Review: The Rake and His Honour by Beth Elliott

Title: The Rake and His Honour
Author: Beth Elliott
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Publication Date: 26 Jan 2017
Pages: 210
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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1813. Napoleon is on the rampage through France. But some are not willing to sit back and witness the end of the reign of King Louis and the Bourbons.

Louise Fauriel comes from a family of talented silversmiths. Recently widowed by the smallpox, she and her grandfather live with her brother and his wife in England. Using their art shop as a front, the family run messages between the Comte d’Artois and his brother, King Louis. Louise, who is an excellent rider, is in France, delivering a message for the cause. But Napoleon’s Secret Police are patrolling the area, searching for any signs of a revolt and keen to intercept any messages that could harm their campaign. When Louise is forced to take refuge in a cave, tired and alone, she meets Arnaut – the most handsome man she has ever seen.

Arnaut, the son of the Marquis de Fontane, who is also a loyal supporter of the king, is hiding from Napoleon’s men, when Louise stumbles into the cave and collapses in his arms. Arnaut’s father is willing to organise a revolt if the king will send a member of his family guaranteeing the French freedom of religion. The marquis asks his son to deliver a letter requesting this to the king in England. He sets off, soon finding his path once again entwined with the bewitching Louise. When Louise is kidnapped by Julie Delaville, one of Napoleon’s elite spies, Arnaut trades the letter he is carrying for her life. But when Arnaut’s leg is badly injured, it falls to Louise to carry a letter through dangerous territory to the marquis.

As Louise embarks on her mission, she starts to question whether she will ever get what her heart truly desires. Besides, what is love between two people when so much is at stake…?
(Goodreads Synopsis)

Overall, The Rake and His Honour was an enjoyable Regency read. Louise and Arnaut are both complex and likeable characters. I only wish they'd spent a little less time ogling each other. Every encounter, the author paused the action to tell us how much they fancied one another. We got that sense right from their first meeting, so there was no need to push the point to that extent. That small gripe aside, the plot was compelling, and there was plenty of action to keep you turning the pages, so it was a delightful quick read. If you like your Regency heroes dashing, noble, and willing to take a bullet for you, give The Rake and His Honour a try.

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