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This Rake of Mine
Avon
October 25, 2005
ISBN-13: 9780060783990
ISBN-10: 0060783990
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When the rakehell Lord Jack Tremont kissed Miranda Mabberly, mistaking her for his mistress, neither realized his reckless act would cost Miranda her reputation, her fiancé, and her future. But for Jack, it was a kiss that would haunt — an intoxicating memory of a woman lost to him forever.

Years later, hiding incognito far from London — a teacher at Miss Emery’s Establishment for the Education of Genteel Ladies — Miranda has made a respectable life for herself, away from the ton and the dangerous men who inhabit it. When a penniless, much humbled, though still damnably attractive Jack arrives at the school to escort a rebellious young niece home, Miranda does her best to avoid the rogue only to end up tumbling into his arms — and reawakening a desire that is anything but proper.

She might want to deny her heart, but Miranda’s resolve is no match for a trio of schoolgirl matchmakers who knows true passion when they spy it. Now they won’t rest until their all-too-proper teacher and the reprobate lord discover the love that is their destiny.

Awards, Honors & More

  • This Rake of Mine Manga Characters

    This Rake of Mine Manga Artwork by Chisato Nakamura

    Available in a comic book store near you (that is, if you live in Japan) is the manga version of This Rake of Mine. Ever wonder what Jack and Miranda look like translated into comic book heroes? To the left is the first sneak peak at their characters I got.
  • This Rake of Mine will soon be translated into Japanese, Dutch and Czech, as will copies of Something about Emmaline.
  • This Rake of Mine was a RITA nominee for Best Long Historical.
  • 2005 Historical Romance Of The YearNominee
    This Rake of Mine garnered a Romantic Times nomination as Historical Romance of the Year.
  • This Rake of Mine was included on The Best Romances of 2005 list by The Oakland Press.
  • This Rake of Mine found bestseller status on the Waldenbooks Mass Market and Romance bestseller lists.
  • Jack Tremont is Rhapsody Book Club’s Heartthrob of the Month. He received centerfold treatment in their catalogue (Holiday 2005 issue), while Miranda Mabberly was interviewed as to her Top Five reasons why he is “This Rake of Mine.”

What people are saying

RT Top Pick!Romantic Times named THIS RAKE OF MINE a Top Pick for November, as well as awarding Mad Jack Tremont their coveted KISS award for demonstrating how “love reformed him.” Kathe Robin wrote: “Boyle entices, tempts and teases her readers into laughing out loud and sighing with contentment.”

“Fun, fast, breathtaking and truly romantic.” —Debbie Keppler of ARomanceReview.com awarding THIS RAKE OF MINE FIVE ROSES!
Read the entire review.

The Oakland Press gave THIS RAKE OF MINE a rave review in their Sunday Book section, calling the story a “definite keeper.” Dolly Moiseeff wrote: “If ever there was a romance that started with a kiss, it is this one.”

“THIS RAKE OF MINE is a gentle, magical book, certain to enchant anyone who loves historical romances.” —Carolyn Crisher, Romance Reviews Today

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

This Rake of Mine

London, England 1801

“Well,” Lady Oxley huffed, “I suppose there are worse things than having some cit’s daughter marry into your family, but for the life of me, I can’t think of it. Our bloodlines will be tainted by this forever.”

The Duchess of Cheverton, seated next to Lady Oxley, couldn’t agree more. “I fear for your standing, my dear. I do, indeed.”

“If there is some consolation, she did go to Miss Emery’s,” Lady Oxley conceded, though grudgingly.

“Miss Emery’s, you say?” The Duchess twisted in her seat and looked at the girl in question, eyeing her from top to bottom as if she were gauging the quality of a length of silk. “A mite young, wouldn’t you say? I daresay, she’s fresh and innocent.”

“Oh, she looks innocent enough,” Lady Oxley declared, ignoring the hot glances from the people in the other boxes who were actually watching the opera. “So there is some hope there. Gads, the trollops these merchants pass off as daughters is just appalling. My greatest fear is that Oxley will marry the chit and discover she’s been ruined. Oh, the shame of it.”

Ruined.

The word rang through the Oxley box and to everyone around them.

Miss Miranda Mabberly, the object of this scorn and speculation, wished herself a thousand miles away. Her cheeks burned with shame and embarrassment, not so much from her future mother-in-law’s loud denouncement, but that her mother and father were willing to sit here and listen to their good name being tossed about in such a ragtag fashion.

She wished right there and then that she was ruined.

Miranda took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on the performance on the boards, not the one Lady Oxley was staging here in her private box. This wasn’t the first time the lady had lamented her son’s betrothal in public, and it most likely wouldn’t be the last.

Still that one word rang in her ears. Ruined.

Not completely ruined, Miranda reasoned, for that was hardly proper, and despite Lady Oxley’s opinions, she was a proper young lady. Besides, being completely ruined went far beyond her knowledge on such matters.

Her mother nudged her, and whispered in her ear, “Gracious, child, smile! You are going to be a countess in a sennight.”

Miranda did her best to turn her lips upward, but it was hard to bear, despite the way her mother beamed over the wonderful news.

Why, such a match had exceeded even Mrs. Mabberly’s designs for her daughter. But Mr. Mabberly, a cit with the fortune of Midas behind him, had thought nothing of procuring for his only child the most lofty of husbands.

Yet no one in all this brokering and maneuvering and social engineering had ever thought to consult Miranda on the subject of marriage.

Her marriage, she would like to point out to her title—mad parents, Lord Oxley, and the various solicitors, bankers, and the earl’s numerous creditors who were arranging this blessed (and financial) union.

Didn’t anyone realize that in all this deal making, she was the one who was going to have marry Oxley. Take his name. Live in his house. And she shuddered to think of the next logical step in this progression—share his bed.

Not that marrying an earl was objectionable, for Miranda had gone to Miss Emery’s Establishment for the Education of Genteel Young Ladies and knew her duty to her family and country. But it was marrying this earl that Miranda found so objectionable.

This Rake of Mine

Earls were supposed to be elegant and sophisticated. Charming company in any situation. A gentleman at all times, and well, frankly, more often than not, they should be a little bit heroic.

Was that too much to ask for?

Unfortunately, the Earl of Oxley was none of these things.

Even while his mother bemoaned his lowering match, the earl sat beside his future bride and boasted to anyone would listen about the pair of “goers” at Tattersall’s he’d picked up now that he had a little rich little “goer” of his own. Miranda had closed her eyes and snapped her mouth shut to refrain from telling the obtuse man that she thought he was putting the cart before the horse, since they weren’t married. Yet.

Oh, if only she was a little bit ruined, Miranda thought. Just enough so Oxley would cry off. So she could have a chance to find the man of her dreams. A knight in shining armor, who would love her for more than her fortune. A proper gentleman, who would kiss her gently and lovingly. Make her toes curl inside her slippers and her heart beat fast.

But such a fate seemed well beyond her grasp as the house lights came up and there was her “hero” beside her, leering at her as if she were a combination between a ripe peach and a bucket of gold. He sent her stomach lurching.

She would even have been content to marry a dull sort like Lord Sedgwick, if the man hadn’t already been wed to his delightful Emmaline.

If only Lady Sedgwick had been part of their party here at the Opera . . . she would have put Lady Oxley in her place and buoyed Miranda’s sagging spirits in that sparkling way of hers.

Instead, she had only Lord Sedgwick’s company, and he was quite preoccupied by some problem given the deep crease in his brow. Even if he hadn’t seemed so worried, Miranda knew it was hardly proper to pour her heart out to the staid baron, no matter how exceptional Lady Sedgwick claimed him to be.

So instead, Miranda made a hasty excuse to her mother as the intermission began, ignoring the good woman’s protests that she should leave “poor Oxley” alone and fled the box, looking for some place to escape if only until they darkened the lights again.

What she found was an alcove in the back of the hall, far from the rest of the ton, who were parading about the opera, showing off new gowns or gossiping about the latest news.

There in the privacy of that darkened corner, Miranda gave herself over to a very improper spate of tears. She cried until the bell rang for everyone to return to their seats. The humiliation of it all! She was no better than one of the horses down at Tattersall’s.

Bloodlines, indeed! Miranda’s mother had come from a good and noble family—one with a far greater history than anything Lady Oxley could claim, and in that proud tradition, Miranda wiped away the evidence of her despair and straightened her shoulders, girding herself for the rest of the evening.

For the rest of her life. But suddenly her life took a very different turn.

“Giselle, my dearest goddess, how glad I am to see you,” a man whispered into her ear, taking her by the hand and spinning her around. She flew into his chest and before she could utter a word, he caught her lips in a searing kiss.

Miranda struggled against the rogue, twisting in his grasp, her hands balling up and pounding at his shoulders. Oh, dear heavens!

Her eyes sprang open. Lord John Tremont? Kissing her? Dear heavens, didn’t he know this wasn’t proper?

Obviously not, for his lips teased and taunted hers, and when she opened her mouth to protest, his tongue swiped across hers, sending the most frightening thrill through her limbs—the kind she could never have imagined.

Why, it made her toes curl up inside her slippers. No wonder most of the ton called him Mad Jack Tremont.

For this, this spell he was casting over her was utter madness!

This Rake of Mine

She continued to struggle (only because she knew she was supposed to), and Mad Jack responded by pressing her up against the wall, pinning her in place with his hips, making his point that there was no escape.

Miranda gasped as his entire body covered hers, left her with an intimate knowledge of this man’s intent, for there it was, hard and insistent, riding against her.

And worst of all, she wanted to feel it. His kiss, his touch, the feel of his body, it made her ache in response to having him up against her.

Oh, this wasn’t proper.

She was betrothed. To another man. Whose name she couldn’t for the life of her remember at the moment.

A man, she dared venture, who would never kiss her like this.

Not teasing her tongue to come play with him, tugging at her bottom lip with his teeth, nor deepening his kiss until a soft moan whispered and trembled up from within her.

For one wondrous moment, she clung to him, let him kiss her, let his hand travel up the length of her hip, rising along her waist. His touch brought with it this tantalizing glimpse of the very temptation that made innocence seem a poor commodity.

Ruin me, she thought. Ruin me, thoroughly.

That is, until his fingers roamed higher, until they came to cup her breast, rolling over her nipple. His touch sent shockwaves through her body, made her thighs clench together, made her ache down there.

She sucked in a deep breath and rose up on her toes. Oh, dear heavens, this was too much. She struggled to issue a protest, to flee all the way back to her betrothed, even as his expert and talented fingers teased her bodice open leaving her breast exposed—and if that wasn’t bad enough—he was taking advantage of her nakedness by letting his mouth roam over her soft, silken flesh, leaving her nipple hardened and puckered, her knees buckling beneath her.

“So my sweetling, show me where we can be alone,” he whispered into her ear, the scent of brandy assailing her senses, “and I’ll make good my promise to see you well completed before the curtain arises.”

There was more?

Oh, dear heavens, how could that be ? How could she stand more of this torment?

But that was the least of her worries as just then she spied her mother and future mother-in-law standing a few feet away. Lady Oxley gaped in shock, and her mother looked positively ill.

“Leave me be!” she sputtered, trying to get free of him, but to her horror, the lace on her sleeve caught on one of his buttons and held her tangled in his arms just that much longer.

It was then that Lady Oxley found her voice and the screaming began, the lady’s deafening shrieks bringing an end to Miranda’s betrothal, and leaving her utterly ruined…

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International Editions

This Rake of Mine :: Turkey
Turkey
This Rake of Mine :: Japan
Japan
This Rake of Mine :: Japan
Japan
This Rake of Mine :: Czech Republic
Czech Republic
This Rake of Mine :: Japan
Japan
This Rake of Mine :: Russia
Russia

goodreads-badge-add-plus

  • Other Books in the The Bachelor Chronicles

  • Something About Emmaline
    Book 1

  • Love Letters from a Duke
    Book 3

  • Confessions of a Little Black Gown
    Book 4

  • Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress
    Book 5

  • How I Met My Countess
    Book 6

  • Mad About the Duke
    Book 7

  • Lord Langley is Back in Town
    Book 8

  • Bachelor Chronicles
    Box Set / Bundle

  • Mad About The Major
    Book 8.5

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