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Rakes Retreat [Mass Market Paperback]

Nancy Butler
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 4 1999 Signet Regency Romance
A young lady finds herself caught in a mystery of murder, as she accompanies the frightened young girl, a witness to the crime, and her guardian, a nobleman renowned for his notorious behavior, to a nearby castle. After arriving at the noble gent's estate, the three think themselves safe from the killer, who may be on their trail. But as the scandalous incident brings the young woman and the nobleman together, she finds that it is her heart that's in danger.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely in the Heyer tradition! March 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've now read a number of Nancy Butler's novels and, thus far, this one is the very best. A story of a mature woman and a rake with a sad and bad past is always a pleasurable plot for me. But this one was certainly one of the finest I've read and put me in mind of Heyer's Venetia and her beloved Damerel.
Jemima Vale - mature, intelligent and strong is missing something in her life - love, true companionship and (unbeknownst to her) sexual fulfilment. She meets, through the subplot of intrique and espionage, Mr Beecham Bryce - rake, reprobate, fallen angel with a hardened heart. Of course, in this sort of scenario, the H/H are never quite what they seem. Jemima is wise and caring but eager to love a man who, superficially at any rate, appears to be totally inappropriate. Bryce is a man who has willfully brought on his own downfall yet retains strong family ties and yearns to find love and completion with Jemima, a woman who proves to be his true "other half".
This is a tightly plotted story with wholly believable characters (and some brilliant secondary characters) and the story is enlivened by some of the wittiest dialague I have read in a regency novel for a very long time. Just one tiny example:
Jemima looked up at the sky, assessing the position of the sun. "I see that it is past noon. And that your innuendoes have returned, right on schedule."
Bryce's mouth drew up into a crooked grin. "I don't flatter before lunchtime; innuendo I can furnish round the clock."
Butler handles her mature heroine and flawed hero with great skill and gusto in this novel. Both are characters who come bursting to life for the reader. It's definitely a keeper and it's made me realise it is time to re-read Heyer's "Venetia" again. Very highly recommended for its plot, characters, dialogue and high levels of emotion and sexual tension.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellente May 12 2002
By Lucy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nancy Butler has a way of making her rakes interesting. This is not an easy thing to do since a regency rake cannot be too bad lest the reader dislike him, yet if he has no bad behaviors...how can he be called a rake. Bryce, finds himself very interested in Jemima (although she disapproves of him) and does his best to lure her in only to find himself genuinely liking her and finding himself concerned about her. Jemima also finds that Bryce is a more complex person than she imagined and begins to review some of the decisions or nondecisions she has made in her life so far. The relationship developes at a nice pace and both characters undergo a lot of self-reflection as they fall in love. I also like the way that humor binds these two together...nothing is more sexy than couples that can laugh together as well as the other good stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge the book by the blurb! May 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My very first book by this author nearly put me off entirely - by the blurb on the back cover. It was a while before I could bring myself to pick it up and to go beyond the first two pages. Be warned - do not make the same mistake that I did. The blurb does not do justice to the story, and in fact gets several details wrong.
Some spoilers follow but first a general warning: the story is not about the young actress who discovers the murder, but about her rescuer Mr Beecham Bryce and a Lady Jemima Vale who is an amateurish artist, in all senses of that word. And no - Lady Jemima's art skills play no part in the story, except to permit her to appreciate the greater aristic skills of others.
The story is not about murder and intrigue, although those do play some part in the story, in forcing Lady Jemima to remove to the house of a well-known rake, and the intrigue elements become crucial at one point very late in the story. However, the love story itself is not dependent on the murder nor on the intrigue, except in permitting the author to bring the couple together at the beginning. So, if you are looking for a book full of a hero and heroine (and villains) dashing about the countryside, you will be disappointed. And yes, there is a villain (more than one, actually) but the real villain's identity comes as a surprise.
I won't tell you too much about the rest of the story, for fear of spoiling other discoveries for you. Once I got past the first four or five pages, I found myself engrossed in the book - rooting for the hero and heroine alike, and hoping sincerely that the hero, in particular, would be able to actually read the heroine's mind.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge the book by the blurb! May 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My very first book by this author nearly put me off entirely - by the blurb on the back cover. It was a while before I could bring myself to pick it up and to go beyond the first two pages. Be warned - do not make the same mistake that I did. The blurb does not do justice to the story, and in fact gets several details wrong.
Some spoilers follow but first a general warning: the story is not about the young actress who discovers the murder, but about her rescuer Mr Beecham Bryce and a Lady Jemima Vale who is an amateurish artist, in all senses of that word. And no - Lady Jemima's art skills play no part in the story, except to permit her to appreciate the greater aristic skills of others.
The story is not about murder and intrigue, although those do play some part in the story, in forcing Lady Jemima to remove to the house of a well-known rake, and the intrigue elements become crucial at one point very late in the story. However, the love story itself is not dependent on the murder nor on the intrigue, except in permitting the author to bring the couple together at the beginning. So, if you are looking for a book full of a hero and heroine (and villains) dashing about the countryside, you will be disappointed. And yes, there is a villain (more than one, actually) but the real villain's identity comes as a surprise.
I won't tell you too much about the rest of the story, for fear of spoiling other discoveries for you. Once I got past the first four or five pages, I found myself engrossed in the book - rooting for the hero and heroine alike, and hoping sincerely that the hero, in particular, would be able to actually read the heroine's mind.
Read more ›
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