Book Review: The Rake's Handbook: Including Field Guide by Sally Orr

The Rake's Handbook: Including Field Guide is the first book in The Rake's Handbook series by Sally Orr. The Rake’s Handbook was written on a dare, and soon took the ton by storm.  Ross Thornbury once wrote a book with two of his friends on a dare. Now he is said to be a rake of the worst sort. Unfortunately, Ross’s notoriety is working against him and he flees London painfully aware of the shortcomings of his own jaded heart. He throws himself into his business ventures and finds himself thwarted and fascinated by his neighbor.  Elinor Colton has always been viewed as too spirited for her own good. As a young widow her independent ways do not help do not help her social standing. She is warned of his reputation and business plans that might put her home in harms way. Elinor is sure she is immune to Ross’s seductive ways, but he keeps coming around and impressing her with his vision for England’s future and stunning her with his smiles.

The Rake’s Handbook is a well done historical romance. It starts a new series, and introduces a number of characters I expect to see again in the subsequent books. Elinor is a strong female character, but still full of a certain innocence and wonder even after being a window and raising her sister's son. I was a wee bit disappointed that she did not see through the men in her life being interested in more than offering support and advise, but I relegate that to her being a bit too trusting and naive. Ross is an honorable man, despite the reputation he carries. He wants to support his mother and do right by her, even when it makes him miserable. I liked his honest nature and teasing wit. The conversations between Elinor and Ross were fun and full of teasing and charming humor. Even when I found myself annoyed with Elinor's complacency, I was quickly made happy again as soon as the two started their banter.

The Rake’s Handbook is a good, but not great romance. I liked the characters for the most part, though I found myself occasionally frustrated with Elinor. The wit and action of the book kept up at a good pace and made for a quick, fun read. 
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