Victorian London, Emma Hale leads two lives. As Le Petite Oiseau, in corset and pink feathers, she’s the reigning queen of the music hall; offstage she’s a prim-faced theatre seamstress. For years these two women have shared one body; now they share something else—forbidden love for a man who could destroy them both.
Marcus Craven, Duke of Penhale, wants Le Petite Oiseau as his mistress, but he’s also sworn to hunt down and revenge himself on the hazel-eyed girl who once shot at him with a dueling pistol. On this winter’s evening when he finds both women in his path, he suddenly faces a dilemma.
What exactly does Marcus want? The fiery, passionate actress or the quiet “mouse” hiding in her shadow?
Perhaps this notorious rake wants them both.
First of all: what in the world were they thinking when they made this cover?! This is a Victorian era historical romance with a theatre at the centre of it. What is that erotic BDSM-style cover they came up with? Horrid!
It’s a good thing I bought this on my Kindle and the picture was too small for me to see it properly!
I really like Jayne Fresina’s writing. Sure, it’s a bit anachronistic, and sure, usually someone who’d never marry a peer ends up marrying a peer, but I just love her humour and find her books really fun and readable.
Last Rake Standing has so many things I like, including:
- A Victorian era setting, and:
- A theatre setting.
- A heroine who is nothing like most historical romance heroines.
- A lot of funny moments.
- A really original plot.
Of course, to go with that, there are:
- Some anachronisms and the use of gotten.
- And comments like this:
“You could find no other woman to prevail upon?”
He winced. “Not with my reputation.”
He’s a duke. Unlike Romancelandia, where dukes grow on trees, in reality, a duke could have literally done anything and he’d still have millions of women throwing themselves at him.
But these are minor quibbles. This is a shorter book (maybe a novella? I’m not sure of the length), but it left me more satisfied than any other book in this genre I’ve read in ages.