Mellie has a plan…
Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating—although admittedly handsome—guest of her father. She’s looking for any excuse to go to London to meet more eligible men.
Trevor has a problem…
Trevor Anaedsley’s grandfather has cut off his funds until such time as he gets engaged. Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor, Mr. Smithson, but actually to duck his creditors—where he meets Smithson’s lovely daughter, Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but the lady has ideas of her own, and Trevor’s going to have to measure up…
I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it even though some aspects of the writing style are not really my thing. My absolute favourite thing about 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake is that the author really GETS the differences in class in Regency England (I’m guessing it’s the Regency era, but no date is given), and throws obstacles in the way of the hero and heroine’s relationship.
As an added bonus, the over the top epilogue was so original and such a lovely way to finish the book I was for once really glad to read it!
Though their writing isn’t exactly the same, Jade Lee’s book reminded me of another author who I admire: Theresa Romain. Both write books that are sillier than what I usually prefer, but somehow they’re confident in their style and I can overlook the wallpapery aspects and still have a great time.
I absolutely loved that the obstacles our country heroine faced when trying to marry up into the aristocracy were shown. When she first arrives in London she gets a nasty awakening when she sees just how low down she is on the social scale.
He owed more to his family name. Mellie was a cit. He didn’t like the term, but it was appropriate. She could certainly trade her dowry for a title, but his family was neither disgraced nor impoverished. There was no reason for him to stoop to her class for a bride, and every reason to make sure that his wife understood what was required of a woman who would become a duchess.
The other thing I really enjoyed was the book’s ending. I won’t explain the epilogue, but it was just about the best thing in the story, and it was not an epilogue like you usually get! Silly, but very sweet.
The intimate scenes in this one took me a bit by surprise. Not in a good or bad way, it’s just that they were a lot more descriptive than I was expecting!
However there are a few passages in the book that crossed the line for me from entertaining into downright ridiculous. There’re unusual duels at the start and finish that I didn’t really enjoy, and while I’m fine with violence in books when it’s warranted (I love romantic suspense, for example), I just don’t find it funny when people punch each other, as we are supposed to laugh at here.
Another issue is the modern and often American language, which I found distracting at some points. I also have a huge problem with Americanising the spelling of British proper nouns. You just cannot change the spelling of place names, sorry!
Additionally, the copy I read was chock-full of typos and wrong words, and at one point the heroine’s name was changed from Melinda to Melissa! – but I’ll give the publisher the benefit of the doubt and assume an editor will take another look at it.
For me this was not a perfect read, however I did really, really enjoy it. The good far outweighed the bad, and I would definitely read more from this author.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.