Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen’s club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do: He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible—except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl’s life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do: He proposes.
Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman—without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge: winning his wife’s fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.
Publisher and Release Date: February 2016
Time and Setting: London, 1817
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Claudia
When Venetia Stratham breaks off her engagement in front of the ton, she is shunned by both society and her own parents. She travels to Paris in order to lick her wounds, but decides to return to England when she hears that Quinn Wilde, the Earl of Traherne, is wooing her sister. Not only is Wilde a known rake, he is also the man who brought her former fiancé to their wedding smelling of cheap perfume and still in his evening clothes from the day before.
Quinn has always admired Venetia, but knows she does not hold him in high regard and knows he deserved her censure. He is trying to re-discover a family heirloom when Venetia finds him and demands his promise to not to marry or seduce her sister.
When during one of their meetings Quinn is shot and Venetia is suspected of shooting him, she finds herself married to him and has now to find a way to overcome her mistrust of all men.
I enjoyed the book so much I’ve already re-read it It has an engaging storyline, and while the mystery element is fairly low-key, it kept me sufficiently interested to know what was going to happen next. The romance is very well done, and I especially liked the sexual tension between Quinn and Venetia and seeing him give her the time to get to know him and to become comfortable with the notion of being married to him. Their attraction to each other heats the pages and you can feel their marriage of convenience turn into something more throughout the story.
The two main characters are attractive, although I found Venetia a little difficult to like as she is very biased (against Quinn) and it takes her a while to overcome that. But when she finally does, it is a convincing change. Quinn, though, is a perfect hero. I loved his character – strong, protective, reliable and especially tender when Venetia needs it the most.
The secondary characters are very engaging as well, and I am certainly going back to read the previous books in the series, but most of all I am waiting anxiously for Kate’s book.
One thing I will say is that I wished there had been an epilogue, as I would have loved to have seen more of Quinn and Venetia together after they had finally confessed the truth of their feelings for each other, but for the most part, I am happy with the way the story turned out and with the way their romance progressed.
All in all, The Art of Taming a Rake is a highly recommended book for lovers of stories with mystery, sizzling attraction and a sweet, sensual romance.