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Ratings and Reviews (5 22 star ratings
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4.6 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Roman and Lucy were magnetic.

    ADORABLE! Emma Locke has found a new fan. Roman and Lucy were magnetic. I had to finish this story as soon as I started it. It was so cute how she tried to turn the tables and ended up falling into her own trap. It was wonderful how strong Lucy was in her beliefs. Normally the heroine gives in way too quickly. But she was spunky and determined to do things her way. Roman discovers that whenever the heart is involved anything goes and is willing to give his all to prove that he is all in. I received a copy of The Art of Ruining a Rake in exchange for an honest review. It is obvious to me that I love a story when it keeps drawing me back whenever I have to put it down. This was one of those types of reads for me.
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    This is a novel with an amazing, amazing heart --

    The last time I read about Roman Alexander was in his brother's book in 2013, and, if it's any indication of how great Emma Locke is, I haven't forgotten about Roman all these years. It's been an agonising wait, and, I was beyond thrilled when Locke finally announced the release of Roman's book. And, of course, being the fan that I am, I spent the whole night reading it -- and up to 1 in the morning thinking about it, before reading select chapters again until 2 in the morning. (Did I mention I needed to wake up at 5:30 that morning because it's a school day?) Roman Alexander holds the distinction for being the most transparent man in all of London: Roman doesn't keep many secrets, and all of his motivations and actions are clear to everyone. Everyone knows him, everyone knows what he does, and everyone knows what to expect of him. It's a bit tragic how Roman has been pigeon-holed into this role -- by his brothers, by his friends, and by society. He's expected to entertain and amuse and look pretty -- and nothing more. But Roman Alexander also holds the distinction for being the most misunderstood man in all of London -- everyone thinks they have figured him out. Everyone thinks they know everything about him. Everything thinks they know how he'll act and react in certain situations. But, everyone is so very wrong about Roman. While not intended, I appreciate the break between the stories of Constantine and Roman because it allowed me to reflect on how I've perceived Roman's character since I first read about him in The Trouble with being Wicked, Emma Locke's debut novel. I realised I had loved him for all the wrong reasons back then -- much in the same way Lucy did. I think Lucy first loved (and hated) the danger and excitement that Roman's life presented. Lucy had been living under the watchful eye of her always-correct brother, Trestin, but Lucy knew she wanted more from her life than what her brother had planned for her. Roman's world was London, and it seemed so liberating to Lucy. But Lucy also thought Roman was a typical rake who just needed to be reformed, and Lucy would not be the one to do so. Lucy's family history is one of infidelity, jealousy and tragic death. Lucy is afraid that she has followed in her mother's footsteps, and inheriting her madness. Lucy is afraid that she would end up hurting Roman, the same way her mother had hurt (and killed) her faithless father. Oh, but he was wrong. There would be consequences. Her broken heart, for one. His cold, dead body for another. When she looked at him, all she saw was his blood on her hands. - Chapter 1 Throughout the story, the idea of "love" is called into question many times -- Roman claims to love Lucy, but Celeste and Trestin don't believe it's real. Lucy thought she was firmly and decidedly in love with Roman, but realised that the love she felt for him was conditional. Roman on the pedestal was safe for Lucy to love. She was able to idealise him in all his imperfection, but, Roman up close and personal is very different and difficult to love, but equally difficult to hate. Lucy realises this when she sees more and more of Roman's world, and when Roman reveals more and more of himself. Love is constantly tested at every turn and encounter -- there were so many opportunities where Lucy could have just given up -- surrendered, packed up her toys and left -- but she continued to stay. And it didn't drive her mad. In the same way, Roman's love for Lucy was also constantly challenged. Roman could've been content with their current arrangement -- where lust and passion overcome reason. Roman could've chosen not to tell Lucy all of his secrets. He could have chosen to allow Lucy to cling on to her image and idea of him -- but that would not be real, and it would not be love. ... Who was he, really, besides a man even he didn't want to like? He turned away from the house. He should have refused Lucy's request to introduce her to his friends. She might be in disgrace, but there was no need to corrupt her with his brand of entertainment. No need to show her who he'd been, before. Who he still was because he had no idea how to be anyone else. And yet, there was no better way to gain her trust than to let her taste what she thought she wanted. Worldliness, vice, the lure of the forbidden. Didn't those terms describe him, too? - Chapter 8 Emma Locke calls this her Naughty Girls series, but it's also the Alexander Family series -- the drama of Roman's family unravels with every instalment. Dare's gambling troubles continue to snowball in this story -- and it's one of the calls to action that drives Roman forward, towards an unknown, but potentially promising future. This is a novel with an amazing, amazing heart -- and that heart belongs to Roman Alexander. He might not be the hero we dream of, but, considering how bravely he bared himself, and wore his heart on his sleeve, I think he is a hero most worthy.
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    Utterly delightful and charming!

    What a joy to discover a new author and fall head-over-heels in love with a book! A year ago, Roman Alexander ruined Lucy Lancester, he offered to marry her but she refused because she told him she would rather remain independent. And he was not the kind of man she would marry anyway. Roman is broke, he is a true rake, but the thing is, he never meant to ruin Lucy; she tricked him. He doesn’t know that Lucy has always loved him, but he is so wrong in every way. Except that Roman is the most charming, handsome, adorable rogue and Lucy cannot resist him. But she does for a year, until they meet again, and things happen, and now Lucy is completely ruined, totally, irrevocably ruined. Roman proposes again, and again Lucy says no, to Roman’s utter astonishment. Lucy will have to exile herself to her brother’s and lose her School for Accomplished Young Ladies, for which she had worked so hard. THE ART OF RUINING A RAKE is an absolutely fabulous historical romance! Ms. Locke is a fantastically talented writer, her prose is effortless, elegant and witty, the dialogues are spectacular, and the banter between Roman and Lucy is priceless; it reminds one of the true pleasure of reading. The characters are wonderfully complex and ever so enticing. Roman is a true rake, he’s a fop, a gigolo, he does nothing; we shouldn’t like him, and yet we do because he is so charismatic and irresistible, but as we get to know him, we get to see that there is much more than meets the eye. Lucy is also superb: she is very different from what we often see; she needs a purpose in life, if only she could resist her charming rake. I just loved Roman and Lucy so much; what a grand adventure THE ART OF RUINING A RAKE is! There is real passion, the character development is beyond compare, it’s fun, light, and lovely; THE ART OF RUINING A RAKE is a complete and utter delight! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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    Where seduction leads

    Roman Alexander is a known rake with mistress after mistress. But what most of the ton and that certainly includes Lucy Lancester, his friends little sister, is that Roman has a secret. Roman’s father just about destroyed the family with his gambling which caused his own death in debtor’s prison, but also caused each of his sons to face that problem differently. Roman is the oldest and holds the title of Marquis, but it is his brother Tony that kept the business matters of the estate going as Roman gallivanted about town. When his father went to prison, Roman was immature and wanted costly things but had no money. When approached by a woman of the ton who offered in exchange for his ….ahem…personal favors she would cover his debts at one of his establishments, the young Roman Alexander had no problem with such agreements. Soon, Roman was a kept man by enough women that he earned the name of “whore” but which of course was spoken behind closed doors and not in polite society. The knowledge of what he has become rips Roman apart when he must open his secret up to Lucy and risk losing her. Lucy Lancester has been in love with Roman since she was a little girl, but doesn’t believe she can offer anything other than a fling because of her Mother’s history. Her Mother was crazy and in a fit she killed Lucy’s father and then herself. Lucy believes she is the same as her Mother and that history will repeat itself. During a night of seduction, Lucy has her one night with Roman. She then steals away and begins a new life as headmistress of a girls school. Months later who should come knocking at her school but Roman! “Get out” she says, but somehow they are found in a compromising position with her legs wrapped around him not long after! Lucy is asked to step down as headmistress of her own school. Now what is she to do? Roman wants to marry Lucy but she continually turns him down. What started out for him as asking to keep her from ruination, develops into quite the interest as he becomes closer to her and learning more about what makes Lucy, well Lucy. In trying to make an honest man of himself he sends notice to his women which all but one seems to accept. That one will make things very difficult for Roman and Lucy. Roman also throws himself in to his role of Marquis and begins his journey of maturing and building a life that he can include Lucy in. Lucy on the other hand is building her own life. She is to become an authoress and be famous! As these two souls move forward and slide a bit now and then, they must also battle outside influences. They have jealousy from both men and women surrounding them, an arsonist on the loose, abounding titillating gossip and their own undeniable attraction for one another. Will these two finally get together? Will they finally share their secrets and admit their love or continue to deny that love as only a physical attraction? Who is the arsonist and what is their purpose? Ah, Roman and Lucy are quite the pair in this wonderful regency romance by Emma Locke. The Art of Ruining a Rake is the fourth book in The Naughty Girls Series by Emma Locke. Roman and Lucy first begin their journey in the book 3, A Game of Persuasion: Extended Prologue for The Art of Ruining a Rake. I received this eBook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Art of Ruining a Rake is a great read in a wonderful series. It was amusing to read a story where it wasn’t the woman who had the reputation for being a mistress but the man! Enjoyable read!
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    Roman and Lucy

    I have read 5 books in this series. I loved this story .... I thought it was the best of the Alexander series. We find that Roman is very deep, and we learn how and why he became a rake. Lucy has loved him since she was a young girl, but I think Roman also loved her when he was a young man, before circumstances changed his life. Roman is witty, a romantic, and it takes a woman like Lucy to get him on the right track to change his life around. Lucy is a very strong forward thinking young woman , but plagued by her parents tragic marriage, which she must come to terms with. This is a story of love between two people who must learn to trust and forgive.
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