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  • 3.5 stars for this debut novel

    3 stars for this debut novel For the last month and half , I have been reading all the historical romance , I can get my hands on. And that's how I found Annabelle Greene debut novel The Vicar and the Rake. I had a good time reading this soapy, emotional , melodramatic , very steamy sexy story. Even though , I should not compare some of the similarity , of this story to KJ Charles outstanding Society of Gentlemen series it is near impossible not to do. And of course, the results are this tale falls short in comparison. Also, there are few glaring plot-holes and timeline inconsistencies that render the mystery big secret chronologically impossible. That said, I think this author has a lot of potential and have written an entertaining story. Looking forward reading the upcoming books . I just reviewed The Vicar and the Rake by Annabelle Greene. #TheVicarandtheRake #NetGalley

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  • The Vicar and the Rake is a very steamy historical

    The Vicar and the Rake is a very steamy historical, gay romance. Gabriel gave up his life of luxury and his very illicit desires to become a Reverend. He's dedicated to his work and has undertaken a personal vow of celibacy. He can live with the fact that he desires men... or one man in particular... if he can just not act upon it. When Edward, Duke of Caddonfell returns to his unhappy childhood home, he discovers Gabriel lying in his garden overcome by illness. Thrust back into each other's lives, these two men must both deal with the desire they have for each other and the fact that the society they live in doesn't allow for them to be together. Things are further complicated by the fact that Edward is in a rather large heap of trouble. Primarily, this story is about Gabriel and Edward and the fact that both of them have past issues that need to be resolved. Edward had a terrible childhood that was full of pain and he has survived that by making certain that he doesn't fall into relationships with people. He doesn't want to be emotionally connected to anyone, nor does he want to be vulnerable. Gabriel loved Edward when they were young... and Edward left. Gabriel had thought he had lost his opportunity to be with the man who he was so enamored with when they were young. He's intelligent enough to know that there are things in Edward's past that he doesn't understand and he sees that Edward is trying to push him away. The intrigue in this story revolves around Edward's battle with the Duke of Sussex. The Duke wants Edward's life because he was caught unawares while entangled with the Duke's son. Of course, there's much more to the story than that! The mystery is set up well and unravels at a pleasant pace. There are more than enough clues dropped to keep the reader interested. Edward was a lovely character. I thought the author did a wonderful job of conveying the way that his painful childhood had affected his life as an adult. He was guarded but honest with himself which is a refreshing combination. This book is the beginning of a series based on the Society of Beasts. This is the secret social group of Edward and his friends. All of the men who attend the club are hiding their proclivities as the social norms of the time demand. The friendships between these men are well-written, after all, it seems that they are only able to be completely honest with one another. That would create a remarkable bond between people. This is a solid romance, heavy on the steamy side with a great ending!

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  • Excellent Debut Novel - Can't wait for book 2

    The Vicar and the Rake by Annabelle Greene Society of Beasts #1 Lovely, lusty, loving story that allows Gabriel and Edward a second chance at their HEA. Really enjoyed this book! From the first page I was intrigued, and my interest was held throughout. What I liked: * Gabriel: a good man doing good while fighting his inclinations. He wonders why his best friend from childhood left without a word and never responded to his letters. * Edward: a man running from personal demons. His childhood was not a gentle one and he suffers what amounts to PTSD as a result. He is usually caught up in scandal. * Bryce: Edward’s valet but so much more than that. He is a good friend, good man, and an ex-pugilist. Intrigued me and do hope he ends up with a HEA of his own. * Maurice: Edward’s younger brother, a sly manipulator, and blackmailer of sorts. He defends Edward as Edward once protected him. * Caroline: Gabriel’s sister, a widow, helpful in the village, a good woman, and much stronger and wiser than some might think. * Ginger: a young boy that has suffered much with a backstory that will impact many * The writing, setting, story, accord with the history of the times * The idea of the men’s club and meeting some of its members * All of it really except… What I did not like: * Sussex: a man out for blood – wicked and evil he deserves whatever happens to him * The laws of the times related to love between men * Having to say goodbye to the characters and having to wait till book two is ready to read. Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more by this author? Definitely Thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars

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  • Brilliant narrative, absolutely brilliant

    Surrey, 1818 Gabriel’s sister wrote him a letter, Edward is back! After ten years! Edward Stanhope, Duke of Caddonfell. The terror of every mother in the ton, not for their daughters, but for their sons. After reading the letter, vicar Gabriel Winters’ words weren’t for the ears to hear, he couldn’t speak them out loud, but the word started with d and ended with amn. His childhood friend Edward ran away ten years ago, Edward abandoned him just like that. “I am excellent at things I’m indifferent to. Imagine how spectacular I am at the things I like.” Edward's memories are bad and hurtful. He didn’t run off just like that. But he’ll never speak about them. Acting haughty to keep everyone at distance. Edward is back, hiding, he’s in danger. Edward's brother Maurice is also there to eliminate the threat. “My God, you’re worthless. You need to be corrected, d you.” Edward has demons he can't get rid of. He has nightmares and wounds who won't disappear not even love could. He has to keep Gabriel at arm's-length. Gabriel is the opposite of Edward, he's open and honest to Edward about his feelings. He's strong but speaks softly. "the thought that he had been waiting for Edward’s command was more erotic than a thousand forgettable back-alley encounters" From the first page, I was head over heels. What a marvelous story. There was humor, the best, a sort of dramatic theatrical humor. The historical side of this narrative felt authentic. The used language, the build of the sentences. I could hear them clearly. The clothing, the traveling, the politeness, it was quite convincing. I love the amount of drama. The sexual attraction and tension between Edward and Gabriel were beautiful, heartbreaking, and delightful at the same time. The suspense was killing. I read on and on, biting my nails until I could breathe again. My goodness what a story The end OMG the end... goosebumps thick goosebumps! Brilliant narrative absolutely brilliant!

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  • Great debut novel and start to a new series.

    Audio Review: Story – 5 Performance – 5 Overall – 5 The Vicar and the Rake is Annabelle Greene's debut novel and I thought it was great. I started out reading this book, courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, but then I saw that the audiobook was available so I finished up by listening to it. I have several audiobooks in my library performed by Cornell Collins but this was the first one I've listened to (I need to correct that!). I loved his voice and how he performed the story; he didn't just read it. The different voices he used made it easy to distinguish the characters from each other. As for the book itself, and the story – wow! It's really hard to believe that this is Annabelle Green's first published work. Even better news is that it's the beginning of a series and I can't wait to read more. I love a good historical MM romance and I love a good second chance story; this book hits on both of those things. The blurb really is good so I won't repeat it. This book has several secondary characters that made the story even more interesting. Besides the love story between Gabriel and Edward there's mystery, intrigue and murder. If this story is anything to go by, The Society of Beasts series will be an interesting one and I'm looking forward to reading more. A review copy of the ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.

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