How to Rescue a Rake is the third novel in Jayne Fresina’s Book Club Belles series. This novel takes its lead from Austen’s Persuasion and does a very nice job of playing with it. Fresina may take her inspiration from Persuasion, but her characters and plot are all her own. Nathanial Sherringham is flirty, forward, and fun, while Diana Makepiece somehow is both playful and reserved. Quite like Anne Elliott, Diana has been heavily influenced by her home life, but she is given the opportunity to break free and redefine herself. In some ways, this novel really is also a novel of self-discovery. The dialogue is swift and the plot, though a little slow at first, really picks up once they get to Bath. I read this book as a stand-alone novel, but I’m now eager to go back and read the earlier novels of the Book Club Belles! You can tell that their world is very Austenian, and as a fan of Austen, I’m eager to see how Fresina plays with the rest of her novels in her other books. Fresina’s writing is smooth and quick, which made it a nice and easy read. Overall, How to Rescue a Rake is a charming and sexy story!
Three years ago, Nathaniel Sherringham left home after being rejected by the one woman he thought was the one for him. He has left the recklessness of his youth behind him and now a self-made man, Nathaniel has returned home and is ready to find himself a wife and settle down. But he is still drawn to Miss Diana Makepiece and can’t help but seek out her attention. Even if it means slipping into some old habits. Like stating that he’d marry “any suitable girl” under 25 and thus swiftly garnering Diana’s ire and attention!
Diana Makepiece is not about to be charmed by that rake Nathaniel Sherringham. Years ago, she refused his joke of a proposal, knowing that such a flirtatious man could not be sincere. Still single at 27, a fact constantly reminded by friends and family, Diana is excited for the change that a trip to visit her cousin in Bath would provide. And if it means that she does not have to witness Sherry’s search for a wife, even better!
But fate brings these two back together. Away from home, Sherry has the opportunity to seduce Diana away from prying eyes. He knows that she’s the one for him. But this time, will she have the confidence to trust in his feelings for her? Or will she always see him as an insincere, flirtatious rake?
HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE:
Reject his marriage proposal
Nathaniel Sherringham has returned to Hawcombe Prior a changed man. Gone is the reckless rake who went out on a limb to propose to Diana Makepiece three years ago. Now Nate's mysterious new wealth has the town's rumor mill spinning. To stir things up (and get Diana's attention), Nate boldly announces his plans to marry "any suitable girl" under the age of 25.
Diana, now 27 and still single, is acutely aware of Nate's return. When her mother suggests a trip to visit a cousin in Bath, Diana leaps at the chance to escape the heartbreak and regret she can't help but feel in Nate's presence...and avoid his irritating charade to find a bride.
But for Nate, Diana has always been the one. He might just have to follow her to Bath and once again lay his heart on the line to win her attention-and her heart.