Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I’m hosting NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Erica Ridley’s latest release Taming the Rake, book two in the Lords in Love series, a historical romance.  Be sure to read my review.  And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.


Title: Taming the Rake
Series: Lords in Love
Author: Erica Ridley
Genre Historical Romance
Length: 198 pages
Release Date: March 24, 2023

Enjoy a fiery, passionate enemies-to-lovers revenge romance from a New York Times bestselling author!

Blurb:  All her life, Miss Gladys Bell was a wallflower whose parents despaired of her ever attracting a suitor. Then she met the man of her dreams, who said she was the woman of his. One passionate night later, Gladys awaits a marriage proposal that never comes. Reuben Medford, the ton’s most notorious rake, doesn’t even remember her name.

Thanks to his cold-hearted callousness, Gladys lost her reputation, her dowry, and her chance at love. But now she’s back, and bent on revenge. He’s trifled with the wrong woman: This wallflower has thorns. Once Gladys holds that damnable rake’s arrogant, fickle heart in her hands… She’ll crush it, just as he did to her.

This time, he’ll remember her name.

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“You shouldn’t kiss a lady without permission,” Gladys told Mr. Medford tartly.

He smirked. “Are you a lady?”

“Are you a gentleman?”

“Not in the least. And I’ve never had to ask permission before.” He tilted his head. “If I ask it of you, will you say yes?”

“You’ll have to find out the same way everyone else does.”

“May I kiss you?”


He clutched his heart as if struck by an arrow. “You are a villain. I have been desperate to see you again since the moment you left the labyrinth.”

“You can barely see me in the darkness, and you couldn’t see anything at all a moment ago when you were kissing me with your eyes shut.”

“You watched me? Your eyes were open?”

No. Her eyes had been closed too, just as they were on that night so long ago.

Rather than answer, she raised her brows at him.

He raked a hand through his hair. “May I see you, then? Really see you? Somewhere with sun, or at least chandeliers?”

“I don’t wish to be seen with you.”

“You don’t?”

“I have a reputation to consider.” She slanted him a wry look. “Don’t you? The most prolific rakehell in England, publicly wooing a random spinster. Good God, what would the gossips think?”

“I never said I planned to do any wooing.”

“Then what, exactly, are you proposing?”

He stared at her in consternation, the wheels in his brain clearly spinning. “Is it still ‘wooing’ if both parties know their time together won’t lead to matrimony?”

“Are you referring to sexual acts?” she asked archly.

He flung out his hands. “I’ll pour tea for you and discuss the weather, if that’s the only way you’ll agree to see me.”

“So you’re asking what it’s called when two people spend non-sexual time together in voluntary companionship. I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘friendship’.”

“With a woman?” Medford said in mock horror.

Or perhaps he wasn’t acting. He famously never saw the same woman twice. It did not take much imagination to realize he did not think of his conquests as friends. He didn’t think of them at all.

Until now.


I LOVE historical romance, so when this book came up for review, I was in.  I especially love enemies to lovers and the author did a great job with this trope.

Wallflower Gladys Bell sees her last chance for marrying and avoiding spinsterhood when a gentleman—who only wants her for her dowry—asks for her hand.  But when she is pulled into a garden by the man of her dreams, she is beside herself that he wants anything to do with her.  His passionate kiss says exactly how he feels, and she believes he wants her hand in marriage since he is in attendance at an event for those wishing to find a suitable marriage partner.

Rakish Reuben Medford believes the dowdy Gladys is the lady who requested his presence at the marriage mart party, and much to his delight, she isn’t the bold lady who asked for a night in his bed but someone else.  When Gladys vanishes into the night after their kiss, he unearths another man who has already asked for her hand.  So he believes she’ll survive the might-be scandal their kiss could have caused.

I must say I really felt for Gladys.  I understand how times were back then.  Scandal was everything, and misbehaving in an inappropriate way not only ruined a girl, but also her family.  So the parents were in quite the pickle since they were bringing their youngest daughter out, who wouldn’t stand a chance if they didn’t disown Gladys.  But that was hard for me to take—parents abandoning their daughter (she had reached her majority) to save the reputation of the other daughter.  I felt this could have been explored further because there was so much to their decision that was skimmed over.  I hoped they’d take her home at least, explain to her, hem and haw about what they should do, and then publicly disown her.  Something more.

When Glady is abandoned, I would’ve liked to have seen her transition from scared innocent to bold courtesan, but this was also skimmed over.  It is a short read and a lot to pack in.  Because what happened to her affected her greatly.

The writing is excellent, and the chemistry between Gladys and Reuben is explosive.  I especially loved their time spent alone during Gladys’ plan to exact her revenge on Reuben for ruining her life.  This played out wonderfully.  The author really excels here.  Actually, the author excels everywhere.  Yes, I had two quibbles about the plot, but it’s still a wonderful read with characters I adored.

Would the two quibbles put me off from the rest of the series?  Not a chance.  The author is a NY Times bestselling author and it shows in her witty, steamy, and heartfelt dialogue, in her writing, and in her characters.  I would very much read the first book in the series and any others.  I recommend you give the book a read.  As I said, it’s short, so the author had much to pack in.  There is so much more to Reuben than what he lets on.  I closed the book, having enjoyed Gladys’ HEA which was well deserved after all that had happened to her.


Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of witty, feel-good historical romance novels, including THE DUKE HEIST, starring the Wild Wynchesters. Why seduce a duke the normal way, when you can accidentally kidnap one in an elaborately planned heist?

In the 12 Dukes of Christmas series, enjoy witty, heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. After all, nothing heats up a winter night quite like finding oneself in the arms of a duke!

Two popular series, the Dukes of War and Rogues to Riches, feature roguish peers and dashing war heroes who find love amongst the splendor and madness of Regency England.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found eating couscous in Morocco, zip-lining through rainforests in Central America, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Follow Erica:  Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads | Amazon


Enter for a chance to win an ebook or paperback copy of the first TWO books in the Wicked Dukes Club series! (ebooks international)
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4 thoughts on “Erica Ridley – Taming the Rake

  1. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diana Hardt says:

    Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.


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