Her Worthy Rake by Charlotte Anne

Her Worthy RakeHer Worthy Rake by Charlotte Anne

Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone, but connected to “The Unworthy Duke”

Release Date: January 1, 2023

**Fair warning – the last paragraph of this review might be spoilerish – please don’t continue if you don’t want to know.**

Sophy Calder has been waiting for her twin brother Sherborne “Sherry” to return from the war. Her brother had been press-ganged into the Navy four years ago, but the war ended, and his ship returned to England over six months ago, and yet she hasn’t seen or heard from him. And now that she has gone through her own inheritance trying to keep the family estate from ruin, she can no longer wait for her brother to return and take over – a feat she was unable to do as all the estate accounts and funds are in his name and she is living in genteel poverty. When she gets no answers from the Navy by writing letters, she heads to London. But getting answers is no easier in person, even with the backing of the Duke of Woodhal and when she finally has some information in her grasp, it is almost lost by an unfortunate dip in the Thames.

After a disheartening meeting with his good friend and tailor, George “Owen” Tattershall’s day goes from bad to worse in the blink of an eye, when a collision with a winsome red-head ends with a swim in the Thames followed by stolen boots and a hackney ride to evade the men chasing said red-head – who turns out to be the woman who begged his cousin’s help the night of his engagement ball. Owen remembers Sophy well and offers his help, taking her to his adopted mother’s house, who hires Sophy as her companion, so she can stay in London and find her brother. Owen is surprised by his attraction to Sophy and the more time they spend together, the more he wants – but Owen has secrets that he assumes will prevent their HEA, but perhaps he shouldn’t make assumptions…

{This is where it might get spoilerish}

This book was not what I expected based on the blurb, it was a lot more complex – or more accurately – more convoluted than a simple romance/mystery. First of all, there are A LOT of characters, making the story hard to follow at times, which is not helped by the fact that the story tends to ramble, then there is a side-plot of Owen trying to secure funding for a printing project with his friend, oh and the fact that Owen is bisexual – which would be fine if it was actually pertinent to the story, rather than seeming like a gratuitous “inclusion” move and I wasn’t thrilled with his revelation of this to Sophy – where it is completely downplayed and he tells her that he loves her and only wants her now – which raises the question is he now “straight” or is he just going to ignore that part of himself? Either way, that needed to be addressed, as did other things – like why her brother let her go broke instead of making arrangements for her to send estate bills to his solicitor, and why did he risk so much for someone whom he didn’t seem to want a future with, and how did Owen come to be adopted? I finished this book with more questions than answers and felt unsatisfied even though it ended with a HEA. I really did like Owen and Sophy and rooted for their HEA, but without addressing how they move forward in respect to his sexuality, I am not sure how they can have a true HEA. This is the second book in the series – but it is billed as a standalone title. And to be fair, I didn’t read the first book, so I don’t know if the questions I had in this book would have been moot if I had read the first book. Anyway, that is just my two cents – do what you will with it. Overall, it was an original story with likable characters and fascinating author notes (which in my opinion were the best part of the book) and I am not sorry I read it, but it is not a story I would go out of my way to read again.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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