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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Drea's Review: A Rake by Any Other Name

Title: A Rake by Any Other Name
Author: Mia Marlowe
Series: Somerfield Park, #1
Format: e-book
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Length: Novel (352 pages)
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Netgalley
Buy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Rating: 2.5-stars 

Drea's Review:

Lord Hartley is having the time of his life on the continent when a letter arrives, insisting he return home. His father has had a serious accident. Mute and wheelchair bound, the marquess has seen better days but it’s the estate’s finances that have Hartley worried most. The family is broke and it’s up to him to resolve the situation, and ensure his three sisters’ futures, by marrying a wealthy heiress. Or so his mother and grandmother insist. And they’ve helpfully installed an heiress, Sophie, in the old dowager house. Unfortunately neither he nor Sophie has any interest in being shackled to one another. Especially not when Hartley’s fiancĂ©e is due to arrive any day. But there’s something about Sophie that has Hartley intrigued. She’s not afraid to get dirty, fix up a garden herself, or ride horses until she’s breathless yet she can behave with decorum if she likes just as easily. She isn’t even a virgin. That only makes Hartley want her more. And just when he decides on what he wants, fate seems to tear it away. Or perhaps it’s the hand of someone a little more real and a whole lot more devious. But never fear, there will be a happy ever after.

Having recently returned from being raised in exotic India, A Rake By Any Other Name’s heiress and heroine Sophie is rough around the edges. She takes to her responsibilities as a woman of means with amusing aplomb and shapes up to be an admirable woman by the end of the book. I had no trouble understanding why Hartley falls for her. Our hero Lord Hartley is decent man even without his title and estate. He insists that Sophie deserves a man who wants her for her rather than for her dowry, and he concocts a plan to resolve the estate’s money problems without her money. But he still wants to marry her anyway. If that isn’t romance then I don’t know what is.

Hartley’s friend Seymour and Hartley’s family is amusing, giving the story more layers. But layers it isn’t lacking. This book had at least twelve point of view characters, so if you’re into stories that feature two or less points of view, you may want to slide on by this one. There are also several plotlines that are begun and go nowhere. Two of those are love plots between the downstairs folk (read: servants). I assume they’ll be resolved later in the series, but a good amount of word count is spent on them without any kind of pay off in this book, making it a little frustrating.

The drama below the stairs has a very Downton Abbey feel to it. If you’re going through Downton withdrawal, this might be a good story to tide you over. Hartley’s grandmother certainly has the same plucky feel as Downton’s dowager.

All in all, the writing is good and the primary romance between Sophie and Hartley is tied up nicely. Readers new to Mia Marlowe like me can pick this up without fear of being lost.

Challenge Update: This is book eleven toward the 2014 Historical Romance reading challenge I signed up for ages ago. I have one more to go!


  1. Oh I'm sorry that this one wasn't as good as you thought. I didn't know about it or the author but now I'm not sure, I think I'll pass. Thanks for the review!

    1. I've seen her name appearing more and more, so I'm glad I tried her out. Not so glad it didn't turn out better. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Well that's disappointing. I haven't tried her yet but know I have one somewhere in the pile. Hopefully it'll go a spot better. And yay for almost having the challenge done! Woots!

    1. I'll be interested to see if the insane number of POVs is a thing she does in all her books. But...not interested enough to pick up another.
      And yes! *dances* I can't believe how stinking hard it turned out to be. I read at least 3 that didn't make it to the blog for whatever reason, but I'm not counting them. Still, I thought I'd read way more of this genre than I ended up reading. I guess I've really branched out into other genres this year.

  3. What a bummer! I love Downton Abby, but I don't think I'm going to pick this one up. This is a new-to-me author - And for a moment I thought it was A Rogue by Any Other Name which I This names are too close!..LOL
    Thanks Drea!

    1. They ARE close! And I've got that one waiting on my shelf. Nice to know you liked it :)