50 Ways to Ruin a Rake: Rakes and Rogues # 1 by Jade Lee with Excerpt and Q & A

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake: Rakes and Rogues # 1 by Jade Lee with Excerpt and Q & A

I love smart fiction, and when the reality is that stories all contain tropes that are familiar in their basic construct, it is the author’s manipulation of those tropes and their ability to tell a story without losing the reader in repetition that keeps reads fresh and engaging.  Jade Lee’s newest release,  is a smart and fun read, perfect for a summer afternoon.

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake

Mellie is an intelligent and determined young woman, but living in the country with her father has limited her prospects for marriage. She wants to enjoy the attention her father lavishes on Trevor, mentoring his scientific experiments, but he barely gives her a second glance, even as she has created her own formula for a beauty product that she hopes will be successful and provide an income, and some freedom.  But, her father sees her only as his daughter, and is convinced that a marriage to Ronnie, a distant relation, is a logical option.

Trevor is struggling in society, with his allowance held in abeyance until he settles down and chooses a wife. He’s just not met anyone who fits the bill for him quite yet. In the years that Trevor has known her family, he’s noticed Mellie’s brilliance, and the fact that she has grown into quite a beauty. Perhaps an engagement to Mellie will provide them both with new options: his for cash flow and hers for the opportunity to meet a proper suitor.

Clever with several red herrings, I was expecting some nefarious dealings around Mellie’s chemical formula and her ability to reason through Trevor’s experiments and provide suggestions could have provided some opportunity for sniping between them, but neither happened as they slowly came to realize the suitability of their own pairing.

Solidly Victorian in approach, setting and attitude, these two are wonderfully written with solid personalities and voices that suit them and the plot perfectly. Insets of humor from both speech and misunderstandings, as well as a few slapstick moments keep the story light and enjoyable, while the steamy moments help to build the connection between the two for readers. A lovely start to a new series, and one that has me seeking out more of Ms. Lee’s titles.

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake: Rakes and Rogues # 1 by Jade Lee with Excerpt and Q & A

Title: 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake
Author: Jade Lee
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492604992
Published on: 5 May 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 11 Hours
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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See this Title on Goodreads

Mellie has a plan

Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating—although admittedly handsome—guest of her father. She's looking for any excuse to go to London to meet more eligible men.

Trevor has a problem

Trevor Anaedsley's grandfather has cut off his funds until such time as he gets engaged. Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor Mr. Smithson but actually to duck his creditors—where he meets Smithson's lovely daughter Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but the lady has ideas of her own, and Trevor's going to have to measure up...

See the Rakes and Rogues Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Today I’m excited to welcome Jade Lee to the blog!


Jade’s latest title, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, released May 5th and is the first in her hilarious new Rakes & Rogues series. To celebrate her new release, Jade is here to share a quiz about the book. See if you can guess correctly!

 I’m a huge cat lover. I can’t imagine living without a pet. The thought actually fills me with sadness. So when I write fictional people, I always want to add a pet, but it usually doesn’t work. They’re an unnecessary complication. Of course, Elizabeth Hoyt manages to add a delightful dog to every one of her books. I’m quite in awe of that. And now in this book and the next two, I finally got to add pets. But they’re UNUSUAL pets because, you know, I can’t do anything normal.

What pets have I included in the books?

  1. A cat. Come on, that was obvious. I mean, I love my cats. All 57 of them.
  2. A turkey. Gobble your way to true love, and then if you ever get really hungry, you’ve got Thanksgiving dinner right there.
  3. A monkey. Monkey’s were pets in the regency period. And they can be ever so cute with their little hat as they dance during a ball.
  4. A parakeet. You can teach it fun phrases and have them talk at inappropriate times
  5. A pig. It worked on Designing Women. Why not in a regency?


Answer: B. Yup, there’s a pet turkey in this book and how it got there is a subject of great hilarity. But lest you think I’ve forgotten the others, the book after this does have a pet pig. And the third has a pet parakeet. Haven’t done a cat yet, though I have done a dog. And a monkey is for a future book. I just have to get the details of my kleptomaniac monkey without going too over the top. Unless you think I’m already there….      

As for A and B, well, there is hot sex, but not that wild. All my books are sexy. And science geeks in love is true for this book, but not for the next two. It was a carry over from my daughter and new son-in-law’s romance. Definitely a romance that blossomed in the science lab.





Trevor was down. Ronnie was going to finish the fight. But he hadn’t reckoned on Melinda. She’d been an unwilling participant in this whole disgusting display. Well, if her cousin wanted a Cheltenham tragedy, she would bloody well give him one.

She surged forward, having no need to fake the desperation in her voice. “Stop it! Ronnie, stop it now!” And when he didn’t hear her, she said the words she’d never thought she’d utter in her entire life. “My love!”

That got his attention. His fist was raised, but he looked to her, his eyes alight with excitement. “Mellie!”

She flung herself forward. Dropping to her knees, she slid in the mud, coming to a stop just where she’d intended—right beside Trevor’s head. Ronnie reached for her, but she pushed him away as she wrapped herself around the fallen lord.

“Stay away, you brute!” she practically spit at her cousin. Then she used her cloak to dab at the blood on Trevor’s face. “My love, my love, are you alive? Oh God, someone fetch a doctor! Please, someone!”

Her words were ten times more dramatic than were needed, but she’d learned that the best way to deliver a message to her cousin was in the most theatrical tone possible. So she cradled Trevor in her arms and crooned like any heroine in the most lurid gothic romance.

Trevor’s face was indeed a battered mess, but not so unrecognizable that she didn’t see the gleam of appreciation in his eyes or the mischievous smile that pulled at his swollen lip.

“Are you an angel?” he asked. “Have I died?”

The man was lying in the mud, his ankle nearly snapped in half. His face oozed from a myriad of cuts, and yet he still had the wherewithal to give the crowd a good show. It was enough to make her contemplate dropping him in the mud. She didn’t, of course, but she hoped her glare would suffice.

Meanwhile, Ronnie just stood there poised, his fist still raised as he gaped. “Mellie?”

She looked up, shooting a venomous look at his bloodied fist. “Do you mean to trounce me as well? Lay me out in the mud and the shite like last week’s garbage?”

“What?” Ronnie took a moment to understand while she gestured with her chin toward his fist. Then he abruptly gasped and shook out his hand, dropping it helplessly to his side. “But I won. This was an affaire d’honor.”

“Congratulations,” she mocked. “You beat a man half your weight.”

“Hey!” muttered Trevor. “I’m not that small.”

“Oh shut up. I’m making a point.” Then she turned her attention to her cousin. Best make the situation absolutely clear. “You were right, Ronnie. You have made everything so clear to me. I could never love a brute like you. It’s him I want. A man of elegance, not violence.”

She watched her cousin absorb her words, his mind obviously working slowly, and no wonder. Certainly, Ronnie was an accomplished fighter, but he’d never in his life been called a brute. He was a poet, for God’s sake. And his father was wont to call him a useless fribble with no starch whatsoever. Of course, both appellations were completely wrong, but truth didn’t matter here. Not when he’d wanted drama. And so she stretched the truth—she outright broke it—and she felt no remorse.

“I love Trevor,” she said loudly enough for everyone to hear.

“Since when?” her cousin demanded.

Since never. She had a thorough disgust of them both. Especially as Trevor began to speak in a quavering voice.

“Oh, to finally hear those words, now in the moments before I expire. My life is complete.”

“You’re not dying,” she hissed. Unless he was hurt more than he appeared. The thought shot her with alarm until he started speaking again.

“I am dying!” he cried. “Kiss me, my love. Kiss me, and mayhap your love will keep me tethered to this mortal coil.”

“I will not,” she said between clenched teeth.

He pitched his voice to a plaintive wail. “Then I shall die for sure!”

Damnation on all bloody, arrogant, ridiculous men! One glance about her showed that the crowd was hanging on his every word. She didn’t really care until she looked at Ronnie’s face. He wasn’t stupid. He could see that Trevor wasn’t really hurt. It wouldn’t take him long to remember that she’d never spoken of Trevor with anything but disdain. And from there it was a small step to realizing that this entire display was a sham. So she had to do something quickly. Something that he’d never forget, even if he did suspect the lie.

So she did it. She kissed Trevor.

About Jade Lee

A USA Today Bestseller, JADE LEE has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 40 romance novels and winner of dozens of industry awards, she finally gets to play in the best girl-heaven place of all: a Bridal Salon! In her new series, four women find love as they dress the most beautiful brides in England. A Gentleman’s Gamble and What the Groom Wants are coming out in January and February.

And don’t forget KATHY LYONS. She’s Jade’s lighter, contemporary half. Don’t you hate it when you share erotic dreams with a stranger? It happens in her new Kathy Lyons series. Dream Nights with the CEO is available now!

To find out all the latest news on Jade or Kathy, visit them on the web at www.jadeleeauthor.com or www.kathylyons.com!


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