Emma has come to
Emma met Hart about a decade ago during one of her father’s late night parties. Hart made quite the impression on the nine year old Emma and she daydreamed that Hart would be her knight in shining armor and come rescue her. Of course this didn’t happen and now years later, Hart has a reputation of being heartless, ruthless, cold… well, you get the picture. Emma is disgusted by these rumor’s especially the ones about Hart’s countless lovers. The boy she dreamed about was a fantasy after all, and she realizes that they must never be more than passing acquaintances. Hart’s reputation is mostly true but he has a new outlook on life. He will try to give up those vices he enjoyed when he was younger man. But he can hardly deny his lust towards Emma. When it comes to Emma, he finds her to be a different type of creature all together. She dances around any questions he may have and places herself in dangerous situations for money. Something is off about this so-called widow who has arrived out of nowhere. He wants to find out her secrets and thinks his excellent powers of seduction will enable him to solve the puzzle that is Emma.
I love when the heroine gives the hero a merry chase and A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure is exactly that. Emma seriously does not want to be bothered with Hart even if he makes her tingly inside. Where as the hero is the one who may seem cold and refuses to admit his feelings, Dahl has turned things around where it is Emma who tries her hardest to acknowledge any feelings she may have for Hart. She is not willing to take the risk or the consequences for a moment of pleasure. But Hart has a way of breaking down her defenses, not because this is a game to him, but because Emma calls out to him where he wants to protect and cherish her. He feels they are kindred spirits.
I can’t help but compare Emma and Hart’s relationship to a cat and mouse game that will end in the bedroom. There are two love scenes that especially caught my eye that are so very erotic. The very first one is where Hart is giving Emma pleasure and doesn’t ask for anything in return. Thank you so much for that scene Victoria! And as well as the next one where Emma gets her own revenge against Hart for rocking her world and destroying all the walls she has placed around herself.
Even though the main focus is Emma and Hart, there is a subplot that deals with an obsessive suitor of Emma’s from her past who comes out of nowhere quite suddenly. Some may find that this takes away from the on-going drama between Emma and Hart, but for the most part, I was pleased with the results, mainly because I am still a sucker for the hero who ends up saving the damsel in distress.
Even though the title may seems a bit misleading, because Hart doesn’t really have a guide he follows to make sure a woman is pleasured, A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure has everything I want to read in a historical romance from two engaging characters, wonderful dialogue and very creative and luscious love scenes. I am overjoyed that
3 ½ stars out of 5