Everyone has plans … until something—or someone—comes along to change them.
At the age of thirty-five, Randall Roderick, Marquess of Reading, decides it’s time to trade in his life as the ‘Rake of Reading’ for the life of a married man. Trouble is, his reputation precedes him, and he’s not particularly attracted to the milk water misses who make up the eligible ladies of theton.
His counterpart, Charles Goodwin, Earl of Wakefield, is only twenty-five and enjoys his life as a rake far too much to consider marriage. A visiting prostitute may change his mind on the matter, though, if only because he wants to do the right thing.
When the Earl of Norwick’s skittish cousin, Constance, meets Randall in the park, she’s intrigued by the gentleman she thinks is merely a well-to-do cit with a fascination for horse racing, but she’s only in London to find out what’s become of her inheritance. She’s determined to return to her home and horses in Sussex to live the life of an independent woman.
Her counterpart, Eleanor Merriweather, is in London for her come-out with a dream to marry her perfect knight, but having been duped by a brothel’s madame upon her arrival, she suddenly finds herself completely and thoroughly ruined.
When the lives of these four are suddenly upended by their chance meetings, the events of two nights and two days will prove that it takes a bit of horse sense to get on the right track in The Love of a Rake.
When you agree to trade places, what can go wrong?
After eight years in the British Navy, Will Slater returns to London to resume his life as the son of a marquess. He’s determined to discover what’s become of Lady Barbara. An earl’s daughter, she pledged her love on their last night together and now seems to have disappeared from Society.
Will’s bastard brother, Stephen, served with him on his last ship and is ready to attend every ball and soirée necessary to earn acceptance in the ton. As the Marquess of Devonville’s son and a dead ringer for his brother, he finds it easier than he should to navigate the choppy waters of aristocratic Society. And why wouldn’t he? All the young ladies think he’s his brother, especially after Will requests that they trade places and then leaves London to search for Barbara!
Banished from her father’s home seven years ago, Barbara lives in a ramshackle cottage in Oxfordshire. With little to eat, no prospects, and nothing in the way of income unless she takes up prostitution, her life has become bleak. Although there is one bright spot left in her life, that, too, will dim unless something—or someone—comes to save the day. The last person she expects to do just that is Will Slater. Having written him off when he didn’t write to her during his years at sea, Barbara claims she no longer loves him. How can she when he abandoned her?
As Stephen dazzles the debutantes with his easy manners, good humor and demonstrations of delectable kissing—all in his brother’s name—how will he explain himself when one of those young ladies turns out to be one he wants? Trading places has the brothers feeling as if they’re just a bit lost at sea in The Caress of a Commander.