As a young man, Sir Gabriel Winters left behind his status as a gentleman, turning his back on his secret desires and taking a self-imposed vow of celibacy. Now he’s a chaste, hardworking vicar, and his reputation is beyond reproach. But, try as he might, he’s never forgotten the man he once desired or the pain of being abandoned by his first love.
Edward Stanhope, the Duke of Caddonfell, is a notorious rake, delighting in scandal no matter the consequence. With a price on his head, he flees to the countryside, forced to keep his presence a secret or risk assassination. When Edward finds Gabriel on his estate, burning with fever, he cannot leave him to die, but taking him in puts them both in jeopardy.
With the help of a notorious blackmailer, a society of rich and famous gentlemen who prefer gentlemen, and a kitten named Buttons, they might just manage to save Edward’s life—but the greatest threat may be to their hearts.
The Vicar and the Rake was a very impressive debut from author Annabelle Greene. Despite some mixed reviews from my friends, I liked The Vicar and the Rake a good deal, and even bumped up my rating the more I sat on my feelings.
I have a huge weakness for historical romances, and I love, love, love M/M historicals, so I was ready and willing to love this story. It did not disappoint. Combine a long-pined after romance with some very deep feelings and a virgin (!), and you have me hooked.
I enjoyed the humor of the story, which I wasn't expecting, and I also really liked how well the author developed the chemistry between the two MCs. In fact, all of the characters, including the secondary characters, were very strong, and I enjoyed them a great deal. They felt very well-developed and conceived, something that new writers often struggle with. I thought everything from the pacing to the romance was really well done.
Where I got a bit lost was with the mystery and action elements towards the end. It seemed a bit muddled, and I'm not one for big dramatic, mysterious endings. I got a bit confused with all of the shuffle, but it didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. I wish things had been simplified a bit, but I'm excited and hopeful for the rest of the books in the series.
A great debut which promises even better things to come, look out for Annabelle Greene.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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