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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dangers of a Perfect Reputation
Known to society as "The Perfection" Diccan Hilliard has spent years carefully crafting his carefree, sartorially splendid, charming persona. His role as a rising diplomat is yet another front, all helping to hide his secret work for the government. Returning from the continent with news of a treasonous plot, Diccan is braced for his enemies' next move...

And...
Published on 21 April 2011 by Book Gannet

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
What a disappointment. This author fails to deliver again. The excellent writing style, historical accuracy and delightful characters are let down by a ridiculous plot.

Set in Regency England, the hero, Diccan, is a government spy who is working secretly to expose a group of British traitors known as the Lions. He and the heroine, Grace, are drugged by the...
Published on 2 May 2011 by pussycat


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 May 2011
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This review is from: Never A Gentleman: Number 2 in series (Drake's Rakes) (Mass Market Paperback)
What a disappointment. This author fails to deliver again. The excellent writing style, historical accuracy and delightful characters are let down by a ridiculous plot.

Set in Regency England, the hero, Diccan, is a government spy who is working secretly to expose a group of British traitors known as the Lions. He and the heroine, Grace, are drugged by the Lions and put into bed together. The Lions seem to intend that when Diccan refuses to do the honourable thing and marry Grace he will be disgraced in society. Quite how this is supposed to stop him hunting the Lions I was never sure.

Diccan marries Grace even though he thinks she is very unattractive. The author really makes too much of this. Grace is very tall, thin, has a long face and limps. Society openly laughs at her. I found this very overdone and a distraction from the romance. Having married Grace, Diccan is told by the Lions that if he seems to care for Grace she will be hurt. This plot device just didn't work for me as it was never made clear why Diccan's marital relationship was being targetted by the Lions.

Diccan then embarks on his mission of being extremely cruel to Grace in order to keep her safe. This cruelty involves taking a mistress and calling Grace unflattering names in private and public. His blatant infidelity and cruelty made it quite hard to continue to like Diccan. He comes across as a weak character who is being easily manipulated by the Lions. Grace is equally irritating. A complete doormat. She has so little self respect that she puts up with Diccan's behaviour without saying anything and just tries harder to please him. There are a few really cringeworthy scenes that I could hardly bear to read. For instance, the one where Grace pleads with Diccan to have sex with her the way she has seen him do it with his mistress!

There is no doubt that Ms Dryer can write and I will order her next novel. I am hopeful that a better plot will deliver a more likeable hero and heroine.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dangers of a Perfect Reputation, 21 April 2011
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Book Gannet (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never A Gentleman: Number 2 in series (Drake's Rakes) (Mass Market Paperback)
Known to society as "The Perfection" Diccan Hilliard has spent years carefully crafting his carefree, sartorially splendid, charming persona. His role as a rising diplomat is yet another front, all helping to hide his secret work for the government. Returning from the continent with news of a treasonous plot, Diccan is braced for his enemies' next move...

And then he wakes up in Grace Fairchild's bed.

As tall as a man and painfully plain, Grace is under no illusions about her prospects in life. But after a life following the army, caring for her father and his soldiers, she's finally free to live her own life. No more duty, no more hiding. It's time to live the life she wants.

Until she wakes up to find Diccan Hilliard in her bed and all her dreams turn to dust. Because while Grace couldn't care less about her own place in society, Diccan's reputation is important - and no one will believe they'd both been drugged. A more reluctant pair is hard to imagine, but honour and duty must be satisfied, and after that the real struggles begin.

After the excellent Barely a Lady, Eileen Dreyer returns with the second in the DRAKE'S RAKES series. And once again her heroine is exceptional. Grace first appeared as Lady Kate's colourless companion, whose father died valiantly at Waterloo. An everyday, ordinary young woman with extraordinary character, I really felt for Grace as she strove to turn herself into the wife Diccan needed.

In fact I had so much sympathy for her that I only had frustration left for Diccan. Yes, he suffers as he struggles to do his best for king and country, while also trying to keep Grace safe. But why didn't he just tell her? It's bad enough when he doesn't realise quite how much he's hurting her, but his lack of respect for her intellect is worse.

If you can't forgive - or read about - infidelity, no matter the reasons, consider yourself well warned not to pick this book up.

At times the emotions are pretty dark, but thankfully there are plenty of other characters to dilute the pain. Vivacious Lady Kate, wonderful Lady Bea, Grace's Grenadiers, adorable Chuffy and his Battle of Cornwell/Croyden/Corunna, and a brief reappearance from Olivia and Jack all help strengthen this Regency world.

Heart-wrenching and passionate, intriguing and dangerous, with secret plots and wishful dreams, this is Grace's story more than Diccan's, and as such I wanted her to be happy. Yes, the sudden shift to Kate's problems just before the end was abrupt, out of place and badly handled. And yes, Grace forgives far, far too easily, but I still got a happy glow when she got what she wanted. Even if it was so much more than Diccan deserved. Next up, what Lady Kate did next in Always a Temptress. Looks intriguing.
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Never A Gentleman: Number 2 in series (Drake's Rakes)
Never A Gentleman: Number 2 in series (Drake's Rakes) by Eileen Dreyer (Mass Market Paperback - 5 May 2011)
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