I loved this clever twist on 80's movie tropes - I spotted The Breakfast Club, Can't Buy Me Love, and Pretty in Pink - and a fake date, friends to lovers Regency romance.
Seb is a bluestocking anthropologist and member of the Union of the Rakes, a group of five Eton men who bonded over mischief and a long day of penance. Lady Grace is a herpetologist and scholar who's been on the shelf, crushing on a rakish colleague named Mason Fredericks who is oblivious to her availability. Seb volunteers to help his friend attract Mason's attention but here's the catch: he has terrible, debilitating social anxiety. With the aid of a fellow Union member and society elite, Seb transforms himself into a charming rake who publicly pursues Grace. Their plan begins to work but their hearts have other ideas...
Eva Leigh delivers a sexy, ambitious happily ever after that's sealed by a very dramatic, filmworthy grand gesture. I can't wait for book two!
"[A] feast of female empowerment, positive friendships, feel-good moments, and social satire." — NPR
“A jolt of electricity, a blast of fresh air—everything delightful and exciting you could want it to be.” — The New York Times Book Review
In the first book in Eva Leigh's new Union of the Rakesseries, a bluestocking enlists a faux suitor to help her land an ideal husband only to be blindsided by real desire…
Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to “build” the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.
To further his own research on English society, Sebastian agrees to let Grace transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace’s feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn’t asked him to help her marry someone else...
Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he’s faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.
About the Author
Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of determined women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
“there’s just something about the way [Leigh] structures her plots that slips under my skin and gets my mental wheels turning every time...” — Seattle Review of Books
“Every now and then, you discover a new (or at least, new-to-you) author who leaves you a little sunstruck... I was dazzled.” — Lisa Kleypas for Powell’s “Lisa Kleypas Recommends” column- Forever Your Earl
“Leigh consistently crafts whip-smart heroines and irresistible heroes delivered in packages bursting with wicked wit, feminist leanings, and sex positivity... For any who question whether historical romance is outdated or can be feminist, look no further than Eva Leigh’s work – while maintaining assiduous historical accuracy, she delivers intoxicating yarns that bulldoze tropes and flip gender expectations on their head.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Is there anyone better at twisting the tropes of historical romance than Leigh? [...] it will all be very hot and smart and snarky and I can’t wait.” — BookPage.com (Most Anticipated Romances of Fall 2019)
"Grace and Seb are delightful together, and Seb is a breath of non-alpha-hero fresh air...satisfying for readers of Courtney Milan and Tessa Dare. A sweet faux suitor romance between two scientist friends who find a new passion in one another." — Kirkus Reviews
"charming... The plot is as well developed as the lovers’ growing feelings. Readers will delight in this heartfelt, swoon-worthy tale."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"In this first book of her new “Union of the Rakes” series, Leigh adopts the fake dating trope to the Regency Era in a wildly fun and entertaining way, introducing characters who are sure to delight fans of this beloved genre." — Library Journal
"This superbly entertaining, perfectly executed Regency-set love story is not only dazzlingly witty and intensely sexy; it is also a sweetly crafted love letter about the power of learning, literature, and lifelong friendships." — Booklist (starred review)
"This book is totally charming." — Cat Sebastian, author of A Delicate Deception
"My Fake Rake is a feast of female empowerment, positive friendships, feel-good moments, and social satire. And as the first book in a series, it builds a delicious world you'll want to come back to — hopefully because the delightful supporting characters will get their own stories next." — NPR
“divinely charming... Grace and Sebastian are the two of the most glorious dummies ever to grace the pages of a romance novel... The makeover trope is one of the more tired and problematic of the rom-com genre, but Leigh ingeniously turns it on its head, swapping the genders and making Sebastian’s transformation more about social commentary than anything else... our love for these two romantic dunces and their satirical, slow-burn, sexy ruse is nothing but genuine.” — Entertainment Weekly
“This book is so good! Dorks + rake makeover + kissing = DELICIOUSNESS. Run to read it!!” — Joanna Shupe, author of The Prince of Broadway
"Eva Leigh puts inspiring, forthright female characters at the forefront of her delectable romances... with down-to-earth characters and an enthralling friends-to-lovers storyline, My Fake Rake is a hard one to put down." — BookPage.com
“A jolt of electricity, a blast of fresh air—everything delightful and exciting you could want it to be.” — New York Times Book Review