Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cat Sebastian - The Ruin of a Rake

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.
Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.
As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

Comment: After reading the previous two books in this Turner trilogy, of course I would have to try this one as well, not only because I liked the books but I did want to finish the series.
The main character here aren't directly related to any Turner sibling but there's a connection. This means it's not really necessary to have read the other installments, but it's funnier if one did.

This story begins with rake Lord Courtenay wondering about his life and because he is struggling, he stays for long hours anywhere else but his unsuitable lodgings. Since his now best friend seems to be Eleanor, a woman who has helped him when everyone else didn't after the publishing of a book that is focused on his lurid past - which caused him to lose the guard of his nephew, it's no wonder he eventually interacts with Julian, her brother. 
In fact, Eleanor asks Julian, a man that took his task of becoming acceptable in society, to help bring Courtenay's reputation to a more polite and positive look. Although the task seems too complicated at first, it's also a challenge bored Julian sort of relishes, especially after realizing how dire Courtney's finances are. What Julian didn't count on by just looking for to work some math with Courteney's state of affairs was to end up caring for the man and wanting him to be respected...

As one would expect, this book starts a little slow but it soon picks up and the characters' interactions come alive as the story moves along.
I had a great time reading this but I'd say it was mostly because I was familiar with the writing style and of what to expect. I hoped to be more dazzled by it than what I was.

This is sweet story of two opposite attracted to one another, which is always a theme I tend to enjoy in books. Julian is very proper and serious while Lord Courtenay is considered a rake and without care for others. In fact, these two cannot be reduced to these superficial adjectives and the fun part of their relationship is to see how both aren't only what others see but deep down they are so much more, especially together. 
The relationship isn't easy, more so at the eyes of society, but as always that aspect of this author's work is a given, not a detail to be explored, which can be both positive, since it allows the reader to think about a gay relationship without the often setbacks linked with it, but it can also be negative because it lacks some realism for that same reason.

I find it that it doesn't bother me much, since the focus in on the character's personalities and relationship and not as much a surrounding plot. The excuse of Julian helping Courtenay feels exactly so and not such a requirement of the plot.
Of course my favorite parts were when both main characters showed their vulnerability to the other. Sometimes that was very obvious, sometimes it was just notions both inferred by a look, a detail... these are may favorite kinds of informations to be understood while reading and they seem like gems to me. The best sentence in the whole book for me was when Julian tells Courtenay he is his "favorite person to be with". This is not an overly dramatic profession of love but it seemed to me it was more heartfelt than any purple prose could be.

There is a secondary sort of plot going on concerning Julian's sister. I confess I don't understand why her difficulties with her husband weren't solved right away but in real life anything is always more acceptable than in a book where we expect characters to be always cognizant of their actions/choices.
As for the plot as a whole, I don't have much to say since it's pretty basic. The romance is the star and it was done well enough for me. I'd include more interactions before they became intimate just to give the reader the notion they were getting attached but that is to be expected anyway.

All in all, another solid read for what it was meant to be in the first place.
Grade: 7/10

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