Skip to content

Guest blogger: Anne Gracie

24 July 2022

Good rakes and bad

There are a lot of rakes in Romancelandia—and I’m not talking about gardening. But though many of our romantic heroes start off as ‘players’ with a reputation for having quite a few lovers in their past, only the historical ones are called rakes.

We tend to forgive our romance heroes for their past amatory adventures—indeed, how else could they have become so expert in bed, and we like that, don’t we?

But there are good rakes and bad rakes.

The good ones might be dark and tortured by something in their past, or lighthearted and charming, but the one thing all good rakes have in common is that when they finally fall, they fall HARD.

And they stay fallen. We leave their stories not only convinced by their HEA, but confident that the love between them and their lady will only grow stronger with time. They might have been a rake once, but from now on they’ll be a faithful, loving (and very sexy) husband.

In reality, however, I suspect there were more bad rakes than good ones, and that their rakish habits didn’t stop after marriage. In history, most marriages were made for practical reasons, rather than for love—a merger between families, for property or a fortune, for political reasons or whatever and, of course, to beget an heir. Many of the men felt no need to be faithful to their wives—though woe betide the wife who felt the same way.

In The Rake’s Daughter, my latest book, the ‘Rake’ in the title is a bad rake. He married a plain woman who he considered beneath him socially, but she was heiress to a great fortune, which made her acceptable to him. In the meantime he continued to indulge his penchant for seducing innocent young women.

It is the daughter of one of these seduced young innocents who is the heroine of my new book (out on 27 July). High society in the Regency would never accept a bastard daughter into their exalted ranks, unless perhaps she was the child of prince or a duke. That’s not the case here.

But the Bad Rake is dead when the story starts, and he’s left behind two daughters, one plain, legitimate and an heiress, and the other beautiful, penniless and a bastard. But those two girls love each other, and are determined to get a happy ending, despite their father’s legacy. And they set out to convince society that they’re full sisters, both legitimate. Because we can’t let a bad rake win, can we?

I’ve only written two rakes in my stories—one good (Gideon) and one bad—but I have lots of favourite rakes on my keeper shelf. Who are yours?

One reader who leaves a comment will win a copy of The Rake’s Daughter. Giveaway closes on 6 August. [The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Christy C.]


  1. 6 August 2022 7:59 pm

    Have loved all your books and looking forward to reading this …congratulations

  2. Sharon Seymour permalink
    6 August 2022 2:10 pm

    Reformed rakes are my favourite.

  3. 30 July 2022 7:48 am

    I’m split between The Marquis of Vidal in Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub, & the ultimately reformed rake in Lolah Burford’s Vice Avenged!

  4. Gene Martzloff permalink
    28 July 2022 5:41 pm

    Love your books, all of them.

  5. Binnie Syril Braunstein permalink
    28 July 2022 8:19 am

    I love rakes! Gideon in The Perfect Rake was quite something. Also endearing, IMHO. And I adored Lord St. Vincent. And let’s not forget Devon Ravenel, the “Cold-Hearted Rake” that begins Lisa Kleypas’s Ravenel series. As for Tom Severin, I think he wasn’t so much a rake as a man who had his eye to the main chance – his own success, because of his origins, and his thoughts were only about himself. Until he met his match. And I should also mention Reggie, from Mary Jo Putney’s The Rake and the Reformer. I will look forward to seeing how the rake in the Rake’s Daughter manages to redeem himself…or is redeemed.

  6. Vanessa V permalink
    27 July 2022 8:42 am

    Reformed Rakes are my favorite!

  7. Billie Marshall permalink
    26 July 2022 10:01 am

    I remember reading The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas & the rake was Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent. I enjoy reading about reformed rakes whether they are good or bad as long as the story is one that holds my interest.

  8. Brenda Fogde permalink
    26 July 2022 8:52 am

    The covers are gorgeous! I’d love to read it.

  9. 26 July 2022 3:28 am

    Love the covers!

  10. 25 July 2022 11:16 pm

    I absolutely love reading about rakes!

  11. Anita Yancey permalink
    25 July 2022 10:05 pm

    They both sound good to me. This is a great story, and I love both book covers.

  12. Karen Wilson permalink
    25 July 2022 8:56 pm

    I just finished “The Perfect Rake” and looking forward to “The Rake’s Daughter.” Thank you for being such a good story teller.

  13. Cherie J permalink
    25 July 2022 4:44 pm

    I enjoy both kinds of rakes, reformed or needing to be reformed by the love of a good woman.

  14. Judy Owen permalink
    25 July 2022 4:40 pm

    Some rakes can be appealing, and others have no redeeming characteristics. I especially remember Edmond, in Mary Balogh’s The Notorious Rake, definitely an attractive one. I look forward to reading your new book, and really enjoyed The Scoundrel’s Daughter.

  15. Linda Herold permalink
    25 July 2022 4:19 pm

    I think both kinds make interesting reading!!

  16. 25 July 2022 4:17 pm

    I definitely like the sound of this story. I prefer my rakes good, full of angst, lots of passion and yes when they fall they fall hard which makes for a very satisfying HEA!

  17. Patricia B. permalink
    25 July 2022 2:58 pm

    These sound like lovely pair of stories. Two sisters of the heart that love each other and will do what they can to make sure the other is happy despite the failings of their father. At the moment I can’t think of a reformed rake that is a favorite, but I know I have read many stories about them I have enjoyed them. (I just had surgery and my memory is still a bit foggy) I do enjoy watching them change their view of women, one in particular, and how they see life and family differently. As for those who remain “bad rakes,” I have no use for them except as contemptible villains.

  18. Jill Fetch permalink
    25 July 2022 1:56 pm

    My favorite rake is Tom Severin from Lisa Kleypas’ Chasing Cassandra. He was totally irredeemable in previous books but in this book he met his match. Cassandra, and I, fell madly in love with him. Lord St. Vincent, a character in many Kleypas’ books, is a close second but he was always a butter wouldn’t melt kind of fellow.

  19. Laini Pearl permalink
    25 July 2022 1:36 pm

    A rake is definitely intriguing and always interesting. Never a dull moment. The artwork is amazing.

  20. kaisquared4 permalink
    25 July 2022 12:57 pm

    Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent in A Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite rakes.

  21. Phyllis Bernstein permalink
    25 July 2022 12:45 pm

    It’s interesting that you write about both good and bad rakes.

  22. April permalink
    25 July 2022 12:23 pm

    Rakes are intriguing and fascinating. The book sounds captivating and memorable. Thanks for your wonderful novels.

  23. Meg Fusco permalink
    25 July 2022 12:11 pm

    I have really loved all of the Anne Gracie books that I’ve read. The Rake’s Daughter sounds great! As for rake’s, I love both good and bad. I’m always drawn to a bad rake, but then I also find myself rooting for the good rake to win his love!

  24. Jodi Wresh permalink
    25 July 2022 11:51 am

    Have not read but will have to look into it. Sounds interesting.

  25. 25 July 2022 10:41 am

    I really struggle with rakes. It didn’t bother me at sixteen reading Barbara Cartland but now I’m like “venereal disease…ewwww”.

  26. christy comstock permalink
    25 July 2022 10:40 am

    Anthony Bridgerton

  27. Janet Murdoch permalink
    25 July 2022 7:15 am

    My favourites are St. Vincent and Duke de Villiers. I love both Lisa Kleypas and Eloisa James. The character I absolutely hated the most was the grandfather in your series Merridew Sisters. I used to go to bed – lying there thinking of ways to kill him – slowly!

  28. Mary Preston permalink
    24 July 2022 10:49 am

    I do love a rake – redeemed or not. I can’t single out any one in particular.

  29. 24 July 2022 10:39 am

    Both these covers are stunning

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: