The Rake and the Recluse REDUX

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Francine Larabee is very much a 21st century woman.  Career minded and driven, she has her life planned out perfectly.  But, in the aftermath of a car accident, she wakes to find herself in someone else's body, in the wrong time, and most definitely the wrong place.  Under the care of the forbidding Duke of Roxbury she is surrounded by strangers, bound by rules she cannot comprehend, and drawn to Rox as she has been to no other.  

An ambitious, sprawling tale of love and redemption, The Rake and the Recluse was originally published as a series of novellas.  Redux is the complete version.  The first four parts are the story of Francine and Gideon, Duke of Roxbury.  The last two belong to the Rake.  Gideon's brother Peregrine, Viscount Trumbull, is the charismatic force of the novel - a perfect foil for his reclusive brother Gideon and more than capable of carrying the last novellas completely on his own.

Although the Recluse's story segues nicely into the Rake's and the ending was surprising and VERY satisfying, one cannot help but think this story is best savored in small doses, as it appears it was designed.  Read as a single work it is easy to get lost in the sheer scope of the tale.

The characters are dynamic and engaging and story is hugely compelling, if a bit meandering.   There are some minor inconsistencies that pop up while reading Redux but again, this is most likely due to the size of the story the author is attempting to tell.  

An exciting new voice in historical romance:  clever, passionate, at times simply breathtaking.  Expect great things from Ms. LeBlanc!

(Recommended for fans of time travel romances, lush, sweeping love stories, a bit of angst and wit, and an excellent pair of Heroes.  )

Tammy Grant