Title: My Regelence Rake
Author: J.L. Langley
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Science Fiction M/M, Futuristic
Length: Novel/360 PDF pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Review Summary: I thought that My Regelence Rake, despite well crafted MCs and other likable returning characters, didn’t quite measure up to My Fair Captain or The Englor Affair.
Before you find your prince, you have to kiss your share of rakes.
Sci-Regency, Book 3
With his days occupied with duties as Captain of the Guard, and nights consumed with upholding his reputation as a rake, Lord Sebastian Hastings’s schedule is filled. There’s no extra time to be anyone’s bodyguard, but the royal family’s safety is a task he sees to personally.
Prince Colton Townsend has loved Sebastian for as long as he can remember, but he’s done pining for a man who has vowed never to remarry. So he consoles himself with the second love of his life—horses. Stable building and horse racing consume his every thought, at least until he’s stuck with Sebastian dogging his every step.
While looking over the prospects at an auction, Colton is trying to ignore his sexy, pesky bodyguard when he feels compelled to take on a bully to protect an abused horse. Sebastian is dragged into the fray, and their good deed sparks a string of nasty rumors.
There’s only one way to quell the political storm: marry. But instead of solving everything, Colton realizes his new husband is a bundle of secrets, none of which he’ll give up easily.
I have been looking forward to this book for years, so it was with a sense of great anticipation that I cracked this baby open because I loved the other books in the series so much.
If you haven’t read any of the Sci Regency books, Regelen is a futuristic world where it’s the norm for men to love and marry each other and their offspring is artificially created using the DNA of both partners. The society is structured on the Regency model – the young lords (or princes, dukes etc.,) are strictly chaperoned to prevent premarital sex, and if their virtue is compromised they have to get married. Men are not adults until they reach the age of twenty-five.
Dashing Sebastian Hastings, a widower and Captain of the Palace Guards, has known Prince Colton Townsend for many years. Colton has had a crush on Sebastian for a long time and Seb has been attracted to the prince since Colton was 16 but had never acted on it, preferring to take his pleasures where there was no possibility of compromising an innocent and having to get married. I really liked these two protagonists as they were well matched with similar temperaments and Colton, though younger, was mentally strong. I loved that Colton and Seb were equal partners in and out of bed and I was pleased at how aggressive and take-charge Colton was in bed, despite his lack of hands-on sexual experience. Their personalities clashed a lot which made for an interesting dynamic in the relationship, but thankfully there wasn’t a big misunderstanding that lasted a long time which readers are subjected to in contemporary romances.
In addition to the romance between Sebastian and Colton and everything else going on between the covers of My Regelence Rake, there is a minor mystery involving Seb’s past which apparently contributed to the failure of his previous marriage. Also there was the usual IN intrigue involving murder, mayhem, kidnapping etc.
My first disappointment was the amount of time spent on the romance of King Steven and his Consort Raleigh in this book. I like both Steven and Raleigh who I think are a delightful couple, and I do love Steven’s machinations to find husbands for his children including Colton, but there is already a book about their romance which is free (My Regelence Christmas). While it was a nice change to have secondary characters in their forties still hot for each other, I would have preferred if more time had been spent developing the romance between Sebastian and Colton who were the protagonists in this story.
I also couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I had read this story before as there was a sense of sameness about the plot which felt recycled in places except for the mystery about Sebastian’s past, and even that big reveal wasn’t really anything earth shattering. The IN duplicity was also similar to what happened in the other books except there was a lot more action in MFC and TEA. What bothered me most was the rushed ending and the many loose ends which could easily have been tied up in this book since it was almost 400 pages, but I guess they will form part of the plot of the next book in the series for which the wait will probably be another few years since this is the first new story after The Englor Affair which was released in 2009.
As you have probably guessed, I didn’t enjoy My Regelence Rake as much as I expected. I thought it relied too much on some elements that worked in the previous books but without the excitement of a strong and vibrant character like Nate to make it thrilling. While Sebastian is hero worthy he is no Captain Hottie i.e. Nate, or Simon Hollister from The Englor Affair. Also, I expected that by book 3 of a series some of the strategies about the story arc wuld be apparent. The plot dragged a bit in the middle and was not very focused, so the pacing didn’t work for me. In addition, much as I love Rexley and Trouble I thought the little sub plot involving them could have waited for their romance which I’m sure will be an upcoming book. On the plus side there was a lot of plot in My Regelence Rake but some of it felt forced.
Having talked about what I perceived to be negatives, below are some of the elements that worked for me:
I loved the world building which was as usual wonderfully well thought out and detailed and J.L. Langley was faithful to her interpretation of the Regency period – even the clothing was impeccable. The speech and mannerisms of the characters were carefully crafted and I felt as if I were really living in their world. Both Colton and Sebastian were three dimensional although a few times they needed to grow up. Colton’s love of horses and expertise on horseflesh added another dimension to his character – a businessman who knew what he wanted and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer when everyone tried to dissuade him from his dream of breeding racehorses.
Two minor characters who I thought were strong enough to be protagonists in their own books were Rourke, Sebastian’s best friend, and Dalton Fairfax, Steven’s and Raleigh’s nephew, both of whom were likable rakes. Maybe they are being groomed for their own books and I would definitely be interested in their stories if that happens.
There were many funny scenes involving Raleigh and Steven which helped move the plot along.
To summarize, I did like My Regelence Rake which, while not as well plotted as the others in the series still has a lot to recommend it including the protagonists and many of the secondary characters. Steven and Raleigh are just as hilarious and I quite enjoyed them even though I wished they weren’t in the book as much. OTOH the abrupt ending and lack of focus in some parts of the book dragged down my rating. Also, while there was a HEA , many threads were left hanging. There was excitement and thrills but not at the high octane level that I’ve become accustomed to in this series. Maybe I’ve been spoiled or my expectations were too high as at times the book didn’t hold my interest.
I would definitely recommend My Regelence Rake to anyone who is a fan of this series (as I am) because the concept is original, unique and imaginative, all of which are difficult to find in fiction today.
This book should be read as part of the series and is definitely not a standalone.
I had a difficult time rating My Regelence Rake but settled on 4 stars as I did enjoy most of it.