My Regelence Rake

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.

THE BLURB

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.

THE REVIEW

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.

 

 

 

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

17 comments

  • Hmm. I think I’m in the minority (although I don’t want to smash anyone’s face in). Aside from the abrupt ending, which is doubly weird since Langley posted on FWF that she had an epilogue, I loved the book.

    I think my expectations might have been lower than some, and I don’t like TEA as much as other people, I guess. I don’t like Simon as much as I wish I did, and I dislike the whole big misunderstanding plot that the book rests on. So, I was really glad to get back Regelance and to characters that I love, and to read about a relationship where although the characters act stupidly on occasion, they actually talk to one another like adults and avoid tediously high drama.

    Of course, now I’m worried that people will want to smash my face in for criticizing TEA!

    Reply
    • Hi Alaina

      I’m very happy that you really enjoyed this book. Usually I’m in the minority because I love books everyone hates and vice versa. This book, IMO, didn’t measure up to the writing in MFC and TEA. I loved the characters and I thought that Colton was very mature for his age but I wanted more of him and Sebastian together. Plus the ending was too abrupt for me.

      We all have different tastes and I applaud you for loving this book more than TEA which is one of my favourite re-reads. My Fair Captain is still #1 in my book. 🙂

      Reply
  • I too agree with the review. I wanted to love this book as I loved the other two, but maybe the wait was just a little too long and nothing could have ever lived up to the expectation I had.

    Reply
  • I read the other books in this series and will also buy this one. But I have to admit that I have a problem with the stories when a writer (a woman) invents a world where women can only be servants.

    Reply
    • Hi Karin

      I believe that on Englor the situation is reversed and it’s not a gaytopia.

      I like the concept of a world where men aren’t hounded because they are gay but are welcomed. Also, I don’t believe that the women are servants on Regelence – both sexes work. In this book there is a female character who is definitely a woman that is going places. Also Muffin, Rexley’s ward, had his number and gets everything she wants.

      Reply
  • That fits…I’ve been wondering why the newest title for such a popular series was only released in e-book 🙁

    It’s waiting on my e-reader, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it…soon as I finish the required reading lol. :delic: Thanks for the informative review!

    Reply
    • Hi Denni
      Samhain only releases its print books about 10 months after the ebook release, so that might be the reason. However, if you’re a fan of this series you will definitely enjoy many aspects of this book starting with the MCs and the returning characters, at least I do hope you enjoy it.

      Reply
  • I agree with everything Wave said here. I was really looking forward to this installment and while I didn’t hate it at all, it was ultimately a disappointment based on how much I loved the previous two books (they are at least annual re-reads for me as well). As some others have already said, I liked the protags, loved the scene with Aiden and liked visiting with the family. I felt Seb and Colton were well suited for each other. But a lack of focus is a good way to put it, and the, in my opinion, heavy inclusion of Steven and Raleigh parts, while I like them as characters, were not a good thing for me. It added to the focus issue for me. Plus, I expected there to be more movement on the overall story/series arc, which I felt was lost sight of here. But, all that said, series fans will want to pick it up for sure.

    Reply
    • Hey Lynn
      I’m having trouble commenting so I had to backdoor 🙂 this response.

      I’m so happy you agree because I know you’re a huge fan of this series. Would you say that we’re like the BORG or Spock with his mind meld? 🙂

      Reply
  • Ah what a shame. Maybe there was too much expectation with this book because I’ve read a number of reviews similar to yours, Wave.

    I haven’t bought this yet, but I still will eventually. I loved the other books – especially My Fair Captain, which was my first ever m/m book and therefore holds a special place in my heart :).

    So, whilst I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy straight away, I still want to read it because I love the setting and the previous characters.

    Reply
    • I really love this series because it’s original and unique. There’s nothing like it in M/M and My Fair Captain which I reviewed way back in 2008, and The Englor Affair are my most favourite re-reads. So I was looking forward to this book with great anticipation. It wasn’t exactly a huge disappointment as disappointments go because the story is still a 4 star read for me, but My Regelence Rake certainly didn’t come up to the quality of prose and plot of the other two.

      There were many good moments but few great ones. I mentioned Aiden giving his brother “the talk” just before he and Seb got married and that was the funniest scene in the book, bar none, as well as a great one. You will split your sides laughing.

      Jen I don’t want to put you off the book by this review. I think a lot of my disappointment was because I had such high expectations and the let down was probably a lot more than I would have felt about another book. Anyway I’m still looking forward to the next book.

      Reply
  • It’s funny how much expectations we have on a book colours our perception of it. I was really disappointed in JL Langley’s previous book, so I didn’t have that high expectations for this one and was pleasantly surprised :-). While I agree with you on most of the points you make, they just didn’t bother me as much. I actually didn’t mind the time spent on Steven and Raleigh, mostly because it was fun seeing Raleigh out of his depth for once and Colton teasing Steven.

    Reply
    • Hi Kaija

      High expectations certainly went into my enjoyment (or lack of it) of this book. 🙁 Both MFC and TEA were, hands down, wonderful reads and are still my favourite re-reads today.

      I love Steven and Raleigh but as I said in the review I wanted more time spent on Colton’s and Sebastian’s romance:

      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.

      There were too many distractions IMO which again was one of the reasons I didn’t find the book as engaging as the others.

      Having said that, I did enjoy it and would definitely recommend it to any fans of the series.

      BTW, I loved the way Aiden gave his brother “the talk” by way of pictures. 🙂 That was hilarious.

      Reply
      • The scene with Aiden was my favourite in the book…..which is telling I think. I completely agree with you about the rest of it! I think the relationships in the other books burn the pages up, this time round a warm simmer. 😀

        Thanks Wave.

        Reply
        • Hi Raine

          I was very concerned when I posted this review because I know that there are many fans of this series, and I’m definitely one of them, so I felt for those fans who would think of smashing my face for daring to say that this book was not of the same quality as MFC and TEA. However, I have to tell the truth about how I feel about MRR.

          That scene with Aiden was priceless – I’m still laughing. It alone is worth the price of the book. 🙂

          Reply
  • I totally agree with your review. Having waited so long for the third in the series, it was something of a disappointment that it lacked focus and relied so much on the previous characters to make it pop. And then there was that abrupt ending…I was flabbergasted at that. But what is the rating? I can only see “Rating: stars out of 5” on my screen.

    Reply
    • Hi Jen
      The rating wasn’t on the version of the review that you saw because it posted prematurely and I wasn’t quite finished. 🙂 The rating is 4 stars but I indicated in the review the reason for the rating.

      Reply

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