The Casanova Code
Book One of the Rake Patrol
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The first Rake Patrol novel, from the author of The Education of Mrs. Brimley and Redeeming the Rogue...
“A refined gentleman, age 25, of wealth and education, seeks the acquaintance, with a view to matrimony, of a high-minded, kind-hearted lady who prefers an evening of quiet conversation to the lively demands of society." Edwina Hargrove knows that this “gentleman” was, in fact, Ashton Trewelyn, a rake notorious for seducing the young and naive. In fact, five decent women have already been tricked and bundled off to the continent for scandalous purposes. There was a way to thwart his scheme though—by shadowing this devilishly handsome Casanova and warning his prey. If only it were that simple.
Wounded and weary, Ashton Trewelyn returns home to London from the King’s Royal Rifles, but soon discovers a coded message that has implications to the Crown and his family. His only hope to unravel the mystery lies in the enigmatic Edwina’s ability to recognize patterns. Even as he leads her on a path of secret societies and risque temptations, he discovers she arouses his jaded soul with temptations of her own. Must they risk everything to decipher Casanova’s code?
The code word is SEXY!
Edwina Hargrove is a very modern woman (for the Victorian era!) She rides bicycles (scandalous!) and longs for independence and adventure, but the closest she ever comes is using her uncanny code-breaking skills to decipher letters from her brothers and to decipher coded messages in the personal ads in the newspapers. Until the day she decodes a message from one of the ton’s most notorious rakes, advertising for a good woman to draw into his debauchery. Edwina, along with her friends, form The Rake Patrol to put paid to this cad’s intentions by diverting women away from the disreputable Ashton Trewelyn. Then it’s Edwina herself who falls into his hands. And oh, what sexy, sensuous, compelling hands they are!
Ms. MacMeans has a wonderful knack for getting her characters into every sort of madcap adventure (and out of their petticoats and drawers) on the way to a tear-inducing happily ever after, and does so with delicious details and terrific humor. With lively discussions (and demonstrations!) of Japanese erotica, and the possibly nefarious activities of a secret society to be uncovered, the only question is, can a lively code-breaker crack the secrets of a wounded hero’s heart? All I will say is, oh my! And oh, YUM! And I can hardly wait for book two of the Rake Patrol’s adventures!
I purchased this book on a whim, expecting it to be a " good read". Instead, I was immediately drawn into the plot of the story. Edwina is refreshing as a "modern woman" and it's easy to identify with her character. It's obvious how Ash is drawn to her and his feelings are visible early into the story. In short, I read this story from start to finish without setting it down. Highly recommended for a light, entertaining read.