Last Rake Standing by Jayne Fresina

Story: 7.5
Presentation: 7
Total: 14.5
Publisher: Evernight
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Blurb: In Victorian London, Emma Hale leads two lives. As Le Petite Oiseau, in corset and pink feathers, she's the reigning queen of the music hall; offstage she's a prim-faced theatre seamstress. For years these two women have shared one body; now they share something else—forbidden love for a man who could destroy them both.

Marcus Craven, Duke of Penhale, wants Le Petite Oiseau as his mistress, but he's also sworn to hunt down and revenge himself on the hazel-eyed girl who once shot at him with a dueling pistol. On this winter's evening when he finds both women in his path, he suddenly faces a dilemma.
What exactly does Marcus want? The fiery, passionate actress or the quiet "mouse" hiding in her shadow?

Perhaps this notorious rake wants them both.

Review: Let me begin by saying that the blurb really grabbed me. As I started reading I got sucked in and really enjoyed the story. While I found the characters and the authors ability to craft a tale I had to stop and scratch my head near the end. I had to stop reading, go back and re-read about 15 pages of text. To me it seemed almost as if the author began the story with one ending in mind and later the characters just sort of changed directions on her a bit. Now, I don't know for sure if that was the case, but as a reader I felt a bit confused near the end.

That does NOT mean that overall I didn't enjoy the story. Quite the opposite actually. I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the future. If the intricate nature of this story is any indication of what can be expected of Ms Fresina, I think that I have found a new MUST READ author :)

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