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Publisher's Summary

In Victorian England, little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happily ever afters did not exist and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken, and she was forced to marry an elderly earl to save her reputation, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.
Seven years later, the now widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of traveling and is now part-owner of a cotton mill left to her by her late husband.
But the owner of the mill, and the very same handsome rake who hurt her years earlier, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning - no matter how fascinating he finds her since her transformation from coltish scarecrow to almost graceful countess.
Lucian is still recovering from the after-effects of one of his mills succumbing to fire, and now he's fighting to save the other in a tough economic climate. He doesn't need this new distraction, especially when after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close and he has to find the culprit - fast.
With things heating up between Ellie and Lucian, it's not only apparent that the mill is in peril - they are both at risk of getting burned....
©2014 Samantha Holt (P)2015 Samantha Holt
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Trish R. on 06-21-16

A decent read..

I’ve read 12 or 15 of Samantha Holt’s book but I think I’m done. You never know if you’re going to get a beautiful heroine or one like this one: Straight eyebrows, thin lips, hair like a pile of straw and described as looking like a scarecrow. And the Lucian is said to be beautiful, or handsome, even with the burn scar on the side of his face. Now, I don’t mind a scarred hero but I absolutely hate for a heroine’s unattractive features being brought up again and again and again throughout the book. If you’re going to make the heroine unattractive then make the hero unattractive, too. Not even in a book am I going to believe a beautiful hero is going to fall for a heroine that looks like a scarecrow. She might not be as skinny as one when she grows up but she’s still unattractive and he’s still beautiful.

This was an OK story but it took waaaay to long to get to something interesting, about 70%. It just kept talking about how ugly and undesirable she was and how Lucian, beautiful as he was, couldn’t figure out why he wanted her. They finally got to the part where Lucian and Ellie figured out someone was trying to sabotage the mill, and off of their personal life for a minute.

One reviewer said the heat rating was “mild” so if you consider explicit oral sex as “mild” then it is. Also, there’s no swearing to speak of.

As to the narration: Ms. Zimmerman did a really good job. She laughed and whispered when it was called for, and when Ellie was hoarse for smoke inhalation Ms. Zimmerman made her sound that way. AND the men sounded like men. YAY!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Maya on 03-21-16

Charming, romantic and a little unusual.

What did you love best about Once upon a Rake?

Ellie - she's opinionated, strong and successful. She isn't a blushing simpering heroine at all.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Once upon a Rake?

The fire - don't want to spoil the plot but it is an exciting scene.

Have you listened to any of Stevie Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Many of them and that's what led me to this book. I actually sought out books read by her. Excellent as always. Authentic and warm and clear. She brings characters to life.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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