The Rake and The Recluse: Redux
by Jenn LeBlanc
Review of serials 1-3Published by: Iris Photo Publish Date: Part 1: Dec 19, 2011. Part 2: Jan. 3, 2012. Part 3: Jan 17, 2012 Genre: Historical Romance Series: Serial series, 6 parts, The Rake and The Recluse Redux Source: Ecopies provided by author for review Series Rating (thus far)
Review Notes on the series:
Jenn LeBlanc’s photography interspersed throughout the story only enhances the story. Illustrated novels are a very new concept (as far as I know, unique to Jenn LeBlanc), but with both visually stunning photographs and impressive writing Jenn LeBlanc has created a new format for a literary masterpiece.
Each installment of this series is uniquely crafted to focus the storyline and engage readers. With the story broken into segments, the reader is able to really learn each of the characters and understand the setting. The reader is transported from the pages of the book into the story.
This story of The Rake and The Recluse is a brilliant work of art, an utterly enchanting and beautifully written story. This series is a “must read” for any romance reader.
Blurb from Goodreads:
This is PART ONE of The Rake And The Recluse, it has been completely re edited with new scenes and new images and is being released as it was originally intended, as a six part serial novel. This is NOT a series it is a SERIAL, that means it has to be read in order.
Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn’t quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to another horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.
How does she find herself in the past, when she couldn’t even find herself in her present? How does a self sufficient businesswoman survive in a time when women were still considered property for the whole of their lives and what is she going to do with this man who draws her to him so fiercely.
Freedom is a very appropriate title for this first installment in this serial series. Francine is in an accident and tossed back in time to an unknown place, full of unknown people, and injured to the point where she has lost her voice. Francine is a modern girl, used to American society where women are considered equals and she can go where she pleases when she pleases. To say that Francine is shocked and confused at her new situation is an understatement. After what I consider a reasonable amount of time, Francine comes to grips with her situation and tries to make the best of things. However, her movement is limited. She is living as a “guest” in the home of a grouchy but compelling Duke and due to her curious arrival, she has no proper clothing and is confined to only the private rooms of the house. This confinement, both in her physical movements, her speech, and her social life makes Francine very aware of her lack of Freedom.
Jenn LeBlac’s re-edit of this portion of The Rake and The Recluse is simply amazing. The story is clear, descriptive and, for all the fantasy of time-travel, even believable. This story draws the reader in from the very start, there is never a dull moment. Francine and the Duke of Roxleigh, Gideon, do not interact very much in this section of the story, but the beginnings of their relationship are full of sparks. There is heat, sensuality, and a compelling bond between the characters that keeps me reading and fully immersed in the story. Once you finish part one of this serial, you will be clamoring for part 2, Found.
Blurb: THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE Part two finds Francine in the world of the Duke of Roxleigh. The clashing of worlds in first installment of the completely revised novel continues as Francine finds her footing, discovers secrets about her elusive host, and learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.
This segment picks up right where Freedom ends. The Duke is on his way to London, where he meets with his brother, Lord Peregrine Trumbull, the rake. Gideon and Perry discuss their lives and Gideon confesses that he is very drawn to his new “guest.” As Gideon spends more time in London, he realizes that his thoughts are never far from Francine and he can’t wait to return to her. Meanwhile, Francine is now free to roam the estate and she befriends the new architect, Shaw who is able to speak with her using sign language. The Duke and his brother arrive home in time to learn the truth of who Francine really is, and front then on, everyone’s lives are changed.
Found is once again an appropriate theme for this segment of the story. Not only is Francine’s identity discovered, but both Francine and Gideon realize who they are to each other. They both discover their counterpart, and a new relationship is begun. The pull between the pair is electric, they communicate with every look, touch, and glance. With the new scene added in, the necessity for Gideon to behave in a “proper” manner is made very clear. There is so much to the overall story of the Rake and The Recluse, it is more than a love story of one couple. The Duke and his brother have a strong brotherly relationship and sense of family, they befriend the lower class architect, and Lord Trumbull suddenly has an entirely new set of responsibilities. As Found comes to an end, the stage is set for a new chapter in this saga, and I had to read part 3, Taken, immediately.
Blurb: THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE Part THREE brings Francine and Gideon closer than they ever imagined possible, until the unimaginable tears them apart. What will Gideon do if he loses her, this time, forever? This is the third installment of the completely revised novel, with all new material.
In Taken, Gideon and Francine’s relationship moves into hot territory. The pair have finally come to terms with their attraction to each other, and have embraced that attraction. The chemistry that stems from their relationship sizzles, but at the same time, the respect they have for each other is shown creating a believable, very solid relationship. Gideon and Francine submit to propriety by courting properly and having a chaperon present on outings (this does not stop them from stealing private moments alone). Soon, the group is off to London to take care of business and announce Francine to society. Just as soon as Francine and Gideon are ready to start their lives together, Francine is kidnapped and her hopeful future is crashed.
Taken is the hottest installment in the series thus far. However, the steamy scenes are not the only hot part, the language is stunning as well. The interactions and the dialogue between the characters is beautiful. The quality of Ms LeBlanc’s work has me amazed and my devotion to this series is solidified. When I read this installment, I felt emotions right along with the characters, and the words became so much more than mere words. Taken ends at a very volatile time, Francine is Taken, and Gideon and Perry can only guess as to the best way to find her. One thing is for sure, part four of the series, Ruination, holds much promise.
Readers, what are you waiting for? Pick up your copies of Freedom, Found, and Taken today! Each Ebook is only $1.99 at Amazon: