Book Review

Book Review: Romancing the Rake (Brotherhood of the Black Tartan #2) by Nichole Van

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 375 pages
Author: Nichole Van
Publisher: Fiorenza Publishing
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Lady Sophronia Sorrow considers herself an unlikely heroine. Why, just her name alone proves this. Sophronia Sorrow sounds like a girl from a gothic penny novel—the foolish miss who falls prey to a rake and becomes an object lesson for the true heroine to avoid. No, despite her mawkish name, Sophie refuses to spend her life invisible and unwanted, relegated to the margin of the text. Despite her eccentric, bluestocking ways, there must be a place where she is wanted. If only she could uncover the identity of her natural father, perhaps she would belong there?

But one thing Sophie knows for sure—unlike that foolhardy miss in a novel, she will not succumb to a rake. No matter how thoroughly the rakish Lord Rafe Gilbert may tempt her.

Lord Rafe Gilbert longs for freedom—freedom from his controlling father, freedom to live his life as he chooses. He knows playing the rake keeps his autocratic father in check, but Rafe longs to determine his own destiny. Case in point, he fell in love with Lady Sophie years ago, but his father’s threats and his mother’s health prevent him from pursuing Lady Sophie in earnest. So when Fate thrusts Sophie into his path, Rafe knows he must turn her away and distance himself. But doing the right thing has never been so impossibly difficult.

Sophie and Rafe soon find themselves on a journey together from London to a castle in the Scottish Highlands. Along the way, can two kindred souls heal from past hurts and seize a second chance to write a love story of their own?


Wowwww goodness me, I LOVED THIS. This had all the tropes I love y’all. All the romance I love and more.

This was a combination of a bit of second chance, IT WAS ALWAYS YOU, major forced proximity and more. I loved the vibes between a supposed rake and an incredibly intelligent bluestocking. Their chemistry was heated from the moment the banter began and I was here for every dang moment between them. I loved forced proximity because it allows so much more conversation and interactions that give me all the feels.

Not to mention what had me up in my feels was the passionate arguments leading to my favorite kind of confessions. It was just all so good. SO GOOD. Rafe is a wonderful love interest and I loooooove that this series is dual POV. A treasured must have for romances.

The plot was thickening between the Brotherhood and I like that this subtle mystery plays out in the background of the larger story between the two main characters. I liked the reveals and how the conflict and closing scenes were accomplished. The writing is amazing and I will without a doubt be continuing this series.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: mild
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gaslighting, extortion, a mother with depression (and on page depictions), emotional abuse

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