Monday, May 23, 2011

Historical Review: The Rake and the Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc

The Rake and the Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc
Format: ePUB
Print Length: 378 pages
Publisher: Iris Photo Agency, LLC (April 20, 2011)
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.
Buy it Here: Jenn's SiteKindle | Nook iBook Amazon Paperback 
I loved it.
Review & hot pics after the jump:
Ashley March featured Jenn LeBlanc on her blog. And whichever author Ashley features, is always a good one. 

Jenn's book The Rake and the Recluse is literally a work of photographic art. Within the pages of this book, there are gorgeous, heart stopping pictures that help the story along. (Or is it hinder? Oogle at your own risk.) Confession: I read the first 2 chapters of this book and then flipped through all the pictures. Yes, I may or may not have flipped through more than once. *sigh*
It's like a picture book for adults (not those sissy ones that your mother has on display on the coffee table). Note of caution: you may just end up drooling over the pictures instead of reading the story. Heck, go ahead! 

1 Part Outlander+ 1 Part Jane Eyre= Me, Lost in LeBlanc 
I spent a week (yes, A WEEK) on this book. It might be mostly due to the fact that I flipped through it 8 times just drooling over the pictures. Within those 8 flip throughs, I read the story. The concept is GENIUS! I mean, who hasn't wanted to know exactly what the author sees when she's writing her book? Who hasn't wondered what the hero REALLY looks like? Well, wonder no more. Ms. LeBlanc takes us into her vision, complete with pictures.


1. These pictures:

2. Gideon Alrick Trumbull, the 10th Duke of Roxleigh is a delicious slice of 19th Century brooding, tortured, anti-social, perfectly sculpted (look at the pictures!) specimen of a romance hero. After his mother passed away, he watched his father practically will himself to death. He is the picture of absolute propriety. He has let his mistress go and is ready to take on a wife. Until he meets Francine.

3. Francine Larrabee is an outspoken (even when she looses your voice after waking up in 19th century England), fiery, hardworking, independent 21st century girl. She hopped from foster family to foster family after the parents died, and all she has as a reminder was a trust fund set up in her name and her father’s thesis journals. Sometimes, she doesn’t feel like she belongs. Well, dear Francine, today is your lucky day. Get in the cab, head to work to make the biggest presentation of your life, and end up in 19th century England.

4. Peregrine Trumbull, Viscount Roxleigh or Perry to all his nearest and dearest. Perry is Gideon’s younger brother. He has all the best lines. He is charming, funny and always knows what to say when things get tense. He is easy to fall in love with.

5. The Love Story:
This is the love story between a 21st century girl and her 19th century Duke. Girl is running through the woods, steps out in front of a fast moving curricle and horses, and Duke almost tramples her. Girl passes out, Duke takes her in, she wakes up and freaks out. Who, what, when, where? Girl realizes she’s not in Denver anymore. Is this is some sort of sick cosmic joke? Cue in the brooding, green eyed hero. Instant connection! He doesn’t know what to do with her, she doesn’t understand all the rules of his society. They flirt, they spend time together, she teaches him sign language, she turns his life upside down and side ways. They begin to fall in love and then, twist! Enter the villain. He’s here to take back his fiancee (Madeleine) per order of his crazy mother. Twist! Madeleine (Francine) and her 2 sisters are now wards of Perry since the Larrabees signed them over. The Duke falls HARD for Francine, vice versa and that dear reader is where I will let you find out what happens next.

6. Lord Hepplewort is The Big Bad. Sort of. He is Madeleine’s (Francine) betrothed. He has been betrothed to her since she was like 10. Gross! He is a volatile mama’s boy. His mannerisms remind me of the King of Portugal from The Tudors, and I picture him looking a bit like Wormtail from Harry Potter. You can’t help but root for his comeuppance. Hopefully by Gideon. Better yet, hope it's by Francine.

7. Madeleine Adelais: Not much is said about Madeleine, although she opens the story. She is being chased through the woods by a man and his dogs. As she steps out in front of a fast moving curricle and horses, she blacks out. (Are you getting the connection between her and Francine?) She has 2 younger sisters and her parents have sold her off to Hepplewort. It is assumed she has taken Francine’s place in 21st century Denver.

8. TIME TRAVEL!: It would’ve been awesome if she had a blue police box. But sadly, that is not the case. According the Francine’s father’s thesis journals, “certain people within the family were born at the wrong time, and the universe was endeavoring to return them...when they should have lived..should have lived with.” So I suppose Francine’s method of time travel is in a yellow cab. The cab breaks for an overturned delivery truck and somehow, she wakes up in someone else’s clothes, in a different time.

9. This guy. He is the Duke of Roxleigh. This is what the hero looks like. What a change from trying to create a picture of the hero in our minds:

10. The End. I will not spoil it for you. That is all.

Favorite Quote: "'You either need to find your way out of my bed, or I will find my way into you,' he growled."

Overall: I don't recall ever reading a time travel book. Ok, I lied, I attempted to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I couldn't get into it.(It might have been the fact, the book was long.) With this book, it was easy to slip into this world where a girl who didn't feel like she belonged anywhere, found her place in a different time. On some days, I feel like that girl. I feel like I was meant to have a season and am a couple centuries too late. It was easy to fall in lust with Roxleigh (because I like my heroes broody) but it was easier to fall in love with his brother, Perry (because he had all the best lines).Well, Ms. LeBlanc, I've got to hand it to you. This is such an amazing concept for a book. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us with Perry's book. 

*This book was given to me by Ms. Jenn LeBlanc to review. And then I broke down and bought the book for my Kindle since the EPUB file wouldn't go on my Kindle. Thanks Jenn for the book and for allowing me to post some pictures.*

**Variations of this review can be found on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.**

***Please note: All pictures belong to Jenn LeBlanc. If you would like to use any of these pictures please contact her: Jenn.K.LeBlanc (AT) gmail (DOT )com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED NO COPYING, DOWNLOADING, or REPRODUCTION without the express permission of the owner***

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