How the Rake Tempted the Lady : A Steamy Historical Regency Romance

· Matchmaking Madness Book 3 · Laura A. Barnes
7 reviews

About this ebook

Love at first sight can sweep you away into a …

She lost her heart to him the first time they met. He kept falling harder for her whenever their paths crossed. After her uncle secures her engagement to another gentleman, can they find their way back to one another?

Gemma Holbrooke had waited anxiously to enjoy a Season in London and to fall magically in love. When her uncle granted her wish, she dreamed of the beautiful gowns she would wear, the dances around the ballroom floors, and of all the handsome gentlemen who would court her. Before they traveled to London, her uncle hosted a house party, and one guest in particular changed her every aspiration. A handsome lord who avoided her at all costs. His bold stare tempted Gemma to discover the depth of their burning attraction. When her uncle forbade any contact with her true love, Gemma defied the strictures of society. At every opportunity she risked her reputation to be held in in his arms, but too many obstacles stood in their way of happiness. Can Gemma outwit her uncle to secure the groom of her choice?

Barrett Ralston scoffed whenever he heard anyone mention they fell in love at first sight. Such an act never existed. That was until he caught sight of Gemma Holbrooke. A siren disguised as an innocent debutante who lured him closer with every smile. Then everything he ever believed in changed in the blink of a kiss that knocked him to his knees. When her uncle issued a demand to stay clear from his niece, Barrett decided to tempt the beauty into a scandalous affair. At every secret rendezvous, their soft kisses and gentle caresses heated into a passion out of their control. But when Barrett’s secret assignment to recover a stolen coin crossed over into their love affair, it broke their fragile connection. Can Barrett stop the threat from destroying Gemma’s love for him?

Soul mates meeting for the first time. A temptation that cannot be denied. A love like no other. Will Gemma and Barrett allow others to control their destiny? Or will they defy all the odds against them?

How the Rake Tempted the Lady is the third book in Laura A. Barnes’s Matchmaking Madness Series. If you enjoy reading love at first sight romances filled with steamy scenes, then you’ll love Gemma & Barrett’s romantic story full of temptation.

Treat yourself to How the Rake Tempted the Lady today!



7 reviews
Peggy Collins
May 11, 2021
The trick is not let Uncle Theo know who you want, who you really, really want. Or so the Holbrooke cousins believe. Uncle Theo has his own way of sorting things out. This episode of Matchmaking Madness features Gemma Holbrooke and Barret Ralston. They met at a house party and it was love at first sight. Now it seems that Uncle may have other plans for Gemma. For some odd reason Ralston seems preoccupied with some sort of business with Worth. He doesn’t seem interested in Gemma, at least for the right reasons. Gemma is perplexed. Uncle Theo looks on and maintains, as he always does, that things with sort out the right way. The is a wonderfully entertaining story. There are equal measures of drama, humor, and angst. After all, Uncle Theo does have a house full of girls. I love the characters. Everybody is here: loving thoughtful sneaky uncle, his sister who is just as loving thoughtful and sneaky, a group of orphan nieces who are warm and sweet and ready for the world, gentleman who are kept on their toes by the ladies and Uncle Theo, and a nasty grudge-bearing villain who plans to have her revenge on the whole bunch. Gemma and Barrett have a rollercoaster ride toward their HEA, but it will be worth it. I enjoyed and recommend this story. I look forward to the next one. Now I’m off to get the first two and catch up. I received an ARC of this book via Booksprout. My review is voluntary.
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Mia Burke
September 27, 2021
Laura A. Barnes’ “How the Rake Tempted the Lady” (Matchmaking Madness Book 3) is a pure delight! This is my first time reading Laura Barnes and I’m hooked. I’ll be reading much more of her work in the future. Barrett Ralston I didn’t believe in love at first sight, that is until he met the beautiful Gemma Holbrooke. Gemma looked forward to the Season in London with hopes and dreams of falling in love. Both were hopelessly lost to fate when their eyes met. When her Uncle Theo, the Duke of Colebourne is a wise and kindly uncle whose taken in a house full of orphaned nieces. He holds a house party in hopes of finding the perfect match for Gemma. But then uncle Theo forbids Barrett from courting Gemma. It’s too late for they’ve already fallen in love. With stolen kisses, steamy passion, a playful Duke, drama, mystery, jealousy and an unwavering love the author weaves a charming story sure to please. I love the family and their devotion to one another. I love the characters with their many individual personalities. Uncle Theo was a delightful character. Gemma an Barrett were perfect together. The authors writing style was a pleasure to read and the dialogue so befitting the story. The plot was engaging, entertaining and paced perfectly. Thank you so much Ms. Barnes for this lovely story. I look forward to reading many more of of your books.
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Alice Haviland
May 7, 2021
This book is a story about love at first sight and how the main characters have to hide that to be together. In fact, the uncertainty in the relationship comes from friends and family and not the couple themselves. Barrett and Gemma are committed from the first meeting. This book was a little different in this series about the Duke of Colebourne and his matchmaking efforts to find love matches for his wards. The beginning is really confusing. It starts with Gemma actually mooning over another male character but then she's secretly in love with Barrett. Because this book is in a series and there are so many characters, I feel like I need more of a summary at the beginning of each or a chart. I also forgot about Gemma from the previous book so when her pursuit of Barrett was alluded to, I didn't remember it. The ensemble in this book is stronger than in the previous one. It's a lot easier to keep track of all the characters. And this is definitely a story about a family and their meddling guardian. Barnes' writing continues to grow stronger with each book she puts out. Again, always really entertained by her books, but sometimes just struggling to catch up with where everyone is at the beginning of each book.
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About the author

International selling author Laura A. Barnes fell in love with writing in the second grade. After her first creative writing assignment, she knew what she wanted to become. Many years went by with Laura filling her head full of story ideas and some funny fish songs she wrote while fishing with her family. Thirty-seven years later, she made her dreams a reality. With her debut novel Rescued By the Captain, she has set out on the path she always dreamed about.

When not writing, Laura can be found devouring her favorite romance books. Laura is married to her own Prince Charming (who for some reason or another thinks the heroes in her books are about him) and they have three wonderful children and two sweet grandbabies. Besides her love of reading and writing, Laura loves to travel. With her passport stamped in England, Scotland, and Ireland; she hopes to add more countries to her list soon.

While Laura isn’t very good on the social media front, she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her on the following platforms:


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