Book Review: A Relentless Rake by Anna Harrington

About the Book:

Title: A Relentless Rake

Author: Anna Harrington

Series: Lords of the Armory #4

Page Length: 312

Publication Date: March 29, 2021

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Synopsis: For fans of Grace Burrowes, Sarah Maclean, and Bridgerton, USA Today bestselling author Anna Harrington brings you a sexy feminist historical romance with:

• An unapologetic rake attempting to cover up his past
• A rule-following heroine unafraid to speak her mind
• Thrilling action and mystery
• Passionate attraction that overrides their deepest resistance

Notorious rake Alexander Sinclair, Earl of St James, takes pride in displaying his sins. When he’s tasked by the Home Office with finding the men who attempted to assassinate the prime minister, his hunt leads him to Olivia Everett, a most proper schoolmistress who wants nothing to do with a profligate nobleman like him.

Unknown to her, Olivia’s brother, Henry, has been working with the revolutionary group planning to overthrow the government. Shocked and hoping to save her brother, Olivia agrees to help the persuasive earl. But they closer they get to uncovering the villains, the more Alec and Olivia will need to trust each other.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

The fourth book in the Lords of the Armory series follows Olivia Everett, a proper schoolmistress, and Alec Sinclair, the Earl of St. James. When an assassination plot against the prime minister is uncovered, Alec and his half-brother are charged with finding the people attempting the murder. Alec’s investigation leads him to Olivia’s brother. Determined to save her brother and prove his innocence, Olivia works with Alec to figure out who wants the prime minister dead and how her brother is involved. However, neither Olivia nor Alec expected to develop feelings for each other. With so many obstacles in their way, can they have a future together?.

This is such a great addition to the series! Olivia is a smart and capable woman with a lot on her plate. Burdened with responsibility and secrets, Olivia has no time for men, especially a rakish man with a reputation like Alec’s. Alec is so much more than a rake, however, as Olivia quickly learns. He is smart and brave, and his loyalty to his country drives him. Alec, like Olivia, has secrets from his past that burden him and define him, and both have to face these wounds and secrets before they can truly embrace their future. It’s interesting to see how this pair helps to tear down each other’s walls.

Olivia and Alec have fantastic chemistry and a wonderful opposites-attract romance. They have some fabulous banter, which is equally funny, teasing, antagonistic, sexy, and tender. They are from such different worlds, and they face so many obstacles, but their connection is instantaneous. From their first meeting, you can feel the chemistry between them, and that carries throughout the story. Though I didn’t love his initial reaction to and treatment of Olivia when he found out her secret, I did like how hard he worked to earn back her trust and forgiveness. I also like how both characters learned more about themselves and each other and emotionally grew throughout the story. They are both complex and layered characters that complement each other well.

The complex relationship between Alex and his half-brother is another intriguing aspect of the story. They do not have an amicable connection, and their interactions are stilted and awkward. However, I can definitely see a change happening as these brothers work together and get to know each other more. I’m curious to see how this relationship changes and develops as the series progresses.

I love some of the other secondary characters in the story, including Alec’s mother and sister and the young girls in Olivia’s care. And Philip has my heart! He’s such a sweet and eager young man, and I can’t wait to see more of him! His character really brings to light problems that were prevalent during this time, including working conditions, child labor, and more. I like that Harrington continues to highlight important social issues and feel it adds a lot of depth to the story while also enhancing the character development.

In addition to the dynamic characters and messages, Scepter continues to be an evasive and dangerous threat to the characters. The stakes grow ever higher, and with assassination attempts, bombings, murder, and more, Alec and Olivia find themselves in dangerous and life-threatening situations throughout the story. It’s suspenseful and intriguing, and it seems like the lords of the armory are getting closer to revealing Scepter and foiling their plans. I’m curious to see what happens next in this over-arching plot.

I would definitely recommend A Relentless Rake to lovers of historical romance or romantic suspense. It’s a great story with wonderful, layered characters and a swoon-worthy romance. Though it’s part of a series, A Relentless Rake can be read as a standalone. However, some characters from the first books do make appearances in this one. Special thanks to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Casablanca, and the author for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The intrigue.

Favorite Lines:

Life is not as cleanly cut as you’d like it to be. Honorable people make mistakes, while villains are capable of goodness, and both deserve our understanding.

What mattered was love and trust, forgiveness and charity, and nothing was as simple as it appeared on the surface. Illusion, all of it. What was important was the heart beneath.


This is a great book for readers who like swoon-worthy historical romances!!

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