Title: My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3)
Author: JL Langley
Length: 93,564 words
Genre: m/m Science Fiction Historical Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Futuristic, Regency, Royalty, Military, Horses, Family
Rating: Pretty Good
Before you find your prince, you have to kiss your share of rakes.
Sci-Regency, Book 3
With his days occupied with duties as Captain of the Guard, and nights consumed with upholding his reputation as a rake, Lord Sebastian Hastings’s schedule is filled. There’s no extra time to be anyone’s bodyguard, but the royal family’s safety is a task he sees to personally.
Prince Colton Townsend has loved Sebastian for as long as he can remember, but he’s done pining for a man who has vowed never to remarry. So he consoles himself with the second love of his life—horses. Stable building and horse racing consume his every thought, at least until he’s stuck with Sebastian dogging his every step.
While looking over the prospects at an auction, Colton is trying to ignore his sexy, pesky bodyguard when he feels compelled to take on a bully to protect an abused horse. Sebastian is dragged into the fray, and their good deed sparks a string of nasty rumors.
There’s only one way to quell the political storm: marry. But instead of solving everything, Colton realizes his new husband is a bundle of secrets, none of which he’ll give up easily. Unless Colton makes one, last-ditch effort that could break his heart for good.
Warning: Contains an obnoxious filly, a love-struck prince, a meddling king, a matchmaking duke, vicious rumors and hunky ex Special Forces soldiers.
Has it really been FOUR YEARS since the second book in this series came out? It seems so. I read this series back when I first started reading m/m in early 2010 and it has remained at the top of a very competitive list of all time favorite series. I’ve been so excited to read it that I spent all day yesterday reading as soon as I got the book, eager to read more about the royal family, the amazingly awesome world and to find out more about the overarching plot that was left up in the air at the end of the last book. The problem with waiting so long for a book is that it’s almost impossible to live up to the overlong expectations. While it mostly did, I still found some problems with it that didn’t work for me and left me unsatisfied, especially since I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait to get more of the story. Part of that is that I have much higher standards now than I did when I read the first two books — if I read them now they might not be five star reads, I’m honestly not sure. Overall, though, I liked it and it was wonderful to go back to this world and visit these characters who I really love.
Colton, the fourth child of the King and King-Regent of Regelence has watched two of his brothers make love matches. He could only dream that the man he has fallen in love with as he’s grown up could ever feel the same for him and that they could have a similar life together. The problem is that the man Colton loves, Sebastian (known as Wentworth for the name of his previous husband) is a rake and has quite the reputation of bedding easy men. That reputation, combined with his seeming disregard for Colton’s rather obvious feelings, convinces Colton to take charge of his life, especially after witnessing Wentworth in a compromising position with another man at a ball. He decides to give up his pitiful unrequited romance and devote himself to a new career — the breeding of racehorses.
The change in Colton’s behavior puzzles Sebastian. As the Captain of the Guard, he knows the royal family well and the new Colton along with his now direct and driven behavior (not in his direction, as he is used to) worries him. Trying to guard Colton is more difficult now that he has changed and he sees him differently than before. Colton, like his brothers, has a problem with getting into trouble, and Sebastian is the type of trouble that a prince should be kept away from.
Through their dance of attraction, his own heavily guarded secrets threaten to come to light, along side a possible danger to Colton. Combined with the escalating tension among the political alliances of the government and the danger to his own family, the situation is set to explode in one way or another.
Maybe I don’t remember the first two books well enough (it has been a long time since I read them), but my biggest problem with this book was there was just so much going on. So much of the story is devoted to the relationship between Colton and Sebastian that there is very little time for the overall plot arc to move forward. This saddened me because there are continuing references to things about to happen that seemed to get pushed off to the next book. I felt like… I had to wait so long to read more of this series and then I only got teasers. How much longer will I have to wait for a progression in the series? That’s not to say that the story itself wasn’t good. It works really well as a standalone book, I just wanted more of the overall plot.
The best part of reading this book, for me, was simply returning to this world. I absolutely adore the characters — all the brothers and the consorts a few of them have (esp. Nate, from the first book, I LOVE Nate). Then there is Trouble and Rexley, the brothers’ father and sire who are one of my favorite couples of the series even though they haven’t gotten their own book (I would love to read it though!). They really have a lot of fun, which I like. You can tell that they’re really a family who loves each other. The world itself is fun to read about and would never get old for me.
I thought the relationship between Colton and Sebastian worked really well. They deal with a lot of the issues you’d encounter in a contemporary story and the story is really focused on their relationship, with only little pieces of narration throughout the story from other POVs. There is a steadily building tension throughout the story. Their relationship is founded on secrets and lies, something that we know but Colton doesn’t. The pressure builds and builds over the story, teasing up and up with all the other serious things going on. Sadly, in the end, it just didn’t seem like a big deal to me. The ending fizzled. It really couldn’t deliver unless Sebastian was hiding something utterly horrible because there is so much emphasis put on his secret and his past. That rather anticlimactic revelation along with the absence of more information about their trouble with the I.N. made me a little upset with the ending. Perhaps I wouldn’t be as disappointed if I knew I might find out in a few months, or even within a year, but I’m afraid it will be at least another one or two years, maybe even more. I can’t fault this author for her writing pace, but it does make it difficult to become invested in a series that is rarely updated. For me to be satisfied to wait, I wanted to be given a little more.
I know that nearly everyone who reads m/m will be reading this book and there will be nearly as many opinions, but I have to say that even though 80% of the book (roughly) was really satisfying to read, the last 20% let me down because my expectations had grown so high, because of both the wait and the lead up during the story. The story was really enjoyable to read either way. I hope that your opinion differs, I truly do, but I’d say everyone should read it anyway, and I know that almost all of you will be, very soon.