Review of My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3) by JL Langley

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Yes, I know this should have come later but I couldn’t help it.  I loved this book.  The contest winner will still be announced on Friday.  Enjoy.

Rating: 5 stars

Prince Colton Townsend has loved Lord Sebastian Hastings since he was fifteen.  The Captain of the Guard is everything Colton has ever wanted.  He’s handsome, dashing, and an excellent horseman.  His affections have never been returned by Hastings but Colton has never figured out if that was because the Captain sees him still as a young boy instead of a man or perhaps because Sebastian has declared never to remarry.  Still his crush  continued right up until the day he and his brothers spied Captain Hastings in a tryst in a garden during a ball.  Now  Colton decides to focus only on his horses and opening a racing stable will help him forget about his love for the Captain of the Guard.

Lord Sebastian Hastings’ schedule changed from busy to overwhelmed when asked by King Steven to provide security for all of the Royal Family on a constant basis, including Prince Colton.  Sebastian isn’t certain when exactly he became aware of how handsome the young man had become.  Sebastian knew the young Prince had a crush on him as the lad followed him around like a puppy when younger.  But lately, Colton has seemed distant, even downright curt and that bothered Sebastian more than he wanted to admit.  Then an argument with Colton over disobeying his orders flared into a kiss, and then another and all of Sebastian’s carefully erected barriers began to fall.

During a visit to Tattersalls to bid on horses for his stable, Colton and Sebastian find an abused horse and determine to save it.  The consequent events turn the horse’s abusive owner into a enemy who spreads rumors about the men and their relationship throughout society.  When the nasty gossip causes people to shun Colton at a ball, Hastings acts to quell the rumors by asking for Colton’s hand in marriage.  But instead of solving things, the marriage is only the beginning of the problems for the couple, as Sebastian is keeping secrets from Colton, an old flame reappears, and a family close to the Admiral and Sebastian have disappeared, perhaps murdered as part of the INS conspiracy against the throne. Colton  hopes that one day he will have a marriage like his fathers, one with two men deeply in love with each other.  Colton knows his marriage is only halfway there.  Now if only Sebastian would help make the rest come true.

With My Regelence Rake JL Langley has done it again.  She has given us a book not only worth the wait but one that leaves us immediately clamoring for the next in the series as soon as we have finished reading it.  All the elements that make this series so addictive are present and accounted for.  Great world building – check, outstanding characters – check, hot, hot sex – check, ongoing intrigue and mystery – check and finally romantic love – oh absolutely check.  Yes, all there and then some.  We are back on the planet Regelence after the events in The Englor Affair which took us off planet in search of more information about the political unrest being instigated between the planets.  Each subsequent book  finds new suspects in the sinister  happenings in the INS (the galactic navy)  and points to corruption at the highest levels of the service.  The royal Townsends of Regelence are being backed into a corner and no one is certain who is to be trusted.  And with each new piece of evidence that appears, another mystery surfaces to widen the scope of the investigation and make the infiltration of the royal family defenses an easier target.  As she builds the suspense, Langley ups our anxiety for the safety of the people we have come to care about greatly.  The terror of loss is never far from our thoughts when Aiden is giving chase down a alley way or Sebastian is attacked in the streets.  Is it part of the conspiracy or something entirely different?  Langley keeps us guessing and on the edge of our seats the entire time.

And then there are all those marvelous characters we have come to love over the series and new ones as well.  Everyone is present here, except perhaps for Simon and Payton.  Yes, this is Colton and Sebastian’s book and their romance is terrific.  We have watched Colton grow up in the last two books and the tantalizing glimpses we had of Sebastian come to fruition here.  Sebastian is a complex character.  His background is muddied and his marriage, which left him a widower, unhappy. Together they form a new endearing couple for us to cheer for. But we also get a closer look at the relationships of Nate and Aiden, and Steven and Raleigh.  We see clearly how well Nate and Aiden have settled into a marriage still so passionate and full of love but now time has allowed them a new security in with all things shared between them as a loving established couple.  Steven and Raleigh are here, demonstrating their love and passion in ways  both humorous and joyful while still exhibiting the strength of their feelings for their children and family.  How I love these two and I am thrilled JL Langley will give them their own story.  The real surprise here?  A closer look at Trouble and Rexley’s relationship.  Even now, I just feeling giddy over the scenes and revelations about them in MRR.  I will not spoil this for you all but trust me, it is worth the price of the book alone for these reveals!  Oh, and I have to mention Apollonia, the star of the stable and a new favorite character of mine.  I want one just like her.  She is adorable and a great addition to the family.  JL Langley’s characterizations never feel anything less than real, their emotions always come across as authentic as ours and their relationship issues ones we can relate to and understand.  All these and more are reasons why the author’s characters stay with us long past the end of the books.

Does this book, all hot and sexy, all romance and love have a happily ever after?  Why yes it does!  But JL Langley also raises some much larger questions about the INS and those arraigned against the Townsends and their allies.  She has left us some mystery concerning Sebastian and his family, given us a far more complex Rexley than I had imagined, and as to that missing family? Well, they too have a larger part in this conspiracy puzzle JL has created and now there is an encrypted computer chip to decipher.  So the mystery snowballs along with the romance.  How I love this series.  More please, JL, much, much more!

Cover:  Another hot cover by Angela Waters to go along with those of  My Fair Captain and The Englor Affair.  Definitely some of the hottest naked torsos in the business.

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