Reformed Hero: how much rake can you take?

The Escapades

This week’s romance trope is Reformed Hero (sigh), aka the Reformed Rake. First up is Viveka Portman, who got us thinking about how much rake is too much rake…

The reformed hero is commonly known in Historical Romance as the ‘rake’—and doesn’t he sound delectable? A little naughty, a tad forbidden, a wicked little fantasy in which to indulge.

We all a love a bad boy and I am no exception, especially when he’s dressed like Darcy in a daydream. That’s why chose to write The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton using the ‘reformed hero’ trope.


But what is a rake exactly? The consensus seems to be that ‘rake’ is a historical term for a man who is habituated in immoral conduct (particularly womanising). A rake’s habits also included wasting his inherited fortune on gambling, wine and music while incurring excessive debt in the process.

Oh dear.

He’s not…

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