Review: The Rebel and the Rake by Emily Sullivan


Title: The Rebel and the Rake (League of Scoundrels #2)
Author: Emily Sullivan
Date of publication: 28 Dec 2021
Genre: Historical romance

Author's links:

My rating: 4 stars


He holds her fate in his hands—she holds his heart in hers.

Rafe Davies might seem like just another charismatic rake, but in reality, he is one of the crown’s most valuable agents. As relentless as he is reckless, Rafe has never come upon a mission he couldn’t complete. But when he encounters the intriguing-yet-prickly lady’s companion Miss Sylvia Sparrow while on assignment at a Scottish house party, he finds himself thoroughly distracted by the secretive beauty.

Though most women would be thrilled to catch the eye of a tall, dark, and dangerously handsome man, Sylvia is through with that sort of adventure. She trusted the wrong man once and paid for it dearly. The fiery bluestocking is resolved to avoid Rafe, until a chance encounter between them reveals the normally irreverent man’s unexpected depths—and an attraction that’s impossible to ignore. But when Sylvia begins to suspect she isn’t the only one harboring a few secrets, she realizes that Rafe may pose a risk to far more than her heart . . .


This was my first book by Emily Sullivan and it's been such a delight. It is the second in the series but stands completely on its own.

I loved so many things in it - the writing worked great for me and I found the story engaging. I care fore both MCs right from the start and appreciate seeing life in the Victorian era in Europe was more than ballroom dancing and gossip.

This story has so many secrets at its heart, it made for a wild ride indeed. The heroine is a rebel, a suffragette in hiding, pretending to be something else. The hero is very much in hiding as well, he is a spy, spending his time playing a part. Their connection is based initially on seeing the true self of the other person behind the mask they wear in front of others.

Both Sylvia and Rafe are in a way so deeply undercover that they have lost their sense of who they really are. We see them question and coming to the conclusion that it is not worth to lose yourself, to give up on being your authentic self for anything.

Rafe has these big plans for himself and his career only to realise they don't make him happy. As a wealthy gentleman he was in a much better position than her to shape his own life.

It was much more difficult for Sylvia. It was fascinating for me to see how Sylvia reclaimed her place in the world, a world which had forced her to make herself as small and invisible as possible.

The story had everything - drama and suspense, solid romance, sexy times, messed up families and corrupt politicians. Ultimately, it was hopeful, the bad guys getting their dues, some family reconciliations, second chances and lovely marriage proposals.

Now, I am excited to read more in the series.

CW (as listed on author's site): Grief, Parental death (in the past), on page sex, murder/violence, suicide (off page), blackmail, slut-shaming, caretaking (in the past)

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