Book review: The Writer and the Rake by Shehanne Moore

The Writer and the Rake (Time Mutants #2)The Writer and the Rake by Shehanne Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I totally loved everything about this time-travel romance and would give it ten stars if I could.

Brittany Carter is an author, who drinks, smokes, and parties too much. After a surreal encounter with a character called Morte, she’s transported to the Georgian era and meets bad boy Mitchell Killgower, who is locked into an inheritance dispute with some hateful relatives of his deceased wife. When Brittany materialises out of nowhere, he hopes she can prove useful by pretending to be his obedient and mousy wife for long enough to hoodwink those who hold the purse strings and stop his son getting the inheritance. The only trouble is that the feisty Brittany is incapable of fitting into this role and Mitchell has truly met his match on the impossible person’s front.

I don’t want to give too much away, as this will spoil readers’ fun; and the novel is such great fun, in a quirky sense of the word, always sustaining a great forward momentum with wonderfully entertaining dialogue. Come to think of it, I don’t recall the author using any dialogue tags at all and, if she did, they weren’t intrusive.

Brittany is often insufferable, but also pretty cool in a chaotic way. Mitchell is a Mr Darcy type: dark, handsome, brooding, stubborn, hard to impress, and master of his heart, but decidedly sexier than the original. His relationship with Brittany is meant as a short-term arrangement of convenience and nothing more. And the feeling is mutual …until it isn’t.

Speaking of the raunchy scenes, Shehanne Moore knows how to write about sex in a way that’s humorous, playful, erotic and, at times, intense. It’s never explicit, because it doesn’t need to be; the subtle interplay of all the human senses is sufficient.

On the hilarity front, the crowning moment for me is when Mitchell rifles through Brittany’s bag and puzzles over its contents from the future, and then questions her about one of the items in particular.

If you haven’t already guessed, I fell in love with Mitchell and felt really sorry for him when Brittany kept appearing and disappearing. A rake like Mitchell does not give his heart easily to a woman, preferring the casual company of floosies when needs dictate.

The Writer and the Rake can be read as a standalone novel, even though it’s the second part of a series. One reviewer has suggested that, in order to understand the time mutants better, it’s an idea to read the series in the right order, starting with The Viking and the Courtesan.

As you can imagine, Time Mutants #1 is near the top of my reading list, as I can’t get enough of Shehanne Moore’s writing and am delighted to have discovered someone with such a fresh and original voice.

A highly recommended read.

View all my reviews

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

45 thoughts on “Book review: The Writer and the Rake by Shehanne Moore”

  1. OMG Sarah….. I don’t know what to say. I have been knocked off my socks. I mean I do know what to say and that is THNAK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I am just gobsmacked by everything you have said and the time you have taken with this. I LOVE it. I will get the wee dudes out on this tomorrow and they will be reblogging it. I keep going back and thinking ..did I write this book???? Thank you. You have made my week xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s strange. I wrote a long reply to your comment yesterday, but it didn’t post. It’s that darned internet playing up again. I’m thrilled that you’re so thrilled with the review and I meant every word of what I said. You are very talented. Those wee whiskery dudes have done a grand job with their intro to the reblog. Where did you get the idea of employing them for your posts? It’s so unique and, yes, quirky. They’re really cute and adorable, although I’m not sure what they’d think of me saying that! xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is me just getting to comments to Sarah and actually I have come by and checked and there were none…Ah sweet mysteries of WP at last I want to strangle thee.. Anyway here now. The dudes? Well now, I used to blog ordinary–well as ordinary as I could–and one day I was doing a blog about goal, motivation and conflict driving your book not plot cos I had seen some entries for a pitch comp and I felt –listen tae blawbags–that so many folks were making that same mistake, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in terms of a pitch. And for a hopeful giggle I had this woman thinking, ‘my book is about the French Revolution, the druids of Stonehenge’ and I was going to say the emancipation of women but at the last I wrote hamsters. I don’t know whey. Then this writer Antonia Van Zandt said are we going to see some hamsters for a giggle? SO I put some in talking of course and that was it. People took to them, I started getting emails from folks going how they had depression and the dudes made them laugh, from folks wanting to adopt certain ones… so now I let the dudes do the lot. That’s how it happened. And like that I sometimes get to go to other blogs without them But I was asked to co host a short weekly tea party on facebook the other night and I was asked to bring them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s such a wonderful story and the dudes are really doing something hugely important for society if they’re helping make depressives laugh. So if any of my blogging /writing friends say they’re depressed, which they do from time to time, I shall direct them over to meet your hamsters. I think that depression, of one degree or another, goes with being creative.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Please do!! I think you’re right. We have highs and lows about that for various reasons. But yeah, I just love that they make folks laugh sometimes and folks get caught up in their ‘soap opera.’

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I love exploring a wide variety of genres. Some are too tightly generic but others, like this novel, are in a class of their own and, because of their originality, only loosely fit into a box. If I fall in love with a writer’s voice, then I will probably read everything they write, whatever the genre. For instance, I like the fact that Paula Hawkins, who wrote The Girl On The Train, has been brave enough to write something totally different for her second novel. Some reviewers are not pleased with her for this, but it doesn’t bother me (not that I’ve read it yet, but I’m sure I’ll like it). I love everything that Rose Tremain and Donna Tartt write, too. I’ll forgive a writer for many things, but not for boring me. Shehanne Moore could never be accused of that and is definitely most interesting…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Rose Tremain? I love her books. And good for Paula Hawkins. A lot of folks have a success and then get pinned down, a butterfly on a pin. Those who let that happen then seem to end up writing virtually the same book, just change the characters’ names. I’m so touched by your comment here Sarah. Truly. And for reading the book. I went down this line with the ‘romance’ genre largely because it was a way in and I had knocked on so many doors for so long. Anyway then I wasn’t able to write fitting in the box. I tried and I actually had one of the biggies in rom interested in what was the then…not now…Loving Lady Lazuli. But then when I stepped back, I thought being rejected isn’t my biggest fear. Being accepted and then writing to the genre dictates is my biggest fear. Things like the hero not knowing this is the woman who wrecked his life for example were things as I was writing I thought….Oh come on. DUH. People are not stupid. And if his life has been wrecked he would be a lot more darker and damaged than this. I can only do this my way and I know the characters I want to write will not be acceptable to a biggie house, that I am a harder sell that way in many ways. Hee hee, but that is my niche I guess and that is why I thank you for this. it means the world. I mean that xxxxxx .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Having had a break from submitting to publishers, I’m not even trying the biggies this time around (or literary agents). Instead, I’ve sent out to two smaller publishers who say that they’re looking for stuff that’s different and doesn’t fit into a rigid box. If they reject it, I’ve got two more to try next. Of course I would be thrilled if one of the first two said yes, but I’ve grown out of daydreaming, so am just getting on with my life meanwhile. I’m so glad to have met you, as I think your attitude is a real inspiration. xxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The publishing world is in a mess in so many ways. The change since I first subbed out there, like once I had decided to go my way that is, is huge, it’s like looking back on a different world. The days of big advances are gone. So many agents are struggling that many of them have set up their own publishing imprint. I often smile when I see folks raving about getting an agent, especially when that agent gets them in the door of a house they could have got in themselves. Many small presses are going to the wall having leapt on the 50 Shades bandwagon. Many ‘bigger’ small presses are doing the same. BUT some good ones are springing up and the real thing to look at is the marketing. While we all do that and the days of a publishing house doing that are gone too, any house should be offering something. So my reckoning is it is best to pitch as you’ve done as opposed to pitching to biggies or agents. Fantasy is popular right now so it is a good time to sub. My fingers and toes are crossed. I am so glad to have met you. I do think in this biz it is vital to have people around who know the biz, who are in the biz. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If I do get a publisher for the book I’ve started submitting, I might go back to one particular literary agent who loved my writing but didn’t know who to submit it to, especially as her agency has a good reputation for selling film and TV rights for their clients. OK, some people will say “dream on” to me for wanting that, but I also have some more earthed goals! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      5. If you don’t dream no-one else will for you. That is a very good way forward. Also folks do sometimes bring an agent on board to sign and seal a deal, You would have a very valid reason to go back to this one in that instance. THEN who knows what the future holds my darling x

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sarah here’s me just popping over after rather busy morning. I never thought I would get any comments so this is lovely to see xxxxxx. Thank you again for this. Truly. I keep having another wee read of it xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No doubt there will be more comments, as time goes by. Some of my followers disappear for a while, then do giant catch-ups of reading my posts. I can be a bit like that. Which reminds me, I haven’t read your post before the reblog one yet. Off to do that now, before my noddle-brain kicks in again and I forget xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Patricia, that is so kind I am doing a wee happy dance here. I like having fun which is why I’ve been glad to meet Sarah cos she my kind of lady that way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful to read this review as I really enjoyed The Viking and the Courtesan. I have The Writer and The Rake but haven’t started it yet – can’t wait after reading this review! It’s great to hear that the sex scenes are not explicit as you so rightly explain Sarah that there’s no need for them to be that way. Well done, Shehanne! And your enthusiastic review is great, Sarah xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw Christy, thank you for the lovely, lovely comment. I love this review. I keep going back to read it! And I am especially pleased Sarah fell in love with Mitchell cos he is difficult. BTO, I so hate writing sex scenes and I am so fed up with the deluge around at the moment, I can only kick myself into writing one if I know it is valid to the story for whatever reason. That is as opposed to an endless stream of explicit ‘everything,’ for the sake of it. Obvi Mitchell has been around the block so I am looking at what was different for him there initially and mainly it’s her business like attitude, honed by losing the way in life because she’d been let down so often, he can’t quite get his head around, as opposed to, Wow, that was fantastic… . Lovely lovely of you to come over ESPESH as you introduced Sarah and me xxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 3 people

    2. My dear blogging friend Christy, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have met Shehanne in blogland. It’s just such a wonderful community, full of super-talented people. I have The Viking and the Courtesan on my reading list, especially as I’ve always had a soft spot for Vikings. Must be my Nordic blood passed down from some ancestors way back! xxxx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. OOOHHH, I have Viking blood too. My dad had some condition of the tendons that comes from the Vikings. Group hug ladies, I am so glad to met you both. you are wonderful ladies xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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