• Taming of the Rake

  • The Gentleman Courtesans, Book 4
  • By: Victoria Vale
  • Narrated by: Darcy Stark
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

David Graham loves women - so much that being a gentleman courtesan is more pleasure than business. Having newly inherited a failing country estate, the income to be earned pleasing wealthy women doesn’t hurt matters. When a new, lucrative contract is offered to him, David is happy to take on a new client...until he finds out what she really wants from him. 

Widowed and alone, Regina Hurst has no desire to engage in a passionate affair. Finally free and independent from the tyrannical rule of her late husband, she only wants what he could never give her: a child. Hiring a professional courtesan seems like the best way of achieving her aims, but she never expects an arrangement of convenience to blossom into something more.

David sees Regina as frigid and severe, but more time spent in her company reveals a dark and hidden pain. The more she resists the spark of attraction between them, the more he strives to earn her trust and affection. Attachment is against the rules of conduct for a gentleman courtesan, but David is helpless at fighting his burgeoning feelings.

When their time together ends, will he walk away substantially wealthier, putting Regina behind him forever? Or, will he take a chance on turning a mercenary arrangement into something that will last forever?

©2020 Victoria Vale (P)2020 Victoria Vale

What listeners say about Taming of the Rake

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful!

I could happily imagine having a David in my life and why not! He's young, virile, good looking with a strong and beautiful body, clever, courteous, caring, attentive, knows how to keep a woman happy and so on and on.
Seriously, I think Victoria broke the mold after she fashioned him out of her amazing imagination. Pity... (Lol!)
What a beautiful story with two fabulous main characters in David and Regina who knew exactly what they wanted and did what needed to be done to get it.
The audio narration by Darcy Stark is fabulous. I love his voice and his acting is superb. He certainly helps bring the story to life.
This is a story begging to be read or listened to!
I have just finished listening to the audiobook version and this is my voluntary and unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful

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Hits you right in the feels!

I found the concept behind this series intriguing and this book is another excellent entry in it. This book really hits you right in the feels. David and Regina were so perfect together. From their first interaction, they just clicked with me and I was all in for them. David was the whole package. This swoon worthy hero was caring and fun but also responsible and not afraid of hard work. Regina made my heart hurt. Her past was heartbreaking and after the terrible hand she had been dealt, you had to admire her for having the strength and nerves needed to embark on the path she chose to take. I felt that together these two were steamy and sweet. A truly terrific romance. The narrator had a pleasing voice and I enjoyed their performance.

1 person found this helpful

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I adore the whole series!

as always a pleasure to listen to one of Ms. Vales book. I just adore the whole series & this was no different. the characters were written so well you could relate to them easily. you experience all the ups & downs ... the emotions they go through from despair & desperation to love and romance! a must read/listen... I highly recommend this Audible/book. I was gifted this Audible as an ARC and this is my voluntary and honest review.

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Loved it!

I absolutely loved this story of David and Regina! David is very good at his job as a male courtesan, and I loved the way he treated Regina. It was so good to see how she changed, in a good way. She definitely deserved this second chance at love.

Excellent performance of the narrator, Darcy Stark!

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Where is my Gentelman Courtesan?????

Finished the 5th & last book in Gentelmen Courtesans series by Ms. Vale ❤❤❤❤❤ Beyond Excellant, BRAVO. Everything you could want in a LOVE Story, including LOTS and LOTS of 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 & a HEA.
P.S. Better read in order.

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a great story and one of my favorite narrators

4.5 stars

With his love of women and need for funds, working as a courtesan is the perfect solution for David Graham and has never felt much like work. With his father's passing, David has suddenly been saddled with a crumbling estate, unhappy tenants, and his mother and two younger sisters to care for. When he's offered a lucrative contract close to home, it seems like the solution to all his problems, until he learns exactly what the lady wants from him.

Recently widowed Regina Hurst is happy to be out from under the thumb of her cruel husband. Inheriting his entire wealth and vast estate ensures her independence, but she's lonely and longs for a child to love. She has no desire for an affair, so hiring a professional to achieve her goals seems the best option. She's certainly not prepared when her convenient arrangement leaves her questioning everything she ever believed about men and intimacy.

Upon meeting Regina, David finds her cold but soon delves deeper to reveal the pain she hides. The more she tries to keep up her frigid facade, the more David burns it down with his caring and patience. As he earns her trust, David finds himself breaking the number one rule of the Gentleman Courtesans: don't fall in love. Though he's loath to leave her when their arrangement is over, convincing Regina to trust him completely may be too much even for David's substantial charm.

I adored David and Regina together, especially once Regina finally started to give him a real chance. He was so sweet, patient, and gentle, and was just what she needed. My complaint is that I wasn't crazy seeing the hero in bed with another woman in the first scene. I'm not a fan of this and it can be a dealbreaker for me, though I have to say, given David's reputation and occupation, it is rather understandable here and I can overlook it. In fact, despite this being a typical no-go for me, I think here it did lend more gravity to David's depth of feeling when he did fall for Regina. I adored how hard he fell when it happened and I really appreciated how things came together fairly smoothly for these two and with little angst. I loved this book, maybe not quite as much as I wanted to, but it's still a keeper and one of my favorites of the series. I also listened to the narration of this book by Darcy Stark and it was fabulous. As I thought, the narration only improved the experience and I look forward to what he can do with Benedict’s book which he’ll hopefully record as well.

I voluntarily reviewed an audio advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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An enthralling story

This was such a good story. David and Regina were just right for each other. Regina had suffered an horrendous marriage and it had left her with trust problems. David was so patient, understanding and considerate of Regina’s needs. I enjoyed their growing relationship but there was still the matter of Regina’s determination of not marrying again. Added to this is the ongoing drama with Benedict and the mystery behind the London Gossip. I just had to mention Powell, Regina’s butler/footman, who wouldn’t want a man like that on your side! This story was enhanced by the narration of Darcy Stark, who really brought the characters to life by using different voices.

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  • JK
  • 11-10-20

A gift for your ears

YES, I AM TWIRLING AROUND IN A CIRLCE SCREAMING HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK! Taming of a Rake is amazing. Victoria really has a way of making you lose all track of time and become focused on reading this story. I felt so many emotions reading this but all good. From David having fun at the beginning, to poor Ben and his fight with the Gossip, to poor poor Regina. And don’t forget the amazing Powell. So many exciting twists though that is not the right word...revelations? And the ending...I promised I wouldn’t reveal anything but JAW DROPPER! Did not see that coming and darn you Victoria...now I am on pins and needles WAITING for Ben’s story. I love that the men and their wives showed up in this book too. I love that I can listen to this book while I’m in the car, while I am at work, working out and more. It is a keeper and a story I’ll listen to again and again.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. (less)

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Wow! Sensual! Beautiful! Brilliant!

As I opened my audible app to listen, I was ready for sizzling sensual scenes, heart beating quick and to fall in love with yet another gentleman courtesans- but as I listened, I realised it was so much more than that. Just hearing the title from Mr. Starks sensual voice nearly made me die from pleasure!

David Graham, also known as the ‘best tongue’ of the courtesans, leads a busy social life in London when he is called home to Lancashire, to bury his father and to realise just what his future looks like. And gosh... omg! David first scene in Darcy’s voice, cold shower, ASAP!

As the story progressed between Regina and David, all my alarm bells were ringing quite loudly, especially around the way Regina acts, and boy was I proven right. A horrible mistreated woman, and how David made her believe not only in herself but also in love and happiness again. The intimate scenes between David and Regina was So good, made me blush, writhe and desperately need my boyfriend or a very cold shower 😅

And as always Mistress Vale made the couple completely hopelessly blind to their attraction and growing feelings. But thankfully the other courtesans are there to help David to make the gesture of his life. It was so good to see the other courtesans make an appearance in each other’s books. Darcy Stark made this into the hottest book ever, his voice is downright beautiful, so sensual and so good as the “best tongue” or dear David! I was nearly dying just listening to his voice and the way he brought the characters to life so beautifully!

But this audiobook was also a buildup to the next book/audiobook about Ben, and let’s just say that the ending was... Surprising. And can’t wait for the next book and audiobook- especially because of the unveiling of the mystery and bitchy writer of the gossip column.



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As David falls in Love Ben's battle begins

Taming of the Rake Audion Book Review
The Gentleman Couresans #4
Written by: Victoria Vale
Narrated by: Darcy Stark

As with all of Victoria Vale's books, when one reads it they take her words and your mind can you the pictures that her words have created. When listening to her books being narrated by Darcy Stark, you can then add the colours, the background noises, the scents and heightened emotions. That's what good narrators should give you and that is exactly what you get when Darcy Stark and Victoria Vale come together in an audio book.

Mr. David Graham, a coveted rake, a sensual lover and a true gentleman is called him for an emergency, just as the London Gossip is about to expose the names of the Gentleman Courtesans. The emergency is the unexpected death of his father. David expects to find one thing upon his arrival home, what he finds is devastating.

His years as a Couresan were very good to him, making enough money to purchase a small London home and live his life, while sending home money to keep the fields full of crops, the workers homes in repair and the family home up to date. That however, is not the case. Davide quickly figures out the ruse the man overseeing the work and running of the farm, but is just a that much to late to get the authorities involved and the man takes off. Hence a letter to Ben is written about the tires straights his sisters, mother and then estate are in and asking if Ben can find him another keeper.

Shortly after that note to Ben, Mrs. Regina Hurst comes into David's life as his new keeper. She has a short temper, rigid with her rules and is obviously afraid of him and of men on whole. What did her husband do to her?

Darcy Stark takes listeners through the push and pull between David and Regina, while they learn more about each other and finally find they might be better together than apart. I thought I had caught all the clues needed to help give listeners/readers more insight into Ben's upcoming story and it wasn't until I listened to this audio book that I realized I had actually read through one clue and did not catch it until I hear Darcy voicing it. It was a major clue in regards to the friendship of two of our Courtesans.

Darcy Stark gives yet another great performance of another one of Victoria Vale's stories.