Rake’s Tell All
Stumped on what to buy the people on your Christmas lists? Notable rakes Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley (A Rake by Any Other Name by Mia Marlowe), Damian Beaumaris, Duke of Cirencester (The Rake’s Bargain by Lucy Ashford), “Lucky” Luke Wainwright (Sinfully Ever After by Jayne Fresina), Benedict DeBreed (Craving the Rake’s Touch by Bronwyn Scott), Ross Thornbury (The Rake’s Handbook by Sally Orr), and Alex Knight (Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer) give us some recommendations on what to get your loved ones.
Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley
(A Rake by Any Other Name)
I give small toys to the children of our tenants during Christmastide, and on Boxing Day, December the 26th; I always gift our servants with something useful, a pair of gloves or a scarf perhaps. I’ll probably give my sisters a book or some new hair ribbons or ivory-inlaid combs. Mother wants nothing more than to have the whole family gathered round. Father’s wits have deserted him, so he’ll be happy simply to receive some plum pudding. At Somerfield Park gift-giving is more about sharing one’s bounty with those who are less fortunate than giving to one’s equal and expecting reciprocation. I find American preoccupation with Christmastide gifts a bit odd. After all, there are so many more pleasurable ways to celebrate…
Damian Beaumaris, Duke of Cirencester
(The Rake’s Bargain)
This will be the first Christmas I’ll spend with my wife Deborah, and we’ll be travelling soon to my country estate, Brandon Abbey in Hertfordshire. Thanks to Deb, we’ll arrive somewhat overladen with presents for all the relatives and friends we’ve invited – toys and games from Mr Hamley’s store for the children, food and wine from Fortnum and Mason’s for the men. Deb and my young sister, Laura, have been busy shopping in Bond Street for gifts for the ladies – gloves and cashmere shawls, and lengths of lace. Of course, there will be the usual presents for the staff at the Abbey: money, and gifts of seasonal food. But my steward sees to all that.
“Lucky” Luke Wainwright
(Sinfully Ever After)
My handsome presence, of course! What could be better? Ha ha! Just a jest, my fair wench. I'm not much for bought gifts, unless there is something that catches my eye for a special lady. It seems to me as if some folk place too much importance on showing off for their neighbors with fancy things they don't really need. I believe in handmade gifts from the heart. And that includes kisses. This time it'll be one my Becky doesn't owe me on a wager.
(Craving the Rake’s Touch)
I like to give experiences because they last forever in a person’s mind, long after the initial excitement of opening a box is gone. When I proposed to my lovely wife, Sarah, I took her to a small property of my family’s that had embodied my hopes for the future so that when I asked her, she would know how sincere I was. For our first Christmas together, though, she gave me the best experience of all—she told me we were expecting our first child.
(The Rake’s Handbook)
Most gentlemen like to bestow their special lady with both a naughty and a nice gift. Of course, a proper gentleman never reveals the nature of the “naughty” gift. Let’s just say this personal gift is a success when Elinor blushes. Then her frolicking dimple created by her smile is my gift in return. But my “nice” gift reflects the most important gift a couple can share. You see Elinor is with child, so I have arranged for the Thornbury Foundry to forge a tiny rocking crib for our new baby. We will have a very special Christmas indeed.
It depends on who gets the gift, now, doesn’t it? For my new wife Fiona, I will travel down to Slough to where the famous astronomer Caroline Herschel lives and acquire a telescope, as Fiona is in love with the stars, a passion she has shared with me. As for other passions, I know a dressmaker in London who creates delicious one-of-a-kind silk and satin nightrails, usually for not-quite-so-proper ladies. I’ll have one waiting for Fiona when she retires on Christmas Eve, so I may have my Christmas present, which will involve the slow and very particular removal of that almost-sheer silk.
To hear more from these rakes pick up their stories!
Lord Hartley (A Rake by Any Other Name by Mia Marlowe)
The Duke of Cirencester (The Rake’s Bargain by Lucy Ashford)
“Lucky” Luke Wainwright (Sinfully Ever After by Jayne Fresina)
Benedict DeBreed (Craving the Rake’s Touch by Bronwyn Scott)
Ross Thornbury (The Rake’s Handbook by Sally Orr)
Alex Knight (Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer)