This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Samhain Publishing
Released on November 11, 2014
A band of friends with roguish tendencies? A cold, calculating villain to bring them all down? Fiery heroine and feisty friends? Families and pets, oh my? All set in Regency England? I’m there!!!!
This was my first encounter with this author, but I can guarantee that it won’t be my last. I had such a fun time with this book. Unrequited love, danger, elicit passion and humor all made it a wonderful, engaging read.
This was book two in the series. I tripped along just fine even though I didn’t start with book one, but I do think I might have liked it even better in order since there is a large group of characters that are intertwined and all were introduced in the previous book including the villain and his schemes.
The story opens with Lucien Russell, Marquis of Rochester, distracted beyond sanity by his friend’s younger sister. He worries about her knowing the threat from their adversary is real, but it is the attraction he doesn’t want to feel that is his real agitation. Long ago, he crushed her young girl’s heart when she told him that she loved him and since then he has hated her for a mistake she made then, but also made himself unworthy of such a sweet, honorable woman’s love by pursuing his own passionate indulgences with any experienced woman he desired. Ever since his friend’s recent marriage, he has thought hard on his rakish ways and envied the man his happiness.
Horatia Sheridan has loved Lucien since the time he rescued her from the coaching accident that took her parents, but she knows her love isn’t returned. Lucian has been harsh and cold with her since that day she sabotaged his proposal to another woman when she was still a child. Now though, she is treated to him running hot with desire and cold with rejection. She plans a seduction scheme to rival one of her spirited, younger sister’s and she gets in over her head, but still manages to open Lucien’s eyes to the fact that she is a passionate woman to match him. Unfortunately, the danger that stalks her brother, Lucien and the rest of their friends, doesn’t spare her or her family and they are forced on the run to Lucien’s family estate right before Christmas. There, with the help of Lucien’s family of roguish brothers, sister and mother, Horatia finds some allies to aid her, but the enemy is also secretly in their midst too and he plans to break down the rogues slowly and painfully before taking his final revenge.
This story is one that the reader really has to pay attention. There are quick changing scenes, many plot threads, and multiple narrators going on behind the main romance plot and main couple. I had a good time with it, but there were times that I felt things were switching scenes almost in a blur.
The romance plot was interesting for me because I found Lucian’s condemnation of himself interesting. Sure, he got around quite a bit and earned his status as a player with rakish habits, but his thing about feeling unworthy made me feel bad for him. He liked to dominate and restrain women in the bedroom, but has the idea this is wrong and no decent woman would accept this form of passion. I was glad when Horatia proved him wrong. Consensual play was the key and she showed him that she reveled in it and could match him for passion and need.
As to characters, Lucien was one that was iffy for me mainly because as he wrestled with issues of being attracted to his best friend’s sister and knowing he wasn’t worthy, he was pretty ornery to Horatia in the process. Horatia was hurt, but she really had hope. She was calm in the face of his stormy attempts to frighten her and shove her away.
All the other rogues get significant page time as they work on nosing out their enemy’s plots and foiling them and even start their own story threads. There are so many delightful characters that I look forward to seeing them get their books. And the villain of the piece? I love that he is formidable and that he seems to have a strong reason for doing what he is doing. It will be interesting to see what comes of his storyline through the series.
In the end, this was quite the story with its passion, intrigue and humor. Fans of spicy historical romance and a series built around a group of exciting young rogues should give this a try.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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