Publisher: NAL Signet
Source: I purchased this to read and review
You may have met Lady Anne Peckworth in FORBIDDEN, being exquisitely polite after being jilted. You may have heard about her in THE DRAGON’S BRIDE, being pitied from afar because another suitor found a woman he truly loved. Anne may have been the perfect lady once, but twice is her limit! Now she’s angry, and to torment her further she has a mysterious, infuriating interloper called Race de Vere to turn her life upside down. And to tempt her to play hazard — with dice, and with her heart.
This book in the “Company of Rogues” series is somewhat unique as it doesn’t tell the story of one of the “Company of Rogues”. The hero of the story – Race De Vere is not only not one of the Rogues but he was picked on during school times by members of the Rogues. The heroine of this book – Lady Anne – not only has a clubfoot but has also been jilted twice by Rogues. Although the ton seems to be somewhat accepting of Lady Anne, she is certainly treated differently and is obviously slated for a life as a spinster when our story begins.
Lady Anne is at the limit of her ability to be the perfect lady when a visitor to the house torments her. Race is concerned about Anne and decides to insure that she will be alright in his own way. He encourages Anne to live life to it’s fullest. He falls in love with her but has no title, no money, and is beneath her station. As the story progresses, Anne decides that third time’s the charm and refuses to allow Race to hide his feelings because it’s her time to win. As was aptly said in another review “Race brings out the best in Anne with his compassionate caring nature. The story line focuses on the growing love and relationship between these two nice people who merit a lifetime of love together though society dictates otherwise.” Although the “Company of Rogues” are mentioned in this story, they are not brought in as real characters as they are in other stories in this series. This one book is set apart as the one where the Rogues don’t save the day.
Again, Jo Beverley attacks difficult subjects and does so with grace. Anne has clubfoot and the only thing keeping her from being a complete outcast in Regency England is the fact that she is a duke’s daughter. Race is a man, who although he attended a good school, is an untitled man who lives by his whits. Race manages to bring out all of the positive aspects of Anne’s personality that no one else seems to see. The interplay between Race and Anne is skillfully done. Jo Beverley creates this book that although it is separate from the true series, manages to skillfully fill in a hole in the series – the fiancee that keeps getting dumped. The man who gets Anne is perfect as this serves as a lesson for the Rogues. Stay tuned for more Company of Rogues fun!
I can’t resist quoting The Romance Reader’s comment about this book: “This story is for everyone who thought it a little harsh for Lady Anne Peckworth to be passed over by both Viscount Middlethorpe (Forbidden) and the Earl of Wyvern (The Dragon’s Bride). It’s also a gift to those who mourn the day that “historical” Regencies stopped being romances about witty, intelligent characters and turned into crime dramas with Regency costumes and kinky sex.” This comment made me laugh. Jo Beverley is certainly not the only author who can write a character driven Regency romance, but she certainly does it well! Although I think you need the background of the previous Rogues books to follow this particular book, it’s well worth find a copy and reading it! Enjoy!
See Jo Beverley’s website for further information on this series, or information on upcoming books.