Source: I purchased this book to read and review
Tristan Tregallows, Duke of St. Raven is playing the highwayman. His plan is to hold up one coach in order to prove that a man is prison is not the infamous Le Corbeau. However, his target coach is carrying vile Lord Crofton and an obviously innocent lady. Tris has to rescue her, no matter how reluctant she is. And then, of course, he has to help her on her quest, especially as it will take her to an orgy. He is, he assures her, an expert guide to orgies.
Our next story in the “Company of Rogues” series, St Raven, begins with our heroine, Cressida Mandeville, in a carriage with the villain of the story – Lord Crofton – on her way to hopefully recover a hidden collection of gems in order to save her family from ruin. Tristan Tregallows, Duke of St Raven, the hero of the story, who is trying to clear his half-brother’s name by pretending to be a highwayman, holds up the coach carrying Cressida. When he recognizes, Lord Crofton, Tristan decides he has to save the innocent Cressida from the clutches of the lecherous Lord Crofton. There goes Cressida’s plan to save her family and she is as mad as a wet hen! Once Tristan understands why Cressida was with Lord Crofton he agrees to step in and help her find her family’s fortune by taking her to Lord Crofton’s orgy – he assures her that he is an expert guide to orgies! Our story is off to an auspicious start! Tristan and Cressida work together to try to find and recover the family cache of gems and of course, fall in love as the story progresses.
I found Jo Beverley’s handling of Cressida, an innocent young lady of the era, attending an orgy to be a fascinating read! I thought the sensual environment and the presence of the hero and heroine to be tastefully and skillfully woven into the fabric of this latest story by the author. Tristan, who starts the story as a rather arrogant, over-indulged nobleman grows into a thoughtful partner for Cressida. Cressida moves from being an innocent impulsive girl to be a perfect candidate to be Tristan’s duchess.
Jo Beverley always seems to be telling a story with some unpleasant sides to it. Unlike many authors, the characters that she generate are in unpleasant positions. She make me thankful for woman’s rights and other conveniences that are available to us today. She does a wonderful job of creating characters you can visualize in your head. They are three dimensional and you either like them or dislike them, but they appear real and hold true to character. She does an outstanding job also of creating a villian, as she does in this story. She also makes us laugh at times, cry at other times, and cheer, as the hero and heroine triumph over the villain. Yet another great addition to the “Company of Rogues” series.
I love what the reviewer for The Romance Reader had to say about St Raven. She gave the book 4 out of 5 hearts and said: “Have you ever had this experience? You receive a much-anticipated gift, only to be disappointed because it wasn’t what you hoped for. Then, several hours later, you realize that what you actually received was much better than what you anticipated. That’s how I felt, reading St. Raven.”
For more information on this series or future books go to Jo Beverley’s website.