…yet another Company of Rogues book in my trip down memory lane…
(From Jo Beverley’s website) Lord Darius Debenham caught the attention of readers even from small appearances in the earlier books, and the report of his death in An Unwilling Bride led to a campaign of “Dare lives!” Well, he did, but was discovered frail from his wounds and ill-treatment and addicted to opium. As the author, I’d put him in that situation and I had to rescue him and restore the joy in his life.
My assistant in this is Lady Mara St. Bride, sister to Simon St. Bride of The Rogue’s Return. She has the St. Bride need to champion causes, and shares Simon’s tendency to plunge into action. She’s always thought of Dare Debenham as a beloved brother, and she cannot let a beloved brother suffer. She soon finds, however, that he is simply beloved.
The Rogue that is rescued in this, the 13th installment of the “Company of Rogues” series is Darius (Dare) Debenham. As we know from previous books in the series, Dare was declared dead at the end of the war, but his body was never found. We also found out in a previous book that Dare was found after the war by Therese Bellaire – one of the Rogue’s archenemies because of her dealings with Nicholas Delaney. Therese gave him extra strong doses of opium to keep him drugged and ultimately dependent on opium until she was ready to hatch her devious plan (we read about this story-line in “The Devil’s Heiress” when Therese comes into contact with Hawk) In that story we also found living with her two children of unknown parentage. (something that is speculated about, but we never actually determine the parents of these children).
In “To Rescue A Rogue” we find Dare and his two adopted children living with Dare’s family and he is trying various methods to deal with his opium addiction. In comes Mara St Bride, sister to Simon St. Bride, Dare’s best friend. She has always viewed Dare as another big brother and is a bit headstrong, seemingly always running into trouble. The story begins with Mara trying to find her way home in the middle of the night wearing nothing but a shift, a corset and a blanket, and luckily finds her way to Dare’s house where she is re-introduced to Dare after many years of separation. Mara appoints herself to be the one who brings the “Old Dare” back into the land of the living.
I found this novel less steamy than the others as it dealt with Dare’s efforts to break his addiction to opium. It is, however, a wonderful conclusion for the “Company of Rogues” series proper. (there is one more book that deals with Dare’s sister’s story) Most of the Rogues make an appearance in this book, complete with their wives and whatever children they now have. They show that although years have passed, the friendships remain. The following quote I found in another review and it better expresses my feelings for this series than I could myself! “Jo Beverley has always written edgy historicals and has concluded her “Company of Rogues” with one of the more powerful and compelling reads in a tremendous finale of this exceptional series. The last unmarried Rogue, Dare Debenham’s battle to overcome his addiction was extremely well done giving the reader an unforgettable experience of the ravages of addiction and the tortuous journey one needed to free oneself from the beast. Additionally, Mara was developed as an inspiring and outstanding heroine whose strength of purpose and determination in supporting Dare through his addiction and battling for his love made for an unforgettable heroine.” The Library Journal declares “To Rescue A Rogue” to be “An exquisitely rendered story” and the Romantic Times states, “…well-crafted, delicious and wickedly captivating.”
I find myself agreeing with the majority. This book shows off Jo Beverley’s skills as one of the premier Romance Novelists of our time. “To Rescue a Rogue” has to be my most favorite book of Jo Beverley’s.
To Rescue a Rogue can be purchased from Amazon