Release: June 22, 2010
How long could she resist him?
Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper, who dares him to take on the demons of his past — and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.
Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.
Twice Tempted by a Rogue is the second book in new author Tessa Dare’s second trilogy – The Stud Club Trilogy. The first trilogy was released close together and all books were well received. I, personally found all books to be delightful and am enjoying her second trilogy. I find this trilogy darker than the first one.
In Twice Tempted by a Rogue, the story of the “Stud Club” is continued with us finding more out about Rhys St. Maur. We met him in the first book, One Dance with a Duke, as a big hunk of a man who feels that he can’t be killed. As the synopsis of the book says, “His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield…”. He placed himself in the way of death time and again both on the battlefield and in other situations and has come to the conclusion that his destiny is in Fate’s hands. As his unbelievably abusive father is now dead, and the war is over, he heads home to his burned down wreck of an ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire – a dark and forbidding place. He doesn’t have a happy welcome – in fact the townspeople try to run him out of town. Meredith Maddox, the daughter of his father’s groom, is now a widow and the owner of the town’s only inn. She believes in hard work to get ahead in life – not fate like Rhys does.
Rhys sets himself the task of rebuilding the family home. He starts out alone, hoping that the townsfolk will come around and agree to some paid work. His dogged persistence pays off both with the townsfolk and with Meredith.
This book is darker than the rest of the books that Tessa Dare has written. It seems to match the dark and forbidding countryside. It’s interesting to see the skill of Tessa Dare come alive as she writes a compelling romance completely away from the glittering ballrooms typical to many Regency Romance writers. The people who populate this book are angry, downtrodden and their lives are filled with hard work, suffering and not much hope, yet Ms. Dare has composed an extremely moving story. Her characters sizzle with passion and their dialogue comes alive on the page!
One passage I bookmarked as it had me on the floor laughing was picked up on by several other reviewers:
“Oh Rhys,” she sighed, tilting her head back.
The way she moaned for him…it made his blood catch fire.
”Oh my God,” she cried, craning her neck a bit more. “Just look at the scrollwork on that ceiling.”
”To hell with the damned ceiling,” he growled…..
RT Book Reviews names Twice Tempted by a Rogue as a Top Pick, giving it 4 and 1/2 stars, saying: “In keeping with the previous book, Dare has written an extremely moving story, replete with deep-seated passions, adventure and characters that are not easily forgotten. It is rare to encounter characters with as much angst, but whose depth of emotions and love is so strong it enables them to overcome any obstacle. This is a great book that deserves a place on your keeper shelf.”
Romance Junkies only gives Twice Tempted by a Rogue 3.5 stars but the review is quite favorable. They say among other things, “I enjoyed the sizzling chemistry between the main characters too, even as I longed for the action between them to be sped up a bit. Tessa Dare is great at transporting readers into another time and place and that talent shines in this book. Additionally, details of the murder of the founder of the Stud Club are slowly revealed in this second book.”
Smexy Books gave this book a 3.5 rating also and said some very complimentary things about Tessa Dare as an author: “Although Meredith and I didn’t see eye to eye, Tessa Dare still writes wonderful romance. There is a scene with the simple act of Rhys taking off Meredith’s apron that becomes anything but simple. She just adds something special to her romance scenes that make them so rich.”
I agree wholeheartedly. There is something about Tessa Dare’s writing that just seems to come alive from the paper. The book is like a movie you are watching as your are reading. I don’t think that I can describe how she does that, you just have to read her books and see if you feel the same way I and many others do! This book is destined for my keeper shelf!