Publisher: NAL Signet
Release: June 2007
Source: I purchased this book to read and review
Lady Thea Debenham thinks her only problem is a stained ball gown, but in the deserted corridors of her home she meets Vile Viscount Darien; her life will never be the same. She has always been a perfect lady, which makes her perfect for Darien’s purposes. He’s determined to force his way into Society despite his own dubious reputation and the appalling one of his family. Thea is the perfect weapon, especially when she’s the sister of a Rogue. After his time at Harrow school, he hates the Company of Rogues.
The 14th, and some have said, one too many, addition to the “Company of Rogues” series was perhaps written to follow up on a situation the started in Dare Debenhan’s story. Early in Dare’s story he is accused of being a coward and deserting during his service in the war. A particularly cruel comment as he is already fighting an addiction to opium, but an interesting twist in that particular book. An enemy of Dare’s from his school days overhears the comment and decides to use it to his advantage. Viscount Darien is trying to restore his family’s horrible reputation so that his younger brother can marry the girl of his dream. Darien feels that marrying into a well-respected family will go a long way to improving the family reputation. He makes a deal with Dare’s sister, Thea, that he will refute the story of Dare’s cowardice if she agrees to marry him. Thea agrees to pretend to be engaged to Viscount Darien. It is a wonderful starting point for another Jo Beverley novel! Viscount Darien is a hero that needs alot of work to be deserving of Lady Thea. Lady Thea seems to be left at loose ends after the marriage of her brother. Then out of the blue we find the couple having sex in a closet at a ball – completely out of character for Lady Thea!
The bad-boy Darien seems to be tamed too fast in this story to be believable. Much is made over how much Darien hates all the Rogues because they called him names when he was little. I understand carrying grudges, but one would think the Rogue’s crime should have been larger to fit the level of hate it instilled in Viscount Darien! Let’s remember that one of the previous villains drugged Lord Dare with opium and numerous other characters were shot at or kidnapped. Viscount Darien was called names by little boys…..too much of a stretch!
Jo Beverley’s fans may enjoy this book as it has familiar characters from her other books but I feel that this one was added as a way of tying up Lady Thea’s story, and also expounding on the incident where Dare was called a coward. Probably, the Company of Rogues series should have ended at “To Rescue a Rogue”. Although this added a bit to the series, the previous book felt more like an end than this one.
RRAH gave this book 4 stars and said: “Jo Beverly has received great reviews and awards for many of her Company of Rogues novels. There are nine novels in the series, with an additional five novels that are loosely tied to the series, as well. LADY BEWARE is the latest, and it definitely stands up well in the series.”
RTBook Reviews completely disagreed with me. They rated Lady Beware 4.5 stars and labeled it a top pick and voted it 2007 Historical Romance of the year. “This new novel is delightful, vintage Beverley, who continues her Rogue series with a fast-paced, unforgettable, wickedly sensual romance. With her talent for intelligent plotting, finely tuned dialogue and heartwarming emotions, she brings readers a tale of bravery, honor, trust and the magic of love.”