A lad from the streets meets a lord of the manor...
When Crimean war veteran Sir Alan Watleigh goes searching for sex, he never imagines the street rat he brings home for one last bit of pleasure in his darkest hour will be the man who hauls him back from the edge of the grave.
A night of meaningless sex turns into an offer of permanent employment. As Alan’s valet, Jem offers much more than polished boots and starched cravats. He makes Alan smile and warms his bed. Just as the men are adjusting to their new living arrangement, news about a former soldier under his command sends Sir Watleigh and Jem on the road to save a child in danger.
The journey brings them closer together as they travel from lust toward love. But is Alan's love strong enough to risk society discovering the truth about him?
The Gentleman and the Rogue is a well-written, absolutely romantic story about the relationship between two men from different backgrounds. Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon provide readers with a fascinating historical setting, richly detailed characters, plot twists, and, of course, plenty of romance.
The two main characters (Jem and Alan) are completely fleshed out and seem like they could jump off the page. I was especially impressed with the characterization of Jem, the street rat turned valet. His past is full of strife, but he never seems to let that effect his overall outlook on life. It was extremely refreshing to read about someone who takes what life throws at them in stride with little complaint.
I could also see how someone like Jem could be perfectly suited for a character such as Sir Alan Watleigh. Sir Alan has had a rough time lately with returning to England after the Crimean War so he decides to take his own life, but first he will indulge himself in forbidden pleasure. I found it entertaining and gratifying to watch Alan slowly open up to Jem and the readers about his feelings. He is a character that does not wear his heart on his sleeve, but he is still worthy of love and respect.
As I mentioned earlier, the romance between Jem and Alan is sweet and sensual. The relationship starts out as pure lust, but eventually turns to one where neither character can imagine life without the other. I thought the development was realistic and poignant especially as Alan began showing Jem his true feelings.
I also loved the plot that Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon used to showcase Alan and Jem's growing romance. Sometimes I find the subplot in historical romances to be contrived or anticlimatic. This was definitely not the case in The Gentleman and the Rogue. The search and rescue of an innocent child was harrowing and kept me turning pages until the conclusion. It is very difficult to balance out a suspense plot with a romance, but Dee and Devon do it wonderfully.
In conclusion, I found The Gentleman and the Rogue to be a highly entertaining and romantic historical full of vibrant characters and plenty of suspense. I look forward to reading more of Dee and Devon's works especially if they continue to write such wonderful historical romances.