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Monday, August 18, 2014

REVIEW: "When the Rogue Returns" by Sabrina Jeffries


When the Rogue Returns (The Duke's Men, #2)
When the Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance

Pocket Books -- Published in January 2014
Ebook, 400 pages
Read in August 2014
Received from Edelweiss

THEMES
Reunited Couples, Secret Baby, Spies/PIs

SUMMARY
Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night.

Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her, after he helped steal the royal diamonds!

Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passions, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.


FIRST LINE
"Darkness had fallen a while ago."

MY THOUGHTS
When the Rogue Returns is the second book in the Duke's Men series which focuses on a group of private investigators (Manton Investigations) run by a disinherited lord's son.  The first book (What the Duke Desires) introduces readers to Victor Cale, a relative of the Duke of Lyons, who becomes the hero of this book when he is reunited with his long-lost wife, Isa.

Spies and investigators are not my favorite themes for historical romance, but I usually enjoy Sabrina Jeffries and was happy to check this one out.  I liked parts of it and found it a pretty easy read.  Victor and Isa were interesting characters and pretty likable.  They were both screwed over when it came to the end of their happy marriage and I really felt for them.

The main issue I had with When the Rogue Returns was that I had a hard time believing Victor and Isa as a happy, lasting couple.  I just felt like so much of the plot was spent on what they were hiding from one another that I didn't get to see them interact enough to make me think they were better together than apart.  I am not a huge fan of the "secret baby" theme and, while I could understand Isa's hesitancy at the beginning, I just kept getting irritated with her inability to trust Victor after he had proved himself.

Besides the reunion between the main couple, there is a subplot involving Isa's jewelry imitation skills and how her family continues to pop up at inconvenient times.  I thought the jewelry element was really interesting and I kept looking forward to those scenes.  It is always fun to see a historical heroine with an actual profession and what problems she faces on a regular basis.

Overall, I did like When the Rogue Returns with its historical details and likable main characters.  I just wish the plot wasn't so reliant on multiple Big Misunderstandings that just got irritating to me.  I do continue to like the cameos from the other Manton investigators and am interested in reading more of the series in the future.

I received a free copy of this book from Pocket Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

3 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. What the Duke Desires
2. When the Rogue Returns
2.5. Dorinda and the Doctor
3. How the Scoundrel Seduces (Coming 2014)
4. If the Viscount Falls (Coming 2015)

CHALLENGES READ FOR



3 comments:

  1. I, too, find Big Misunderstanding plots and hidden truths annoying. Why the heck can't people just talk to each other! However, this series has been recommended to me by several people, so I'll probably get to it eventuallly.

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  2. I've been curious about Sabrina Jefferies books for awhile, but I'm not sure if I would like this one. I don't always like romances where the couple is split up in the beginning and then they reunited later. It stresses me out.

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  3. I liked this one a bit more than you but agree on the secret baby bit. That did get to me as well. The jewelry making was interesting. With you on that again. Neat to see women in a working role. Hope the next one hits the mark with you more :)

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