HE THOUGHT HE’D SEEN IT ALL . . .
The rogue’s life has been good to William Somerhall: He has his fortune, his racehorses, and his freedom. Then he moves in with his mother. It seems the eccentric Dowager Duchess of Worth has been barely skirting social disaster-assisted by one Miss Jenna Hughes, who is far too bright and beautiful to be wasting her youth as a paid companion. Now home to keep his mother from ruin, William intends to learn what’s afoot by keeping his friends close-and the tempting Miss Hughes closer still.
. . . UNTIL HE MEETS HER
He’s tall, dark, and damnably intelligent-unfortunately for Jenna. She and the duchess are in the “redistribution business,” taking from the rich and giving to the poor, and it’s going great – until he shows up. But even as William plots to make an honest woman out of her, Jenna will use all her wiles to reveal just how bad a rogue he can be . . .
Publisher and Release Date: Forever, May 2015
Time and setting: London, England 1817
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by Jill
When William Somerhall, Duke of Worth realises his mother’s eccentricities are getting out of hand and her household is in uproar, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Firstly, he moves into the dower house with her, and then he proceeds to straighten out her finances, her staff and her reputation.
For Jenna Hughes, companion to the Dowager Duchess of Worth, this could be just about the worst news possible. Both she and the duchess are, unbeknownst to the duke, involved in business together – stealing from the rich who have stolen from the poor. It’s more recover, recoup, retrieve. But should the duchess’s upstanding and intelligent son ever uncover their swindles while they’re playing Robin Hood, it would spell disaster for those they help.
Though I wasn’t quite as impressed with Ms Bowen’s début, I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm, the first book in this series, this second book is a tremendous read. It’s a lot of fun, yet has real depth. The build-up here to the love scenes is much slower, more realistic (especially considering the era) and I could see and understand the protagonists’ attraction. The tone in the second half changes from the light-hearted relationship between the couple, and also between Will and his mother and other characters, to a more serious one, dealing with the lack of legal options for those merchants and labourers who have been swindled and left in debt by nobles who refuse to pay their accounts.
…the peerage had devised a robust system of laws to punish cheats and debtors while the peers themselves remained largely immune…
Like the first book in this series, the deceptively blithe title suggests that the story will be a light, breezy little number. And in parts it is. But the subject matter of class differences in early 19th century England, and the lack of laws to protect the lower and middle classes from the upper classes defaulting on payments of bills and debts makes this at times a rather grimly realistic story. And as with the earlier book, it does help if the reader suspends disbelief for the duration of the read. It does border on the implausible that the dowager duchess has her fingers in so many philanthropic (and illegal) pies. From her network of helping abused women escape abusive marriages, to defrauding those of her own class of their ill-gotten gains, to her strategic plans for winning at the horseraces. But if you can manage to suspend your disbelief, you’ll enjoy the book.
However, there’s far too much to enjoy here to allow a few improbable plot points to dilute what is overall a very good story. From the characters, to the absolutely delightful dialogue and brilliant humour, A Good Rogue is Hard to Find is a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable historical romance. And I’m looking forward to the next in the series, You’re the Earl That I Want, featuring Will’s sister and his best friend. This one’s highly recommended.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She worked her way through her teenage years as a back country trail guide and ranch hand and spent a year working on a cattle station in Australia. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.
But it was Kelly’s infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.
Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.