DEAREST ROGUE by Elizabeth Hoyt (May 26, 2015; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market)
HE CAN GUARD HER
Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.
FROM EVERY DANGER
Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King’s dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she’s targeted by kidnappers.
BUT PASSION ITSELF
Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they’re confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier’s hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.
About the author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weeklyhas called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.
The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or email her at:Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.
Lady Phoebe Batten is young, beautiful, and the sister of a wealthy duke. You would think the world was at her feet, but all the duke’s money can’t buy back Phoebe’s eyesight, which has been deteriorating for years. Now, at only twenty-one years old, she’s basically blind, and her dreams of dances, and suitors and marriage are gone. Her brother, Wakefield, only wants to keep her safe, so he hires James Trevillion to protect her. James had to leave his career as a guard when his leg was badly injured. He now has to use a cane, but he can still ride and shoot, and should not have any problem keeping Phoebe from harm.
Phoebe, however, is feeling smothered. She knows she has limits, and there are things she will never be able to do again, but her brother’s protectiveness is like a weight on her. She does manage to talk James into taking her some places her brother wouldn’t approve. On the surface, Phoebe and James seem to have no great regard for each other. Yet, there’s still a spark of … something. While James mourns his injury and lost career, he’s determined to do whatever is necessary to keep Phoebe from harm. While Phoebe is a sweet tempered girl, despite her condition, she still feels a degree of resentment toward James for always being there. When attempts are made to kidnap Phoebe, the rules of the game change. James takes Phoebe back to his own family home, where she’ll be safe, but he’ll have to confront his own mysterious past.
Staying at James’ family home creates a greater sense of intimacy, and both of them find that the spark they felt before has grown to be much more. They begin to explore their passion, and soon find themselves in love. James feels their situation is hopeless. He’s just an injured ex-soldier, actually hired by her brother. He’s a decade older, and feels he has nothing to offer.
I love both these characters. A wounded hero will always tug at my heart, but in this case, the heroine is wounded too. Yet, they both are strong, kind, and caring. Though Phoebe is the one living in darkness, she brings light to James. Her spirit and determination are lovely, as is his care of her. Before they can even think about a future together, danger strikes again, and James has to use all his skills to try to save Phoebe from this unknown enemy.
DEAREST ROGUE is part of the wonderful Maiden Lane series, though it can be read and enjoyed without having read the rest of the books. Although, if you haven’t read the series, why on earth not? Elizabeth Hoyt has created a world of characters and stories that have it all – suspense, emotion, action, pain, redemption, passion and love. I adore seeing friends from previous books make appearances to let me see how their lives are progressing. This is yet another stellar addition to the series, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly!
He cleared his throat. “Malcolm MacLeish is young and handsome—”
“A fat lot of good that does me, since I can’t see him.”
“— a gentleman of high spirits and quick wit and seemingly smitten with you as well.”
There was a silence.
“Smitten,” Phoebe said at last. “Smit-ten. The word sounds like a skin disease if you think about it too much.”
“He smiles every time he sees you,” he murmured quietly. Was he jealous?
“I smile every time I smell cherry pie.”
“You’re being ridiculous,” Trevillion said disapprovingly. “I don’t see why you’ve rejected him out of hand.”
“You sound like a querulous old aunt, scolding children for running through the house.”
“I am older than you,” he replied stiffly, “as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions.”
A terrible thought struck her. “Are you shoving me at Mr. MacLeish because I kissed you?”
“It was my very first kiss, you ought to know,” she said very rapidly, because sometimes it was just better to say the embarrassing thing and get it over with. “I’m sure I’ll improve with practice. In fact, I’m sure of it. Almost everything improves with practice, don’t you think? And
really, if I had a just a bit of help from your end next time—”
“I am not kissing you,” he said with the awful finality of a judge pronouncing a death sentence.
“You know very well why not.”
“Nooo,” she said slowly, thinking it over. “No, I can’t say that I do, really. I mean I know why you think we oughtn’t kiss again: you’re as old as the Thames, you’re below me in rank, I’m too young and frivolous, and you much too serious, et cetera, et cetera, and et cetera, but frankly I don’t have any reasons not to kiss you.” She stopped for breath and to think and amended her statement. “Unless, of course, you’re either (a) a murderer running from the law or (b) hiding a secret wife. Are you?”
“I . . . what?”
“Are you,” she repeated patiently, “either a murderer running from the law or hiding a secret wife?”
“You know I’m not,” he said with impatience. It was a good thing she was so stubborn, because that tone might have put off many another young girl. “Phoebe—”
“So then there’s no reason at all not to kiss me again.” She folded her hands in her lap and smiled.
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