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(I voluntarily reviewed an eARC of the book on For The Love of Fictional Worlds)
Historical Romances are my jam – but historical romances with misunderstood heroes are my kryptonite!
Before I move forward; I have to be clear – there will be people who will have consent issues – our protagonist, Charlotte was given a tonic to help with her menstrual cramps by Nora; which is something that she usually does; but this time Nora has tried playing with the ingredients, so even she doesn’t know EXACTLY what kind of effect the tonic would have. And it was under the effect of this tonic, that she somehow ends up “seducing” our hero, Kingston. They do manage to have an intense sexual encounter – I swear it was so freaking hot – but mostly because it wasn’t the hero who doses the heroine; neither does he take actual advantage of Charlotte. But yes, there are triggers are here on consent; so I honestly would suggest to proceed with precaution!
Now, Charlotte is already betrothed to her childhood friend, William – a match that though not passionate is quite safe for her; even if his parents are the most horrid people ever (I swear, I am not exaggerating at all!). She is content with the way her life is going, especially after losing her parents and being almost destitute and now finally living with her sister and her husband, the Duke; until she ingests the tonic and has an encounter with duke’s stepbrother, Kingston. Now she can’t seem to forget the passionate encounter nor can she seem to be able to help herself with the future encounters either (not under the influence of the tonic yet still as hot as the first one *wink*).
Kingston has been in a limbo; ever since he realised that his mother is dying; somehow that putting a stop on his hedonistic ways. He doesn’t know why, but he makes a stopover at his stepbrother’s house – a stepbrother with whom he somehow has never gotten along, but there are some proprieties when it comes to families, even illegitimate ones; and he plans on taking advantage of it. He has no plans to marry, but he does plan to resume his amourous activities, if he could get his attention peaked by any of the women willing.
But nope; his ardour somehow is reserved for the one woman who he SHOULDN’T be interested in nor one who is his type! Charlotte and Kingston’s interactions were sizzling as well as hilarious – I absolutely adored and lived for it!
I love Sophie Jordan as an author usually, but this time it was a bit bonkers and lack lustre.. the story jumped around all over the place and it was hard to get into it, or to believe the premise of the love potion that set our heroine on fire and made her dry hump a stranger in the library a few hours after meeting him..
I didn’t feel that I as a reader, got to see the full potential of Charlotte the heroine, or feel like the relationship between her and the hero Samuel was building.. it was all a bit one dimensional and then suddenly they were in love and they all lived happily ever after.. (which of course I know is the end goal in a romance story, you just like it to build in a satisfying way)
it’s a real shame as the supporting cast and back story had the potential to be so much more than it turned out to be.. the worst thing was, I was really looking forward to reading it as Sophie Jordan is normally so good.. but it almost felt like a completely different author wrote this book.. I personally wouldn’t recommend.
This is another wonderfully crafted story that adds to the series brilliantly. This steamy plot is full of emotional twists and turns which finally sees the two characters who are the main focus of this story, eventually recognise their love for each other.
Just perfect! Great characters, enough story line and other interesting back characters and some very hot scenes! 'S jordan does know how to write a love scene. All kept me reading until it finished and now I have to wait for the next story.
You always get a great mixture of a different plot, sizzling love scenes, romance, and intrigue.
This story was very different than the common historical romance. There are some laughable unrealistic aspects but I wasn't looking for a 100% historically accurate novel, I wanted enjoyment and something different and that's what I got.
This is definitely a must read and can be a stand alone novel. no need to read the other books in this series.
Leider konnte mich die Story nicht erreichen und auch nicht überzeugen. Sie wirkte hastig niedergeschrieben, wie im Zeitraffer. Die Personen blieben an der Oberfläche und somit nicht greifbar. Sogar die Protagonisten aus der vorigen Story (Schwestern und Schwager) wurden nur als Abklatsch ihrer selbst dargestellt. Charlotte war schwer zu mögen. Wahrlich „dull and proper“. Sie hat nie den Mund aufgemacht oder gar Verantwortung übernommen. Hatte keine Meinung. Sie ließ sich von ihrer Schwiegermutter in spe beleidigen und abwerten ohne sich zu wehren. Dennoch soll das die gleiche Frau sein, die unter Einfluss eines unabsichtlichen Aphrodisiakums den Protagonisten nahezu selbstsüchtigt missbraucht hat. Wirklich unglaubwürdig! Das war auch die ganze Basis der Story. Sogar ihre Schwester musste sie erst mehrmals darauf hinweisen, sogar mit einem Trick, dass sie ihren Verlobten nicht heiraten will und sollte. Sie wollte alles nur stoisch durchziehen. Weil sie eben so „unaufgeregt, langweilig und anständig“ ist, wie alle sie kennen und von ihr erwarten. Aber plötzlich, die letzten 10% vom Buch, erwacht sie. Gut für sie, leider zu spät für mich! Das konnte die ganze Story auch nicht mehr retten. Denn selbst in diesem Stadium der Geschichte konnte sie nicht überzeugen. Man bzw. Ich hätte sie am liebsten ständig geschüttelt. Hab wirklich hastig durchgelesen, um das Buch endlich beenden zu können. War erleichtert, als ich es endlich geschafft hatte, denn es liegt mir nicht, ein Buch abzubrechen. Mein Fazit; Absolut enttäuschend. Nicht empfehlenswert und hat nichts mit der sehr guten Qualität der Vorgängern aus dieser Reihe gemeinsam.
FINAL DECISION: I was ambivalent about this book. There were parts I liked a lot, but there were things I really didn't enjoy. Ultimately, however, I believe the book ended on a positive note and it was a nice read.
THE STORY: Charlotte Langley is the practical sensible daughter who has a solid if unremarkable fiance who she has known since childhood. When a tonic made by her younger sister goes wrong and she ends up having a hot and heavy encounter with her brother-in-law's step-brother, Kingston. Kingston has been a rogue, but a recent encounter has altered his thinking. He has been abstaining for months until he is "accosted" by Charlotte. Expectations, reputations and old wounds swirl around this couple as they get to know who the other actually is.
OPINION: This book was really uneven for me. I liked some parts quite a bit, but I didn't feel that the hero was developed enough. I really liked his character, but the heroine was so much in her mind about her choices that the hero was pretty flat for most of the book. By the end of the book, I really liked him and felt for his pain, and that is what saved the book for me. The book wasn't very engrossing and it allowed a surface read about the story which worked for me at this time, but isn't a book that I would love and re-read again and again.
At the same time, I really loved how the relationship between Charlotte and Kingston developed and how she learns to articulate her own desires (both sexually and in her daily life) and how Kingston is "healed" by his relationship with Charlotte. He just wants a family and Charlotte is able to help him get connected.
The final third of this book was really good and I would definitely re-read whole sections of that part. The fact that it ended on a high note for me when the book really begins to focus on Charlotte and Kingston rather than all the other things in Charlotte's life is when the book really began to take shape for me and the characters really began to connect for me.
I wavered on giving this book three stars or three and a half. Ultimately, the finish on the story left me with good feelings about the story and these characters so I gave it the higher rating. It was good enough that I ordered a copy of the book for myself.
WORTH MENTIONING: There is an issue of consent in this book. The author is certainly aware of the issue where the heroine is accidentally "drugged" by her sister, but I'm not sure that the resolution really worked for me. Those who have special concerns might want to read more spoilers about the book. The incident does occur right at the beginning of the book so there isn't much investment in the story if a reader decides the solution doesn't work for them.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE VIRGIN AND THE ROGUE is the sixth book in the Rogue Files series. This book can be read as a standalone. I have not read any of the other books in the series and although it is clear there are characters who appear from prior books, I did not feel I missed anything.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.