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They are the Duke’s Men: an investigative agency born from family pride and irresistible passion, risking their lives—and sometimes their hearts—as they unravel shocking deceptions and scandalous transgressions!
Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talent for creating exquisite imitation jewels in a criminal way. But there’s no denying that Isa’s handiwork was used in the brazen heist of the Dutch royal family’s diamonds—after she disappeared into the night.
Ten years later, still reeling from her betrayal and enraged that her duplicitous side was so undetectable, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron’s mysterious brideto- be. Simple enough—until the “fiancée” proves to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring young widow.
No longer the meek and mild girl he once knew, the bold woman vehemently 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 passion, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other in order to bring the real thieves to justice—without getting burned themselves.
*I received a free ARC of When the Rogue Returns from Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
When the Rogue Returns is a great historical romance novel, filled with action, suspense, some hot scenes and – YAY – no quivering virgins! Victor and Isa are both very stubborn, and extremely protective of their hearts, which is completely understandable as their stories unfold. The Duke’s Men series is becoming one of my favorite historical romance series, both because it is a little unconventional and because the characters are so well done I want to hang out with them for real!
Victor really wants to work with the Duke’s Men, and he is afraid they won’t let him, so when they propose to send him to Edinburgh for a case that’s seemingly very straight forward he goes for it. When the Rogue Returns is full of surprises, and it’s such a pleasure to read. Both the story and the plot are very well done, and the characters are simply awesome. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most is both that Isa isn’t a virgin – she has a child, and pretends to be a widow – and she also is working outside of her home. Making jewelery out of strass and other cheaper metals for people who can’t afford diamonds and pearls, she has a nice niche with her partner in Edinburgh. She is also a very strong woman, who protects her daughter and her personal life from the gossip mills.
When the Rogue Returns really is about Victor as well, though, because Isa has thought all these years that he abandoned her and never really cared about her at all. Victor is a very bitter man, and that’s all because of Isa’s sister and brother-in-law. Their manipulative skills are astounding, and it’s easy to see how both Victor and Isa could fall for their intricate tales and dance to their tune. As Isa and Victor get to know each other again, their passion is still there, and they realize that nothing that happened that one night was the way it seemed.
The other characters that show up in When the Rogue Returns are well fleshed out as well, and there are several I would really enjoy to read more about! The young baron, Tristan of The Duke’s Men, the brazen young Lady who weren’t afraid to follow the men chasing a thief and others had enough personality to make for a full story, and I was really intrigued. The writing is really good, and the pace is pretty fast most of the time. I can’t recommend this story enough! If you enjoy historical romances, you really should try out this series. The female characters aren’t your typical delicate flowers, and to me, that makes When the Rogue Returns that much more enjoyable.
His heart was hammering, and his blood had chilled. He’d thought he’d have more time before he came face-to-face with her. He’d assumed he would get a chance to see her without being seen, so he could be sure it was her. Then he’d have time to figure out her game before he revealed his presence.
A groan rose in his throat. He’d always remembered them as a melting brown that turned him soft inside. Now they were a mysterious and haunting brown that made him hard – everywhere.
This very moment. She’d been secretly craving this ever since he’d found her. Blast him for having such a hold over her. He was a randy rogue and a silver-tongued devil, and she didn’t care – as long as he was her rogue, her devil.
But as she rode toward town, sore in every muscle, she couldn’t help but smile. It had been a long time since her body had been so well used, but she couldn’t regret it.