Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ARC Review: Sometimes a Rogue by Mary Jo Putney

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Sarah Clarke-Townsend is staying with her sister, Mariah, the Duchess of Ashton as she nears the end of her confinement. Despite being separated by their feuding parents when they were little, Sarah loves her sister Mariah and yearns for the same adventure that her sister had. (Read Loving a Lost Lord.)

Be careful what you wish for. As Sarah and Mariah enjoy a spontaneous (not permitted) ride around the Ashton estate, they encounter a group of men intent on kidnapping the duchess. Quick-thinking Sarah hides her sister and pretends to be the duchess and goes along with the men.

Rob Carmichael is on his way to visit his friend, the Duke of Ashton, and enjoy his hospitality when chaos meets him: the Duchess is in labor and her sister has been kidnapped. As a Bow Street Runner, Rob is used to such situations and volunteers to go after Sarah and her abductors.

When Rob finally catches up to Sarah, he expected to rescue a damsel in distress -- instead, he finds a woman who is capable, intelligent, brave and loyal. For the first time in his professional career, Rob knows this rescue mission isn't going to be strictly business.

Rob played an important role in Cassie's story. He and Cassie had a very "interesting" physical arrangement and he struck me as a very straightforward, very unsentimental guy. When Cassie found love with Grey Sommers, I was a bit disappointed because she and Rob were good together -- and I wondered: what kind of woman would Rob fall in love with?

Sometimes a Rogue answers that question.

It is interesting that Rob would find love in the most unlikely place: not around his usual circle of professionals but in a quiet, country-bred woman named Sarah Clarke-Townsend. Sarah, who was slowly getting settled in being a spinster, of never finding love -- especially not the same all-consuming, passionate love that her sister found with her husband. But life throws a curve ball and our hero and heroine find themselves escaping from a group of Irish radicals who had planned on holding the duchess for ransom.

Unexpected is the word that comes to mind to describe this novel. The first few chapters of the book made me expect that this novel would have some political undertones (regarding Ireland) and would be about Sarah and Rob's travel through Ireland -- but, when the pair arrive in England, the troubles that dogged them in Ireland is forgotten because there is new trouble for Rob in England. He discovers that he has inherited his estranged father's title and the family's debt-ridden estate.

Rob and Sarah have no time to explore the tentative romance that blossomed in Ireland because they have their hands full dealing with cheating estate managers, distrustful tenants and a disapproving grandmother.

I wonder how the novel would have worked without the whole kidnapping at the beginning of the story, which sandwiches the novel. I wonder if readers new to the series will understand the purpose of initial plot. Between the two plotlines: the Ireland/Escape plot and the Restoration of the Carmichael estate plot, I preferred the latter one. I loved seeing Rob and Sarah in action: their skills and temperaments complimented each other and they worked so well together as they tried to sift through the mess of bills and crumbling buildings that Rob's father and brother left behind. The romance between our hero and heroine develop in a very quiet way -- it didn't grow from kisses, embraces and sex -- but from earnest companionship and work.

I loved the focus, structure and emotional depth of No Longer a Gentleman -- but I appreciated the closeness and friendship that develops between Sarah and Rob -- and the deepening of the bond between Rob and Adam (the Lost Lords).

Overall, this was a great addition to Mary Jo Putney's The Lost Lords series. I am very, very excited to read Kirkland's story, which is coming next. (Kirkland is head of the spy network that Cassie worked for.)

Sometimes a Rogue is Book 5 in the Lost Lords series. It will be released on August 27, 2013. To find out more about Mary Jo Putney and her books, click below:

Disclosure: I received the ARC through Netgalley. (Thank you to Mary Jo Putney, to Zebra and to Kensington Books for accepting my request.) Yes, this is an honest review.


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