Allow me to present Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt, the 8th book in her Maiden Lane series, and the second title I’ve reviewed from this series. As a true devotee of historic romance, I wanted to delve in for another helping of this series and narrator, looking for a memorable experience.
The second I have reviewed from this series, I love historic romance and wanted to see if my impressions from Darling Beast were a one-off.
This was Phoebe’s story: at 21 she has been progressively losing her sight, and now is nearly blind. As the sister of a Duke, it has severely hampered her prospects, but her brother, Maximus is a touch over the top in his protective nature. There was a better feeling for Phoebe in this story: feeling smothered, constrained and even a little bit imprisoned, she was willing to try to do more for herself, but there was always the quick descent into damsel in need of rescue to make her a character that I could fully invest in: her passivity only slightly broken by flashes of frustration and claims to want to do more made her eye roll worthy very quickly.
When Maximus hires Captain Trevellion to be her protector, his personality and approach are perfectly suited, if a bit unimaginative for the role. James is protective by nature and his leg injury seems to give him the potential for sensitivity regarding Phoebe’s disability. Yet, James is expected to function solidly even as Phoebe will flutter aimlessly bound in cotton wool. Their relationship was one of forced proximity, and every moment of their interactions had me searching for, and not finding that connection that felt emotionally compelling. I should mention that James was pining endlessly for Phoebe (I don’t know why) and she was slower to return his affections. These two are NOT deep thinkers, and so busy worrying what others may think that they spend little time on their own thoughts. It’s not a bad story by any means, but it was nowhere near the compelling or emotional story that I wanted, and only in the loosest sense of the word Rogue, in that it usually refers to a man, does that fit Trevellion.
Ashford McNab again narrated this installment, and my previous experience with her narrative style was problematic. I wanted to give her another go before I decided that her style and mine will never jive, so I went in to this title hoping for the best. Her distinct voicing for characters was solid – I knew who was speaking, and had no difficulty distinguishing who was who. The male voices were a bit rough, and Phoebe was always squealing, screeching, or far too shrill. The overall narrator voice was usually pleasant, if rather one-note in inflection for emotion. I hoped for some improvements, emotion and a sense that the story was being performed rather than read: none of which I found. I’m disappointed in this listen, and can only say that fans of the narrator may find more enjoyment than I did.
Stars: Overall 2.5 (Rounded) Narration 2 Story 2.5 (Rounded)
Title: Dearest Rogue
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #8
Genre: Historical Romance
Narrator: Ashford McNab
Published by: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Audio
Published on: 26 May, 2015
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 21 minutes
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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.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.