I had not read the first in The Duke’s Men series, but I had no problem picking up with the story or following the storyline. Sabrina Jeffries managed to draw me into the story early with the clever characters and mystery to solve.
When you add in a second chance romance, between two who very obviously loved one another deeply and passionately, and mix in family and treacherous characters that would rather see them apart than together and the story runs from one high point to another, and the entire afternoon has passed by without notice.
Both Isa and Victor are hurt and angry with one another. Ten years believing the worst of the person you loved is a long time, and their reintroduction is both volatile and telling. Victor is serious and constrained, with deeply ingrained issues from his childhood and from fighting accusations of theft after Isa’s disappearance. Isa has heard little good about Victor, her family was malicious and meddling, and it doesn’t seem as if anyone really had HER best interests at heart.
This story was a delight as we see them learn about each other after all of the years apart, both fighting their own long-held prejudices against one another as the flame between them is obviously burning bright. Heartwrenching as they start to realize all that they had lost in the years apart, the road to together is not a smooth one for them.
Then we have the real villain in the story: the criminal who was the true thief and their continued efforts to manipulate the relationship and further their own position. It doesn’t help that Isa is a master of paste gems: this little inclusion into the story was a wonderfully unique spin, and gave our heroine a solid career and obvious talent, unusual in historical romances and so very welcome.
This is a hard won romance and all the sweeter for it. With some wonderfully sexy and sweet moments, plenty of tension and clever dialog, this is a wonderful read.
Title: When the Rogue Returns
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 12 mnutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night.
Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly 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 passions, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.