Another new release from St. Martin’s Press this week, allow me to introduce The Irresistible Rogue by Valerie Bowman. This is the fourth in her Playful Brides Series, and I’ve enjoyed each title with the intriguing characters and the rapid-fire dialogue.
Each page brought a new twist to this story, reading perfectly without having to know the earlier titles, you can jump right into this story and be transported. Daphne has a new suitor, and he’s asked her to marry him. The new beau is dashing, handsome and utterly suitable. Unfortunately, Daphne is already married, and she has to obtain an annulment from her secret husband to move on with her life.
Rafferty (Rafe) Cavendish is in the employ of the Crown, working with Daphne’s brother Donald, which is how he came to marry Daphne. Now, with Donald gone, Rafe wants answers about his death. With Daphne reappearing in his life, he won’t relent and provide the annulment until she helps him ferret out the mystery of Donald’s death.
Their marriage was in name only, even though Daphne has had feelings for him forever, he never would dishonor his best friend’s sister, or jeopardize their relationship. But, things are different now, they are both doing their best to ignore the obvious attraction, and Daphne does prove helpful in his investigation.
Twists and turns that thrilled or dismayed were plentiful, with seriously clever dialogue and solidly built characters. Rafe’s honor and determination to solve the mystery surrounding Donald while keeping Daphne safe is evident, and his playful nature and good humor keep him from being too stuffy. Daphne is wonderful, she doesn’t always hold her tongue, and her confidence really took a hit when her ‘marriage’ turned out to be a business proposition. She’s still stinging in many ways from that perceived rejection, although EVERYONE (including she and Rafe) ultimately see they are perfect for one another.
Developed and complex characters with dialogue and backstory that completely fits the story that is reminiscent of The Philadelphia Story set in Regency England. A fun, engaging and clever story that fits nicely with the earlier titles in the series, and will encourage readers trying this series for the first time to get ALL the books.