by Shana Galen
Series: Covent Garden Cubs #3
Pub. Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca
Once she spurned the man…
When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again—the perfect girl who broke his heart...
Now her life depends on him
Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection—at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London, but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.
I Kissed a Rogue is the third book in the Covent Garden Cubs series, which has followed members of the Derring family down the aisle. While it is not absolutely necessary to read the books in order, there is a lot of character crossover. (I have read the 2nd installment, The Rogue You Know, but not the first, Earls Just Want to Have Fun.) This third installment focuses on the second son, Sir Brook Derring, and Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Lennox. Each story has focused on a couple where one member is seen to be marrying above their station.
This was a bit of a weird read for me, mainly due to the heroine. I was certainly predisposed not to like her. Right from the beginning of the story, you knew she was a piece of work.
When she could stir up rumors, she always did, relishing in the power to damage a reputation with a mere hint of scandal. She had not been loved, but she’d been universally feared.
Lady Lila was not a nice person. She was spoiled, vain, catty, fake, and she treated our hero abominably. None of these things engender feelings of sympathy, respect or esteem for her character. I was almost glad that it seemed karma was paying her back for past bad behavior. She is 25 years old, nearly a spinster, no longer has good marriage prospects. She has a vile stepmother close to her own age, and she seems downright miserable. She straight out admits to her past bad acts, acknowledges that she has not given a thought to our hero since she crushed his heart seven years prior, and she is somewhat unapologetic about everything (at least at first). So I found it really hard to root for her character - I didn't feel like she deserved the HEA. By the end of the story, I didn't hate her quite so much. At times I felt ambivalent towards her, and others I felt she was tolerable but still not a shining star.
Our hero, on the other hand, was (literally) a hero. Sir Brook Derring is an investigator with a penchant for rescuing people. The ladies are quite agog at his chivalrous deeds, though he keeps a cool head and barely pays them any attention. Brook's inner monologue provided good insight as to his feelings of hurt and devastation he felt at Lila's rejection. Brook was an alpha male with the requisite broody nature, and that smidge of vulnerability so you know he's human. I liked him for most of the book... even though I lost my connection for a bit when he was contemplating a romantic revenge plot. Overall, he was a solid hero that was swoonworthy in the sack.
This was definitely one of the more steamy historical romances that I have read. I'm not sure that I attribute it to the chemistry between our couple... but more that Brook seemed to know what he was doing and take absolute control. Those parts were very yummy.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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