Friday, August 5, 2016

ARC Review: As Rich as a Rogue by Jade Lee

Series:     Rakes & Rogues #3
Pub. Date:Aug. 2, 2016
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablanca
Tantor Audio
Length:416 pages
12 hrs 50 min
Narrator:Elizabeth Bidwell
Source:NetGalley / Tantor

Six years ago during her first season, Mari Powel was deemed the Wayward Welsh by Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly. The moniker has prevented her from finding a suitable husband, so suffice it to say that she does not have amiable feelings toward Lord Whitly. Good thing he left the country.

Mari comes from a wealthy, but untitled, Welsh family. As nouveau riche and a father who works, her family is seen as somewhat gauche among the ton. Trying to overcome the Wayward Welsh moniker, for six long years Mari has tried to be the opposite of wayward. She doesn't speak her opinion, she wears bland and boring colors, she pulls her hear back in a severe bun, and she spends most balls doting on the dowagers. In a last ditch attempt to find the right husband, she has engaged Lady Elinor to help her be more circumspect. I felt bad for Mari that she had to try to suppress all her natural instincts and desires... but I enjoyed when her wayward nature burst forth and she found herself disguised as a bar maid, sneaking around the bad part of town or engaging in other unladylike behaviors. 

Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is the heir to the Earl of Sommerfield. Shortly after he called Mari wayward to a potential suitor, she eviscerated him on the dance floor causing him to leave the country and try to make something of himself in India. Unfortunately, he has come home from India with a good reputation but no money. He also has a plan to take a wife... but he quickly learns that the woman he decided on six years ago now hates him. I liked Peter, though the title of the book threw me off. Peter was neither rich, nor did he act very roguish. To the contrary, he was quite honorably broke. He had grand ideals for the future of Sommerfield, and a strong moral compass when it came to corruption in ton.  

The romance between Peter and Mari was hot and cold... but it wasn't quite an enemies to lovers situation. Mari definitely could hold a grudge, and she acted immature at times... but this was somewhat balanced by Peter's steadfast determination to make her his bride. The wager between the two regarding Lady Ilston's parakeet really took a back burner in the story after the initial hullaboo. Instead we focused on Peter's investigation into his father's activities, which allowed Mari to let down her hair and have some excitement in her life. I was missing some of the humor in this book that was present in the previous installments... but I guess Mari's attempts at being circumspect stifled any humorous behavior. 

I do wish that Lady Elinor's background and family connections were mentioned earlier in the book - I had forgotten who she was and didn't realize it until pretty late in the book when the sailor duke was mentioned. 

I switched back and forth between ebook and audiobook on this one.  The narrator, Elizabeth Bidwell, did a good job with the audio performance. She affected believable male and female personas and gave each character their own sound. So the audio had no problems holding my attention, even when the story dragged a bit.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

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