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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Rogue's Pleasure by Hope Tarr

A Rogue's Pleasure by Hope Tarr
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (274 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Miss Chelsea Bellamy is desperate

Her beloved brother is being held for ransom! Impoverished after the deaths of her parents, Chelsea doesn't have five shillings, never mind the five hundred pounds the kidnappers are demanding. With no one to turn to, she resorts to highway robbery to raise the sum.

Lord Anthony Grenville is bored

Viscount Montrose's coach is overtaken by a highwayman—who turns out to be no man at all! Anthony hasn't been this intrigued by anything, or anyone, since his return from the war. And when he catches the flame-haired thief breaking into his London house to further fill her coffers, he comes up with a plan to rescue her brother—and resolves to seduce her into his bed!

Their passion is mutual

Chelsea accepts Anthony's aid, but she'll never become his mistress—even if the thought of it fills her veins with liquid fire...

Recently orphaned, responsible for her brother and their financially embarrassed estate, things can't get worse – can they? Unfortunately they do and for Chelsea it's the last straw when her brother is kidnapped and she has to come up with a five hundred pound ransom.

Reluctant to accept the Squire's offer of a loan if she will be the collateral, Chelsea takes to highway robbery – and meets Anthony Grenville, né Antonious Ignatius de la Fontaine Grenville, seventh Viscount of Montrose. Fortunately she has Jack, a faithful servant, with her. Chelsea is forced to London to either rob the rich, or see her brother die if she cannot raise the ransom. Here her path and Anthony's cross once more and both feel the strong attraction for the other.

The barrier which stops them coming together is Anthony's fiancée. He has arranged a marriage of convenience which commits him to partnership without love. Can Chelsea and Anthony turn away from the ever increasing strength of their attraction for one another?

I do like Regency novels. This one followed the usual pattern of man and woman unable to come together due to previous commitments. Then it took an unusual path. Several internal thoughts and hot steamy scenes brought the characters to life. No insipid Regency miss here. Chelsea proved to be a feisty young lady, willing to follow her own path to rescue her brother and stay true to her own moral code. At times she wavered, but this only made her more human.

Anthony on the other hand, could have been a male chauvinist from the present age, with perhaps a little more "gentleman" in him. At first he was merely a product of the Regency age and his upbringing, but as he and Chelsea became closer he had to fight the urge to act on his instincts and the gentleman side of him came to the fore.

This book is fast moving and grabs the interest. More scintillating than the average Regency novel, it has far more life and vibrancy than is usually associated with this genre. Definitely a good read if you want something a little more upbeat.

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