Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Original Title: When the Rogue Returns
Release Year: 2014
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: Scotland and England, regency
Series: 2° of The Duke's Men series
Every time I start a Sabrina Jeffries' novel review I promise myself to mention two things: the first one is about her characters, they are all connected through her books, which creates the beautiful imagine of a real society; you can meet a minor character in a romance (not expecting, but often wishing, to meet him again) and then you find him, or her, as a protagonist...I know she's not the only one to do that but honestly she is the only one, who I have the pleasure to know, to design this idea of a real world with many different series protagonists, so well.
Second, I must express the enormous appreciation I have for the tense she uses in her titles, thank you for using the present and not the past! It gives me a feeling of reality and authenticity and especially the feeling that, despite the age in which the story is settled, what I'm going to read is not gone;
I loved this romance, which is not exactly an unexpected news: I am a devoted and enthusiast Sabrina Jeffries' admirer.
I've always thought that for the sequels on a series is easier to catch the reader attention, who normally already knows the protagonist (or both of them) and maybe already loves them, but a sequel, for an author, I think, can also be tricky (see Julia Quinn's Splendid series for example); well, in When the rogue returns, everything is in the right place but I won't hide that I favoured What the duke desires, which I adore, so lets be clear on the fact that the comparison is very high!
Victor Cale, happily reunited with his lost cousin, the Duke of Lyons, is now starting a new life and career in London as one of the Duke's Men (the private investigation agency owned by Dom and Tristan, brothers of Lisette, the newly Duchess of Lyons).
Victor first case brings him in Edinburgh, where he has to investigate a mysterious, beautiful, jewellery maker, widow and a wealthy baron's bride-to-be; but the true reason that leads Victor to accept the case is the suspicious that the widow is, in truth, his wife Isabelle, the one who betrayed and left him ten years before.
Victor is looking for vengeance and justice but as soon as he meets Isabelle, all his strong feelings and attraction fiercely come back in a storm of passion and regret. But when his beautiful and bold wife vehemently asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her after he helped in the theft of the royal diamonds, the whole truth that has separated them for so long comes out, revealing the horrible and cruel plan, plotted by Isabelle's sister and brother-in-law.
Now Victor and Isabelle have their second chance together and they have all the intentions to be a family again but there is a decade of secrets between them which threatens their love...
This romance is so passionated, I've loved all the idea of bringing the protagonists back together after all these years, with two spouses who remember each other in a way that can't possibly be the same they are now, after all the sorrow, loneliness, harshness and difficulties they have both suffered.
I've loved many aspects of When the rogues returns, Victor's strong will to have back his beloved wife and the happy life he only had the chance to taste years before, Isa's growth from a shy and meek young girl into a proud and bold self-made woman, their undeniable and so amazingly described love and passion, the whole Jacoba and her husband's machination, which is very well organised and developed...and many other little things, the language the author used, the timing, the characters (all of them), the new ones and the ones we've already met and probably already love...all of it makes this romance another Sabrina Jeffries' wonderful and highly recommended novel!
"Because I know for certain that my heart will always hear yours."
Buona lettura and Merry Christmas!!!
Duke's Men series: 1. What the duke desires (Maximilian, Lisette)
2. When the rogue returns (Victor, Isabelle)
2/5. Dorinda and the doctor (Percy, Dorinda)
3. How the scoundrel seduces (Tristan, Zoe)
4. If the viscount falls (Dominick, Jane)
prequel: 'Twas the night after Christmas (Pierce, Camilla)
Sabrina Jeffiries' BIBLIOGRAPHY
** I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books) in exchange for an honest review, thank you for the opportunity.