Author: Kelly Bowen
Original Title: A Good Rogue Is Hard to Find
Release Year: 2015 (April)
Literary Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: England, Regency Era
Series: 2nd of The Lords of Worth
This is one of the best romances I've recently read!
There's a lot here and that's why, while reading, more than once I though 'Here it comes the misstep...', well no it doesn't, there is none! And trust me, considering the story-line, what the author did wasn't easy at all.
A sweet, breathtaking love story, painful pasts, a lot of secrets, a 'Robin Hood' like masterplan, strong women, funny and witty lines, horsesracings, St Giles, eccentricity, chickens...
I've read several romances which tried to do the same, puting up a story full of details, sub-plots and intrigues, and failed, sometime miserably as well. I've previously seen similar premises to the ones laid down by Kelly Bowen, with packs of pugs in place of chickens or with too perfect polyglottal, expert-horse-riders, intelligent heroines, one of those who can do everything magnificently, one of those who irritate me immensely...however, she managed to portrait a resolute, sweet, caring and capable heroine, a woman with her weaknesses and her great qualities, far from perfect and therefore very close to be highly realistic. Hallelujah!
The Dowager Duchess (the hero's mother), was a difficult character to present as much as Jenna Hughes (the heroine), probably even more; she could have easily ended up being way too eccentric, to the limit of unreality, but also in this case the result was magistral.
William Somerhall, Duke of Worth, the hero, is aware of his past wrongs, he knows he has been neglectful towards his mother, but he's also very protective, despite the distance he felt he had to put between the two of them because of a painful past they share. I've liked him a lot as well, because, also in his case, perfection is not contemplated, he's not a knight in shining armour, well not in the canonical way at least; he's not always impeccable in every situation. Being a handsome, powerful and charming duke doesn't automatically make him always fitting flawlessly in every situations, he's not always the undisputed leader, on the contrary, in some occasions, as it should be, he is slightly out of place, even at a loss. This doesn't mean he looks like an idiot, just that he appears as a human being and not as superman.
The novel has a corpus of characters which is one of the best I've ever come across with, the story is fast-paced but not hasty, everything is treated thoroughly, with the right timing and relevance; believe me, this novel has a lot on the plate, so much that the love-story is often playing alongside with other relevant adventurous/social matters but the result is never boring, quite the contrary, everything is in the right place.
I'm looking forward to read the next novel in the series, this author is very promising and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us.
The Lords of Worth series: 1. I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm (Gisele & Jamie)
2. A Good Rogue Is Hard to Find (Jenna & William)
3. You're the Earl That I Want (Josephine & Heath)