Title: Romancing the Rogue
Author: Erica Ridley
Series: Gothic Historical Romance #2
Genre: Regency Romance
Available: 21st March
When the new earl inherits, poor relation Miss Rebecca Bond must wed immediately or be out on her ear. The only man she’s ever loved is summoned to hear the will—but he already rejected her so soundly that they haven’t spoken in years. Yet who better than a rakish Viscount to teach her how to snare a gentleman who appreciates her charms?
Daniel Goodenham, Lord North Barrows, regrets nothing more than the lost friendship with the one woman who treated him like a man, not a title. Fate has given him the perfect pretext to win her forgiveness—even if it means having to matchmake her to someone else. But now that she’s back in his life, he’ll do anything to convince her to choose him instead…
This story was first featured in the Vexed anthology.
Source: ARC provided by the author via NetGalley
This was lovely, an easy Regency romance with a smart but period appropriate heroine and a rather foolish hero who nonetheless sees Rebecca as the real person she is. It’s not overly complicated, and there were a few practicalities that were swept out of the way towards the end, but overall I enjoyed it.
Rebecca is forgettable. After the untimely death of her parents, she sort of faded into the shadows of her great-uncle’s Cornish house and has essentially been living there as a ghost for five years. Even the servants don’t seem to know she’s there – which, if I’m honest, is pure nonsense. Who cleans her room? What about laundry? How could she possibly steal enough food to survive and still be passed off as a ghost?
But details, details. This book is not trifled with such things. Anyway, it hardly matters, because Rebecca’s time as a ghost is over. Which is where Daniel comes in. They were friends as children (although I’m still not entirely sure what Daniel’s link is to this place), until Daniel was rude and ruined everything. He further compounded that by ignoring her in London, for reasons that don’t make any sense no matter how often he repeats them.
Which proves what a fool he is, because these two are perfect together. Rebecca is smart and funny and I loved it when they matched wits. Daniel is likewise intelligent enough to recognise her good points and confident enough not to feel intimidated by her. Their friendship is lovely and while their romance might not be grand and sweep-you-off-your-feet in style, I enjoyed seeing them reconnect.
As this is so short, I did find the ending a bit rushed. Daniel’s earlier reasons for why they couldn’t be together actually made sense – for a change – so it annoyed me a bit that they were pretty much swept aside because love conquers all. I was also left wondering just what he did with his own estate and where it even was, since his whole life was bound up in London…
But again, details, details. If you don’t trouble yourself over them too much, you’ll find that this is a lovely Regency romance in which a second chance friendship deepens into love, all amidst the windswept cliffs of Cornwall. I found it easy, undemanding and sweet, and look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.
Romancing the Rogue is out March 21st.
Visit Erica Ridley for more details.