When The Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Duke’s Men (# 2)
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Digital
Source: Book was provided by NetGalley for review.
They are the Duke’s Men: an investigative agency born from family pride and irresistible passion, risking their lives—and sometimes their hearts—as they unravel shocking deceptions and scandalous transgressions!
Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talent for creating exquisite imitation jewels in a criminal way. But there’s no denying that Isa’s handiwork was used in the brazen heist of the Dutch royal family’s diamonds—after she disappeared into the night.
Ten years later, still reeling from her betrayal and enraged that her duplicitous side was so undetectable, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron’s mysterious bride-to- be. Simple enough—until the “fiancée” proves to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring young widow.
No longer the meek and mild girl he once knew, the bold woman vehemently asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her after he helped steal the royal diamonds! Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passion, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other in order to bring the real thieves to justice—without getting burned themselves.
Review: I’ve long been a fan of Sabrina Jeffries. Her voice is such that the minute you read the first page, you know it’s one of her historicals.
This book took me a bit to get into but mainly because there was lot of backstory, backstory that I wasn’t quite sure I was into. The characters were really young and there’s something about a lovesick hero willing to do anything for the heroine that makes me think he’s not strong.
Once the story actually starts to unfold we get to see inside the characters heads more. Isa, thinking the love of her life not only betrayed but abandoned her, moves on in the only way she knows how. She makes fake jewels and sells them at a jewelry store, quickly making a name of herself and cursing her heart for falling for Victor’s lies all those years ago.
Victor, cousin to a duke, now works as an investigator for the crown. Rumors are swirling about a certain woman who may be pulling the wool over the earl’s eyes. He goes to investigate, sure that it’s his wife, and discovers that she is in fact alive.
They both think each other is responsible for their own misery and neither one of them are willing to let the other forget about the betrayal.
Isa’s character was very strong, but a bit too stubborn for me. I mean, yes, her sister and brother-in-law took care of her but was she really never suspicious of their actions? If they convinced her to commit a crime in the first place then whats stopping them from lying to her in order to obtain money? It was frustrating that the one man she should have trusted with everything she didn’t.
I fell in love with Victor’s character. He was actually quite patient with Isa all things considering and brilliant when it came to finding a way to not only put the blame of the stolen jewels on someone else, but saving everyone in the end.
All in all it was a very well done steamy historical romance. I was able to connect with the characters. Would I read it again? Probably not but I”ll for sure check out the next one in the series.