Monday, July 19, 2010
Spolight Review: Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare
Buckleigh-in-the-Moor, Devonshire, England - Nineteenth Century
Rhys St. Maur, the new Lord Ashworth, isn’t sure how he survived the war, but here he is back where he grew up, where the awful memories lie, and where Meredith Lane lives. As a member of a private gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club, Rhys has also just discovered that a fellow member has been brutally murdered. Bone tired and unsure of what the future will bring, Rhys steps into the Three Hounds Inn and back into the lives of the villagers who are not so happy to see him. Even Meredith seems shocked and, although now a widow, doesn’t seem to believe he’s back for good. It seems he has a lot to make up for after his late father’s desertion.
Meredith Maddox, nee Lane, is stunned when Rhys appears in her inn. For fourteen years, she’s kept track of his war escapades and dreamed of seeing him again. Since the devastating fire at his family estate that permanently injured her father and changed the lives of the villagers, Meredith has wondered if she’d ever set eyes on Rhys again. And here he is, big as life, and announcing to the room that he’s going to rebuild his family home and settle back in their lives. Oh, and marry Meredith. Meredith scoffs at both of these pronouncements. She has struggled for years to make the inn a comfortable stop for the coaches that rumble through on the main road, and her plans will not be shaken by Rhys’s sudden arrival. Or will they?
Hot on the heels of Rhys is fellow Stud Club member Julian Bellamy, who brings a young prostitute with him who witnessed their friend’s murder. He wants to keep her safe and hopes to enlist Rhys in helping find the murderers. Meredith kindly gives Cora a job at the inn as she tries to stifle her feelings for Rhys who has begun to try to wear her down with his constant talk of marriage. But Meredith has something to hide about her relationship with another man, and she is going to have to be stronger than Rhys. Somehow.
TWICE TEMPTED BY A ROGUE is a poignant story of two people with a long ago connection and the inability to forget things in their past. Rhys feels the deaths of every one of his men who perished on the battlefield, and cannot fathom how he is still alive and they are dead. When he sees Meredith for the first time in years, he is instantly aware of his need for her. Meredith, on the other hand, lives for her inn, and for years, has only thought of Rhys while in the arms of other men who were temporary escapes. How can these two heartsick souls overcome their secrets?
An excellent cast of secondary characters, a mystery, and more than a few surprises make TWICE TEMPTED BY A ROGUE a super summer read. I look forward to Julian’s tale next, THREE NIGHTS WITH A SCOUNDREL.
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