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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Monday, January 13, 2014

'Rogues were like insects!'

The Rogue Returns (Nottinghamshire Series) by Leigh LaValle

An amusingly different remark about rogues muttered at one stage by Lady Helen Gladstone.
Admittedly not the normal declaration rogues inspire. If I hadn't already suspected it, this comment alone alerted me to consider that this novel was shaping up to be way more than a 'common garden variety' regency romance.
Helen finds herself literally digging for gold, making a mad rush across the mountains to secure a fortune, pursued by dangerous men, traveling with a devasting rogue, and being assuaged by feelings she had never before experienced.     
Roane Grantham is a wonderful hero. Magnificent! is the word that frequently echoes across Helen's thoughts. Compassionate, damaged, hiding dark secrets, reflective, truly magnificent, and terrified by the treacherous desire he feels for this woman he refers to as 'buttercup.'
As Roane comes to appreciate, Helen is 'a woman who has everything to loose...A women with strength of spirit, [and ]a steel will.' 
Helen is stubbornly and fearfully determined, searching for the much needed gold her dead brother has hidden, in order to restore her family's fortune. She is achingly attracted to the rogue she is traveling with, more so than she wants to admit.
The air between them is totally electric. Mmm, like a storm breaking on a sultry summer's eve!
Helen is quite endearing as she clambers aboard a huge mare, clinging to the little things that make her feel confidant and in charge. Like looping her ridiculous tiny purse around her wrist before riding off across the english countryside to ford rivers and climb through mountainous passes, all the time declaring, 'A lady travels with a reticule.' A wonderful cameo!
And Roane? Roane is so 'much more than a rogue.  Much more.'
A fast paced, very different and enjoyable read!
I am definitely off to catchup with the rest of LaValle's writings!

A NetGalley and author provided ARC in exchange for an impartial  review

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