Half way through reading Rogue's Conquest I realized I'd been smiling the whole time. How good is that! I was obviously enjoying this light hearted story with an intelligent wallflower heroine, whose interest in beetles surpasses all else and does rather take her into some stuffy, closed-to-women places. Albeit that Eleanor Townsend ends up in that place presenting her paper as a man. Whatever, when means must!
Of course Eleanor's sister Georgina must take some of the blame. After all she's the one who suggested Eleanor only need disguise herself as a man (one Cecil Townsend) to present her paper on the mating habits of stag beetles to the Natural History Society.
When Eleanor asked Georgina why she was helping her, Georgina delightfully threw out the line, 'You know I’m not good with dull. I’m counting on you to liven things up for me.' Upon which Eleanor mused that she was a strange sort of girl. (By the way, I already have the expectation that Georgina's story will be extraordinary to match her rather different view on life for one so young)
All would have been successful if pugilist, turned gentleman, James MacGregor who had attended the meeting for his own reasons, hadn't picked up on a small tell and discovered 'Cecil's' secret.
And he might have left it there if he hadn't wanted an entree into the sphere around the beautiful Lady Sarah, daughter of the Earl of Lark. James wants to woo and win Lady Sarah.
But there's the small matter of his attraction to Eleanor that keeps getting in the way of his objective.
Eleanor and James' story really appealed to my sense of the ridiculous. I loved the strait forward earnestness of Eleanor, the hoyden in Georgina, Robert Townsend as the best of brother's, and the abandoned and rejected child within the gentleman pugilist, James MacGregor. I also realized I'd missed the first in series and must read it now!
A somewhat whimsical romance that I really enjoyed.
A NetGalley ARC