The Right Kind of Rogue
By Valerie Bowman
Playful Brides - Book 8
Publisher: St. Martin's
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Reviewed by PJ
Meg Timmons has loved her best friend's older brother, Hart since he took Meg's mother to task for the woman's callous treatment of a young Meg years ago. Intellectually, Meg knows it's a hopeless cause. Even if Hart finally notices her as something more than his sister's friend, when he decides to settle down he will undoubtedly be looking for someone with a sizable dowry to enrichen both his title and the family coffers. Meg may be tolerated in society but her father's gambling has the family in dire financial straits. Then, of course, there's the fact that Hart's parents and Meg's parents, once good friends, now hate one another with a passion. Meg knows all this in her mind, but when Hart's sister, Sarah tells Meg that her brother has finally decided to seek a bride, Meg's heart can't help but nudge her to give Hart one more chance to realize Meg's his perfect match. With the help of Lucy, Duchess of Claringdon (The Unexpected Duchess), will Meg finally capture Hart's love or will she be forced to accept that they were never meant to be?
Viscount Hart Highgate has thoroughly enjoyed his years as rake about town but knows it's time to finally settle down and seek a wife. With his parent's horrible marriage and a past betrayal coloring his views, he intends to make this strictly a business decision. Hart knows what his father expects of him - the man even provides him with a list of acceptable brides - but Hart may have been more affected by his sister, Sarah's marriage to her beloved in defiance of their parents' wishes (The Legendary Lord) than he realizes. When his eyes are finally opened to the woman Meg has become, will he be willing to acknowledge his growing feelings, cast expectations aside, and allow his heart to take the lead, or will that past betrayal leave him unable to forgive when he believes he's been betrayed once again?
Valerie Bowman combines humor, heart, and one of my favorite romance tropes in this newest novel in her Playful Brides series. This is the eighth book in the series and several characters from previous books make appearances, though this book can be read as a standalone. While it's always fun to see previous characters, there are instances where they steal the focus from Meg and Hart. I really like these two together and would have been happy with more time devoted to their delightful banter and growing relationship and a bit less with Lucy and her scheming even though that is an important part of the story. Also, the resolution of the obstacles keeping Meg and Hart apart seemed a bit rushed. While these aren't major issues, they did have an impact on the number of stars.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. Meg, in particular, was a favorite. I loved her loyalty, her straightforward approach to life, her charming response to Hart's attention (hiccups for the win), and the fact that evolving from ton wallflower to belle of the ball didn't change her a bit. While there were times when I wanted to whack Hart upside the head (especially in the last few chapters), most of the time I adored him. I love how befuddled he was by his emerging feelings for Meg, his support and defense of her, and how he wanted only the best for her. I cheered for this couple from beginning to end.
If you're looking for fun, fast-paced, historical romance with plenty of humor and heart, you can't go wrong with Valerie Bowman's The Right Kind of Rogue.
What are your favorite romance tropes?
Have you read any of Valerie Bowman's Playful Brides series?
If so, do you have a favorite book or couple?
One randomly chosen person leaving a comment will receive a print copy of The Right Kind of Rogue. (U.S. only)
VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides and Playful Brides series.