Desert Isle Keeper
A Rogue of Her Own
How much do I love reading anything by Grace Burrowes—bring ‘em on: novellas, stand-alones, her continuing series. All of the above! When I read A Rogue of Her Own, the fourth and last of the Windham Brides series, my brain was flooded with the phrase, 10 Things I Love About Grace Burrowes. Without further ado, here’s my list: all examples are from A Rogue of Her Own. Feel free to add your own.
Marriage for marriage’s sake is never the desired outcome.
Charlotte Windham is in a precarious situation. She keeps turning eligible (and not-so-eligible) men down when they propose to her. Charlotte is smart enough to know, however, that someday her friends and family may not be enough to “protect her from ruin,” or provide a fulfilling future.
Did she even want that protection? Her sisters were all married, and their reputations were safe.
For Charlotte, ruin was becoming perilously hard to distinguish from rescue. She had the odd thought that none of her family would understand her reasoning, but Lucas Sherbourne—blunt, common, ambitious, and shrewd—would grasp her logic easily.
Often a Burrowes’ couple rescue each other.
By that I mean that I mean that they agree to consider marriage because they need something the other can give. In the early days, often their relationship is in a tenuous chrysalis state.
The heroes are distinct individuals: there’s nothing of the cookie-cutter about them.
Like Lucas Sherbourne’s love for fashion—tempered by the acerbic advice of his valet. He reminds me of Lord Francis Kneller, the hero of Mary Balogh’s The Famous Heroine. Lord Francis is not a proponent of Beau Brummel’s advice to wear black and eschew colorful costumes. Nor is Lucas Sherbourne.
He loved fantastically embroidered waistcoats for town attire—the only spot of color gentlemen’s fashions allowed—but his valet had advised moderation.
“I hate moderation,” Sherbourne muttered, tilting his hat a half inch on the right. “Better.”
The ladies are not shy violets. See how Charlotte maneuvers her first kiss with Lucas.
As her hand meandered over his chest, Sherbourne touched his lips to hers. She neither startled nor drew back, so he repeated the gesture, brushing gently at her mouth.
Charlotte reciprocated, like a fencer answering a beat with a rebeat.
I adore the deviously tricky antics of the sensually fulfilled older couples.
I’m referencing their Graces of Moreland, Charlotte’s aunt and uncle. It’s not just married sisters and brothers who live in connubial bliss. The Duchess of Moreland is “a surpassingly lovely blonde of mature years, her proportions those of a goddess, her social power greater than the sovereign’s.” While Lucas pays a visit to Charlotte, their Graces relax on “their cuddling couch” while plotting Charlotte’s future. Kisses are exchanged.
The innermost goals and desires of husbands and wives in BurrowesLand are altruistic.
You’ll have to read A Rogue of Her Own to see how this plays out—explaining would reveal too many spoilers.
Couples marry a spouse that allows them to bloom (even if they don’t quite see it that way initially).
Charlotte shares with Lucas that if she remains a spinster, she’ll “have independent means” and the “freedom to occupy” her time in whatever way she chooses. Lucas disabuses her of this delectable vision, pointing out her likely reality.
“Your independent means,” he said, “will likely be a charitable trust arranged by your papa, brothers-in-law, or your uncle. Those funds will be controlled by the trustees of their choice, not yours, and once your male relatives are gone, you will be completely at the mercy of the trustees.”
After this description of her bleak future, Charlotte accuses Lucas of a lack of delicacy, and he agrees:
“Precisely. I lack delicacy, which is why you should marry me.”
Burrowes sporadically uses “modern” language which always makes an impact.
Lucas has a ready answer for Charlotte when she asks him why he wants to marry her. Note the word he uses.
“Because you are fierce. Your children would be fierce, and if they’re to help shape the future of a realm threatened by a profligate imbecile on the throne, they’ll need to be fierce.”
There’s honest banter between men: they are not props but characters in their own right.
See how the Marquess of Radnor spars with his brother-in-law, the Duke of Haverford (the Duke, incidentally, is married to Charlotte’s sister Elizabeth). As usual, Haverford is bellyaching about Sherbourne’s mine.
“I invested in this mine because I’ve made money with him on two previous projects, though I resorted to intermediaries to handle the details.”
“You’re not suggesting I invest in the mine?”
“If you’re not an investor, and you know nothing about mining, then what in blazes are you doing here?” Radnor’s tone was mild, but then, his tone was always mild when he was delivering a coup de grace. Only fools underestimated Cedric Radnor.
Fools and, occasionally, best friends.
Solutions to the marriage-problem (for there always is one or the stories would be very dull indeed!) are win/win and often surprising (see #6 for the lack of examples).
A Rogue of Her Own is a delightful culmination to Grace Burrowes’ Windham Brides series. Particularly fun is spotting the tropes that are unique to Burrowes oeuvre.
review by Janet Webb