One Rogue Too Many
I love a sassy heroine as much as the next person, and I have a love of the whole knew-each-other-as-kids trope. I was hoping that One Rogue Too Many would fit the bill with both those things, but unfortunately, only the second worked well for me. There’s a line when a sassy heroine becomes an annoying heroine, and Grace’s lead just kept going back and forth across that line as I read.
Lady Gabrielle has been in love with Anthony Keaton, Earl of Ellis, since they were children, and is beyond thrilled when he asks her to marry him after they are both grown. Unfortunately, he leaves town for four months on the heels of that request, without a full explanation, or any notes in the meantime. He really shouldn’t be surprised to find others courting her when he finally returns to London.
Unfortunately, Lady Gabrielle is quite annoyed with Anthony’s absence, and has decided to move on with her life (although she does not expect to find love again). She is now being courted by Anthony’s long-time rival, Sebastian Thorne, who is entirely serious in his wooing of the lady. And Gabrielle is enjoying the attentions of both, now that Anthony is back. But she does have to make a decision, and it seems to be one between her heart and her better judgment.
I was seriously disappointed with Lady Gabrielle. She’s smart and witty and sassy, old enough to know her mind and a good catch. Unfortunately, she’s also indecisive, catty and I found her to be a bit of a hypocrite. And then, she turns around and solves a set of issues with no effort whatsoever. I just couldn’t get a handle on her. Anthony, on the other hand, was quite wonderful. He’s totally serious about courting and marrying Gabrielle, and does whatever it takes to make it happen, even if it is at his own expense. He’s incredibly sweet.
The relationship between Anthony and Gabrielle is also quite darling. I loved the build-up of their relationship from the time they are young, and that we get bits and pieces of the past as the story progresses, and we do see how things progress. And their relationship in general makes a lot of sense in the story – the two work well together, with Anthony doing his best to get things to work for everyone, and Gabrielle using her wit to find solutions to the things Anthony isn’t able to handle. I’m a sucker for “we met as kids, and now we are in love” stories – they are incredibly sweet, and this one is no exception. The relationship between Gabrielle’s family and Anthony is great – he’s friends with Gabrielle’s older brothers, and is basically treated like an addition to the household.
There were a couple moments, however, that seemed very familiar as I was reading the story. I couldn’t place them, but I could have sworn I’d read something very similar before. How many romance novels have a private art gallery with its own wing (hidden behind a curtain/tapestry) dedicated to erotic art? And of course the hero and heroine go visit (to be fair, it was hysterically funny)? Maybe this is a trend I didn’t know about…
So the story is cute, the hero is actually quite nice (and not a rogue at all, in my opinion), and the romance believable. There was just a bit too much with the extra suitor (when it was more a subplot anyhow) and the heroine was a little much for me. Still, overall, it was fun, and I did enjoy it. If my issues with the heroine aren’t things that would bug you, give it a shot.