Elizabeth Hoyt is one of the hottest authors in romance today, and the eighth book in her Maiden Lane series captures every tender, charming reason for her popularity. Dearest Rogue is a sexy, sweet and emotionally satisfying historical read.
Lady Phoebe Batten is exactly like other young society women, excepting one small difference—she’s blind. In her opinion, a lack of sight shouldn’t preclude an active social life, or even a romance, although she knows the latter is not very likely. Her brother, however, does not believe she can lead a normal life, and he worries about her physical safety. As a duke’s sister, and a wealthy one at that, she is a vulnerable target for all kinds of criminals. That’s precisely why her protective sibling has hired an armed escort to accompany her everywhere. And unfortunately for freedom-loving Phoebe, her bodyguard follows her brother’s strict orders to the letter.
Once a respected officer with the King’s dragoons, Captain James Trevillion is far from the average bodyguard. But when a serious injury left lasting damage to his leg, Trevillion wasn’t fit for a soldier’s duties any longer. Protecting one young woman from danger is hardly the kind of challenge he once faced in service to the king, but Trevillion finds himself facing another kind of challenge with Phoebe—caring for her in ways that are not simply professional.
There is a gently contentious dynamic between the two: Phoebe chafes at what she believes is Trevillion’s stodgy adherence to duty, and Trevillion, although enchanted with Phoebe’s spirit, is also uncomfortably aware of the difference in their stations. But everything changes when Phoebe is nearly kidnapped. Trevillion may not be the soldier he once was, but as he gallops away from the attackers with his charge nestled in front of him, he vows that Phoebe will come to no harm on his watch. And for Phoebe, held close in his strong arms, her escort suddenly becomes more than a stubborn obstacle to her freedom.
Sight is a powerful metaphor in this romance; Trevillion is amazed by how deeply Phoebe can see into him, even blind, and Phoebe is amazed to find that there is more to her bodyguard than his job, and that true passion is hidden behind the solemn mask of duty. The real triumph here is independence, however, as both Phoebe and Trevillion find the courage to fight for their desires and map their future on their own terms. The fact that being together gives them the strength to find their individual voices is simply the icing on a very delightful cake.
Dearest Rogue is everything the reader of a Regency historical wants; it’s funny, fast-paced and has plenty of historical flavor and a romance that develops as naturally as a flower opening in the sun. Fans of the Maiden Lane series will cheer for this couple.
Amy Garvey is a freelance editor and the author of several romances and two novels for young adults.