Once she spurned the man…
When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again—the perfect girl who broke his heart…
Now her life depends on him
Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection—at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London, but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.
I like Shana Galen’s writing, and enjoy her more original stories, even when they stretch the boundaries of believability. She has that writing style that means her books are really easy and enjoyable to read. I Kissed a Rogue had its issues, which is why my Goodreads review is only three stars. The language is the one that almost made me see red (more of that at the end of the review), but overall, I’m glad I chose this one.
DESPITE the trashy pop culture titles. It dumbs the genre down when publishers go for silly titles like these.
I don’t know what it is about some authors, how they have a talent for writing highly readable books, while other authors can write virtually the same thing and it’s a chore to get through. Whatever it is, Galen has it.
I like that this book attempts to redeem a woman who would have been a villainess in any other situation. Too many Regency(ish) era books paint female characters as either saints or monsters, and here we have the princess of the ballroom, the nineteenth century popular girl who was selfish and unkind in the past (however, there is still one supremely evil female character).
Lila has grown up and changed, and while she is still imperfect (and historically accurately incapable of functioning without servants) she is trying, and trying.
It’s so nice to see an author recognise women can change in the years from their teens to their twenties. And bonus points for writing a heroine who truly enjoys embroidery. I’m sick of those faux historical romance heroines who hate anything traditionally feminine!
And yay for a fairer-haired hero!
The story does get a little stuck towards the end. There’s a great deal of sex for a great number of pages, all of it very much focused on the heroine’s pleasure, which was difficult for me to believe, especially considering that our hero doesn’t like her all that much at that point. I guess I prefer a fantasy that hovers around believability, not all-out fantasy! I skimmed those pages after a bit.
While I applaud the author for using arse, and for now using garbage where she used to use the Americanism trash, the language and editing in this one are often atrocious. Where an author errs, I’d expect an editor to fix. Some of the language used in the book is not just incorrect for England (though there are Americanisms aplenty); it’s incorrect in every country.
Multiple times throughout the book characters use variations of the incorrect expression ‘could care less’. I know in some places this mistake is commonly used, but it is as wrong in the author’s 21st century Texas as it is in 19th century England. The correct expression is COULDN’T care less.
Other expressions were so modern-day Texas I was pulled out of the story. Do it, already, for example. And story of my life.
And then we have the common crime of changing the spelling of place names. Covent Garden Theatre and the King’s Theatre are real places, and no author or editor can turn a Theatre into a Theater just because the spelling is more familiar to them! It’s a name!
There were lots of other mix-ups, such as the inability to distinguish between everyday and every day.
Shana Galen needs a better editor!
It’s a pity this aspect was so irritating, because it pulled me out of what was otherwise a really entertaining and engaging book.
On an unimportant note, ginger cats are rarely female (due to genetic things that are too boring to explain), so I was quite surprised when the one in this book produced a litter of kittens!
What I have read in this series, I have enjoyed. I like that the author takes us beyond ballrooms and into the “real” world of the era. If there was more care with the language, I’d say I love these books.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.