Monday, January 20, 2014

When the Rogue Returns (The Duke's Men #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night.

Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her, after he helped steal the royal diamonds!

Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passions, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.

Type: Historical Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5 (though not much)
Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

I just love those second chance romances. And man alive if there's anyone who deserves a second chance it's Isa and Vicor who had their young marriage ripped apart by malicious family members as the truth was twisted and deceptions thrown in their way and who have suddenly found themselves faced with the one person they thought they'd never see again. The one person they think is responsible for changing everything by stealing a set of royal jewels years earlier from the jeweler they worked for and ripping them apart.

I really enjoyed both Isa and Victor. These two had so many things going against them. For ten years they've thought the worst of each other, forged their own lives, survived and flourished even though they continued to pine for each other despite thinking they'd been abandoned and betrayed by the other. I mean. That's a huge hurdle to overcome. I loved that they had to work for their happily ever after and deal with their insecurities and fears because of the past. Yes, they had doubts crop up now and again but they pushed through those and it made the romance even more special.

They were good together once they worked through their past. I loved their interactions. The adjusting they had to do as they explored how they'd each changed over the years, the steamy moments and the heartbreaking ones as they realized all they'd lost over the years, the sweet ones and the funny ones too. I just loved this scene and her reaction there at the end...
"All these years alone, you never touched yourself intimately? Never thought of me as you put your hand inside your nightdress--"

"Victor!" she protested, though the thought of having him watch her while she did that made her decidedly hot and bothered.

He simply arched an eyebrow, and she knew she couldn't lie to him. "If..if I did happen to do it, once or twice, it doesn't mean I could... that I would ever..."

"Do it for me?" A wicked look of knowing crossed his face. "Not even a little?" When she swallowed hard, he added, "I'll do it for you, if you'll reciprocate."

That really got her hot and bothered. "All right." The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them.

But his smile of satisfaction kept her from taking them back. He grabbed his aroused shaft and began to stroke, harder and more roughly than she would ever have dared to do. She watched, fascinated, as his flesh lengthened and grew darker.

"You too," he rasped, nodding to her hand.

"Oh, right."
While most of the story is that of Isa and Victor feeling each other over the theft and getting to know one another again there's some nice excitement as the real criminals come back into their lives, stir up trouble and once again try to pull them apart. There were a couple nail biting scenes that had me holding my breath and I really enjoyed that slight little edge to the storyline. All in all, When the Rogue Returns was a really nice historical romance. I'm really looking forward to seeing who falls next and meets their match.

Have you read Jeffries? Have a favorite?
Have a favorite second chance romance?

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