Release Date: Apr 24, 2018
Series: Royal Rewards
Heat Level: Hot
Lady Rogue is the third book in Theresa Romain’s Royal Rewards series, but can be read as a stand-alone. The Lady Rogue in question is Lady Isabel Morrow, who is a relatively recent widow to a respected art dealer. After her husband’s death, his young cousin becomes Isabel’s ward and is seeking marriage prospects. It is this goal that drives Isabel back to her Bow Street Runner lover, Callum Jenks.
Isabel and Callum had a brief but very passionate coupling soon after her husband’s death, which Callum was investigating. Their affair ended on good terms with neither of them hurt or angry with one another. Therefore, when Isabel discovers that her husband was actually selling forged art work and keeping the genuine pieces, she turns to Callum to help right this wrong before it ruins her ward’s prospects for marriage. Callum is not so keen to perform some potentially illegal activities in order to fix past mistakes, however he has recently become disillusioned by England’s justice system and combined with his attraction to Isabel, he agrees, and so begins their adventure.
I really did enjoy this book for the most part, there was a lot of chemistry between Isabel and Callum and this made for an interesting romance between them, especially due to societal rules about class. It was a fun, romantic, and suspenseful book that kept me hooked throughout the pages. I admired Callum’s drive both professionally and personally to make his life better and to live in an ethical way. I also really admired Isabel as a woman who was not willing to settle for the societal norms placed upon her. There was so much potential for this book to be an amazing one, however one major reason stops it from being so – for myself anyways.
I cannot understand, and will never understand, why authors insist on writing “historical” romances that would be far better as a contemporary romance. I love believable and well written historical romances (Sarah MacLean, Beverley Kendall, Julia Quinn etc.), and I love contemporary romances as well (Denise Grover Swank, Beverley Kendall, Samantha Young etc.). I feel like the only reason this book was made a historical was that Romain wanted there to be a class obstacle between Isabel and Callum – which could also have been easily done in a contemporary novel: the novel could have taken place in say 1920, Isabel could have been the daughter and widow of a very wealthy, old family/old money man and Callum still the son of a grocer and a policeman. This could have worked so well! Making this story into a historical just made it so unbelievable, no respected lady in 1818 would enter a single man’s lodgings unchaperoned and be served tea by his landlady with not even a raised eyebrow – that just did not happen. There was not even a whisper of following even one societal norm for that time period. This to me is a deal breaker – if you are claiming to be a historical novel, please at least attempt to convey societal norms from that time period.
If you can get past the inaccuracies with the setting then give this novel a go, it is a fun one to read! Or just pretend that it is taking place in the early 1900s instead.