Release Date: Apr 28, 2020
Series: Rogue Files
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
The age-old debate – to insta-lust or not. If you’re a fan, then The Virgin and The Rogue have all the instant lust you could ask for. In this case, it did and didn’t work for me.
Before we get into the did nots, what does work is Jordan’s characters. As usual she crafts interesting people put into interesting situations. Take our rogue of a hero, Kingston. He’s the typical rakehell, or he used to be. Looking to escape his life for a bit Kingston decides to hide out as his step-brother’s home. The last place anyone would expect him to go since he and his step-brother are like oil and water. Our hero is having a crisis moment, where he’s figuring out that there is more to life than sleeping with woman and partying all the time. Of course, he can’t escape women entirely. At his brother’s home he meets Charlotte Langley, a sister-in law who is betrothed to another. She’s a beauty, but nothing to tempt the likes of him, until she decides to accost him in the hallway.
Charlotte doesn’t do things like maul strange men in the middle of the night and have her way with them. She blames a love potion for causing her to pounce on Kingston, a therapeutic concoction gone wrong. But the experience makes Charlotte question the path she’s chosen, including the man she plans to marry. Charlotte has always been meek and quiet, her encounters with Kingston bring out the part of her willing to stand up, speak up, and take what she wants. It was fun watching Charlotte bloom under the attentions of Kingston.
As for heat, this book has it in spades. Every time Charlotte and Kingston interact after that first kiss its combustible. The insta-lust is Grade A, for those who enjoy it. My hiccups came not from the characters or the story, but there were some gaps in timeline, which I usually can forgive in galleys, but in this case it was hard to tell if the bulk of the book happened over a mere two days or a couple weeks. I also really wanted a few of the characters to get a comeuppance or for Charlotte to tell some fools off, but that didn’t happen as I hoped it would.
There is no real villain of this story, mainly the characters face their own internal struggles of becoming who they should be rather than play to the person other people wish them to be. I enjoyed how Charlotte received support from her sisters to own her choices. Though felt that Kingston got the short end of the stick in the support department. This does make Kingston’s transformation more heartfelt since he must struggle a little more.
Overall, Jordan continues to prove inventive with scintillating encounters and dialogue. This book, while not my favorite of the series, certainly has some bright spots and I still stayed up late to finish this in one sitting. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next Rogue Files to see if the last Langley sister finally falls in love.