The title ' A Most Devilish Rogue' initially drew me to this book. I expected a Regency romp where the hero is dashing and debonair and the heroine is feisty and beautiful and this is exactly what the book delivers but in a unique and interesting way.
After reading the whole story I'm convinced the title doesn't do it justice. The depth of the emotion conveyed by the writer and her clever layering of the conflicts facing our devilish hero George and our heroine Isabelle make it a far more satisfying read than the Regency romp I expected.
I particularly liked her exploration of what Regency society expected of men.
George has an artistic skill which he has spent most of his life suppressing because his father considered it unmanly. He was driven into the life of a rakish rogue by his father's and society's expectations.
Isabelle's fall from grace is sensitively portrayed. It is an essential element of Regency novels that ladies are expected to remain demure and pure until they achieve the point of their existence a good marriage. Isabelle is not the usual Regency heroine because she succumbed to a heartless rake at a tender age and was banished both by her high-born family and the Ton.
Usually the hero saves the heroine before her reputation is lost,not so here. This is a story of pride, forgiveness, strength of character and learning to grasp the opportunity of happiness when it is offered.
What this story lacked in Regency glamour it made up for in emotional battles between George and Isabelle.
The love scenes are sensual and realistic and enhance the emotional depth of the story. When George and Isabelle finally achieve their HEA you really feel they deserve it.
I enjoyed this book which is the second in the series. I haven't read 'A Most Scandalous Proposal' yet, the first book in the series but I definitely will now.
I recommend 'A Most Devilish Rogue if you're looking for a unique romantic, Regency historical read.
I received an ARC from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps