Happy Release Day!!!
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
HE CAN GUARD HER
Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.
FROM EVERY DANGER
Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.
BUT PASSION ITSELF
Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.
When the book starts, Lady Phoebe is shopping with her bodyguard, James Trevillion. He's a former dragoon officer whose badly injured leg caused him to find another line of work and he's been her guard for about six months. Guarding the lady has been an easy job so far. That's when he notices four thugs coming at them, in broad daylight, no less! Keeping his cool, he tosses Phoebe on a horse and they gallop away. Instead of falling into a fit of vapors, Phoebe laughs at the speed of the ride. It's been so long since she was on a horse. That's because she's blind. She's been getting there since she was a young girl and the process is now complete.
Her brother, Maximus Batten, Duke of Wakefield (Duke of Midnight), has tried to keep her safe for years. He doesn't want anyone to tease her, or hurt her, or bump her, or harm her, or gossip about her, so he keeps her practically locked up. I would have screamed long before Phoebe came unglued! That was a lovely scene, by the way.
Now that a kidnapper is on the loose, Maximus wants her locked up tighter than ever. Other attempts are made, spies abound, and James decides he has to keep her safe himself. Of course, he also thinks he needs to keep her safe from him. He's quite attracted to her, no matter that he's more than a decade older, he's nearly lame, and he isn't even close to her in breeding. Ah, men...they really need to learn that women let their hearts rule! He doesn't stand a chance, does he?
I liked how Phoebe, when she grows a backbone, does it with style. As she mentions a couple times, she's blind, not stupid! I totally loved how she didn't do things to get herself into predicaments. Everything that happened felt natural and not forced. That's a skill, and Ms. Hoyt excels at it.
There are twists and turns, secrets revealed, and their relationship flowed well. At one point, I thought I'd have to point out a minor plot point when Phoebe thinks about getting a rooster, so she would know when it was morning by its crowing. We've had a couple roosters who would crow morning, noon, evening...and midnight. That's when Ms. Hoyt had Phoebe mention that some roosters crow all the time, so a rooster wouldn't be that helpful! So glad she knew that, lol.
While both of these characters are a bit disabled, it didn't keep them from being anything less than fabulous and at ease with themselves. They also didn't wear their impairments like a medal of honor. It was just a part of them. I liked that. When they finally get together, it's not because she's blind and he's lame...it's because they love each other. A totally swoony scene, by the way.
Yes, I enjoyed this very much! I highly recommend Dearest Rogue!
*Thank you, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book.
Elizabeth Hoyt, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Born in New Orleans, but raised in the frigid winters of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Elizabeth was fortunate to travel extensively when she was growing up and lived in St. Andrews, Scotland; Oxford England; and Kawasaki, Japan. She went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she not only earned a degree in anthropology but also met Mr. Hoyt. Some years later, after a short pause to birth and raise two children, Elizabeth realized that she really wasn't qualified to do anything but Make up Stories and started writing.
Elizabeth now lives in central Illinois with a bevy of untrained canines, a garden in constant need of weeding, and, of course, Mr. Hoyt.
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