Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “What would it be like to love and be loved?”
The Rogue Who Loved Me is a straight forward historical romance set in the 16th century. A virgin innocent and a jaded rake mix business with pleasure when they embark on a dangerous game that could end with broken hearts or worse…death. Alexande, the Marquis Of Ravenspur has come home to ferret out a murderer and a spy at his king’s command. When he meets the lovely and very innocent Aubriana Welbrey, he is intrigued but he has no time for playful interludes. When Aubriana’s brother is implicated in a smuggling ring, the sheriff gives Aubriana a choice-help him spy on Alexande and find evidence he is the head of the smuggling ring or her brother faces charges. Aubriana is given a place in Alexande’s household as a maid but when he offers her the position of his mistress, she sees a way to complete her mission.
As Alex and Aubri begin their affair, their passion is instantaneous and explodes from their first touch but the love comes slowly. Neither were prepared for the intensity that affects them. Alex is a true rake and we are given hints of this through his POV. He has spent his life going from bed to bed, giving and receiving pleasure, but keeping his heart firmly sequestered. With Aubri he begins to experience the joy of being with a woman for the simple pleasure of her company. Her happiness soon outweighs his own needs. I enjoyed watching his heart thaw and his possessiveness take hold. He is embarrassed by how he’s acted in the past and it shows in how he begins to view his relationship with Aubri.
Aubri comes across as frail in the beginning but soon you realize how wrong you are. Caught in an impossible position because of her brother and her station in life, she holds to her dignity and pride in the best way she can. She doesn’t instantly try and jump in Alex’s bed. She weighs the pros and cons of being his mistress and is honest that part of the attraction is him himself and she is curious to the explore the sexual feeling she invokes in her. You can feel her conflict between wanting to be with Alex and her reluctance to spy on him.
The passion between them is quite steamy and Ms. Hyatt leaves nothing to the imagination. Yet, for all its erotic propensity, it never comes across as cheap or vulgar. As their relationship goes from sexual to more emotional, the result is noted in their reactions to one another. I found that more enchanting then anything else. Watching and being able to see not only the elation but the heartaches as they try to figure out where to go from here elevated the storyline in my eyes.
“Why does she cry? It broke his heart to see her thus. Did she too realize they had gone between lord and mistress? Did she understand they could never anything more than they were now? Sorrow squeezed his heart.”
“His heart mourned-for what they both could never be.”
The main conflict is interesting though predictable. You know from the beginning who is the villain of the story is though it’s not until the end do we find out the reasons why. Misdirection and intrigue are prevalent as we watch Alex and Aubri circle around each other, trying to figure out what the other knows without giving themselves away. Molly and Wiggins were my favorite characters in that they truly love their master and mistress and try hard to help from the sidelines. Plus, neither has a true servant mentality and the barbs and comments they made were humorous. The requisite “misunderstanding” is present but it isn’t dragged out nor outlandish in it’s presentation. The conclusion wraps everything up nicely in a dramatic fashion that resolves our main conflict yet leaves us an opening to proceed to book two of this series.
Overall rating: B-
The Book Pushers – B