Once a Rogue by Allie Therin
Roaring Twenties Magic #2
LGBTQ+, Historical Paranormal Romance
Aug 22, 2023- Carina Press
Review by Kate H.
I really resist romance books which are series that center on the same relationship. And when it’s been over a year since I read the previous books, I am always dubious that I will stitch myself back into the feelings, and the narrative. But without a doubt, I was sucked back within a minute of starting Allie Therin’s Once a Rogue, the sequel to Proper Scoundrels.
The book finds the two main characters, Sebastian de Leon (magical) and Lord Wesley Fine (not magical), arriving in America. They are dropping Sebastian’s younger brother (magical) off at Oberlin, but they start to get strange telegrams and messages from their (magical) friends, and it is clear that something seems quite off.
Given everything that happened in book one, Wesley is very keen not to be seen by Sebastian as being ineffective or powerless just because he has no magic. Sebastian, tethered with carrying a relic that intensifies his magic, but also seems to drain him, is not entirely clear on how much Wesley cares for him. What is absolutely magical about this book is the dialogue and interactions of the two men. Wesley is incorrigible – putting on his airs as the prickly, unlikeable noble. But he also knows just how to check and distract Sebastian with a few dirty words and a suggestion of what he will do to him later.
If I have a complaint about this book, it would be that the plotting seemed a little labored. Sebastian and Wesley went here and there, pursuing the mystery of where their friends were. It felt like a lot of “and then, and then,” going from place to place, until the conspiracy of the villains started to become clearer. By that point, it was a little hard to even care, other than whether Wesley and Sebastian made it out alive.
The ending certainly leaves open the possibility of a sequel, and I will welcome it, sequels be damned! As long as Allie Therin can keep up the dynamic between these two men, I will keep reading!