Review of “This Scot of Mine” (The Rogue Files #4) by Sophie Jordan

Jordan, Sophie. This Scot of Mine. New York: Avon Books, 2019.

Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062463661 | 344 pages | Victorian Romance

3 stars

This Scot of Mine has a premise that has a lot of potential…but it was unfortunately not executed well. However, one of the good points was the characterization and the dynamic between Hunt and Clara. While it could have gone all wrong, and even predicted it going wrong, due to the fact that they each had some big secrets that they were keeping from one another, I did like that it didn’t take until the end for it to come to the fore, and that the potential ramifications of the curse was something they tried to navigate together.

However, this resolution of that conflict, and the book sometimes describing long stretches of time passing led to my interest in the book flagging. There just wasn’t much of a plot to speak of in the second half. And I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but I found the wording of the curse, and how it was meant to be broken super confusing. There is an attempt to establish some of the mechanics of how it works, with the mention of the ways his forebears met their end, but I just didnt’ really get how the curse was broken this time. This was only one of the things that was left rather vague, with her ruination not described in detail, beyond the fact that she apparently faked a pregnancy to get away from her awful fiancee.

I’m also beginning to wonder how long this series will go on for, especially as there’s a cliffhanger (in the tradition of this series) setting up the next book, which is about Clara’s uninspiring friend, Marian. I will probably read it to see what happens and if it is any better, especially that since I do hope that Clara’s sister, Enid, will still have a book in the future, and how it will be handled.

However, I feel like this book could have used some improvement in terms of pacing and further clarification in terms of plot elements, as a lot of it felt a little too rushed. I do still think it is worth checking out if you like a fun historical romance, but I’m not sure if it is one I would enthusiastically recommend.

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Review of “TheDuke Buys a Bride” (The Rogue Files #3) by Sophie Jordan

Jordan, Sophie. The Duke Buys a Bride. New York: Avon Books, 2018. 

Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062463647 |351 pages | Victorian Romance

4 stars

I was hesitant about The Duke Buys a Bride for a long time, since compared to the relatively unique plots of the prior two compared to the standard tropes in romance (disregarding that While the Duke Was Sleeping is a retelling of While You Were Sleeping, especially since I haven’t seen that movie), this one was yet another romance with the ever-popular rakish, arrogant duke hero paired with a commoner heroine, a setup I typically avoid whenever possible. But the other elements, like the setup with the bride auction, still had me somewhat intrigued.

And I more or less got what I expected. The duke isn’t the worst hero I’ve read, especially recently, but he is a bit annoying in places, like when, in the aftermath of a passionate interlude with Alyse, he accuses her of “throwing herself at him” and contemplates going to the tavern wench over whoever it was to satisfy his urges (he ultimately is able to resist, but only because of his growing attraction to Alyse and realization that he would forget the random woman soon after being with her). However, I did like that there were those moments that showed his capacity to be a good person as well, like how his sisters served as inspiration of sorts for him to do the honorable thing and rescue Alyse, even if it did have unintended consequences. I did also find myself a bit bothered by the miscommunication between him and Alyse, like how he omitted some general facts about who he was, and it was kind of just brushed aside once it was revealed.

Alyse was mostly likable, being intelligent and determined. And while I did feel like they were an unlikely couple, and saw it quickly veering into the territory of another trope I hate, the philandering rake who is suddenly ablee to resist other women because of the virginal heroine, I felt their relationship felt a bit more authentic than the others, and I did like that ultimately it was him who made the move of declaring his feelings (albeit without actually saying that he loved her right away) by making it clear he was interested in seeing the marriage become real.

All in all, this was a surprisingly enjoyable read, much more so than I thought it would be, although I continue to be aware my tastes can be incredibly specific. I would recommend this to fans of light historical romances, especially those who are huge fans of alpha hero dukes and feisty virgin heroines. This is definitely one of the better ones I’ve read in recent memory.

Review of “The Scandal of it All” (The Rogue Files #2) by Sophie Jordan

Jordan, Sophie. The Scandal of it All. New York: Avon Books, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-246362-3. Print List Price: $7.99.

5 stars

Many historical romances require some suspension of disbelief, due to the pairing of virgin heroines experienced men, with most heroines being under 30, and the heroes often being at least a few years older than them. But Sophie Jordan’s latest is charming in that in features a widowed heroine, Graciela, who is 35 (almost 36) at the beginning of the novel, and is six years her junior. And in doing so, Jordan is allowed to tackle topics that not many historicals do, such as fertility struggles.

I’ve always been a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope, and this is a great variation of that. While in other stories, I might question whether the characters have anything beyond passion that bind them together, the shared history between the two, with Colin being Graciela’s stepson’s best friend, works.

Having read the first book, While the Duke was Sleeping, I was already familiar with many of the characters, and only grew to love them more, including Enid and Clara, who I hope will have their own books sometime soon. One character I was not prepared to want to see more of the Duke himself (in part due to the fact that this ducal infestation of historical romance is incredibly tiresome, and also in part that some of his actions in this book made him come off as a bit off a jerk), but by the time I reached the end, I definitely wanted to know what would happen with him.