December 14, 2015
"In 'artford, 'ereford and 'ampshire 'urricanes 'ardly hever 'appen."
One Rogue at a Time is the second in the series Rakes and Rogues by Jade Lee and once
again we have a title which doesn't have anything to do with the story. Oh sure, the hero is a rogue, but "one at a time" doesn't make sense as far as the context of this story. I liked this story better than the first in the series, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, but it still lacked enough emotion to give this book a wow factor.
This story started out with promise, some interesting dialog and quirky secondary characters. We even have a secondary character, Lady Eleanor, who I disliked immensely in 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake put in an appearance. This time around she wasn't quite as obnoxious as before, but she's still an unlikeable character. I suspect someday we will see her starring in her own book, she's going to have to do some big time groveling to evolve into a heroine. Now, to the main couple Maybelle/Bluebell Ballenger and Bramwell Hallowsby.
As with the book, these two had promise in the beginning. In fact, Maybelle/Bluebell was a strong female character through most of the book. I liked her a lot. Her dreams of becoming a lady, her realization that her proper language was not proper, her interaction with the countryside peasantry were all very poignant. But Marybelle is more than just a boo-hoo sad heroine, she's strong, smart and has insight into what makes the people around her tick that is quite winning. She is a wonderful heroine; too bad the man chosen to be her hero isn't up to her standards.
When we are first introduced to Bram in this story, he comes off as a pretty detached character. He is an illegitimate son a duke, he is not recognized by anyone in higher social statuses, even his half-sister makes him come in the back door. So, he has developed quite a rock hard shell. The trouble with Bram's shell is that it seems to have soaked into his soul and he is a pretty callous guy. His immediate thought upon seeing Maybelle/Bluebell is mainly focused on how he can get into her knickers. It doesn't take him too long before he succeeds. Present in this story is one unforgettable OOPs scene created by his magic fingers. While this scene may have taken Maybelle/Bluebell into orgasm schorgasm heaven, unknown to Maybelle/Bluebell it leaves her no longer innocent. Bram does not tell her he slipped up. Bram doesn't come off looking very heroic in this scene. While Bram does have reasons for all the angst that he carries with him, for my taste he could have been a little bit kinder sooner.
In the end this book is a standard yarn with a callous hero. While his reason for his callousness is spelled out for us in this book, there wasn't a good balance between his tenderness and his cold-heartedness for me.
Time/Place: Regency England