I realise that I haven’t written a review since September 1st. Although, despite my poor health, I have been reading so there are seven overdue reviews. I’m going to leave those for now and review the book that I just finished.
My Rogue, My Ruin (Lords of Essex #1)
The beau monde has always had it all–money, pride, titles–while the needy die on their doorsteps. So I don a mask, steal from the rich, and give to the poor. I am no longer Lord Archer Croft, the Marquess of Hawksfield and the son of a duke.
I am the Masked Marauder.
My only rule: never let anyone close enough to know my secret. So I’m cold and hard and scare everyone away. That’s just what it takes if I hope to make a difference in this world.
Until one woman, Lady Briannon Findlay, pitied by the ton, sees through my defenses, and I can’t help the heat between us. Everyone sees her as quiet and frail, but I see the spark behind her eyes and I’m like a moth to her flame. For a moment, I think I might be able to keep her and my secret.
But I was never meant to have it all…
REVIEW – ****
I received this book as a prize in a random genre competition and found it hard to put this down. In fact, I stopped reading another book to make time for this one. I’m a very slow reader, otherwise, I’d have read this in one sitting. I rarely read Historical Romances but this had all the right elements to draw me in: well-drawn characters, mystery and intrigue, a strong female lead, visual settings, and there are horses – not surprising as the setting is England in 1817.
The romance between Archer and Briannon/Brynn is tempestuous given their vibrant characters, with incidents and society leading to some challenging encounters. True love never runs smoothly as Archer and Brynn discover, often struggling against their own personalities and realistically wavering emotions. Their motivation throughout is logical in the situations they find themselves.
The characters are all believable and well-imagined, and the society they inhabit rings true – my upbringing brought me into contact with the modern ‘remnants’ of the ton and I could visualise some of the ‘types’.
Attempting to avoid spoilers, I found the mystery plotline worked extremely well and kept me thinking until the end. This was the kind of mystery plot that has you looking for the clever foreshadowing and hidden clues. As a mystery reader primarily, I felt that the authors pulled that off brilliantly.
Attempting to work with another author must be a challenge – I’ve only once attempted it, and failed – but Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan have blended their writing seamlessly. There are no signs of anything like alternate authors for alternate chapters or scenes. They write with one voice and I now await the next Lords of Essex novel.