Title: When the Rogue Returns
Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night.
Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her, after he helped steal the royal diamonds!
Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passions, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: What the Duke Desires
Series: The Duke's Men #2
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: What the Duke Desires
Published by Pocket Source: Publisher
Published: January 21 2014
Genres: Historical Romace
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
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This is the second book in the Duke’s Men series set around a private investigation firm in 1828 England. This book works great as a stand alone novel however there are many reoccurring character’s from the previous book that have roles or are mentioned.
I love to read about non-traditional historical romance hero’s and Victor Cale fits that bill extremely well. He isn’t well born (to his knowledge) and has lived his life with a series of odd or dangerous jobs. That eventually puts him in the path of a man that will become his best friend and introduce him to his cousin whom he has never met and is a Duke. Even when he realizes his father was a duke’s second son, he still doesn’t want to live his life in society. This book offers a different look at British life than we usually see. Victor chooses to eschew the social whirl of London and goes off on an adventure to Scotland where he interacts with lower ranking people. I enjoyed getting away from the traditional balls and marriage marts.
Isabella isn’t the typical heroine either. She creates paste jewelry and is co-owner of a jewelry shop. Her father owned a shop so she isn’t well bred by any stretch. She’s also Dutch which brings it’s own unique elements to the story. It was a lot of fun watching Isa and Victor circle one another as they tried to come to grips with their past and what they wanted for their future. I will say that this book was a bit racier than I remember other SJ books being. Maybe that stemmed from them being a married couple throughout the book so they were more comfortable with one another, I’m not sure. I do know that it made for some steamy scenes.
Victor and Isabella made a great couple. My main complaint with them is we didn’t see any of their courtship, how they met or spend any time with them before they get separated. We get glimpses throughout the book of what their relationship was like but we don’t see it first hand. Also, one of my least favorite types of historical books to read is the long lost spouse. It’s right up there with unknown children and a misunderstanding keeping the main couple apart. In this book we have all three. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and I thoroughly enjoyed how Jeffries handled each issue. I liked how Victor and Isa are mad at each other they don’t let it drag out endlessly and deal with their issues fairly quickly. There are still some other things they have to deal with but it wasn’t all about miscommunication.
This was a funny, light, fast read that was extremely entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing where this series is headed. We meet some new and interesting characters that I am sure will continue to pop up. Along with a certain female that I sense will have a larger part with one of the Duke’s Men in later books. Overall a great addition to the series!