Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Rogues's Return by Jo Beverley

Jo Beverley has created a whole world which she brings to life in a group known as The Company of Rogues.  This is a loosely knit group who had been gathered by Nicholas Delaney while they were still schoolboys.   Now they are English gentlemen living during the period of the English Regency.  Some are in the position to become Dukes or Earls, some are merely second sons, but all are of the English nobility.
     The Rogues' Return(c2006) is the twelfth book in the series but it is the first one that I read.  You don't need to read the others to get the full impact of the story.  It can certainly stand on its own.  The hero is Simon St. Bride and he was only mentioned briefly in previous books and never given a personality or character.  Our heroine, Jancy Otterburn, has not appeared in any of the previous books.
     Simon and Jancy meet in York, Canada in 1816.  Simon has been there fighting in the War of 1812 and Jancy arrived from England pretending to be the niece of a prominent, local businessman.  Simon is appalled at the treatment of the Indians who have helped England in the war and he has gathered damning evidence against the Englishman who is head of Indian affairs in York. 
     When Simon is called into a duel and Jancy's "uncle" suffers a fatal accident, events quickly escalate binding Jancy and Simon together.  Uncle Isaiah's dying request that they marry and the evidence that Simon must take to England put them on a collision course with someone who wants Simon dead.  Jancy must also face the fact that she is not who Simon believes she is and her real background makes her an impossible choice to be his wife.
     Although the books in the series,The Company of Rogues, are older, the stories are timeless for readers of romance.  They are carefully true to the Regency Period and take the reader into that very structured world of manners and protocol.  I have listed them below if you would like to join me in reading others in the series.

An Arranged Marriage (c1991, reissue 1999)
An Unwilling Bride (c1992, reissue 2011)
Christmas Angel (c1992, reissue 2001,2008)
Forbidden (c1994, reissue 1995, OOP)
Dangerous Joy (c1995, reissue 2005)
Forbidden Magic (c1998, new addition 20011)
The Dragon's Bride (c2001, reissue 2011)
The Devil's Heiress (c2001, reissue 2006)
Hazard  (c2002, reissue 2006)
St. Raven (c2003)
Skylark (c2004)
The Rogue's Return (c2006)
To Rescue a Rogue (c2006)
Lady Beware (c2007)

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