Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
THE WICKEDEST SECRET…
Major Nathaniel Grey is free to bed whomever he wants, whenever he chooses, and that’s exactly how he likes it. His only loyalties are to country and the two friends he served with—brothers he’d do anything for. So when one of them is gravely injured and asking for his little sister, Grey will move heaven and earth to bring her home. He’s greeted not by the gangly girl he remembers, but a stunningly beautiful woman holding a loaded musket. And he’s utterly captivated by her…
IS A SECRET SEDUCTION
Once upon a time, Emily would have loved nothing more than a stolen hour with her brother’s best friend, the dashing officer who captured her heart and soul. But things are different now—and so is she. Gone is the eager young woman who believed in love. In her place is a widow weighed down with secrets who desperately needs to disappear before they’re revealed. But Grey’s sinfully sexy smile offers protection unlike anything she’s ever known, tempting her to risk everything . . . even her heart.
This book, the second in Anna Harrington’s The Secret Life of Scoundrels series, is very aptly titled. Nathaniel Grey is a scoundrel. He lives on the fringes of society, having worked his way up to semi-respectability as a military officer from humble beginnings as a stable boy. He focuses one hundred percent on his career with the occasional dalliance with an available widow or someone else’s neglected wife. He has no ties other than his work and his two best friends, and he plans to keep it that way.
Things start to change for Grey when one of those friends is attacked. Stricken by the thought of losing one of his “brothers”, Grey’s main purpose becomes tracking down Thomas’ attacker. That is, until Thomas beseeches his friend to bring his sister home to him. Grey remembers Thomas’ sister Emily as the thin, blond pigtailed girl who asked him to be her first kiss at age 16. He’s more than a little surprised when he encounters a scared, vulnerable, beautiful woman trying to scare him away from her property with a gun.
Once she realizes that it’s Nathaniel, Emily invites him in only so she can convince him to leave. Her life is full of secrets and anyone associated with her is in danger, so she can’t get rid of Grey fast enough. Even though she is desperately worried about her brother and would love nothing more than to lean on the strong shoulders of her old crush, she refuses to risk anyone’s life by involving them in her drama. When an attempt is made on her life in Nathaniel’s presence, the choice is made for her and the two set off for London with just the clothes on their backs.
It is during the journey back to London that Emily finally confides in Grey, trusting him to keep her confidence while at the same time longing to give in to the urge to lean on him and let him make her troubles go away. Grey wants nothing more than to make Emily feel safe. He hates the secrets and the fear in her eyes, and he is taken off guard by his attraction to his friend’s younger sister. Emily soon realizes that the stars in her eyes over Nathaniel as a teenager could very easily turn into more serious feelings, even after not having seen him for five years. Their close quarters on the trip back to Thomas and her family force both of them to acknowledge the sexual chemistry sizzling just below the surface. Along came a rogue, indeed.
Due to leave for an assignment out of the country any day, Grey knows nothing can come of his liaison with Emily. She is sweet and beautiful and fills his days with laughter and his nights with a passion he’s never felt – but his career as a spy and a life with her do not go hand in hand. Not to mention that he’s a nobody, an orphan, and despite her being a widow, she’s the daughter of a duke. He plans to leave as soon as Thomas is better and the threat to Emily is taken care of. For her part, Emily would love to keep Grey in her life. He is everything she ever wanted in a man and the differences in their stations do not matter to her at all. What does matter is that she can’t bring herself to tie down the born adventurer – the man who would always be destined to go.
This book was so refreshing. I loved Emily and Grey, separately and together. The author did a wonderful job of combining action and dialogue. The romance between Nathaniel and Emily was very emotional and incredibly sexy, and I loved the fact that he refused to give in to her and walk away (for his own good). Grey was the safe harbor Emily needed, giving her a dash of excitement and some fun thrown in for good measure. Emily was the sunshine in Grey’s world and she soon became way more important to him than any career move he could possible wish for.
I give Along Came a Rogue 4.5 stars Anna Harrington!