The Rogue by Katharine Ashe (Devil’s Duke #1)

The Rogue by Katharine AsheAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Lady Constance Read is independent, beautiful, and in need of a husband—now. The last man on earth she wants is the rogue who broke her heart six years ago, never mind that his kisses are scorching hot…

Evan Saint-André Sterling is rich, scarred, and finished with women—forever. He’s not about to lose his head over the bewitching beauty who once turned his life upside down.

But Constance needs a warrior, and Saint is the perfect man for the job. Only as a married woman can she penetrate Scotland’s most notorious secret society and bring a diabolical duke to justice. When Constance and Saint become allies—and passionate lovers—he’ll risk everything to protect the only woman he has ever loved.

This is the start to a new series that has roots in a previous one, The Falcon Club. The author successfully creates new characters and situations while not letting us roam too far from the original Falcon Club members and storyline.

The Falcon club has been a part of London for many years, with an anonymous founder they investigate and hopefully find missing persons. Many of the original members have retired over the years but Colin, Viscount Gray (Peregrine) and Lady Constance Read (Sparrow) are still current members. Constance is the only female member and has helped gather information over the years. When she was younger, she spent several wonderful days with a young man who helped her through a lonely time. Yet their relationship ended abruptly when he found out who she really was, she was a duke’s daughter and he knew they were classes apart.

Frederick Evan Chevalier de Saint-Andre Sterling (Saint) is a well-known swordsman and fencer. He is traveling with his cousin, Dylan (Lord Michaels) toward the Duke of Read’s estate. Dylan has secured a fencing instructor’s position for Saint, and although he is not all that interested, he is intrigued when he finds out who the student is. Constance left their relationship with many questions six years ago and he is interested in some answers.

Constance is busy trying to get into a secretive London club to find answers to where several missing young women are. But she must be a married woman for an invitation and although the mysterious Devil Duke has offered, she is unsure of this man. When Saint appears out of nowhere with his cousin, she is confused by her father’s motives, her father is often secretive but even she is not sure what he is up to by throwing them together for fencing lessons. But there are issues between Constance and Saint that need to be resolved and this is a good chance for the two to talk, and more.

I have enjoyed many of Ms. Ashe’s books over the years and always look forward to reading a new one from her. And although I enjoyed this one, the beginning was hard to get into with more questions than answers, but the story eventually picks up with enough action and plot twists to keep you interested.

Constance is an interesting woman; years ago she was the lonely daughter of the duke, she use to watch festivities from afar while she waited for her season, and when she met Saint they agreed to keep both their relationship and identities secret and therefore he was angry when he found out who she was, he felt used. She still uses people to get what she wants, even if it is for the greater good while working for the Falcon Club, and Saint is cautious with his trust.

I love Saint; he is an amazing hero who earns money as a fencing instructor. He is mourning his brother’s recent passing and is currently traveling with his cousin, who has a job for him. He knew he would someday run into Constance but is still surprised at his emotions when he sees her; there is anger, but also so much more.

Their relationship does not pick back up with a bang, he is still angry and she is preoccupied with finding the missing women and almost dismisses him, believing he will move on soon. But they begin to remember the good times they had and find their feelings are not so buried, and the scenes they share are sizzling, to say the least. He decides to stay and help her with her investigation and when they are found in a compromising position they must make decisions about their future. They find themselves in London, and garner an invitation to the social club but before they can solve the mysterious disappearances, they must deal with issues because of an abusive nobleman, a friend who reminds her of her mother, an arrest and many trust problems, did I mention there were many twists and plots turns?

As I mentioned, the start was slow, I found it frustrating because there were many unanswered questions from the prologue and I was confused in the beginning. But it picks up and I was intrigued until the end. Although this is the start of a new series many of the characters come from previous stories but the author gets the reader caught up. Also it is good to know that not all plot ideas are wrapped up; there are story arcs that will be continued. I am intrigued by the letters between a member of the Falcon Club and his nemeses, The Pamphleteer and I also want to know more about the Devil Duke, a man of mystery. All in all this a good start to a new series with enough mystery and intrigue to satisfy many historical romance readers.

I give The Rogue by Katharine Ashe 3.75 stars!

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