Happy Wednesday! We're almost through the week! I had the pleasure of reading yet another talented, new to me author! I really was surprised by this particular book because there was so much more to it than the blurb let on! Have you ever had that happen before? What was the book? Be sure to follow along on the tour and enter the giveaway at the bottom!
About Jessica Jefferson
Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist, infused with humor. She always tries to create endearingly flawed heroes and one of a kind heroines that you'll want to continue knowing long after you read the last page.
Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: May 6, 2015
The ribbon means you have it all – beauty, wealth, power ... everything but love.
Miss Meredith Castle leaves behind everything she knows to join her great aunt in London and become leader of the infamous girls’ club, The Ribbons. She’s willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to redeem her ailing mother, even if that means leaving her childhood love behind to scale London’s social ladder.
When Derek Weston’s best friend receives the offer of a lifetime, he encourages her to take it. Unwilling to let her go completely, he chases after her, only to find the sweet girl he loved replaced by a spoiled debutante. A broken man, he leaves London to start a new life at sea.
Five years later, Meredith realizes her reign as Queen of the Ball is about to come to an end, if she doesn’t do something to fix her tarnished reputation. Pairing up with the Season’s newest wallflower seems like the perfect plan, until she finds out her demure friend is being pursued by the very man she thought she’d never see again. Only, Derek Weston isn’t who he used to be. He’s inherited a Scottish title and grown into an arrogant man she barely recognizes; yet in her heart, she knows she still loves him. Torn between her past and an uncertain future, can she find a way back to the life she used to have and the boy who once adored her?
At first glance, the premise of Going Rogue sounds a bit… Silly. A heroine who trades the possibility of a future with someone who loves her for the “privilege” of saying she belongs to London society’s feminine royalty, otherwise known as The Ribbons. Oh and let’s not forget, she gets to wear a colored ribbon on her left wrist so that all of London society will know that she is one of the elite.
I was prepared not to like Meredith Castle, I expected a frivolous, dull witted and selfish girl. But what I found instead was a girl who had a big heart and had that heart exploited by people who claimed to have her best interests at heart. She was forced away from the life she knew and loved in order to provide for people who should have provided for her. The only constant she had was Derek but even he was forced away from her. I couldn’t help but feel bad for her and wait for the moment she shouted “Enough!” And went back to being who she really was instead of the silly, empty headed fool she pretended to be.
Derek Weston to me was the masculine form of Meredith. He was a simple farmer’s son who fell in love with a girl he thought was from the same class. When Meredith turned him away in London he buried the person he was, the boy Meredith loved and became what she had told him she wanted: A man with a title and wealth, though the former was not on purpose. After Meredith so cruelly broke his heart, Derek would have had to have been a fool to remain the same caring soul he had been. Naturally I’m glad he was only playing the role of an arrogant, mean spirited, bitter nobleman, if he hadn’t I know I wouldn’t have liked him very much. Though he could have had more faith in the Meredith he knew but I understood why he didn’t.
Derek and Meredith spent most of the book hurting one another verbally that by the time I reached about 80% of the book, I began to lose hope that they would ever end up together. Of course, it was obvious that there was going to be bitterness on Derek’s part and hurt on both sides but when you add in the fact that both of them had too much pride, they damn well almost missed out on being together! That made Going Rogue so much better though. These two had five years of pent up hurt, anger, misunderstandings and changes to work through so I’m glad it wasn’t easy for them. Still, I was starting to get nervous for them! However, when they were together in a scene, there was so much bubbling tension that was mixed with tension, hostility and bitterness. Author Jessica Jefferson did a fantastic job of making those confrontations between them so intense and full of longing! There were so many emotions going on at once between them and as a reader I was able to feel them all. Though I did think it was a bit sad that even with a lifetime of friendship between them, Derek and Meredith were virtual strangers whenever they managed to have civil conversations together. They didn’t know how to treat one another and to me that was sad.
Going Rogue didn’t only have Derek and Meredith to introduce to readers though, there was a handful of interesting characters who were very different from one another yet still managed to create their own impressions. There was the budding botanist, Ophelia Marshall, the mysteriously blunt Lady Alexandra McBride and Derek’s Scottish cousin Lord Brayan MacCalistair. Usually I have a clear favorite among the secondary characters but in this case I don’t! I’m hoping they all get their own books but at this point, it doesn’t matter who gets theirs first. The three of them were delightful, interesting and each brought something to whatever scene they were in.
With Derek and Meredith out for each other’s blood and trying to sabotage the other’s marital prospects, Going Rogue felt a bit longer than it actually was. They needed plenty of time to come to terms with themselves and each other before they could have any hope of recovering their relationships. The one thing that was a bit disappointing to me is how, when Meredith realizes just how badly she’s been used, she doesn’t do a darn thing about it. No confrontations, no punishing those who used her, NOTHING. Yet she set out to punish Derek, a person she loved and who loved her in return. It didn’t make sense and I REALLY wanted to see Meredith get the closure she needed and yes, a part of me wanted her to avenge herself and purge herself of the bitterness that being used had caused.
Aside from a too neat and nice conclusion, Going Rogue was such an entertaining read. The author clearly has the talent for creating passionate characters, dire situations and witty secondary characters. I will definitely want to read the next book in the series, no matter who is front and center.
Final Verdict: I can't wait for the next book in the series.
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