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Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett

The final Lacey sister gets her happy ending and I gotta admit, I'm sad to see them go!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: January 4, 2018

Hide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.
—The London Hearsay, special society edition

Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding.

Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire?

As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?

What’s it About? Charming, seductive, and wholly irresponsible Lord Samuel Travis is not only back in London but he's back to causing his older brother Nigel headache after headache until Sam causes one problem too many and is given an ultimatum: Take possession of a town house. It sounds simple enough until Sam arrives at the town house and finds it occupied by an old man and his enchanting niece. Juliette Lacey has lived in the town house almost all her life and when Sam arrives determined to kick her and her uncle out she becomes even more determined to stay. As much as they bicker, Sam and Juliette can't help but become more and more attracted to each other. The problem is that Julie once shared a kiss with Sam's brother Nigel and now she's caught between two men who each want her for different reasons.

Overall reaction to the story? Anna Bennett's charm and wit is on full display in The Rogue is Back in Town! The final Lacey sister gets her happy ending with the least likely man she could have imagined. The plot was fun and easy to follow along and I enjoyed playing catch up with Juliette's sisters as well as their offbeat but lovable uncle. The conflict wasn't something too difficult though it did create what I thought was unnecessary drama on Juliette's part. Overall though I really enjoyed this book and was a bit sad to say goodbye to the Lacey sisters.

Describe the hero in five words: Irresponsible. Charming. Smart. Caring. Irresistible.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? For all his rakish ways, Sam is a good guy, he just doesn't feel he has a real purpose in his life. He's a second son with no legacy from his father, and dependent on his elder brother for an income and home. Sam had a lot of charisma that definitely made me see why women just went nuts over him but he also had this tender heart that just wanted to find someone who saw more in him than just a rake. My favorite thing about him though was how aware he was of his emotions, as he started falling for Juliette he recognized it, and faced them, hoping she could somehow find a way to care for him like he was starting to care for her. His one failing though was that he wasn't willing to really fight for Juliette's affections, it was like he just sat there, waiting and hoping she'd recognize that she loved him instead of stepping up and doing everything he could to show her that he could and would protect her.

Describe the heroine in five words: Naive. Kind. Loyal. Stubborn. Proud.
Did you like her? For the most part.
Why? Juliette has the Lacey stubborness that made her stand her ground with Sam even though he made her nervous. She has such a fierce loyalty to her family, particularly her uncle that I liked. At times she could be terribly naive and proud, two traits that made her problem much bigger than it needed to be and could have landed her in some very serious trouble. I thought that was a little silly (Or stupid if you want to be blunt) of her not to see that possible outcome in advance given how smart she normally was. That said, she wasn't a bad character, just naive and proud to the point of recklessness.

Let’s talk about the romance: Sam and Juliette's relationship was so lovely, it wasn't just passionate and romantic, it was entertaining too. As these two tried to "out stubborn" each other they unknowingly began a friendship built on affection, admiration, and an understanding of the difficulties the other had faced. Sam's plan to move into Juliette's home totally backfired as he started to realize that she was someone he wanted to be worthy of. The way these two fell in love was straight up, no deception, no denials. Sam recognized that he was falling for Juliette and instead of lying to himself he acknowledged it and wanted to keep going forward in hopes that she would fall for him too. Surprisingly that made a big difference in how the romance felt in this book. I felt it gave Sam and Juliette's romance a softer side to go with the passion and chemistry they had, making it more tangible.

How about that supporting cast? Catching up with the two elder Lacey sisters was delightful as I loved them to bits but I really enjoyed the moments with their uncle who doesn't always use the right words when he's speaking. He's adorable and it is so clear that he loves his nieces more than anything in life. I pictured this old man with spectacles, rumpled clothes, and an affectionate gaze. He is definitely the heart of the series.

Click It or Skip It? Click it. Sam and Juliette are a wonderful couple and Anna Bennett is an author that shouldn't be missed.

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