A Rogue in Texas, by Lorraine Heath

>> Monday, December 09, 2002

On Sunday I started A Rogue in Texas, by Lorraine Heath.

Back cover blurb:

A duke's son, Grayson Rhodes was a maverick who had left London's suffocating upper class world to earn his own fortune. So he seized the chance to work Abbie Westland's land...and from the moment he first saw Abbie, he was determined to use his arms to work the farm by day and to soothe her through the nights in his strong embrace.

Abbie, with her fiery determination, was different from the fragile beauties he'd known at home. In her Grayson found an honest passion he'd never experienced before. But could their growing love survive the surprising reminder of her past that comes to haunt them?

I've had some doubts about this one, since I usually don't like reading about uneducated protagonists, and I find the pairing of a very cultured person with an undeducated one very difficult to like, but I'm willing to give this one a try. I've liked the Heath's I've read in the past.

Posted later...

Well, I'm done with Rogue. It was only an average read, a C+.

First of all, as I said, I find it very hard to warm up to characters who are completely uneducated. Abbie wasn't, not completely, but enough to bother me. Plus, the woman was a self-righteous prig, and the instances in which she becomes more sensual didn't "go" with the way her character was depicted in the rest of the story. I often take a look at the last page at some point, and when I did it here I saw Abbie "purring" something wicked to Gray. I thought "wow, she'll have to change a lot to get to the point where she purrs to her lover. This should be interested to read." The problem is, she doesn't change. It's always "We take care of our menfolk, here" and "I swore to stay with my husband for better or for worse. So what if I've fallen in love with someone else." Admirable values for some people, but not for me. It also irritated me that the woman refused to have any ambition... as she puts it "dreaming creates discontent". Idiot.

Gray was a more likeable character, but he didn't quite gel for me either. He was a nice, noble guy, who wasn't afraid of enjoying life. So far, so good. But why so much emphasis on his being "disreputable", "a rogue"? He never showed any indication of being one, but Heath kept hitting us over the head with the fact that he was. He thinks he is, Abbie thinks he is (why? because he said so?). Still, I liked him, and the way he needed to be loved so much was really poignant.

Another point against this book was the plot twist of having Abbie's husband come back from the dead. [Incidentally, who was the brain-dead idiot who wrote the back cover blurb? Something from Abbie's past that comes to haunt her and Gray? Oh dear, what could it be? She married at 16... it's obvious it'll be her husband coming back. Spoiler, spoiler!! Don't put it on the back cover, it only happens on the last fifth of the book.] This is not my favourite plot, but I've been known to enjoy it, when it's well done (Gaffney's To Love and To Cherish comes to mind). In this case.. ho-hum.

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