The Last Rogue, by Deborah Simmons

>> Monday, September 29, 2003

Early this weekend I reread The Last Rogue, by Deborah Simmons. I've been doing quite a bit of rereading lately ;-).

Although Viscount Raleigh enjoyed playing matchmaker to his friends, he never anticipated his own nuptials. But when circumstances force him to wed Plain Jane Trowbridge, he finds married life to his liking in this Regency romp.
I really liked this one when I first read it. This time, though I enjoyed it immensely and again loved the hero, the heroine bothered me more than she had back then. Still, a B+.

Jane was very, very difficult to like. Throughout most of the book, especially the first half, she comes across as terribly intolerant and judgemental. She's the kind of person who despises anything fun or pleasurable, judging things to be good just because they are uncomfortable. Novels? Oh, no, reading should be educational. Pretty clothes? A scornful no. She despises "fripperies". She's like that about everything. There was an explanation of sorts of why she was that way, but it didn't sound like a valid reason at all.

However, Raleigh more than made up for her. He was wonderfully charming, full of joie de vivre and amazingly tolerant with Jane. It was a bit hard to understand why he was so willing to tolerate her small mindedness and her insults, when he knew he didn't deserve them. But tolerate her he did, and more. It was lovely to see the way he was so ready to look beneath the surface and discover a different Jane. I just loved his delight in her, the way he appreciated her and loved her. Wonderful man!

I very much enjoyed the situation the author put them in, stuck in a creepy, decrepit huge mansion in Northumberland, all very gothic. The best part was that this isolation meant that they were together all the time, so we had a lot of interaction. Oh, and this was pretty good in terms of sexual tension, too.

I even enjoyed the very light suspense subplot, which I thought made excellent use of the atmosphere.

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