by Anthology

December 2003
ISBN: 0-7582-0419-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Brava
Trade Paperback

In this delightful anthology, three charming rogues woo their women – and their readers – right into their beds and their hearts.

Led by Bertrice Small, these tales have an appeal that is distinct and charming, and Ms. Small’s hommage to “Sinbad the Sailor” is one of the most charming of all. Blending Sultans, villains, genies and magic, this is a tale straight from the Arabian Nights, filled with sensual passion and a fiery heroine, Zuleika, worthy of Amir Khan, the fierce warrior who conquers her heart. Together they protect Dariyabar (yes…that Dariyabar – if you haven’t seen the original 1947 movie starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., go rent it – it’s wonderful!!!) and this story is a worthy successor, bringing ‘swash’ together with ‘buckle’ and filling in the story with lust-filled and scented nights! It would have raised eyebrows to the roof in 1947, but today – it works very well indeed.

Thea Devine’s contribution takes us to the Regency, always a scene of manners and charm, and Lady Corinna Woodholme has both in abundance. Widowed and polished by her years on the Continent, Corinna returns home to England and the hot gaze of confirmed bachelor Simon Charlesworth. These two share a history, and must overcome it – in their beds and in their hearts. Corinna is a delightful change of pace for Regency lovers, being independent, opinionated and sexually at liberty to please herself. Which she does, with great enthusiasm. This merry quadrille of passion is engaging and will please any Regency fan.

Finally, we move to the New World – a rough logging camp in the wilderness of California in the late 1800’s. Jane Bonander offers us a tale of strong women, and even stronger men…and the sparks that flare when two such personalities meet. Lily Sawyer is resilient and beautiful, and Ross Benedict is surly yet adorable, neither permitting themselves the luxury of straightforward loving, but each falling deeper into desire for the other before they’ve realized it. Solid storytelling, delightful secondary characters and a romantic setting make this tale an excellent conclusion to the anthology.

Spiced with sexual heat, seasoned with experienced writers and blended into a wonderfully readable confection, I Love Rogues is very much a recommended read. A truly splendid way to pass a winter’s afternoon – with hot cocoa, a blanket and a hero who fits the bill…and don’t we all really love a rogue?

Reviewed in January 2004 by Celia.

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