by Hope Tarr

October 2000
ISBN: 0-515-12951-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

It was slow going in the beginning of A Rogue's Pleasure but it was necessary for Ms. Tarr to set the stage by describing the war scene that Anthony Grenville, Viscount Montrose, found himself in. It showed the depth of his character in the latter pages of the book which explains his ennui and his 'been there, done that' attitude. Scenes such as this are something often missed in most romance tales where the reader gets a glimpse of the life of the hero before he matches up with the heroine.

Chelsea Bellamy had resorted to robbing coaches, with the help of her unusual butler, to come up with the necessary money to free her kidnapped brother. Regrettably for Chelsea, robbing coaches was not lucrative enough so she decided to go to London to burgle the ton's homes. It was her unfortunate circumstance that she came upon Anthony Grenville in his home at the time of her misdeed. Having met her before when she robbed his coach, Anthony was curious as to what sort of female, a highborn one at that, would resort to thievery. But it wasn't only curiosity that spurs Anthony on - frankly, aside from the passionate kisses they had briefly shared, he was bored and Chelsea provided him with a diversion that he just could not resist. Once Anthony found out about Chelsea's circumstance, she couldn't believe that he was willing to help her find her brother and his kidnappers; she did try to rob him after all and threatened to shoot his "jewels" to boot!

The plot that holds Anthony and Chelsea's romance together (that of a kidnapped brother) was bit thin. Since the kidnapped younger brother was an adult with a commission in the military, this reader was half hoping that Chelsea's brother was a dissolute rake who is faking the kidnapping to extort money to cover gambling debts. But then how to explain away Anthony's fiancée, Phoebe? Well, it was a clever piece of work that Ms. Hope managed to extricate Anthony from his engagement to fulfill that requisite happily ever after, however contrived it may be. Although the overall plot may be weak, it is Ms. Hope's writing that recommends this book. The characters are interesting (excluding Phoebe and Chelsea's brother), and the romance is tense and sweet in all the right places. A Rogue's Pleasure is an average but pleasurable read that can help pass idle time away.

Reviewed in October 2001 by Veronica.

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