by Adrienne Basso, Colleen Faulkner, Debbie Raleigh

May 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7263-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

The Ultimate Lover by Adrienne Basso is a fast paced read, which seemed to be the typical plot of marry-the-female-off-to-settle-debts. Only this is not a typical female - this is a heroine that has spunk and determination to never marry again. Amelia Wheaton is widowed and never wants to marry again because of her late husband. In walks Gareth Travers, Viscount of Longley, to help put her plan into action of causing a scandal so she would not have to marry the horrid Mr. Bascomb, who is supposed to pay off her brother-in-law's debts once they are married. Amelia achieves her goal but with cost. Can Amelia and Gareth find the love they have felt for each other but that neither one of them recognizes? Amelia and Gareth have their own obstacles to overcome before their own happiness can be achieved.

When four young ladies come together at a finishing school, there is always one that is adventurous and daring, one who is shy, one who just seems to go with the flow and then the one that likes to cause trouble amongst the other three ladies. Well, the adventurous one is Allison May, Ally to her friends, and the troublemaker is Lucy. Ally makes a wager with Lucy after Lucy makes some terrible remarks about Elspeth, the shy one, to her face. What popped out of Ally's mouth should never be wagered - her virginity! Needless to say, Ally lost the wager and her virginity would have to go! William Falcon, Lord Bridle finds Ally in the gardens after Ally lost the wager. He decides to help her with the wager by becoming her husband. He needs a wife so what better way than to marry someone you are attracted to? I only have one complaint about the story; after Ally married, she lacked some of her normal daring, self-confidence and she was tired of the ton. But she was soon ready for adventure once again and she found it amidst misunderstandings with Will. The Pleasures of a Wager by Colleen Faulkner is filled with one adventure after another until the marriage; and then one night the fun starts once again - not in a good way but nevertheless, ending in a very happy way.

One Night With Lucifer by Debbie Raleigh is a story of a woman who will go to great lengths for what she believes in. Diana Howard is the founder of the Athena Society for the Betterment of Women. She believes that women are equal to men; of course, this is not the opinion of one Lord Luceford, who issued ten challenges that a woman cannot do. The ten challenges are almost completed; the ninth challenge is to “seduce the toast of the town”. Guess who the “” is? You guessed it Lord Luceford! It is up to Diana to seduce him and seduce him she does! One night of passion is not what Luceford has in mind and is determined to make Diane pay for the note thanking him for helping them complete the ninth challenge. Luceford is enraged that he was used, but he knows that the response from Diana for that one night is not insignificant, as Diana wants him to believe. However, Luceford's plot for revenge does not go as well as he planned. Ms. Raleigh wrote a story of how ones’ past can lead to the conviction that one holds dear to them later in life. She gives a hero and heroine that are both independent and strong.

The three stories in Only With A Rogue are all about independent women and their convictions that they hold dear to them. They did not expect to find love. But find love they did, and it takes a special hero to deal with these heroines. If you like gusty heroines then this book is for you.

Reviewed in August 2002 by Pam.