I have to admit, Eve didn’t exactly thrill me as a character in Dearest Rogue. She struck me as odd and a weird mix of weak and ruthless. This book didn’t really change that impression of her, but it did explain why she is the way she is, and that does help a lot. Despite my reservations about the heroine, I was definitely looking forward to this story. I am all about the Makepeace clan, and while Asa is decidedly different from his brothers and sisters, he was engaging and interesting in his own way.
At the end of the last book, Eve’s brother Val tasked her with the oversight of his investment in Harte’s Folly. The thing is, she’s not getting any answers from the elusive Mr. Harte. So she decides to take matters into her own hands. Eve demands access to the books, which brings her in everyday contact with the vibrant theater owner. She finds herself drawn to his masculinity and passion for his work, despite her best intentions. But it doesn’t all play out exactly how you might think.
Eve has Problems. With a capital P. The genesis is suitably terrible, but it takes some time before it’s all revealed. In the meantime, we see how those Problems manifest: with a deep seated terror of both dogs –and men– not the easiest issue for the heroine of a romance novel. So Eve and Asa must perform a difficult dance on their path to an HEA. Thankfully, Elizabeth Hoyt is able to pull it off masterfully. It takes a long time for Eve to be comfortable with touch, but this only stokes the sexual tension between her and Asa. It also puts her on a totally different playing field from the many women who have warmed his bed in the past.
I feel like Asa grew a lot over the course of the book. His entire life has been spent proving his father wrong for disowning him and proving to himself that he didn’t need or even want his family’s approval. It turned his pleasure gardens into his entire life, but Eve helps him recognize the value that people can hold in his life. I really enjoyed watching him fall for her, as he helped break down her walls built by trauma.
When all was said and done, I was still kind of lukewarm on Eve, but I did like the romance and I found some moments to be super hot. I am interested in Bridget, Val’s housekeeper, and I feel like she is going to be his eventual heroine. I don’t know how I feel about Val as a hero, but maybe I’ll like him better when I can get inside his head. I liked our visit with the Makepeace family in the meantime. It was fun catching up with the familiar characters from past books.
This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but I still don’t think you can go wrong with Elizabeth Hoyt.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: November 24, 2015