This is my first book from Shana Galen, and though this is the third installment in her Convent Gardens series, the story holds up just fine as a standalone. It’s an enemies to lovers romance, and the hero has every reason to hate the heroine. After all, Lady Lila broke Brook Derring’s heart, and she knows it. But now she needs his help and it’s a matter of life and death. Lucky for her, though he never plans to forgive her, Brook won’t let past hurts stop him from keeping her alive.
The story begins with Lila being kidnapped. Despite their history, Brook is the first person her father turns to for help. He has an impeccable reputation as an investigator and –sure enough—he is able to find Lila and rescue her. Unfortunately, during her captivity, Lila witnessed a murder, and Brook knows that the kidnappers will stop at nothing to ensure her silence. So he ends up her protector while her life remains in danger.
Apparently, Lila was not a good person before her mother died. She manipulated people and cared nothing for their feelings. She earned Brook’s dislike and then some. But I had to keep reminding myself of that, because the Lila of this book wasn’t that way at all. It’s true she was sheltered by her upbringing and unable to perform basic tasks, but she did her best. She sees the kind of person she was and wants to be different. She regrets how she treated Brook and wants to do right by him. So it was hard to look at her and see what Brook saw. It was only through their memories that I could appreciate how far she has come.
The author did a good job pulling me into the story right away. I believed in the emotions of both characters and there was good pacing, moving the story along. It’s hard to wrap my brain around the complete 180 Lila’s personality underwent, but that is just something you have to accept in the basic premise. The circumstances devised to keep them together while Brook protected Lila were a little over the top, too. But those small complaints aside, I enjoyed the book. It was engaging and I am excited to say I never predicted the identity of the kidnapping mastermind, which was cool too. The romance satisfied and the ending did too. I would read from this author again.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
I Kissed a Rogue
by Shana Galen
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca