Review: Lady Rogue by Theresa Romain

Reviewed by Jen

I wanted to love this book. I mean, a romance between a lady and Bow Street Runner, one that would be forbidden in the eyes of society… that is right in my lane. I adore pairings where the hero is below the heroine in social station. But for a number of reasons, this book did not deliver in the ways I had hoped.

The biggest fail, for me, was that the first hook up for these two happened before the book ever began. Yes, it tells you that in the blurb, but reading this book gave the distinct feel that I was jumping into a series already in progress. The was disappointing for the romance to be sure, but it was downright overwhelming with the giant infodumps in the bigger story. No standalone book has a history for its characters so detailed and complex, so I did some research and sure enough, this book was born out of the events of The Royal Rewards series. (*This is clearly stated now on Amazon & Goodreads, but was not made obvious when I accepted the ARC.) There is a whole thing about a gold heist and a dead brother for the hero… all it did was bog me down and take away from the story at hand. Even worse, I couldn’t tell what stuff had actually happened on page in other books and how much was backstory for the characters that no one had read anywhere.

Let me get back to the main couple, Isabel and Callum. Callum investigated Isabel’s husband’s death 18 months ago, but after the investigation was over, they hooked up at Vauxhall Gardens and then went their separate ways. No flashbacks. No talking about the feelings/desire/angst of that tryst. It’s just stated as fact. And such a missed opportunity. As the story here begins, Isabel reaches out to Callum to help her with a delicate problem. She has discovered that her late husband was selling art forgeries before his death and now one of his marks is about to sell one of the forgeries to someone else. Isabel wants to replace the fake with the real artwork before the dupe is discovered and her ward suffers from the scandal.

There is barely a blip in the interactions between these two that would so much as hint at hidden passion. The forgery/art plot is not exciting. And the twist at the end felt totally gratuitous. I honestly spent most of the book feeling like I was robbed of any opportunity to have grown to care about these characters or any developing feelings between them. Their interactions were stilted; they lacked passion and chemistry. Part of the time, I didn’t know what I was missing and by the end, I just didn’t care.

Maybe people who read Fortune Favors the Wicked and/or Passion Favors the Bold would enjoy this more for having some of the backstory, but I only know for sure that the gold heist and the dead brother are covered there. I don’t know if any of the initial events between Isabel and Callum happened anywhere on page. I can only wonder if I would have enjoyed this if the entire story were self-contained in one book… it would have been better for sure, but I am afraid I would still feel something was lacking. I needed more passion and really just more emotion and connection from these characters.

Overall, this was a miss for me.

Rating: C-

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Lady Rogue
by Theresa Romain
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Zebra

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