Title: When the Rogue Returns
Written by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Duke's Men #2
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 21st 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
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Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night.
Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her, after he helped steal the royal diamonds!
Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passion, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.
While I was a little bit disappointed with What the Duke Desires, the first book in The Duke’s Men Series, I was blown away by When the Rogue Returns. The premise caught my eye when I read it a few months back and I couldn’t wait. I wasn’t disappointed. I love the story of Victor and Isa and how they found each other again after 10 years. It wasn’t as emotional as some of Sabrina’s other books but I think it had a lot heart.
We first meet Victor Cale in What the Duke Desires and I found myself being intrigued by his story. I didn’t expect him to be the hero of the second book but I am glad that he is. Victor, having grown up with his father (the Duke of Lyons’ uncle) and his “brother” Peter in the continent, he doesn’t know that he is a cousin of the Duke. The secret about his life and identity is revealed in the first book and When the Rogue Returns starts a few months after Victor is established as the Duke’s cousin.
I really loved how the Victor and Isa’s story unfolded. The books main premise is of estranged spouses brought together by fate 10 years later. After being married at a young age in Amsterdam, they are separated by Isa’s family by lies and a crime. Isa, now calling herself Sofia Franke, has moved to Edinburgh and is now an established jewelry designer. Victor, now on his first assignment as a member of the Duke’s Men, is there to investigate Sofia at the behest of the Dowager Baroness Lochlaw.
Despite all the things that had happened 10 years before, Victor and Isa try to hide their feelings to each other but despite all that, they are still drawn to each other. Sabrina did a good job in giving both Victor and Isabelle a closure to their romance.
My only issue about this story is that I felt the ending was a bit rushed and that their reconciliation was also a bit rushed for my taste. Other than that, I loved it!
This is the book for you if you love: witty banter, a strong hero with a lot of baggage and a fiercely independent heroine with a lot of secrets to hide.