Barbara’s rating: 3 of 5 stars Really 3.5 Stars
Series: The Rogue Files #1
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
I normally enjoy Sophie Jordan’s books and I did enjoy this one, but it is totally unbelievable. It isn’t unbelievable because the heroine comes to prefer the illegitimate brother over the Duke. No, it is just the whole premise that the Duke’s staff and family are all willing to so easily believe that a haughty duke would become engaged to a poor shop girl.
Poppy Fairchurch works in a flower shop. She is poor and the guardian of her fifteen-year-old sister. She also fantasizes about the handsome duke who comes into their shop every week to order flowers for different ladies. She knows that a relationship is impossible, but the little fantasy brightens up her otherwise dull existence.
Struan MacKenzie is the illegitimate brother of the Duke and they are not at all friendly. Struan holds no grudge against the Duke and would be friends if the Duke would allow it. However, the Duke cannot accept that his father was unfaithful to his mother and feels that Struan is trying to take advantage of him and his family. ***** NOTE: I just love the name Struan and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in a book before.
The story begins with an altercation between the Duke and Struan and Poppy actually saving the Duke’s life by pushing him out of the way of a runaway coach. Poppy is hailed as a hero and is tasked with seeing that the Duke arrives home safely. Upon arrival at the Duke’s home, the housekeeper overhears Poppy whisper to herself that the Duke must survive because ‘they were to be wed’.
Struan doesn’t believe that his half-brother would ever, under any circumstances become engaged to a shop girl. So, he assumes she is his mistress and proceeds to treat her accordingly. Their relationship changes and grows as the story goes on and it is nice to see that love wins in the end.
I am looking forward to the next books in the series. The dowager duchess is featured in the next book, The Scandal Of It All, and I assume the third book will feature the Duke finally getting his HEA.