The Rogue Is Back in Town by Anna Bennett
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers, #3
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really, really wanted to love this book, but I just didn’t – I liked it, but it was just not as good as the previous books and felt a bit contrived.
Juliette Lacey aka Julie is the last of the “Wilting Wallflowers” still living with her uncle. Her sisters have made spectacular matches and gone to live with their husbands. Julie is happy for her sisters but she is also a little jealous, she wants to find the love of her life like they did and thought that maybe she had, but apparently it was not meant to be. So for now she is happy caring for her uncle Alistair. She is a little worried that he has become more confused lately and has started having conversations with his late wife. But, she is sure it is just because of all the changes going on lately and doesn’t want to bother her sisters about it.
Lord Samuel Travis aka Sam (and erroneously addressed as Lord Travis) has finally pushed his brother Nigel, the Marquess of Currington too far. His brother summons him and tells him that he is finished with him, but he will give him one final chance to redeem himself. Nigel has learned that he inherited a house and wants the occupants kicked out immediately. Sam will see to this task and will not be welcomed home until it is done. His brother has hired “help” to see that Sam leaves immediately.
Sam wants to mend the rift with his brother so he agrees to evict the occupants and figures he will be home in time for luncheon. But Sam is not prepared for Julie….
Julie refuses to leave and wants proof that the house belongs to Nigel. Sam has nowhere to live until he gets Julie and her uncle out of the house, so he refuses to leave. Julie agrees to let Sam stay – but she has conditions, like her uncle cannot know why he is there and if he leaves the house, he can’t come back. Sam agrees. He writes to Nigel and tells him Julie wants to see the deed. What Sam doesn’t know is that Nigel is the man that Julie had thought might be “the one”.
Neither of them seem to realize that they are being played by a master manipulator. Nigel is a total jerk and tries to make Julie his mistress, first by pretending that he didn’t know she lived in the house and then later by blackmail – threatening to ruin her by revealing that Sam was staying with her.
Sam is a really good guy who lives for pleasure, basically because he has nothing else to do – but after spending time with Julie and Alistair, he decides it is time for him to find his calling. He wants Julie, but he has nothing to offer her and he truly wants to be worthy of her. I liked Sam, he is not perfect, but he is loyal and kind. How he and Nigel came from the same gene pool is a mystery.
Julie was just TSTL, seriously, I wanted her to marry Sam, but I am not sure it would be a good idea for someone that stupid to procreate. She is threatened with ruin and eviction, but she doesn’t contact either of her very rich, very powerful brother in laws – because she doesn’t want to “bother” them? Are you effing kidding me? The entire plot just seemed implausible and contrived.
I didn’t hate the book, but after reading the first two, I expected a strong finish to the series and was sorely disappointed. The writing is ok, the love scenes steamy, the pace was good and Sam is to die for, but the story is weak and certainly not on par with the previous books. If you have read the first two books, then by all means, read this story. But if you are just starting with this author, do yourself a favor and read My Brown-Eyed Earl or I Dared the Duke instead of this book.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*