Saturday, 20 July 2013

Review: The Rogue Steals a Bride (The Rogues' Dynasty #6) - Amelia Grey*

Matson Brentwood has finally met the woman of his dreams. The lovely, red-haired Sophia Hart heats his blood like no other lady. Her alluring countenance has stopped him dead in his tracks. But no matter how attracted he is to her, he can’t give into his desire to possess her in every way because she is the ward of the man he’s sworn to hate. 
Newly arrived in London, Miss Sophia Hart is in need of a husband, but not for herself. She has twin, spinster aunts and one of them has decided she wants a man. Sophia agrees to help her aunt by allowing older gentlemen to call on her and then make sure Auntie spends more time in the gentleman’s company than Sophia does. But when Sophia meets the darkly handsome and intriguing Mr. Matson Brentwood, she knows that for the first time, she in danger of losing her heart.  
But there’s more than just an adversarial guardian and a long list of beaus standing between Sophia and Matson. Sophia promised her dying father she would honor his lifelong plan for her as an heiress and marry a titled gentleman. Matson isn’t titled so she must deny her love for him and make up to her father for costing him the love of his life.
Ameila Grey is yet another new author to me, where have I been?  Rogue Steals a Bride was a promotional book given to me by NetGalley and I jumped in on the first day of my holiday full of excitement.

The Rogue Steals a Bride is the sixth novel in Amelia Grey's Rogues' Dynasty series which has been receiving rave reviews all over the place, typically I am late to the party.

Sophia Hart has made a promise to her father, she will not marry a man without a title. In fulfilling her dear departed father's dream Sophia knows that despite her initial feelings for Matson Brentwood nothing can come of their  acquaintance. However, love isn't always that easy.

Sophia's promise to her father is the barrier between her character and the reader. Initially, Sophia seems to posses strong convictions and an admirable amount of honour in sticking to the promise she made. However, after awhile she starts to become a little tiresome and stubborn. While I understand that our hero and heroine must over come societal and familial obstacles in order to declare their love in a satisfyingly romantic manner, Sophia's constant encouragement to Matson despite her seemingly unwavering vow comes across as a little deceitful. If the reader had been privy to a few more doubts and waverings on the part of Sophia I think this impression would have been softened somewhat, but for me for a lot of the book she merely comes across as a little immature and unnecessarily indulgent.

Matson is a likeable hero, charming and honourable. Despite his initial and instantaneous attraction to Sophia, Matson attempts to keep his distance knowing of Sophia's wishes to marry someone above his situation as well as the added complication of his complex history with her guardian, Sir Randolph. It is Matson that lays his feelings bare for the reader and it is his character that truly recommends the book, I found myself rooting for him for the off but also wished that he'd selected someone a little less pious than Sophia.

Secondary characters Mae and June, Sophia's twin, spinster aunts provide quite a bit of amusement and I thoroughly enjoyed their subplot storyline as well as their dragon-like chaperoning of Sophia. The other subplot, involving Matson and Sir Randolph, didn't particularly appeal to me on the same level as Sophia's aunts and seemed to fizzle out without a satisfying resolution.

All in all, I found Sophia's insistence to marry a titled man based on her father's wishes overdone and a tad annoying, Matson was clearly not going to be the kind of man her father objected to and Sophia's refusal to believe that her father would surely rather see her happy than landing a title began to grate on me after a while. If Grey had turned the storyline more into the direction of a class based issue with Sophia battling against her station (a storyline successfully managed by Hoyt and Quinn) then I feel the story would have held my interest for longer. Nevertheless, The Rogue Steals a Bride is still an enjoyable read to while away an afternoon and it certainly has piqued my interest in the rest of the Rogues' Dynasty series.

*Free copy received from publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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