Another great addition to the League of Rogues series. This one features the fabulous Brock Kincade whom we met in Ashton Lennox’s book, Wicked Rivals. Our heroine is Ashton’s sister Joanna and our hero is the brother of Ashton’s heroine, Rosalind. So – it is a family affair! It is a wonderful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love that all of Rosalind’s brash, handsome, irrepressible brothers will get their own books – and I hope Ashton’s brothers will as well.
At twenty-years-old, Joanna Lennox has endured three seasons without anyone showing any interest whatsoever. The men don’t even seem interested in dancing with her much less courting her. What in the world is wrong with her? She just doesn’t understand it. She isn’t ugly, she has a large dowry, she’s intelligent and has all of the skills required for running a large home – so, why isn’t anyone – even a fortune hunter – interested in her?
I loved the opening scene in the book. Joanna is in the library late in the evening when she sees a tall man, dressed in dark clothes, entering the room. She doesn’t recognize him, but he says he is Rosalind’s brother – then, he kisses her senseless and ties her up. He’s there to ‘rescue’ his sister from the evil clutches of Ashton.
To say that there is no love lost between Brock and Ashton is putting it mildly. However, Ashton has to suck it up and tolerate Brock – at least until the wedding is over – because Brock is walking Rosalind down the aisle. However, when Ashton catches Brock alone in a room with Joanna, kissing her, with his hand up her skirt, Ashton goes berserk and orders him from the house. What Ashton doesn’t know is that Brock is determined to marry Joanna – not for her money (though that is a plus), but because he wants her - the real her.
Given Ashton’s animosity toward Brock, he and Joanna decide to go to Gretna Green to marry over the anvil. They have to be crafty in order to escape without Ashton and the League managing to overtake them. On that trip, Joanna discovers strengths and bravery she never knew she possessed. They slept outdoors and were even kidnapped by highwaymen, yet she never complained and moved forward. Even when her brother caught up with them, she stood up to him and faced him down. Joanna turns out to be quite a heroine.
Brock Kincade, along with his brothers and sister grew up in one of the most abusive homes I’ve ever read in a story. His father was extremely abusive and violent. Brock is so afraid that he’s like his father that he won’t allow himself to be violent in any way – even when he’s attacked, he only does the minimum to protect himself. Brock’s father did some despicable things and betrayed some of the Highland clans. Those clans haven’t forgotten what happened and some have transferred that animosity to Brock. Who are the hidden enemies at the castle? Are they after Brock or Joanna – or both?
You really need to read this delightful series – including this book. The characters are wonderful – you’ll fall in love with all of them as you read the books. Joanna and Brock are both wonderful characters and I can’t wait to see their siblings get their own books.
BTW – I read the Whispersync version of this book so I listened to the audio as well as reading. The narrator, Heather Wilds, has a wonderful range of ‘voices’ and I thoroughly enjoyed listening. Her Scots brogue was wonderful to hear – especially the Gaelic ballads – I loved those.