This is a great story. The Rogues are 12 school friends who banded together to protect each other from bullies. Now they are adults and all have suffered to some extent from the war with Napoleon. This particular book focuses on the story of Dare Debenham who had not returned from the war. Everyone assumed he was dead and his parents especially mourned the loss. Several of the Rogues also were particularly saddened at his loss because they felt he had joined the fight because they had. In a previous book, "The Devil's Heiress", they learned he was still barely alive due to the work of a French spy they had dealt with before. She had taken Dare in while he was recovering from being trampled by a horse during the battle of Waterloo, and proceeded to get him addicted to opium. It is months later and he is trying to get off the drug but the final stages are so terrible many people expect him to have to continue taking the drug for the rest of his life.
He has come to London to try to force himself to partake in activities with his friends. So far he has turned down all invitations and stayed to himself until a childhood friend, sister to his best friend, shows up on his doorstep in her shift and corset and an old blanket wrapped around her. Lady Mara St. Bride, who had always been impulsive, has gotten herself into trouble again. She was shoeless and could not walk the mile to her sister's house where she was staying. Then she remembered Dare's address a few blocks away and went there knowing he would always help her. Now that she is no longer the child he remembered, sparks are lit. Although he tries to not form any attachment he finds Mara irresistible. He feels he is dangerous to her because when it is time to take a dose of the opium he gets restless and can lose control of himself. The rest of the book is the story of how they meet many almost overwhelming challenges but continue to work through the problems with the help of the other Rogues.
I especially loved this book because so many of the other Rogues participate in the story. It is also great to see Dare returned to health after being treated so badly in "The Devil’s Heiress". He also has the two children he had cared for in that story and fights to maintain custody of them. Mara's love is instrumental in his overcoming the last stages of getting free from the drugs effects. There is an interesting letter to the readers at the end of the book where the author explains how she researched the issue of opium addiction. Overall, a great story.
There are some explicit premarital sex scenes but they are well written and fit into the story. I would rate the book "R" due to the sex. The rest of the story is sweet and romantic.