Once More, My Darling Rogue

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Once More, My Darling Rogue

Once More, My Darling Rogue is the second book in the Scoundrels of St. James series by Lorraine Heath. It focuses on Drake Darling and Lady Ophelia Lyttleton. We meet both of these characters in the first book, When the Duke Was Wicked. Lady Ophelia is Lady Grace's best friend. We should also note that Drake Darling is that little boy Frannie and Sterling adopted in Surrender to the Devil who was then known as Peter Sykes.

Let me start by saying this book is very emotional since it touches on subjects that are not usually touched on in Historical Romances. In this book, it's is both the hero and heroine that are scarred. They each are presenting a facade to hide their true feelings and nature.

Drake Darling, who now manages Dodger's Drawing Room, feels like he is still a few inches from the gutter where he came from despite being raised by the Duke and Duchess of Greystone and being friends with a Duke and a few other members of the peerage. Naturally, Ophelia knows about his sordid past and does not let anyone, including Drake, forget it. In fact, she treats him as little more than a servant. The twist comes when Drake rescues Ophelia by the Thames. Now she has amnesia. He decides to teach her a lesson by claiming that she is his housekeeper.

When I started reading this book, I knew that there was something drastic in Ophelia's past that she was trying to conceal and she was also trying to hide her attraction to Drake. When she was rescued and woke up in Drakes rooms, her walls fall and Drake is able to catch a glimpse of the woman within. Initially, he had wanted to teach her a lesson for a day, but he couldn't seem to let her go. There was also the mystery of how she came to be in the Thames, in the middle of the night.

At first I didn't warm up to Drake. In fact, I had no patience for his tricks and his plan to teach Ophelia a lesson. But as the story wore on I could see that Drake was also struggling. Not only with his past, but with his future.

I loved that both Ophelia and Drake cultivated a friendship and got closer as they were constantly in contact with each other. Things change when the distinctions between the classes was gone. Ophelia was able to ask for help from a next door maid and make friends with her. She even tried to do her "real duties" as Drake's housekeeper.

I love the subtle passion that the author added to the story. It wasn't as spicy as most romances, but there was a really steamy tub bath that I really loved. Plus the passion sizzled between the two characters. It was just perfect.

When the villain of the story was finally revealed, I was not surprised. This trope has been done before, but I liked the way Ms. Heath made it her own. I also liked that she used an issue that was not only true then but also today.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This is hands down the best book in the series so far. Ms. Heath did not disappoint!

Book Blurb for Once More, My Darling Rogue

They are England's most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways . . .

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can't escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he's not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning, he realizes she doesn't remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she's his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can't be denied, regardless of consequences. So when Ophelia's memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2014 5.00