Rogue in My Arms
by Celeste Bradley
rogue–noun 1. a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel. 2. a playfully mischievous person; scamp 3. a tramp or vagabond.
My biggest complaints about this book probably have more to do with the publisher and/or editor than the actual book itself. So, I'm just going to get this out of the way and then move on to the actual review of the book itself. The title Rogue In My Arms? Sir Colin Lambert is about the farthest from rogue as one can get. He is honest, forthright, caring and to top it all of, hasn't been with a woman for three and a half years. The back blurb ends by leading you to believe that Pru is not someone in Sir Colin's sphere, and yet from almost the very beginning of the book you know that she is quality, but just hiding from some scurrilous relatives that wanted her committed to an asylum and beat her brother into submission so they could take his fortune.
So that's it, the only two complaints out of the way. Now let's move on to the book and what I liked about it. The first is the theme of the book. It might have been done before, but it was never done quite this way. The story is written as a flashback as a family friend retells the story to Melody on her wedding day twenty years later. Melody was left on the door step of a gentleman's club with three potential fathers. This is the second installment of the The Runaway Brides series from Celeste Bradley.
When Melody is left on the doorstep, Sir Colin Lambert thinks maybe she is his daughter. Three years ago Colin fell ‘head over heels' for Chantal, a beautiful actress, who thrust him aside knowing he didn't have enough money to keep her in style. He sets out after Chantal assuming that their parental duties to Melody will be the leverage he needs to keep her. On the road Colin figures out quickly that caring for a 3-yr-old and driving is not an easy feat. When he lands in Brighton, were Chantal was last known to be, he runs into Pru and Evan Filby, who just happen to be heading to London.
Although there is a slight beginning attraction, it is not until they spend more time in each other's company that they truly become appealing to one another. It's almost nicer when a couple isn't instantly combusting from attraction. Colin has an honest, good guy thing going for him, while Pru is witty and sarcastic. It's a good pairing. Throw in a bloodthirsty 3-yr-old and a too-big-for-his-britches 12-yr-old, and you have some amusing tales following these four across the countryside.
These characters are fun, but most importantly they are real. They aren't larger than life; they aren't shining examples of humanity. They're just normal every day people. Even though you might not always agree with their course of action, you agree with their reasoning. I really did like both of them. These are people I would be friends with. The supporting characters were…well…characters. Lively and full of personality, I found myself giggling from time to time at the antics. I will definitely be picking up the first in the series so I can spend more time with the whole cast.
Although there is a small side plot of mystery it's merely that, small and off to the side. It's not dragged out beyond its usefulness nor overly suspenseful. It is provided merely as a device to showcase our main characters and give them more depth.
Having never read a Celeste Bradley book before, I am happy to say that I now have a new author to follow.
“A light-hearted, endearing story about a man in search of a family.”
April 2010, 332 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's
When Sir Colin Lambert learns that the little girl left on the steps of his gentleman's club belongs to one of its members, he's filled with hope. Could Melody be the daughter of the beautiful, impulsive actress who broke his heart? Colin is determined to find out with the help of his lost love's former seamstress, Miss Prudence Filby. But soon, Pru's disarming manner and seductive voice are stirring all manner of doubts in his mind - as well as some delicious fantasies.
Pru's only motivation in helping Colin is to reclaim the wages she's owed. Or at least, it was, before days and nights traveling together draw them into a heated, thrilling intimacy. But as soon as Pru discovers his noble status, she suspects she's been a fool. To a man of his standing, she can hardly be more than a dalliance, even if their scorching passion makes her long to take center stage in his life - and in his arms.