Once More my Darling Rogue
The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James # 2
By: Lorraine Heath
Releasing August 26th, 2014
From New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath, comes the second book in a brand new series, The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, featuring three eligible bachelors...and the scoundrels that reside within each.
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.
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-more-my-darling-rogue-lorraine-heath/1117542218?ean=9780062276247iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/once-more-my-darling-rogue/id771705715?mt=11
He considered telling her to fetch the champagne herself, but he knew she would view it as a victory, that she was hoping to get a rise out of him, wanted to prove that he wasn’t gentleman enough not to insult a lady. Or perhaps she simply wanted to ensure that he knew his place. As though he could ever forget it. He bathed every night, scrubbed his body viciously, but he could not scrape the grime of the streets off his skin. His family had embraced him, their friends had embraced him, but he still knew what he was, knew from whence he’d come. If he told Lady Ophelia the truth about everything that lurked in his past, she would no doubt pale and the moonbeams that served for her hair would curl and shrivel in horror.
From the ladies circling about, he sensed their anticipation on the air, perhaps even the hope that he would put her in her place. He’d never understood the cattiness that he sometimes witnessed between women. He knew Grace had received her share of jealousy because her immense dowry had made men trip over themselves to gain her favor. But Lady O for all her dislike of him had remained loyal to Grace, had served as his sister’s confidante, had been a true friend. She didn’t deserve his disdain or a set-down in front of ladies who might have wished Grace less attention.
He tilted his head slightly. “As you desire, Lady Ophelia.” He turned to the others. “I’ll be but a moment, ladies, and then we can continue our discussion regarding the most alluring fragrances.”
For some reason they had devised a little game that resulted in his striving to name the flower that scented their perfume. It required a lot of leaning in along with inhaling on his part, and soft sighs on theirs.
Lady Ophelia had arrived on a cloud of orchids that teased and taunted, promising forbidden pleasures that in spite of his best attempts to ignore, lured him. Of all the women, why the devil did she intrigue him? Perhaps because she offered such a challenge, had erected walls that only the most nimble could scale in order to gain the real treasure behind them. He was adept at reading people, but for the life of him he’d never been able to read her.
Twisting on his heel, he headed to the table where champagne and sundry other refreshments were being poured. He was acutely aware of her gaze homed in on his back. He suspected if he looked over his shoulder, he would see her whispering with the other ladies, warning them off. Little did she realize that she would be doing him a favor if she could ensure that he was left in peace. He had committed to three more dances, and wouldn’t disappoint his soon-to-be partners by heading to the gaming salon before he’d completed his obligations. Nor was he going to give Lady Ophelia the satisfaction of ruining his evening by sending him on errands. One glass was all she’d garner from him.
He didn’t know why, two years ago at Grace’s coming out ball, he had asked Lady Ophelia to dance. He had thought she had grown into an exquisite creature, and she was Grace’s friend. While she had often looked down her nose on him, she’d been a child then and he’d assumed she’d outgrown childish things. He couldn’t have been more wrong. With a horrified look, she had given him a cut direct. Turned her back on him without even responding to his invitation. It had not spared his pride to realize that others had witnessed the rebuff.
Snatching up a flute of champagne from the table, he wended his way back through the throng, not at all surprised to find that she had moved on. He considered downing the bubbly brew but hard whiskey was more to his liking, and then he heard her seductive laughter. How the devil could an ice maiden have such a throaty, sensual laugh, a siren’s song that arrowed straight to the groin?
I hated Ophelia at first, but she won me over as Phee. As the story progresses, you see the real Ophelia emerge. There are secrets she has kept from everyone regarding her past that made her the woman we see at the beginning.
I automatically sided with Drake at the beginning based on the way Ophelia treated him. He also has secrets from his past that he must be careful not to reveal to her while she suffers from amnesia. He knows that she would use them against him once she remembers who she is.
The development of their relationship is tender, sweet and passionate. There were some tears shed before the end, but they get their HEA. There are a few passionate scenes in the book once they give into their feelings for each other. I enjoyed this book so much that I went out and bought When the Duke Was Wicked, book one in the series!
LORRAINE HEATH always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. After reading a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s RITA® and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/once-more-my-darling-rogue-scandalous.html