Rowena’s review of Once More, My Darling Rogue (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #2) by Lorraine Heath.
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 her 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.
This is the second book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series by Lorraine Heath. It follows Drake Darling and Lady Ophelia Lyttleton on their road to happiness. What I thought was interesting about this book was that there were times when I hated both the hero and the heroine of this book.
When we first meet Lady Ophelia, she is giving Drake Darling (a guy who wasn’t born into the aristocracy but who was raised by them) the cut direct. She is the biggest snob and completely ridiculous that I wanted to punch her in her throat. But over the course of the book, you see her slowly start to change but you question everything about her at first because while you’re seeing her change, she’s got amnesia and has no memory of being a Lady…and this is where I started to hate Drake.
When we first meet Drake, he’s a sexy man getting his party on at a ball for the girl that grew up like a sister to him and one of his friends engagement balls. He’s tall and strikingly handsome so he’s getting a lot of attention from the ladies but not Lady Ophelia. Lady Ophelia tries to shun him in front of a Duke, who just so happens to be an acquaintance of Drake’s and when Drake gets her alone and tries to teach her a lesson, he gets a slap to the face for his efforts.
Right from the jump, you can tell that something happened to Lady Ophelia but you don’t know what because she covers her tracks by being such a bitch. So when Drake is out on a walk, late at night and comes across Lady Ophelia in the river, he fishes her out and tries to get some answers. What happened to her? Why was she in the river? Why doesn’t she remember anything? And then he does the dumbest thing I could think of…he takes her to his house and tells her that she’s his servant.
Now, he was only supposed to teach her a short lesson but after a few days of her thinking she’s his servant, acting like his servant and him treating her like his servant, I wanted to punch him in his throat. Lessons may have been needed but not like that.
So after all of that, you’d think that I hated the book but that’s not the case at all. I think it’s a testament to how much I enjoy Lorraine Heath’s writing that she pulled this one out for me because a shift came over both Lady Ophelia and Drake over the course of the story and it was that shift that kept me coming back for more. I liked seeing them change into the people they were in the end. I loved seeing them fall in love with each other before the inevitable fallout came forth. My heart went out to the both of them time and time again and when I finished the book, I sighed a happy sigh and thought, “This is why I read romances.” That happy sigh at the end means the book was good. I really enjoyed this one. Heath did a great job entertaining the socks off of me at the same time she was pulling out every other emotion out of me. I recommend this book.
Grade: 4 out of 5
This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here and here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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