Friday, June 26, 2020

Review: About a Rogue by Caroline Linden

About a Rogue by Caroline Linden
Series: Desperately Seeking Duke, Book 1
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9780062913623
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Source: Publisher
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It’s no love match…
Bianca Tate is horrified when her sister Cathy is obliged to accept an offer of marriage from Maximilian St. James, notorious rake. Defiantly she helps Cathy elope with her true love, and takes her sister’s place at the altar.

It’s not even the match that was made…
Perched on the lowest branch of his family tree, Max has relied on charm and cunning to survive. But an unexpected stroke of luck gives him an outside chance at a dukedom—and which Tate sister he weds hardly seems to matter.

But could it be the perfect match?
Married or not, Bianca is determined to protect her family’s prosperous ceramics business, even when Max shows an affinity for it—not to mention a dangerous ability to intrigue and tempt Bianca herself. And when Max realizes how beautiful and intelligent and desirable Bianca is, he’ll have to prove he’s no rogue, but the passionately devoted husband she craves…

Bianca Tate loves two things: her family and Perusia, her family’s ceramics business. When her father agrees to let a rogue with some paper-thin connection to a duke marry Bianca’s sister, Cathy, and have a quarter share in Perusia, Bianca is furious. Not only is Cathy in love with another, how dare her father give away a piece of her inheritance to a stranger known for his gambling? In a fury, Bianca helps Cathy elope with her beloved…only to find that she herself has to take Cathy’s place at the altar. She may have to marry Maximilian St. James, but she’s determined he won’t interfere in her life or her family’s business. Only Max turns out to be quite different than she imagined. Slowly Bianca finds herself thawing to the stranger she married as she learns that perhaps there may be more to the charming rogue than she first thought.

About a Rogue is so much fun to read! Max and Bianca have excellent chemistry and I loved watching Bianca in particular go from loathing her husband and all she believes him to be to falling for the real man beneath the rogue.

Max grabbed my heart from the first. He’s got a good heart, sharp business sense, and has had a difficult life. Learning that he’s possibly in line for a dukedom is the first stroke of luck he’s had in a long time. It’s not the possibility of a title, but rather the money promised if he becomes respectable that gives Max the leg up he needs to find the security he so craves. Perusia isn’t just a means to an end for him and I loved watching Max’s business acumen at work as he comes up with new ideas. He’s the perfect addition to the Tate family, whether Bianca wants to admit it or not. As for Bianca, there are a few Taming of the Shrew elements in the beginning of About a Rogue as she resists her father’s plans and Max’s charms. I understood why she was so angry, though because I had more insight to Max than she, I felt sorry for him. However, Max stays one step ahead of Bianca in often funny ways and I loved the sparks that flew between them. Bianca is fiercely loving in addition to incredibly talented and once she begins to see the true Max the story really takes flight. They are a dynamite pair and I loved watching their relationship develop.

About a Rogue is the first book in the Desperately Seeking Duke series and I cannot wait to see what Caroline Linden has in store for the other Carlyle heirs. Each story promises to be quite different and in this one I loved the backdrop of the ceramics business. From the artistry of it to Max’s ideas for expanding the business to Bianca’s gift for glazes and knowledge of chemistry, the Perusia part of the story not only added depth to the world and story, it was fascinating in its own right. I truly adored About a Rogue and will happily revisit Max and Bianca again and again.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.