As Rich as a Rogue
Book 3 in the Rakes and Rogues series
By Jade Lee
Narrated by Elizabeth Bidwell
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Aug 2, 2016
Running time 13 hrs
Audio CD provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Mari Powel’s fiery Welsh temper is up. Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is back in town after six years romping around India making his fortune. Mari blames him for her social downfall and has spent all this time clawing her way back into the town’s good graces. How dare he show up on his first day back and publicly embroil her in a bet involving long-awaited apologies, illicit kisses, and Lady Illston’s unruly parakeet? Mari is outraged, and is going to show him—and everyone else—what she’s made of. Little does she know, the unrepentant Lord Whitly has been dreaming of her all this time. Now he’ll do anything to win the wager—along with Mari’s heart.
Jade Lee has really, REALLY, hit her stride with this book. Okay, at first I was skeptical; the main male character, Peter, uses the word “Titties” at least three times. It feels juvenile — and that’s probably her point. When Peter first meets Mari he’s a childish rogue. When we meet him in the park in the first chapter he has come back to England from his own personal mission to have a meaningful life, to be of consequence.
As someone whose mother has been living with her for the past two months I know only too well how one can be returned to feeling like a teenager in a moment by being back in a parent/offspring situation. Peter has to deal with his father, a man for whom he has no respect. “Titties” is the symbol of that childhood he’s labored to escape, the idle life of the nobility-in-waiting.
For Mari, the story is about the anger she’s been nurturing for the six years Peter has been off finding himself. And, it’s about her coming to understand that she has been stifled by her anger, and that the goal of marrying someone of consequence may not be what she wanted all along.
Lee has deftly written a story identifying social and political issues of the period: poverty, crime, and the injustice of the Regency period when nobles were able to behave abominably.
So as the relationship between the love interests develops they are also growing up. It’s a Regency Coming of Age with a very hot relationship to boot.
The narration is great – anyone who can narrate a parrot throughout is a “Winner” (The parrot’s favorite phrase). But beyond that she has good cadence and accents. I found her Welsh accent not unlike the accent of my one friend from Wales.
I was impressed by this story, it has more than the expected heated hook ups and the book is much weightier in ideas than an average romance. I recommend this one!