Reviewed for Wit and Sin
The Virgin and the Rogue is a fast-paced romance with a bit of an old school historical romance feel. It begins with Charlotte accidentally being dosed with an aphrodisiac, leading to a heated encounter with Kingston, the stepbrother of Charlotte’s brother-in-law. Kingston is shocked by this and though he doesn’t stop Charlotte’s actions, he doesn’t take advantage of her either. I struggled with this part of the story because – while I can see author Sophie Jordan likely intended the “tonic” to be a device to open Charlotte’s eyes to her true wants and needs – the way it played out felt uncomfortable to me. An aphrodisiac that effectively takes over Charlotte made her first sexual encounter with Kingston unpalatable to me, though I think the intent was for the scene to be sexy. This all happens in the beginning of the story so it’s not a spoiler and I give the detail more so people know what they’re getting into with this book.
Troubling beginning aside, The Virgin and the Rogue is an OK romance. Charlotte was a rather insipid heroine hiding behind a bland engagement, her role as the “boring” sister, and the excuse that she was dosed with an aphrodisiac. She finds her voice over the course of the story, but it’s not the most interesting voice out there and it takes her quite some time to be honest with herself. Charlotte is, in a word, unobjectionable. Kingston is the more interesting of the pair; a reformed rogue who is at loose ends when the story begins. Kingston is the illegitimate son of an earl and a courtesan and watching his mother waste away and his father continue his hedonistic lifestyle without any care has left a big impact on him. I liked Kingston and wished we delved further into his character and his tense relationship with his stepbrother than we did. Kingston is a good mix of gentleman and rogue and he brings Charlotte out of her shell. Their romance is push-pull and felt a bit shallow at times, but I liked where they ended up.
I had major issues with The Virgin and the Rogue, but it was by no means a bad book. Ms. Jordan has an engaging writing style and the pages of the story practically flew by. Charlotte just wasn’t the heroine for me and the initial premise of the story made me uncomfortable in a way the author probably did not intend. Still, I will happily read the next Rogue Files book, The Duke Effect, because Charlotte’s scientist sister Nora was utterly fascinating and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Jordan has in store for her.
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.