Thursday, September 16, 2010

SCOUNDREL’S HONOR by Rosemary Rogers

Publisher: HQN
Date Published: November 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0373774562
Historical Romance
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by publisher

After the death of her parents, Emma Linley-Kirov does her best to keep up the small inn they left her as well as care for her younger sister Anya. For years Emma has scarified all for Anya and done all she can to keep distant relatives from separating them. When one day Anya leaves a note that she has run off with two of the inn’s guests to embark on a career as an actress. Broken hearted Emma heads to St. Petersburg trying to find her beloved sister and bring her home. What she finds is a dark and dangerous world of stolen women and children. She also finds Dimitri Tipova, the Beggar Czar—the kingpin of criminals. Having amassed vast wealth through not quite legal activities, Dimitri is surprised to find his attraction to Emma. Despite their diverse backgrounds, Dimitri and Emma share one thing in common—they abhor the men who traffic in unsuspecting and innocent young women. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dimitri agrees to help Emma, but not at the cost of leaving behind his own investigation. Together they follow Anya’s trail, first to England and then to Egypt. What Emma finds along the way is betrayal and heartbreak, but she also finds a once in a lifetime love. Imprisoned by Ali Pasha, the Calif Rajih pursues Emma with a single minded devotion. Yet Emma will not abandon her quest to bring Anya safely back home to Russia and their safe, small village.

Even before I knew SCOUNDREL’S HONOR was due to be released, earlier this summer I wanted to reconnect with the reason I fell in love with reading romance, particularly historical romance. Rosemary Rogers was the first romance author I read and for me, she has set the bar for all others. Ask any long time romance reader and one of the first two names you hear is Ms. Rogers. SCOUNDREL’S HONOR takes readers from Russia to England to Egypt in a sweeping saga. When I first began reading and saw the story beginning in Russia I was instantly reminded of DARK FIRES, the second book of the Ginny and Steve series where Ginny learns she is the Czar’s daughter. As I re-read DARK FIRES this summer I glimpsed Ms. Rogers’ intrigue with Russia. It was a delight to see that long ago thread carried out in locale even in an entirely different story. I knew if it was a Rogers’ story there would be passion and memorable characters.

I didn't much care for Emma. She is one of those annoying heroines who forces herself into situations she has no business being in. I couldn’t see why Dimitri and Rajih fell in love with her. They admit she is annoying, but her stubbornness went beyond that.

On the other hand, I adored Dimitri. He is a solid hero, with just the right amount of flaw and a heart of gold. He has his goals firmly in place and single-mindedly pursues each one. He can pursue me any day!

It also seemed to me that “modern” formulaic writing rules have found their way into Ms. Rogers’ writing. By formulaic I mean the stringent one point of view per scene, either the hero or the heroine’s but no peeking into what the other may be thinking until it is time for their scene. After the passion and drama, the intense love scenes where both the hero and heroine’s emotions are laid bare to readers, SCOUNDREL’S HONOR seemed flat. It was a good read. I enjoyed seeing Emma and Dimitri venture into each new locale and deal with each barrier to their relationship, but it didn't read like vintage Rogers.

No matter what the story, no matter what the time or place, Rosemary Rogers writes loves stories that endure and always will.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

1 comment:

Patti said...

OMG! Rosemary Rogers! I don't read romance and even I know that name! Wow, she is a classic!