"However, if you believe that our good neighbors would be as interested in knowing that Lord Dunsbourne takes off his jacket and cravat to work in the orchard as they would be to know that the always-impeccably-turned-out Miss Hadford wore a maid's dress that showed a significant amount of her very shapely legs, you are terribly mistaken."
It is widely known throughout society that Lord Adam Dunsbourne is a rogue of the worst sort. Not only did he carelessly gamble away the majority of his families fortune but he holds his own sister hostage in their country estate...or so the rumor goes. Upon first meeting Lord Dunsbourne, Phoebe Hadford struggles to connect the malicious rumors with the man before her. Determined to uncover the truth, Phoebe sets out to untangle the web of rumors and form her own opinion of the mysterious family.
thoughts & feelings
We've all heard of the gossip mongers in Society. In fact, I feel like every period romance novel I've read gossiping, the tabbies, or gossip mongers are specifically mentioned. I love that An Alleged Rogue dives into this portion of society and the power that "a bit of gossip" can have on an individual and family. At the beginning of the novel I was a little unsure about our leading lady, Phoebe Hadford. We met her in book two, An Uncommon Earl, and to be honest she wasn't my favorite character. However, my opinion of her completely turned around within the first few chapters of An Alleged Rogue. While I'm being honest, I admit that I also had a massive change of heart towards her father as well.
I love how well rounded Phoebe is. She enjoys being out in society, keeps up on the latest fashion trends, and seems to be well sought after at society functions. However, she is so much more than what she portrays to Society. One of my favorite parts of this novel is when Phoebe comes to the realization that shining in Society may have come at a higher price than she thought. How many of her friends really knew her or even cared to know her? I also loved that Phoebe does not take gossip (no matter how widely circulated and accepted) at face value and is determined to form her own opinions of Adam and his sister Emily. Furthermore, I love that her father fully supports her decision and sets out to do the same.
Now onto our main man, Lord Adam Dunsbourne. I really enjoyed seeing a member of high society actually work their land. Not that I think that titled gentlemen were fat old men that sat around and wrote correspondence all day...but kind of. Honestly, I always picture these gentlemen sitting behind their large oak desks, surrounded by stacks of letters bossing people around. Even in novels we hear them talk about tenants and investments but we don't really see them do much. You guys know how much I love characters that display the resiliency of the human spirit, and Adam completely embodies that. It would be so easy for him to give up, place the blame at everyone else's feet, and create excuse after excuse for his lot in life. Instead, he humbly bears the burden, sells what he can, and focuses on improving his own land in order to create a steady and reliable income for the Dunsbourne estate. The moments in the apple orchard are honestly my favorite parts of the book. I loved seeing Adam work alongside his servants and treat them as friends and colleagues. As painful and heartbreaking as it was, I love that we get to see the struggles and worries that Adam faces with the harvest and cider mill. Bascially, I just love Adam...the end.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Content Warnings: mild violence
Trigger Warnings: none
Title: An Alleged Rogue
Series: Georgian Gentlemen #3
Author: Sian Ann Bessey