An Undeniable Rogue, Complete Reviews
HUNTRESS "Awesome! To call this story incredible would be an understatement." --Huntress Reviews
Gideon St. Goddard, Duke of Stanthorpe, had held his best friend, Hawksworth, on the battlefield of Waterloo as he died. Gideon promised to wed his friend's sister, Sabrina, and take care of her. But Gideon had not understood that Sabrina Whitcomb was the sister-in-law. Sabrina was also a widow, had twin (four year old) boys, and was VERY pregnant! Even so, Gideon lost his heart to them all upon sight.
Gideon quickly found out what a lovely woman Bree was, inside and out. Her deceased husband had been cruel to her and the boys. She married to provide for her children ... and hide from an evil man that still searched for her. Gideon knew it would take a lot of patience to earn the trust of the mother and the twins. But earn it he would!
AWESOME! To call this story incredible would be an understatement. I read the book twice. This is a hero worth dreaming about! Not the average hero in a book that the heroine had to win over. Not the average heroine that had one or two minor problems that seem to get out of proportion. Nope, the roles have been reversed! The heroine has several secrets and most are huge, and dangerous. The hero has to win the heroine and the twins over. I enjoyed this tale thoroughly! Highly recommended reading to all! Do not miss this title.
On a side note, Annette Blair if you read this, know that you have a new fan in me! Write faster! Reviewed by Detra Fitch, HUNTRESS REVIEW
Review for An Undeniable Rogue
Reviewed by: Vesna
Gideon promised his friend Hawksworth to marry, protect, and care for Sabrina Whitcomb. At first, he was reluctant to marry a woman unknown to him. However, that changed when he met her in the kitchen. On the surface it seemed lust at first sight. There would be no problem marrying and bedding her. Of course, he didn't expect Sabrina to be pregnant and have twin sons.
Sabrina's late husband had been a brute of a man. He was both psychologically and physically abusive towards her. With the money she hid from him, Sabrina and her children escaped. Now Sabrina is face to face with a man with whom marriage would be one of convenience.
It was clear since their first encounter that Sabrina and Gideon were physically attracted to each other. It was too bad that neither was secure in marrying the other. When Sabrina's children were abducted, one could see Gideon's love for the children. His love for Sabrina is also revealed when Hawksworth returns for Sabrina and both are in an embrace. Gideon was jealous and saddened by the loss of her. At the end, Sabrina requested to be freed from their agreement-Gideon had purchased her-to be free to be his wife. Now she is his wife, totally his, by her choice.
Overall, I give a rating of ten. For sensuality I give ten, and for historical content I give five. There is a little reference to the battle during the time of Bonaparte. As for sensuality, in practically every scene where the hero and heroine are in the same room, they are touching and then making love. The love scenes are so hot; I have said often enough as I read them "Enough please!"
There are quite a few things I liked in "An Undeniable Rogue". As far as rogues are concerned, Gideon has forgotten that he is a rogue, but then a rogue in love is a rogue whose heart has been caught. This is apparently what happened to him. He didn't recognize that he loved her. He thought he was doing his duty but for another man to (appear to) claim her, he realizes he wants to be the only one for her. Gideon is charming and chivalrous. A number of times he cared for her, protected her; was her friend, an attentive one. I admire Sabrina for showing her love for him. She played the seductress at times. At another time, she stood her ground to get free of their agreement. She didn't want to be a "thing" to him. She told him that she wanted to be his wife.
There wasn't anything I didn't like about "An Undeniable Rogue" except the antagonists; however, it's natural not to like them. I was a little disappointed that little historical reference was made to the battle against Bonaparte. I would have liked that part of the history expanded. I would have wanted to see the hero during the battle: what was he feeling at that moment, his fears, et cetera. However, I would still buy Annette Blair's novels because she is a great story teller of romance. Vesna, Historical Romance Writers
Romantic Times Book Club
...Fantastic! ~ A Keeper
AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE--Annette Blair
When Gideon St. Goddard returns from Waterloo, he finds his home occupied by the woman he has agreed to marry. His deathbed promise to care for his friend's sister was made without Gideon's knowledge that she was pregnant. What ensues is a love story that is pure joy to this reader.
Gideon is shocked at his attraction to Sabrina and honors his promise (to marry her). The Duke takes a Duchess and gets so much more: her twin boys, the misfits she brings into the house, his former mistress' wrath and most of all, the villain who is trying to get Sabrina back.
There's deviltry afoot as Sabrina, believing Gideon is penniless, races in a horse race, then the two must stave off the villain. The old adage that "rakes make the best husbands" must be true if Gideon is the example. The delightful story, enchanting characters who steal your heart, a fast pace and great storytelling have me eager for the next volume in The Rogues Club series. SENSUAL. (July 2002, 315 pages. $5.99)
Evelyn Feiner, Romantic Times Book Club
A Romance Review
Annette Blair, July 2002
Sabrina is a penniless widow and is promised to the Duke Of Stanthorpe in marriage. A promise he gave to his dying friend, her brother-in-law, Hawksworth. What Hawksworth failed to mention was that his bride-to-be was an eight-month pregnant widow with four-year-old twin sons! The Duke is running scared but, as an honourable man, must keep his promise.
Sabrina is the most unlikely of heroines, but a truly delightful one. Gideon, the Duke Of Stanthorpe, is a fantastic hero with his smouldering good looks and a haughty air which hides a wonderful gentleness, to his new wife and ready-made family.
Sabrina has hidden secrets, which she would rather he didnít find out but he is determined to protect his new family from all harm. Her enemies mean to harm her.
The wonderful assortment of elderly characters Sabrina had befriended and given a home at Stanthorpe Place add rich colour to the story. The delightful twins, Damon and Rafe, would win over the hardest of hearts with their escapades and the pets they acquire including the wonderful puppy Drizzle and the unlikely named three-legged cat, Mincemeat!
There is a lot of fun in this story but also a good mystery that the reader gets caught up in. It's easy to feel the real fear of the family as the book builds to its exciting climax.
Annette Blair writes a very good story and has created some unforgettable characters in this excellent tale. I very much look forward to the next story in the Rogues series. I loved this book from beginning to end and highly recommend it as a great summer read. Reviewed in August 2002 by Mary.
The Road to Romance
AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE--Annette Blair
Historical Romance--Zebra Ballad--Book One--The Rogue's Club
Setting: London, England 1815, ISBN# 0-8217-7383-6
A promise to a dying friend throws Gideon St. Goddard, Duke of Stanthorpe, straight into wedded bliss with a woman he has never met. A ravishing bride who is quite round with child. Not his child, he might add. Heaven help him, he cannot stop himself from lusting after her or hoping this arranged marriage will turn into something more cherishable. But how is it she is with child? By whom? Why hadnít his dying friend warned him? And why does he get the feeling his new wife has more surprises in store for him?
Sabrina Whitcomb is beside herself. Sheís just married a rich, demanding and undeniably sexy as sin rogue. A man who wants to claim her heart but also guards his own heart much of the time. A man who makes her feel like a woman for the first time in her life. What will he do when he discovers her other precious secrets? And heaven forbid, if he ever discovers her shameful past.
Annette Blair skillfully pens an exhilarating, humorous and easy to read historical romance. You donít want to miss "AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE", for it is a fabulous tale set in London, England 1815 and Book One in The Rogues Club series. The second fascinating tale "AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE" is due out in October 2002 and AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE will be released as a single title Zebra Historical in November 2003.
I eagerly look forward to reading more from the very talented Annette Blair. Previously published books by Annette are: Precious Gem Regency Historicals Lady Patience and Lady Faith and an Amish historical, Thee, I love. Jan Springer
Romance Reviews Today
AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE--Annette Blair
Historical Romance, London - 1815
AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE is an utterly charming and heartwarming marriage of convenience story that opens with an amusing bit of mistaken identity.
Months after Waterloo and the promise he made to marry and protect the sister of a dying comrade, Gideon St. Goddard, Duke of Stanthorpe finally makes it home to England and the bride who awaits him at his London townhouse. He enters through the back of the house so that he might wash and change before meeting her for the first time and startles a comely kitchen wench. Gideon experiences an immediate rush of lust, but something more also, a curiously strong sense of connection in spite of her most interesting condition. Imagine his surprise when he realizes the ready-to-pup 'wench' is his betrothed.
Sabrina Whitcomb, eight months widowed, takes pity on the poor dusty man, gives him bread and cheese, and instructs the cook to put him with the others. Curious to learn who the others are and why his virgin bride is so obviously not, Gideon goes along with her assumption that he's a hungry beggar. The more he learns of Sabrina, the more she intrigues him. He joins the company of other strays she harbors in his house and contrives a proxy marriage with himself standing in for the still absent duke, thinking he can always arrange annulment when--or if--he wants out.
Sabrina's life has taught her many hard lessons, and she's much better at hiding things than Gideon. While she soon learns his identity, it takes Gideon some time to discover one of Sabrina's secrets. No, make that two secrets--her delightful identical twin sons. Sabrina's reasons for marrying a man she never met are easily understood. She needs to support her children and protect them and herself from a menace from her past.
Gideon's reasons for going through with the marriage under the circumstances are far more complex, but they become understandable as more of his character is revealed. He's a wonderful all-around hero--as a father in training, as supporter of Sabrina's motley group of strays, and most definitely in the marriage bed.
Once the villains are vanquished and lesser conflicts are overcome, Stanthorpe Place on Grosvenor Square becomes a happy household filled with engaging characters whom I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. I highly recommend AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE to all lovers of romance.
In this novel, Annette Blair has written a wonderful beginning to her new series, The Rogue's Club. AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE will follow in October, 2002, and AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE late next year. I'm sure I know who the next hero will be and can hardly wait for his story. Jane Bowers
The Romance Readers Connection
A Step Above Exceptional!
AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE--Annette Blair
Gideon St. Goddard, Duke of Stanthorpe, makes a deathbed promise on the battlefield to marry his friend's sister. Sabrina Whitcomb agrees to the marriage to provide safety from the horrors of her past and security for her children for their future. Based on a portrait hanging in the Duke's home, she expects her intended to be elderly and therefore not a threat. Gideon expects his bride to be a shy, sheltered virgin who will be content to be secluded in the country for most of the time. When this Regency rogue encounters his very pregnant bride-to-be, both are in for a rude awakening.
In Gideon, Annette Blair has given readers a memorable hero. Gideon's devil-may-care attitude hides the soul of a boy who was abused and a man rejected for money. His tenderness toward his new wife and her children softens Sabrina's heart even as she struggles to keep her distance from Gideon. Their wedding night scene will leave readers laughing through their tears, and thoroughly sympathetic to Gideon's condition. Sabrina, despite years of abuse, has not completely lost her innate feistiness. As she learns that Gideon can be trusted, she begins to blossom in the warmth of their growing attraction to each other.
Ms. Blair has a delicate touch with love scenes, particularly with a heroine in a delicate condition. None of her characters are insignificant. Even the baby plays a part in the story, both before and after birth. Ms. Blair does an admirable job of keeping track of her characters, and using them wisely throughout AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE. When Gideon tracks Sabrina down at the racetrack, his questions are exactly the ones readers would ask, adding an extra layer of credibility to the scene. Sabrina's twin sons are well-depicted, avoiding baby-talk and the cloying sweetness of many fictional children. Their nicknames are fitting and funny, and Deviltry is a wonderful name for a horse.
Gideon is certainly AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE, but as readers know, and Sabrina learns, reformed rogues make the best husbands. Regency fans will be thrilled to know that Hawk's story, AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, is due out in October. Readers will want to add both these ROGUES to their collections. Mellanie Crowther
The Rogues Club: An Undeniable Rogue--Annette Blair
To appease a dying comrade, Gideon St. Goddard, Duke of Stanthorpe, agrees to marry -- sight unseen -- Sabrina Whitcomb, the man's indigent widowed "sister." With his tour of duty at an end, and Napoleon Bonaparte no longer a threat to England, Gideon returns to Stanthorpe Place where his prospective bride is awaiting his arrival. Plagued by second, third and forth thoughts, he is nonetheless honor-bound to see this marriage through. Should Sabrina prove to be a homely, insipid wife, well, he could always send her to his country estate in Hertfordshire, whilst he remains among the pleasures of Town.
Having entered through the service entrance, Gideon is flummoxed to discover a luscious wench kneading bread dough, her belly round with child. His throat is parched of a sudden, and a gnawing hunger eats at his belly -- but where the devil is cook? More importantly, who is this glowing Madonna, this fresh faced, voluptuous angel looking set to pop at any moment? He has his suspicions, of course, but is loath to speak them aloud, as Hawksworth failed to mention Sabrina's delicate condition, damn the man! What is Gideon to do with a ready-made family and a comely, impossible-to-ignore wife?
Unaware that she is addressing her husband-to-be, Sabrina confides in the dashing Mr. St. Goddard (an undeniable rogue, to be sure), about her forthcoming marriage and her motivations behind it. She needs a rich husband, you see, a man of means to secure the safety of her children -- that is, her babe, she blushingly corrects, while smoothing a hand over her prodigious stomach. Gideon is ridiculously offended by such blatant calculation, yet he is also charmed by Sabrina's beauty, candor and fighting spirit. If he must purchase a bride, so be it! Sabrina is a fetching goddess who has scorched his soul with simply one glance. He will have her, and the consequences be damned -- but can he earn her trust, if not her love?
An Undeniable Rogue is a feel-good read that shines with warmth, wit and passion. Annette Blair's roguish hero has a rare combination of characteristics: arrogance, caring and vulnerability. Gideon's brusque gentleness is a neat foil for Sabrina's prickliness and insecurity. In point of fact, their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other's beautifully. The lines of communication between Gideon and Sabrina are rusty from disuse, however. Normally, I have little patience for characters who withhold pertinent information, but the ghosts from Sabrina's past influence her behaviour greatly. The same thing could be said for Gideon's actions.
Central to the storyline are Sabrina's children, especially her twin boys, Rafe and Damon, who are an absolute delight, might I add. She tries to keep their presence a secret as long as possible, fearing Gideon's reaction, but the scamps are inevitably discovered. Now, let me put your mind at ease: Far from hindering the developing romance between the hero and heroine, these boys add an emotional dimension to it. Fatherhood has never been sexier with Gideon as the papa figure. He opens his heart to Sabrina and her children, and there's nothing sexier than a man who is confident enough to do so. Family is obviously near and dear to Ms. Blair's heart. Readers will appreciate the heartwarming familial scenes, contrasted as they are against the sweet, sizzling tension between Gideon and Sabrina.
Ms. Blair is off to a winning start in her "Rogues Club" series. An Undeniable Rogue is to be followed by An Unforgettable Rogue in October 2002. Deny it, if you will, but this is one club readers will be eager to join, if only to flaunt their membership in such a prestigious, and yes, delectably attractive club. Reviewed by C.L. Jeffries