An Unforgettable Rogue
"Marvelous! ... one of the best tales written during the entire 2002 year! I predict awards..." Huntress Reviews
Alexandra "Alex" Huntington had loved Bryceson Wakefield, the Fifth Duke of Hawksworth, since childhood. She knew he married her to care for his relatives, freeing him to join the war against Boney. She never expected him to leave only moments after their vows had been spoken though! When she received word Bryceson had been killed at Waterloo, it was up to her to care for his nieces, his uncle, and her own aunt. Hard to do, since Bryceson never provided for them in case of his death! Everything went to his cousin, Baxter, who cast the lot of them out and began spending his new fortune. A year after her husband's reported death, things became desperate. Alex made a bargain with Judson Broderick, Viscount Chesterfield. She would marry him if he would pay off all debts. Judson kept the bargain. He paid everything. Yet in the church, only seconds before Alex said "I do", her deceased husband walked into the church to claim her!
Bryceson was horribly scarred, inside an! d out. As he and Alex courted, the Ton had called them Beauty And The Beast. He had been the golden one. She had been the plain one. As he claimed his wife, Bryceson could not help but notice their roles had been reversed. While he had been away, Alexandra had become a beauty! Feeling she deserved better than he, Bryceson planned to give her an annulment. However, not until his childhood nemesis, Chesterfield, had married elsewhere. Until then he would keep his hands to himself, no matter how hard that would be. What he did NOT expect was for his wife to set out to seduce him!
*****This author, Annette Blair, swept me off my feet with the last book, An Undeniable Rogue. I never thought I would read such a wonderful story again! With this book, I have been proven wrong!
The main characters of her last book return as secondary characters. Also, as with last time, the author added an unusual pet. It all sums up to one of the ! best tales written during the entire 2002 year! Hmmm, I foresee awards ... Pre-order, if you can, or mark your calendar. Either way, DO NOT MISS OUT! Marvelous!***** --Detra Fitch
"... the best Regency I have found in this (beauty & the beast) genre. I can easily see this memorable series being made into a mini-series for television." Suzie Housley
|An Unforgettable Rogue, The Rogues Club, By Annette Blair |
Beauty resides where gentleness and love are the most wondrous of gifts. . . .
Alexander ‘Alex’ Huntington was moving on with her life; she stood before the altar to pledge herself to another. A year had passed since she had been widowed when her husband died on the battlefields of Waterloo. Her thoughts were haunted by the love she felt for her first husband, who she had loved since childhood—a love that was never returned. She was shocked when she saw a limping stranger slowly making his way towards the altar. There was something familiar about the newcomer that made her heart beat faster. When she heard a voice from the past declare that he was her husband come back to her from the dead, she felt herself go faint. Had her thoughts of her beloved been turned into a reality?
Bryceson Wakefield, Duke of Hawksworth had returned from the war a changed man. No longer did he possess the golden looks that had once made him the catch of London’s elite society. His face and body exhibited hideous scars that were a daily reminder of what he had suffered that ill-fated day when he was given up for dead. He felt that his scars make him unworthy to claim his husband’s rights to his beautiful wife. Although he felt he was not worthy of his wife, he refused to allow her to marry an enemy, the Viscount Chesterfield. Stopping the wedding ceremony was his only option. Seeing the beautiful swan his wife Alex has become in the year they had been apart only heightened his awareness of how beastly he must appear to her. Secretly he vowed to one day release her from the commitment that bound them together. Only his heart knew of the magnitude of his love for her, a love that did not become apparent to him until he lay so close to death. Such a love could not be forced to live with the beast that he had become.
As a reader/reviewer I have made it a point to seek out and read every Beauty/Beast theme read that I can lay my hands upon. Since childhood, this theme has been one of my all time favorites. I can honestly say that Annette Blair has written the best Regency I have found in this genre. Annette Blair’s characters magically wrapped their way around my heart. My tears of sorrow quickly changed to joy as I finished the last heart-wrenching page. To say that I was impressed with the first book that I have read by this author is an understatement. I am thrilled that there are other sequels to come from this book. I can easily see this memorable series being made into a mini-series for television. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Suzie Housley
A Romance Review
"The whole story is a delight from start to finish. My only complaint is that the story had to end. Go out and buy this book - you won’t be disappointed." Reviewed in March 2003 by Mary. |
An Unforgettable Rogue is the second book in Annette Blair’s Rogues series, where the the story centres round Bryceson, Duke of Hawksworth.
Bryceson was thought to have died at the Battle Of Waterloo. He survived and returned to England eleven months later to claim Alexandra, the bride he left behind. Alexandra is about to wed again when her departed husband stops the ceremony!
This is a wonderful follow up to An Undeniable Rogue. The reader gets to revisit Gideon and Sabrina and their delightful twins. Once again the author has created delightfully memorable characters. Bryceson is everything a Rogue should be! Handsome, and strong with a great sexual chemistry.
Alexandra is a lovely heroine with a mission in life - to get Bryceson to admit he has fallen in love with her. No easy task as he thinks Alexandra would be better off without him, but when Alexandra decides to seduce him, the passion is hot and the pace fast! One scene where the heroine gets her husband to rub scented oil over her back because she says she hurt makes the book so hot it nearly ignites! Not only is the romance sexy, the humour in these scenes is wickedly funny.
Annette Blair has a talent for writing children into her books. Here we are introduced to the wonderful Beatrice, who is Bryceson’s niece and has a habit of popping up at inappropriate moments when the main characters are getting cosy with each other. Her pet hedgehog tends to appear in odd places too, like Bryceson’s soup bowl at one point, which makes for a very funny scene that had me laughing out loud.
Secondary characters, like Bryson’s Uncle Gifford and Alexandra’s Aunt Hildy, are lovely and support the story quite well.
The whole story is a delight from start to finish. My only complaint is that the story had to end. Go out and buy this book - you won’t be disappointed. Reviewed in March 2003 by Mary.
An Unforgettable Rogue, Annette Blair
Date of Review: 07/23/02
Bryceson’s life was hell -- especially for the past year. His father spoke his last dying words which were indicative of a lack of love for his son. Bryce was nothing to his father but an heir to carry on his name. He lost his father; now, in a church Bryceson watched as his wife of only one year (is about to) marry another man. He wishes he had died months ago. He couldn’t be a husband to her in several ways that mattered. The battle disfigured his face and leg. He was also afraid that he’d become his father--loveless. Anyway, wife Alexandra is marrying Chesterfield. Regardless of his inability to be a husband, he (Bryce) takes her away from the groom, drives her to his house. To him, it appears she is not happy to see him.
Alexandra has been a wife to Bryceson for one year. Their marriage was never consummated. When she (is about to) marry Chesterfield, she is thinking of Bryceson. Then, seeing him in church, she was so happy to see him though she conceals her feelings.
Unfortunately, Bryceson has proved to be a difficult husband to live with since he came back. For a time they haven’t slept together. However, when she was asleep one time, he touched her. Seduction was the only way Alexandra thought to get her husband back. It works; he came to her easily, even after she stops her seduction game. Having her in bed now is no longer enough. When he hears Alexandra ran off with Chesterfield, he went after her. She was always his wife and he now sees how mistaken he was in turning away from her. He is determined to make it up to her.
Overall, this book is excellent. It is a ten. It has themes that include; an autocratic father, an abused child, and an abandoned wife. All this makes for a very interesting novel—a novel I got interested to sit through and find out what was going to happen to Bryceson and how Alexandra’s love for him was going to help him heal. For sensuality, I give a rating of eight. There are a few sex scenes—most happening in the second half of the novel. However, they wouldn’t have had sex too soon since they weren’t always together. As for historical content I gave a rating five, there is a bit of it—in particular the reference to the battle with Bonaparte.
What I liked about An Unforgettable Rogue is the lesson of love. Bryceson is a child who was never loved by his father; he was a child who knows his father never loved his mother. As an adult, Bryceson thinks he’s doomed to be exactly like his father. However, in An Unforgettable Rogue he seems to feel something for Alexandra—something like adoration. So, I can only conclude by this that Bryceson thinks himself not deserving of love by a woman and goes off to war (and) later hoped that he had died. Funny how an emotionally abused child denies wanting to love and be loved. I thought this point the most interesting and the best. However, I also liked Alexandra’s seducing him. There is nothing like a woman who has always loved her unforgettable rogue. She tried to get him back by her love and succeeded, because he went after her when he thought she eloped with Chesterfield. I couldn’t help feel badly for Bryceson because of what his father did to him. Annette Blair does an excellent job of developing a story of an abused child who learns to love. There’s nothing in An Unforgettable Rogue that I didn’t like. --Vesna, Romance Designs
"Ms. Blair is such an awesome storyteller ... AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE is a mesmerizing tale...."|
|AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE|
Annette Blair, Zebra, 0821773844, Oct '02
Alexandra Wakefield is prepared to marry again, to follow her mind and leave her heart behind. To save her ragtag family, she must forget the deceased husband she loved and embrace this new life. Well, that is until the past comes walking up the church aisle and - as her husband - declines her consent to marry the new groom. When she wakes from an uncharacteristic swoon, she finds she wasn't dreaming. Bryceson "Hawk" Wakefield, 5th Duke of Hawksworth really is alive. Even though he never loved her, Alexandra is determined to capitalize on his return. He will come to love her, and she will spurn him as surely as he did her. Unfortunately, love might have other plans.
Hawk cheated death on the battlefield but returned home scarred and disillusioned. He doesn't feel he has the right to foist himself on the innocent woman he left behind but cannot allow her to marry her chosen bridegroom. Hawk realized as he was trying to survive that he actually loved Alexandra and now that he's home he cannot resist being near her for a while. Alex has other things on her mind though, and Hawk soon finds himself fighting a new - beloved - enemy on every front.
While I find some of Hawk's motivation rather thin at points, Ms. Blair is such an awesome storyteller that I was able to accept him as a wonderful character. AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE is a mesmerizing tale that sweeps the reader into the Regency era and keeps you there until she's done with you. I will be anxiously looking for more work from Ms. Blair. Reviewed by Karen Larsen
'KNIGHT IN SHINING SILVER' AWARD for K.I.S.S.able heroes "Bryceson 'Hawk' Wakefield is most definitely An Unforgettable Rogue..." --Kathe Robin, RT
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, Annette Blair
Book Two -- The Rogue's Club -- Regency, England
Previous Titles: An Undeniable Rogue, Thee, I Love
When the husband she thought had died at Waterloo stands in the doorway of the church to stop her wedding, Alexandra Wakefield faints and is carried away by his ghost, who deserted her on their wedding day--the man she always loved.
Bryceson Wakefield, the fifth Duke of Hawksworth, has little to offer his wife. His fortune has gone to another and his good looks were lost on the battlefield. Scarred and wounded, he returns to claim the woman he betrayed for family honor.
Since Hawk's "death," Alexandra has had to care for his home and family, and both are in dire financial straits. She had agreed to marry again in exchange for the money she desperately needs.
Though Hawk is not the beautiful man she married, but more a tormented beast, Alex adores him and wants to stay married in every sense of the word.
Complications arise, but in Ms. blair's capable hands, readers are treated to an intelligent solution to Hawk and Alex's marriage problems as well as several delightful secondary love stories, a bit of suspense and a kidnapping. The endearing cast of characters brings much to a warm-hearted, sensual story of love, forgiveness and redemption. SENSUAL. --Kathe Robin
Reader to Reader
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, Annette Blair
Zebra, October 2002, Book Two - The Rogues Club
Bryceson, Hawk, Wakefield, the Fifth Duke of Hawksworth, returns to England after the bloody battles with Bonaparte in time to stop his wife from remarrying. Bryceson had been reported dead over a year ago, and the once handsome rogue is now maimed and scarred. Were it not for his distinctive voice when he stopped the wedding, his wife, Alexandra, would not have recognized him. The last time Alex had seen her husband was two years ago when he left her immediately following their wedding ceremony.
Bryceson married Alex for selfish reasons; he needed someone to take care of his two young nieces and an aging uncle, and he knew that she would do this. His plans are to give Alex an annulment so that she can find someone that can love her. Alex had trailed after Bryceson since she was five years old, and has loved him all this time. For the past two years she has done an excellent job with his family, but their financial straits were dire, as the heir to the Hawksworth title literally turned her out penniless. Bryceson is unaware of the will his father left that disinherited him and left no provision for his widow or his wards.
Alex has no intention of letting Hawk get rid of her, but she is furious with him that he let her believe he was dead. She is only slightly mollified when she learns of all that has happened to him. Alex knows that Hawk needs her now more than ever, and she firmly intends to make their marriage real in all respects. She gets some great tips on seduction from her sister-in-law Sabrina, the Duchess of Stanhope.
Alex brings Hawk to life in all ways, but he is convinced that an annulment is in her best interest. He does have a hard time resisting this beautiful woman that is as stubborn as he is.
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE is truly wonderful. Annette Blair has done an outstanding job of creating remarkable protagonists. This fast paced story is a beautiful blend of humor, pathos, and passion with the added bonus of outstanding supporting characters and some old friends. --Betty Cox
The Road to Romance
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, Annette Blair
Zebra Historical, Book Two -- The Rogue's Club
Setting: London, England 1816
Alexandra "Alex" Huntington is shocked to discover her dead husband "Hawk" also known as Bryceson Wakefield, the Fifth Duke of Hawksworth, is alive and well. Standing in the church. On her wedding day! As she is about to marry his arch enemy!
What must her husband think? For her move on with her life so quickly after his death. Why should she even care what he thinks? Obviously he didn't care about her. He only married her so she would support his family.
He didn't even hang around for their wedding night! Promptly left her a virgin bride in his rush to go off to war to fight Bonaparte and get himself killed. Now he's back from the dead and Alex cannot help but wonder why he didn't come home sooner. Most of all she wishes she could soothe away his nightmares and become his wife in every way.
Annette Blair creates another memorable and refreshing love story with a strong heroine and a passionate hero in AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE. This story will have you holding your breath and caring very much about what happens to the delightful couple.
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE is a charming read and the second in The Rogues Club series. I for one cannot wait until the next exciting tale, AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE, which will be released as a Zebra single title Historical in November 2003.
And congratulations to Annette Blair for receiving 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine for the entertaining and amusing AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE, the first in the Rogues Club series. --Jan Springer
Romance Reviews Today
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE - Annette Blair
Zebra Ballad, October 2002, Historical Romance, London, 1816
Try as he might, Bryce Wakefield could never please his father, not even by following in the old rogue's footsteps. In one last vain attempt make the cold, disdainful duke proud, Bryce dutifully obeyed his sire's deathbed command to go fight Napoleon. And that is what led the fifth Duke of Hawksworth to meet his death at Waterloo.
Before Bryce left for war, he married his old friend and neighbor Alexandra Huntington. Alex had loved Bryce Wakefield from the time she was three and he eight, and she gladly took on the burden of his estate and dependents. But when Bryce died and his cousin dispossessed her, her aunt, and Bryce's two young nieces, Claudia and Beatrix, and his ineffectual uncle, they were left with only Alex's own unprofitable estate to fall back on. At the end of her mourning period, it was time for Claudia to make her come-out, but they were already deeply in debt. There was nothing left to do but to accept the marriage proposal of Judson Broderick, Viscount Chesterfield.
And that is how Alex found herself standing at the altar with Bryce's long-time rival when the ceremony was interrupted by a scarred, limping derelict… her husband, back from the dead.
One might think the story is over now, but it's just beginning. Bryce must petition to have his title restored, Alex is keeping a secret, and his father left behind a posthumous surprise. The marriage was never consummated before Bryce left, and now he believes Alex would be better without him. The frustration and tension escalate as he makes sure an annulment remains possible. By the time they do finally get together, the consummation will be explosive.
Chesterfield isn't going to give Alex up easily, nor is Cousin Baxter going to readily hand over everything he thought was his. They will be sources of trouble, but the primary conflicts will be of Bryce and Alex's own making. Bryce must come to terms both with his injuries and with the changes a year and a half have wrought in Alex. They will keep making mistakes and hiding their own feelings.
Both Alex and Bryce are well-constructed personalities with depth and charm; both can be captivating when they are not being wrong-headed. The secondary characters add much to the plot and the enjoyment; the scenes with Bryce and six-year-old Bea are delightful. Sabrina and Gideon from AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE have parts to play in this second novel in Ms. Blair's ongoing series. And I suspect that the minor character, Squadron Corporal Major Reed Gilbride of the Life Guards, will be the star of AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE next year.
I recommend AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE as an entertaining book in its own right, but even more as part of the must-read The Rogues Club series. --Jane Bowers
The Romance Readers Connection Excellent!
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, Annette Blair
Zebra, Book Two -- The Rogue's Club -- Regency England
Previous Titles: An Undeniable Rogue, Thee, I Love
Bryceson Hawksworth has spent his entire life trying to please his father and earn his respect, to no avail. Bound by a deathbed promise to bring honor to the family name, Bryce heads off to fight Napoleon. A year and a half later, presumed dead, he turns up at the church where his wife, Alexandra, is on the verge of exchanging vows with Bryce's nemesis, Judson Broderick, Viscount Chesterfield. Annette Blair starts her newest book with a bang--several, actually, as Bryce's father sticks his spoon in the wall, Bryce finds himself injured and left for dead in the thick of battle, and Alex hits the floor upon sight of her resurrected husband. AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE is full of Ms. Blair's trademark humor, laced liberally with steamy romantic encounters.
Giving a book a title like AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE challenges an author to deliver a story that will live up to its name, and Annette Blair proves that she is eminently capable of delivering the goods. Bryce truly is a memorable hero, scarred and wounded but heartbreakingly noble in his resolve to free Alex from the obligations of being married to the wreck of a former rogue. Yet there are mysteries to solve which prevent Bryce from giving Alex her freedom immediately. He must discover why she owes her almost-second husband a small fortune when she should have been well provided for upon the news of Bryce's death. The answer to that question sets up an excruciating dilemma that ultimately can only be resolved with Chesterfield's help.
Readers will enjoy revisiting Gideon and Sabrina from AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE. Their love has matured and is stronger than ever, and in UNFORGETTABLE, they have the opportunity to repay Bryce for his favors to them when they discover just how close Gideon came to death. Banter and repartee abound, the children are as cute as ever without being cloying, and added to the menagerie from UNDENIABLE is a hedgehog named Nanny, catalyst for one of the more amusing scenes in this book.
What makes AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE so notable, however, is Alex's repeated attempts to seduce her husband. Ms. Blair takes full advantage of the intimacy between the two young matrons, Alex and Sabrina, to stir things up and bring the plot to a boiling point. The casual closeness of Bryce and Gideon is realistic and raises the heat to sheer combustibility. Silk scarves have never been used to such effect, and readers may find themselves in need of a massage after reading certain scenes. Never has a hero submitted to such sweet seduction while making it clear that he is still very much a man in charge of himself and his woman. Spicy sensuality is the hallmark of this unforgettable story. Readers will have warm memories of AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, and will have fun guessing the identity of Ms. Blair's hero in AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE, due in November 2003. --Mellanie Crowther
Escape to Romance
Tangy! Excellent! Highly Recommended
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE
Annette Blair, Zebra, October 2002
The Rogues Club, Book Two, 0-8217-7384-4
Annette Blair has done it again with her latest Regency novel, AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE. This is the second novel in The Rogues Club series. It was well written and heartwarming.
Bryceson Wakefield, the Fifth Duke of Hawksworth, would do anything to gain his father's acceptance. To honor his father's last request and try to posthumously gain his favor, he joins the fight against Bonaparte. Bryce leaves his best friend and new bride, Alexandra Wakefield, to take care of his family on their wedding day. Bryce was wounded during the war and arrived home physically scarred. Not only is his dashing appearance altered, but so is his personality.
Alexandra is thrilled to marry Bryceson Wakefield. She has been in love with him since she was a child who followed his every step. She was devastated to be left on the church steps as Bryceson left for the war. Alexandra pretended she had a wedding night and immediately took over the responsibilities of both families. Alexandra is devastated when she learns of Bryce's death.
Having been pronounced dead on the battlefield, Bryce managed to live with the help of a peasant family. He arrived home just in time to halt Alexandra's marriage to his old nemesis, Judson Edward Broderick, Viscount Chesterfield. Bryce is determined to release Alexandra from the scarred beast he feels he has become. Alexandra is as determined to repay Bryce for the way he treated her on the day of their wedding. Both of their plans go awry as they each realize they love the other and do not want to do the honorable thing of dissolving the make-believe marriage. Alexandra enlists Sabrina's help in her plan to seduce her husband so he can't do the honorable thing and annul their marriage. This leads to a delightful seduction scene.
THEE I LOVE, an Amish historical novel, was the first novel written by Annette Blair that I read. I became an instant fan of her writing. AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE was delightful. I especially like the fact that her characters are not "perfect." The characters are flawed like normal people and that makes them real. This book rates four roses. It is a keeper and I now have to find AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE to read the story of Sabrina and Gideon. -- Dawn Myers
Romance and Friends
|AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE, Annette Blair|
Zebra Ballad, The Rogue's Club--Book Two--Regency, England
A long time ago, the Fifth Duke of Hawksworth, Bryce Wakefield, was known as the Beauty and his young bride Alexandra was known as the Beast. Bryce was as handsome and beautiful as Alex was unremarkable. But the two married, much to the surprise of everyone. That same day, after sealing their marriage with a kiss, Bryce leaves Alex to fight Napoleon at Waterloo and is later thought to be dead. But almost two years later Bryce is back to break up Alex's next wedding. And once he's done that, he'll leave her again and set her free. He's a broken man and he knows Alex deserves better than him, no matter how much he begins to wish otherwise!
After getting over her initial shock at seeing Bryce again, Alex is furious! How dare he come waltzing back into her life after not sending word that he had survived! Alex has gone through so much since he's been gone. She even agreed to marry another man in order to support both her and Bryce's families. But now Bryce is back and it seems that no matter how furious she is, she can't deny the growing attraction building between herself and her wayward, wounded husband.
AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE by Annette Blair is a very interesting, fast-paced romantic story. I really liked Alex; I admired her strength and her perseverance. She was an extremely likable character, and I thought she was a perfect match for the cynical rogue in Bryce. I could completely understand his motivation in wanting to let Alex go. It made sense, but you knew he would realize that Alex would love him, no matter what, and it was up to him to learn to trust her. Another wonderful part of the story was the wonderful historic setting. The author has a great "eye" for detail and the lush history surrounding the backdrop of the storyline really added to the story.
I really enjoyed the storyline and the interaction between the characters. I felt that both Bryce and Alex wanted to protect each other and everyone around them so much that they put their own wants aside. It was wonderful to see both of them come together, especially after each had grown and changed so much while they were apart, and realize that their greatest love and happiness would come about once they learned to trust one another.
While I was a bit confused at times because this is the second book in The Rogue's Club series, and I seemed to be missing parts of the back-story since I haven't read the first book, I still think this book can stand alone.
Other than the small amount of confusion I felt because of the loss of back-story at times, I really enjoyed AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE. It was a well-written story with terrific characters, passionate romance, and a wonderfully rich historical setting. I can definitely recommend this story and I look forward to Ms. Blair's next offering. I have a feeling it will prove to be just as "unforgettable" as this one was! --Carla Hosom