The Rogue Is Back in Town

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

The Rogue is Back in Town is the third book in the Wayward Wallflowers series by Anna Bennett. While I have not read the earlier books in the series, I still understood the read. There are some references that will make more sense to those that have been following the series, but newcomers will catch on. 
Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding. Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire? As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?

The Rogue is Back in Town is a historical romance with truly manipulative and despicable bad guy.  Juliette is intelligent and independent, but more naive than she can admit. I liked her spunk when dealing with the situations she finds herself in, and in her conversations. However, I find her decision making to be frustrating and occasionally rage inducing. Sam is a good guy, despite his reputation as a rake and a rogue. He has done more than his fair share of gambling, carousing, and more- but he is honest about his failings and owns his mistakes. I really liked his character, aside from the fact that he is unwilling to lay blame on the one person that really deserves it through most of the book- and is ready to give up and in way too easily. I liked the couple's banter, and the way they each interact with Julie's uncle. There is so much about these characters to enjoy that I had trouble dealing with the cause of all the conflict and how completely irredeemable he was through the entire book. The fact that his actions are likely to have been done by some in reality- made it no easier to bear, since he faced no consequence.  It left me more than a little frustrated and unsatisfied with the story.

The Rogue is Back in Town is a book with entertaining characters and conflict, but a bad guy that had me wanting to hurl the book across the room. Getting such an emotional response is good writing, but the bitter aftertaste does not leave me looking for more.
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THE ROGUE IS BACK IN TOWN
Author: Anna Bennett
Pub Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Romance: Historical Romance

Synopsis:

In THE ROGUE IS BACK IN TOWN, Lord Samuel Travis epitomizes naughtiness. Especially, after a night of excess finds him in the bed with his neighbor’s wife. Disgraced for the last time, his older brother has him forcefully removed from the familial home with nothing but the clothes on his back. After agreeing to his brother’s sinister motivation, Sam finds himself on the doorstep of one-time wallflower, Juliette Lacey and her eccentric uncle. Beautiful and determined, Juliette’s love for her uncle pits her in the middle of a love triangle between herself, Sam and his conniving brother. Tormented with the possibility that her uncle doesn’t own the worn-down town house they reside in Juliette must decipher between a web of lies.

My Thoughts:

I enjoy Anna Bennett’s romances. THE ROGUE IS BACK IN TOWN is the third book in the Wayward Wallflower series featuring three sisters who find love and happiness. Intelligent and sharp-tongued, Juliette Lacey is my favorite of the three sisters and Sam is a mess until he meets her. His attraction and need for Juliette provides readers an intimate look into the making of a man. His heart on the line, Sam’s vulnerability is truly swoon worthy. 

Happy Reading!

***I received an ARC copy of this novel and was happy to give my honest review.
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The Rogue Is Back in Town is the third book in The Wayward Wallflowers series by Anna Bennett.

Samuel and Nigel are brothers, the former a Lord, the latter a Marquess. They have never had a good relationship, and things haven't changed for the better since their father died 12 months ago. Nigel despairs of Sam ever changing his ways, giving up his womanising and partying and after one particularly bad night where Sam pushes things too far Nigel loses his temper. He kicks Sam out of the house and cuts off his money. The only way he will allow him to return home is if he moves into one of their father's occupied properties and kicks out the current tenant who has no claim to the place. Sam isn't happy about being kicked out but he figures he will be back home in 24 hours, surely it won't be difficult to evict the person living there now.

Juliette Lacey lives with her eccentric uncle and her one desire is to make society stop ridiculing him. He may be eccentric but he's a wise man and has spent his life researching many things. 
Juliette and her 2 sisters were always known as wallflowers because of her Uncle's eccentricity, but the elder two found wonderful, powerful husbands so it's left to Julie to look after her Uncle. It isn't a hardship because she loves him with all of her heart. Her uncle loves her as much and his dearest wish is for her to find a husband. They are both content with their lives as they are so it comes as a massive shock when Sam turns up on their doorstep demanding entrance and also giving them notice to immediately leave the house. At least he says as much to Julie, her Uncle is in the study which is a good thing because Julie pleads for time to prove that she and her uncle have a right to be living in the house. She doesn't want her uncle to know because it will upset him dreadfully. Sam's not as hard-hearted as Nigel and gives her some time. Time in which he admits to himself that he is seriously attracted to her, and time in which he realises that her Uncle is a wonderful, clever man. He wants to do all he can to help them both, but also wants to try to keep Nigel happy because he is the only family that Sam has left now.

So that's how our couple meets, certainly not the best circumstances. Added to that is the fact that Julie knows Nigel, and after one passionate kiss with him a while ago she thought herself in love with him. He didn't seek her out after that one kiss though, and Julie was left heartbroken. It's with great shock that she finds herself feeling greatly attracted to Sam despite what he is trying to do on Nigel's behalf. An even bigger surprise is when she learns that Nigel actually still lusts after her, and pretty much gives her a chance to keep the house if she becomes his mistress! It's not long before she learns that Nigel isn't the decent man that she thought he was, and that Sam isn't the scoundrel that society says that he is. She wouldn't mind losing the house if it was only her she had to worry about, but she doesn't want to uproot her Uncle. Should she take up Nigel's offer? She doesn't want to, especially as she finds herself falling in love with Sam. There really seems no to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Or is there?

This book was a delight to read. Poor Julie was put in such a dilemma as was Sam and all for the sake of the supposedly kind, well-bred Marquess, Nigel. He didn't need the money from the sale of the house, or the house itself, he didn't need to involve Sam, he is an out and out wastrel. Watching Julie and Sam's relationship develop, including some very passionate yet romantic lovemaking was really sweet. Never knowing how they could stop Nigel in his tracks was worrying and I couldn't read quickly enough to find out how our couple could get their happy ending. OK, a time or two in the book I thought the actions of the characters, Nigel, in particular, may not have been plausible, but it certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers' copy of this book.
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A fun read
Characters that are not what they seem to be, a sweet, old, foggy man and the remaining unwed sister from a trio of orphans.  This mix makes for a very entertaining read. 

I have voluntarily posted a review consisting of my honest opinions. I received this product for free from Netgalley.
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Rogue Sam is given the task by his brother to empty a rundown house or be cut off. Sam agrees but is surprised when the occupant of the house, Miss Juliette Lacey refuses to leave. She believes the property belongs to her family while Sam and his brother are sure that it belongs to them. Determined not to fail in his task, Sam decides to move in to the ramshackle house. After all, the house belongs to his brother and it would not be a hardship to live under the same roof as the attractive Julie. What Sam doesn't realise is that Julie has a past with his brother.
I was really intrigued by this whole storyline. Julie and Sam have a clear attraction to one another but she kissed his brother a while back. I found the whole "decent brother, scoundrel brother" part cliche at first but it played out wonderfully.
This was a great read and I enjoyed it immensely. I'm only sad that it took me so long to finish this book because I was in a book slump. Definitely give this a try if you enjoy historical romance fiction
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I love Anna Bennett historical romances! There's always a nice touch of angst in a sexy story.
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Fun escape to regency goodness - full of witty and sparkling dialogue and steamy and romantic moments.. Recommend!
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No reading disappointment compares to a book that starts with fireworks of promise only to crash and burn like a petering petard. Sadly, such was Anna Bennett’s The Rogue Is Back In Town. I was excited after the first chapter (with its promise of early-Julia-Quinn-like humour); half-way through, I had a lip-twisting downward trend to my mouth; by 70% in, I was into full eye-roll and exasperated sighs territory.

First, let me set the scene for you, dear reader. In 1818 London, Lord Samuel Travis, fortune-less younger son, is the bane of his older brother’s existence: carousing, brawling, and neglecting debts. Older brother Nigel, heir and anti-prodigal son, sets Samuel an ultimatum: out of their home and into a property Nigel wishes to sell. Unfortunately, said property has an uncle and niece living in it, thanks to their deceased father’s largesse. Samuel must oversee their eviction and ensure the property is ready for sale. Can you see it coming, dear reader? Yes, Sam meets the adorable, malapropism-spouting Uncle Alistair and beautiful Miss Juliette Lacey and falls in love. Sam and Alistair get on like a house on fire and Juliette and Sam, initial resentful bantering aside, follow suit. In a word, dear reader, they bond, full of affection and family-like feelings, with a strong dose of lustful yearnings on Sam and Juliette’s part.

Bennett’s Rogue started out so well. It was witty and downright hooting-laughter-inducing in others (Sam spying on Juliette and a trellis giving way … priceless). In particular, I enjoyed Uncle Alistair’s malapropisms and Sam and Juliette’s banter, when he arrives to inform her of Nigel’s eviction, for example:

Lord Travis swooped over the tray, plucking a scone off the platter like some audacious bird of prey … Lord Travis helped himself to a second scone and was plunking sugar cubes into his tea. “Shall I pour for you?” he asked. “Is there anything left?” she replied wryly. “Forgive me. I hadn’t broken my fast, but I’m already feeling more human.” “If only you could behave like one,” she muttered uncharitably. “Do not count on it, tigress,” he said … ”

In contrast, Juliette’s care for her uncle and Sam’s confession about how much he misses his father elicit warm, fuzzy feelings. I thought, warm-heartedly glowing at the novel, this is great good fun, a bit silly, but most entertaining!

Sadly, this is Bennett’s sole conceit. And relying on a conceit for a nigh-300-page novel … well, it just can’t take you very far. A writer must either aim for some depth, or, and this is what happens here, rely on a plot-laden narrative. Enter the Big Mis. And then, another one, a Big Mis for the Big Mis so to speak. Ah, but the author is now in a quandary. She needs conflict … enter a moustache-twirling-Perils-Of-Pauline villain. He even has a “menacing laugh.” Frankly, the romance’s last third is a disaster and not only because of what I mentioned previously. I could forgive all if I still loved Juliette and Sam. But Juliette and Sam undergo bizarrely head-spinning character changes. It’s rare, but, yes, dear readers, it happens here … I can say BOTH hero and heroine were TSTL. By the end, I could see that Bennett was trying to say something about appearance and reality and hypocrisy, laudable themes all. The execution, on the other hand, left much to be desired. With Miss Austen, I say that The Rogue Is Back In Town was “downright labour,” Emma.

Anna Bennett’s The Rogue Is Back In Town is published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks. It was released on January 2nd and may be found at your preferred vendor. I received an e-ARC from St. Martin’s Paperbacks, via Netgalley.
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I actually love the first book in this series because it's very refreshing. And I was actually counting the days when I could read Juliette's story because she's very charming in the first book and I think that she's one of those perfect heroine for a historical romance. Maybe my expectation to her is just too high or I've forgotten just how cheesy historical romance could be. While her elder sister did everything she did with a reason, Juliette seems more impulsive and too childish. Her fierceness is the best about her though, because it makes me still love her despite other things. But I wish that her character had been more like her elder sister a little bit
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HEROINE RATING: 5 stars 
HERO RATING: 5 stars 
PLOT RATING: 4 stars
SEX SCENES RATING: 3 stars
SEXUAL TENSION: 3 stars, 
SEX SCENES FREQUENCY: 3 stars
DIALOGUE RATING: 4 stars
WRITING: 4.5 stars
EMOTION:3 stars
STORY TELLING RATING: 3 stars
STORY ENDING RATING: 3 stars 
Was there an instant connection with the book?YES,
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Juliette Lacey is the final Wilting Wallflower, thus dubbed by her now brother-in-law. Surprisingly, that title didn't come up too much in this final book in the series. Julie is not in a rush, trot, or even a meandering walk to find a husband for herself, in strike contrast to her uncle's wishes. For now, she lives with her uncle (purported by the ton to be mad)  in his late wife's townhouse and she cares for him and encourages him with his scientific work. To provide her uncle with a long-standing social interest for the rest of his life, she strikes a deal with him and helps him to that end. She will look for a husband after he has submitted his research to the Royal Society. 

Little does she know love comes knocking so soon after that conversation when Lord Samuel Travis arrives on the doorstep to evict her and her uncle from the residence. Sam has recently returned from the continent in hopes of repairing his relationship with his older brother, Nigel. In the time since their father's passing, who was the buffer between them, their relationship has been exceedingly rocky. Now to the point that Sam is turned out of every family property and no funds as a means to survive. Nigel orders him to remove the occupants of a property in town he discovered their father owned. Given no alternatives or resources, Sam tends to his task and is set on doing it. 

Faced with this flustering news, Juliette refused to inform her uncle and refuses to leave. Sam decides to play a game and merely wait her out. Intent on proving the ownership belongs to her family, Juliette also behests Sam to request the deed from his brother to settle the matter. In the meantime, Juliette explains "Cousin Samuel's" presence to every one in the household as coming to assist her uncle with his research. It is a new position that stupefies Sam, but ultimately he warms to the task and becomes an admirable assistant to "crazy" Alistair Wiltmore. At the same time, it warms Juliette's heart to see her uncle interact in such positive ways. 

Given the time, this would have been a highly improper and scandalous situation. For Nigel to even ask Sam to reside in the household with a young woman - married or not - seen over only by an elderly uncle is not something that would have likely have occurred. There are solicitors for that sort of business. The pretense of neither parties breathing a word of Sam's stay is also unlikely, given Sam's rakish nature. 

The story is not without a villain, who is not one you would readily suspect. As the plot regarding the house moves further along, Sam begins to suspect he was sent merely to stir up trouble and create conflict in Juliette's life. I was disappointed that this manipulative man wasn't exposed and his reputation marred, especially considering the stark contrast between him and Sam. 

I loved Julie's uncle and all the places he shows up in the book. Alistair is an interesting character in many aspects. His love, devotion, and dedication to his wife even after all these years is something to be cherished and revered. While she may not grace their home anymore, she is still very much a part of his life. He keeps her memory alive. His research is also interesting, and he is a strong advocate against pollution of the Thames, which I feel was a novel concept of the time. Not something that was addressed, nor paid much heed. His elderly behavior and propensity for producing the wrong word at times makes him endearing and comical. 

Juliette is a strong, independent woman. She is determined to solve problems on her own and vehemently refuses to call on her sisters or their husbands for assistance in the matter of the house. She is also pitted against and torn between the two brothers, Nigel and Sam. It seems her previous fancy of love isn't love at all, and now she sees qualities in Sam that stir her emotions. 

The plot is motivated by Nigel regarding the house, and through the course of the book the brothers are brought in stark contrast. They are incredible foils of one another. The perceptions of their personality and reputation by society and their true natures are in opposition, which Juliette discovers herself first-hand. 

I enjoyed the conflict in the story, but I didn't feel a burning love between Juliette and Sam. I think the circumstances and close quarters created a togetherness that otherwise wouldn't have existed if Sam was lodging elsewhere and only visiting in the daytime to keep up the ruse of being Alistair's assistant. In the end, the matter of home ownership is resolved, but there were a couple of dicey moments where I did think all was going to be lost and Juliette and Alistair would be living with one of her sisters. 
Overall, a story with high conflict that is plot-driven. The two main characters are volatile in their reactions to one another, and Alistair provides humor and that hint of love that he so desperately wants for Juliette.
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Sam is a dissolute younger brother hoping to mend his relationship with his older brother Nigel, who is held as a paragon in polite society. In order to do so, he has to clear out a London property of its current possible residents, or else he will have nowhere to live. These residents turn out to be Juliette Lacey and her uncle Alistair, and Sam is smitten.

This is the third in the Wayward Wallflower series, but it's not necessary to have read the two prior books to understand this one. The setup to get Sam and Juliette together in the house is ridiculous and absolutely due to the social constraints of the Regency era. It's hilarious to watch the interactions between the two of them in the early chapters, especially since I'm such a sucker for snarky relationships in fiction. I liked the progression of Sam and Juliette's relationship, and how much Sam respected Juliette's love of her family and sense of agency. The villain in the novel is really a piece of work, and I was disappointed that we don't see some kind of true comeuppance for him. Of course, there's a rather pat solution to the housing problem, which I guessed several chapters before the big reveal. Overall, this is a fun read, and perfectly in keeping with the Regency romance genre.
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I very much enjoyed  the story of Sam and  Julie. I loved their banter and watching  these two fall in love was heartwarming. I liked the fact that Sam was the second  son, he wasn't  a duke or an earl that could  offer so much to Julie. But he had heart and his love was pure and sweet. Julie was a firecracker! She was willing to do anything for her family but prideful  enough  not to stoop to Nigel's level. Nigel just so happens  to be Sam's brother, who happens  to also be a cad. I would have liked to see some damage  done to him! The most endearing  character happened  to be Julie's uncle Alistair. Such a sweet man--we should all have an uncle like him. I look forward  to reading the first two books in this trilogy -- I have a feeling  they'll be just as good as this one.

*Thank you to the publisher  and Netgalley  for an ARC in exchange for  an honest review.
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WHEW. I have never been so mad at a book in such a good way. I mean who just waltzes in and basically tells people "OK BYE this is mine now"? It started a little on the MEH side but it really started kicking up steam and was absolutely glorious!
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Due to my reading slump, it took me two tries to get through this book. I am glad I gave it a second chance because once I got into it, I got into it. This was such a unique twist on the cliched reformed rogue troupe. I can not recall any other romances offhand where these types of family dynamics worked.

I am glad that the one aspect of romance novels I tend to be irritated by was missing from this novel. That is the storyline did not feel rushed. My favorite part of the book is the familial relationships that shine through, it made it more important than just a lovers romance.

Overall this is a great historical romance that I recommend!
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They definitely met under less than desirable circumstances. Right aft r being forced out of his families home and told to change his ways he meets the one person he holds his future in her small hands. Juliette has lived with her widowed Uncle for years and now is being forced out of the only place she calls home. Coming to an agreement with Samuel was something she tried to avoid at all costs and having to compromise put a wrench her plans. But, she has to make allowances to keep her home safe. There were times this book was absolutely hilarious and waiting to see who would bend first kept my attention waiting to see what would happen next.
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Review of “The Rogue Is Back In Town” by Anna Bennet

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Two Stars 🌟 🌟

Right. Where to start. I have not previously read any books bu this author and looked forward to getting to know her work, even though this is the third book in a series. I personally don’t have any issue in regards to reading books out of order, especially if they’re a stand-alone story on their own.

Unfortunately nothing about this book worked for me. But, maybe, it’s because it’s more about me than the book itself?

For the past few months, when it comes to historicals, I have been drawn to dark romances filled with angst and imperfect heroines and heroes. Perhaps, THAT is what is working for me right now. This romance felt too light-hearted for my personal taste. I just could not get into the story though I did try.

Please do not make a decision on my review alone. What didn’t work for me may very well work for you, so do read a several reviews to reach a conclusion.
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A  solid Regency story of true love over deceitful duty. I loved this, Anna Bennett has a natural ability to write a story that grabs you from the first page. I have read and enjoyed the other books in this series and was really looking forward to this one. Fabulous sense of humor and expert writing together for a heartfelt and fun story.
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The first 10 chapters were slow but the book got really good in the middle and the end.  The romance seemed very natural unlike a lot of books in the genre. It didn't feel rushed. Sam was a great hero and I loved his relationship with both the woman he loves and with her uncle Alister.
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