Gone with the Rogue by Amelia Grey
First Comes Love #2
St. Martin’s Press | April 28, 2020
I’m going to get this out of the way first, because it’s silly and petty. I hate the name Chatwyn. Julia, the damsel in distress (and boy is she in distress) has a son from her marriage to an evil Duke’s son. And his name is Chatwyn. Thank the Universe that was not the name of a main character, or it may have seriously interfered with my ability to finish the book. Every time I read the name a tiny little mental gnome dragged his little gnomey nails on a chalkboard.
Cover art: honestly, it’s pretty good. Julia is sitting pretty, however the expression on her face is less ‘Oooo semi shirtless, sexy rogue is holding my chin!’ and more ‘Dude, do you need help in understanding how shirts work??’ And I don’t know why, but that single patch of short hair hanging over his forehead is bugging me. The rest of Garrett’s hair isn’t that short. Maybe he is fresh out of quarantine and was forced to do a self-cut. Can’t really judge there, we’re all doing odd jobs these days, amiright?
Okay, now let’s talk about the actual story.
This is the second in Amelia Grey’s First Comes Love series. I did like the first installment, (the name Lyon wasn’t quite as gnome nails on a chalkboardish). And while I did generally enjoy the story of Julia and Garrett (and freaking Chatwyn … ugh), this story lacked some of the spark of the first. I felt like it leaned way too heavily on the threat of the evil old Duke taking Chatwyn (ugh) away from Julia to create excitement. And the Duke wasn’t even present for most of the story. He was sick and in a different house, so while the threat of him was constantly talked about, the past discussed, it wasn’t an active thing.
The love story between Julia and Garrett felt forced. They declared their love for each other before we were even given a chance to see it happen. By the last quarter of the book, I could sense their connection. But the point where they declare their love for each other, they’re virtually strangers that we’re told (for some unknown reason) instinctively trust each other.
I’ve never had sex on the first date that was that good.
(Okay, fine. Maybe once.)
I did like Garrett, but wasn’t terribly fond of Julia. The theme of this series is meant to be ‘strong widows, caged in their former lives and coming into their own’. And while Julia gave lip service to the idea of being so, for the most part, she came across as a wilting, whiny flower.
After the first book, I truly wanted to love this one. It just didn’t happen for me. Brina, the third widow, is such an interesting character already. I’m hoping that her story lives up more to the promise of the first.
Also hoping Chatwyn (ugh) is shipped off to boarding school so I don’t have to read that name again.
Thank you to St. Martins Press and NetGalley, for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.