Early Review | Gone with the Rogue by Amelia Grey

Gone RogueGone with the Rogue by Amelia Grey
First Comes Love #2
Historical Romance
St. Martin’s Press | April 28, 2020

About the Book:

She had an acceptable marriage of convenience. Now widowed, can this determined and beautiful mother find true and forever love?

The sinking of the Salty Dove took her husband’s life―but it didn’t drown Julia Fairbright’s courage to endure. She creates a proper life for herself and her young son. But now, the ton’s most notorious rogue is back in London, and how he makes Julia feel is anything but proper. She can’t deny the desires he awakens in her, even though she knows that the handsome devil will surely break her heart.

Garrett Stockton owns a successful shipping company and is rumored to have a woman on every continent and half-a-dozen in England. The truth, however, is that Garrett has but one mistress: the wide open sea. That is, until he meets Julia, whose spirit of independence matches his own. What begins as a flirtatious battle of wits turns far more passionate than either of them could have imagined. Suddenly, Garrett’s only desire is to sail into the sunset with Julia as his wife and young Chatwyn his son. But she won’t take his hand―how can he convince her that his love is real and his heart is hers?

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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. 

So irritating.

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.

About catzhaus

I need a sedative.

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