• Claudine Gandolfi

Rogues Rush In - Tessa Dare & Christi Caldwell

Updated: Jun 14, 2020


Date Read: May 21, 2018

Review: So, here I am all giddy because two of my favorite authors put out a title together. It’s like a Reese’s – two great tastes that taste great together! Rogues Rush In is the compilation of two novellas, one from Tessa Dare and the other from Christi Caldwell. It’s not an even split – just to let you know. Christi’s portion is almost double that of Tessa’s, if it matters to you. Now, normally I am not a fan of novellas because just as I get into them, they’re finished but for my two favorites I’ll make an exception and I’m glad I did. Loved this book.


In sum, the double novellas were both amazing. Tessa’s books always make me laugh and Christi’s always make me cry – so this book definitely met my expectations in that way. I hope to see more books with these two authors working together. I highly recommend it.


Series: Heart of a Duke #11

Type: Regency

Heat: 7/10

Tropes: Second Chance, Wounded Heroine,

Premise:

His Bride For the Taking – Tessa Dare

Our strapping, Viking-esq hero - Sebastian Ives, Lord Byrne has been quite hard up for his best friend’s sister for eleven years (4,000+ days!), Mary Clayton – she who is our inventive heroine. Mary, Mary quite contrary, as her brother Henry called her, has been left at the alter by her milquetoast, absentee bridegroom - Giles Perry.

Sebastian is furious. Mary is not. To be frank, she knew she was settling but now doesn’t mind being a “ruined” spinster. This is all settled quite quickly as Sebastian decides instantaneously that he must protect and save her from derision and scorn – so he demands she marry him, instead. Mary does her best to dissuade his impetuous decision. She doesn’t need saving, a very good theme. But Sebastian is stubborn and knows she deserves much more than she’s been handed. If he can’t hand her a HEA with Perry, he’ll provide her the life of a Lady of means. Off they go to Canterbury for one of the fastest weddings I’ve ever read, then to his cottage by the sea for a honeymoon.

Hijinks ensue, and we have a fun ride with a grouchy bridegroom, a resourceful bride, and the caretakers of the foul cottage who reminded me of Jud & Prudie from the BBC’s Poldark – Dick & Fanny Cross. Snort! I love Tessa Dare’s sense of humor. Dick and Fanny (Dick and Fanny!!) literally serve up “pain and poison” one night in an scene that still has my inner 12-year-old laughing.

The newlyweds are at odds on where to sleep, where to stay, how to build a Swedish bed, and there are some tender moments of Sebastian recalling his childhood times at the Clayton home, where he finally found a family, friendship and a budding desire for Mary. There’s plenty of sexual tension between them... If only Sebastian wouldn’t keep trying to be so … honorable. Men! But I’m a sucker for a hero torturing himself with wanting. This was a lovely, albeit short, romp with a twist at the end. I’m still deciding if I liked that part or if it was necessary, as I enjoyed the novella as I thought the plot was going, anyway. A Happily Ever After is had by all. Well, maybe not by Giles Perry.

His Duchess for A Day – Christi Caldwell

This heartbreakingly beautiful tale is about Elizabeth Terry, who is now a dragon at Mrs. Belen’s Finishing school… though technically she is the Duchess of Huntington. Years ago, after she was orphaned, her best friend – Crispin Ferguson proposed to her to help keep her safe. Insert misunderstanding. Elizabeth bolted the day after, abandoning him and he’s been hurting and betrayed every since. Well, he’s finally tracked her down and demands she come back to Mayfair to act the duchess for one night to quell the rumors that he’s not truly married, in exchange he’ll let her return to her life as an instructor. Though she’s leery to listen to him after reading all about his romantic exploits in the gossip rags – obviously he’s lived quite the full life without her - a bargain is reached between the two.

The reader can tell early on that the electricity between them is phenomenal. Elizabeth agrees to their bargain and they travel together back to his home. Sparks fly and these two are incredibly passionate together. WOW. Both are hurting and feel betrayed and as much as I love the strong blue-stocking woman that Elizabeth is – it’s Crispin who breaks my heart. If ever two people deserved some happiness it’s Crispin and Elizabeth. They’ve been longing for each other since they were kids, unbeknownst to the other.

As they reach Mayfair, Elizabeth notices that her friend/husband hasn’t really changed from the young man who loved to read and learn – just like she did. The one that was bullied at Eton. He hasn’t really become a rogue. She tried to forget him but never did. Truly, they made me cry it was so sweetly beautiful. Christi always manages to kick the empathy factor up to 11 with her characters and her HEA’s are truly cathartic. Elizabeth realizes she’s still in love with Crispin.

Crispin, frankly, has been hurt but has never stopped loving her and the revelation of what actually caused her departure startles him and sets him to action. Both hurts were caused by noble action on the part of the other. You will totally fall in love with Crispin reading this novella. Once they arrive at his townhouse, Crispin seeks out his friend the Earl of Fielding at the Forbidden Pleasures club as he needs advice on how to proceed. He wants his wife back. Though Fielding’s a cynic about the whole love thing, he tells him to seduce his wife.

They both confess eventually and share a night outside the townhouse in the greenhouse area… and there’s a whole butterfly theme that’s just beautiful. There’s a few twists, as there always are, appearances can be deceiving, and eventually you will have a very satisfying Happily Ever After for two people who are truly meant to be.

The Good: Two of my favorite authors in one book!

The Bad: None

Author Website: https://tessadare.com/ & http://christicaldwell.com/

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