Rogue for a Night by Jenna Petersen
Historical romance released digitally by Jenna Petersen
Ronan “Rage” Riley first met Lucinda Stoneworth when she was the wife of his best friend’s brother and knew she was out of reach, no matter how bewitching she was. But now she’s been a widow for two years and they find themselves at the same country party. Attraction leads to a wicked affair, but could a proper lady of the ton really find a happily ever after with a former underground boxer? Or will Society end their love forever
Lucinda Stoneworth is an interesting and unique character in that she’s mature, and rather sensible. She’s a widow and a mother of two young daughters. She loved her first husband dearly, which is also something you don’t see very often in romances. I liked that she practical, and that once she made a decision, carried it through. Lucinda is also quite real and personable in her uncertainties and insecurities. Not only is this a story about Lucinda stepping into a new romance, it’s her finally moving out of her mourning period and essentially back into life. She needed time, and it fits that she forms a rapport with someone else who knows what it is to feel separated or disconnected from others.
Ronan “Rage” Riley is an interesting character. For all that his name is “Rage” – or that’s what everyone calls him, I’d almost say it’s not really who he is. It definitely who he was, and yet it’s not a gimmick on Ms. Petersen’s part. Rage had a terrible past, but he’s finally started to move on, and has made something of himself. But he’s stayed true to who he is. For example, there’s a scene where Rage and Nicholas (Rage’s best friend and Lucinda’s former brother-in-law) pound on each other and Jane (Nicholas’s wife) steps in. It’s humorous and touching at the same time. Ronan is devastated at losing Lucinda (which he does “for her own good”) and declares to Nicholas he wants to fight. It’s fitting, and yet a great depiction of all the characters personalities.
There was humor, warmth, and emotion. I felt that Lucinda and Ronan were generally reasonable – or at least realistic. However, I thought some of the ending was a bit too pat or rushed. Rage, and in fact everyone, made such a fuss about the social ostracism was likely to occur, but in the epilogue it’s all brushed away with a “nothing really happened.” In fact, it seems Lucinda’s friends are rather congratulatory about her new spouse and her ability to “tame the beast.” In my mind it very nearly diminishes the realization Lucinda comes to that she doesn’t care about the mores of society and that love and happiness are more important. Then again, it is a nice reward for following her heart, so while I didn’t love the explanation/outcome, I’m not unhappy about it.
The daughters were sweet but again their insta-relationship with Ronan, or rather, his insta-affection for them was suspect to me as well. However, the girls only make a cameo appearance, and I do think they’re necessary because Lucinda’s role as a mother is also what has kept her from “acting out” earlier. It’s also nice to see how Ronan interacts with the girls, and there’s a very touching epilogue. (Complete with requisite baby, of course ;)). But something else that bothered me was how clueless the secondary characters seemed. Lucinda is caught countless times daydreaming, or tripped up in conversations so much so that it must be obvious what is going on between her and Ronan, but Nicholas and Jane have no idea. In fact, Jane only later says she “suspected something.” It bothered me because Lucinda and Jane are supposedly good friends now, and considering how close they are those strange and awkward occurrences with no follow up just felt a bit off. Still, that’s just a minor complaint.
It was nice that overall, Lucinda and Ronan were level headed and believable. Lucinda’s visit to the countryside was the perfect time to indulge in an affair. The fact that they had noticed each other in the past works for the development and initial physical relationship at least. Then, of course the time they spend together develops the relationship, as well as the fact that Ronan and Lucinda are more alike that first appears on the surface. There definitely were some scenes that made me tear up.
Rogue for a Night was an enjoyable book and I can definitely see myself re-reading it in the future. It’s not too heavy, but still has definite substance. The way Ronan and Lucinda enter their affair is natural and it’s easy to see how and why their emotional development for each other. Lucinda grows very close to Ronan in their time together, and Ronan has essentially been in love with Lucinda since he first saw her. (And I love when it’s the hero who falls in love first.) The over all natural story line and conflict really work as well, and made me like Lucinda even more. I know I listed out all my issues with the book, but really that’s it. Rogue for a Night is a very touching, well written romance. If you’re a fan of the genre I definitely think you should give this book a try.
You can read an excerpt of the book here.