by Anna Bennett
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers #3
Published on January 2, 2018 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Hide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.
―The London Hearsay, special society edition
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?
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I don’t know where the plot came from for this book but it was interesting, to say the least! The Rogue is Back in Town is the third of the Wayward Wallflower books. I previously read the second of the series (and haven’t gotten around to the first) which was good but I’m not so sure I feel the same about this one.
So the short of it is that Sam and Juliette end up in the same house due to Sam’s brother being a jerk. And there are connections galore between the two families, history and such because you need tension in a book, after all. Sam, of course, is a rogue with quite the reputation which makes it all the more scandalous that he’s living in a house with an unmarried and unchaperoned young woman.
First off, I didn’t understand why the bulk of the plot happened in the first place. Juliette finds out that her house doesn’t belong to her or her uncle but instead of saying something to him (or her sisters and their noble, well-off husbands), she allows herself to be subjected to possible ruin and blackmailed. Just. . . why? I get wanting to do things for yourself and be independent but it felt like this pushed it well past that point into the realm of stupidity.
This is the central storyline too because if she had gone to someone in the first place then Sam wouldn’t have stayed in her house and been within close proximity for the romance to happen. When the main plot isn’t really solid. . .
Furthermore, Juliette was spunky but I really questioned her intelligence. Or maybe just her decision making skills. Not only did she not tell anyone what was going on but she knowingly put herself, time and again, in situations that could either be compromising or dangerous for herself for no good reason. It’s one thing to do what you can for family but her uncle is shown to be kind and understanding, and I highly doubt he’d let her go on the way she was for his sake (which is shown later on when everything falls apart).
I suppose I should mention Sam for a moment. He wasn’t particularly memorable. Rogue-turned-gentleman because of love. I’ve seen it before, not new. Nor is the male protagonist’s “inability” to stay away from the leading lady. It’s called self control. Your lack of it doesn’t make it okay to shove your tongue down her throat.
I’m so tired of seeing that in romance, y’all. Consent is not “pleading eyes” or “panting” or whatever else you want to call it. See Wilde in Love for a historical romance that did it well.
All in all, The Rogue is Back in Town was predictable and not as good as the previous installment, in my opinion. Which is a disappointment as I saw potential in this series. I still think I’ll read the first book at some point since I liked book 2 but this book wasn’t a winner for me.