The Rogue Returns

Leigh LaValle
The Rogue Returns
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Heart Bay Publishing
Release Date
January 2014
Book 3 of Nottinghamshire Series
Historical Romance


Lady Helen Gladstone has siblings to protect and creditors at her door. There's only one way to stave off disaster—to find the fabled fortune that her deceased brother buried years ago. Her experience with her lying father and gambling brother has left her able to spot a scoundrel at ten paces. Unfortunately, the scoundrel she encounters is a lot closer than that...and he's planning to make off with her treasure.


After years of exile, Roane Grantham is eager to begin a new life without the law on his heels. First, he needs gold—his gold, buried one drunken night long ago. But he doesn't count on a petite, bold-as-brass blonde laying claim to his hoard.

Forming an uneasy alliance, Helen and Roane adventure through the high peaks of England, battling treasure hunters, violent storms, and dangerous terrain. But can they escape the growing passion that lays claim to their hearts?

Book Review by Christine Blackthorn (author,reviewer)
May 31, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
185 people found the following review helpful
THE ROGUE RETURNS by Leigh LaValle is the story of Lady Helen, the scion of an old aristocratic family, whose spendthrift father, scoundrel brother and other never-do-well ancestors, have left her with dependents, creditors and mounting debt. Her only chance lies in the fabled treasure her deceased brother is rumoured to have hidden in a clearing.

But she is not the only one who is looking for the treasure. Roane, bastard son of another noble family and former best friend of her brother, is also searching for the treasure. He is newly returned to English soil, after having spent years away. Before he left, he rode the English countryside as a bandit, relieving the rich of their riches. Now he is back and ready to start a new life, only to find himself forced into an uneasy partnership with Lady Helen in order to find the treasure belonging to both of them.

Over hills and through valleys, faced by treasure hunters and bandits, through revenge and violent storms, the two have to find their way and their treasure.

The sizzle between our heroine and the hero of the story is there from the beginning, albeit both fight their inclinations. He thinks she is a prissy, arrogant little English flower. She thinks he is an untrustworthy, criminal...well, rogue.

The style of the story is elegant and engaging, the words painting images of the English countryside with expressive force. The dialogue is engaging and lets the reader smile. We can truly see the characters, hear them exchange banter and sniping arguments.

Lady Helen is the character who most develops throughout the story, turning from a hair-raisingly naive, borderline-stupid miss into a more mature, calmer version of herself. It is fascinating to follow the character through that development.

The book is an enjoyable little romp through the countryside of Britain, a swashbuckling adventure with elements of humour and poetry. As a historical romance, there are some small inaccuracies, but this is fiction, not an academic treatise.

There are little bits that grate. It is hard to like the character of Lady Helen in the beginning as her overdrawn gentility borders on stupidity. Her worries regarding the sweat of the horse touching her skirts feels simply forced, following the description of how she has spent hours digging in the dirt. In the end, the story is carried by the character of Roane and the development Helen goes through, rather than any empathy for her.

It is a book well worth reading, an enjoyable story with which to spend a few hours.
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