Title: The Rogue’s Proposal
Author: Jennifer Haymore
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Release Date: 19 November 2013
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Lord Lukas Hawkins, the rakish second son of the House of Trent, has never found a wager he couldn’t win or a woman he couldn’t seduce—until his search for his missing mother leads him to a mysterious encounter with a beautiful stranger.
Luke’s mother has been missing for months, and while his honorable older brother Simon, Duke of Trent, leads the official investigation from London, Luke sets out on a somewhat seedier path. Sources have told him his mother was last seen with a scoundrel named Roger Morton, but their association isn’t clear. Was she kidnapped or did she go willingly?
While searching for Morton, Luke meets Emma Anderson, a secretive beauty with her own reasons for hunting Morton. At first Luke laughs at the idea of allowing a woman to join him in his search, but soon Emma’s insights into Morton—like the woman herself—prove impossible to resist.
Luke and Emma are brought together by devastating circumstances that each are facing on their own. Luke is on his quest to find his mother while Emma is trying to restore her father’s fortune and health and both of them need to find one person that can give them the answers they seek. And so begins a journey that took them to places both familiar and new and to heightened desires and awakened feelings.
In the beginning, I liked them enough but I had a hard time connecting with them. Although I wanted to know how they will go about their quest I wasn’t as invested in them as I would have liked to be. I was wondering why I felt this way about them when slowly but surely, they began to share more of themselves with the readers. And so as I got to know them better, the more I grew invested in what will eventually happen to them. And even I was surprised by the depth of my sympathy with them, especially Luke.
Birth secrets and cruel parents are almost de rigueur in the makings of a wounded hero of the story and from the start I have accepted that this was going to play a part in Luke’s story. But I had somehow taken this for granted and didn’t realize until the second half of the book the extent of what Luke had suffered through when he was but a child. And for the first time, I began to truly understand why he was the way he was.
Emma was a revelation to me, especially in the latter part of the book. She didn’t stand out as much in the earlier parts but what endeared her to me, without a doubt, was when she defended Luke most bravely and emotionally to his siblings. I mean that scene alone was, for me, worth reading the whole book for. It had me crying because of the powerful emotion that that scene evoked not just for the readers but for Emma’s characterization as well. Simply put, it was grand and beautiful.
The story was wrapped up well and the HEA of our hero and heroine was sweetly done. I appreciated the fact that amid all the mystery and the action that their journey brought them, at the center of it all is still their story together: how they shared themselves with each other, not just physically but emotionally and how they healed each other in many ways through acceptance and love.
I haven’t read Book 1 of this series so I don’t really know anything about Trent or the rest of the Hawkins family but I can’t wait to read more about them now. The eARC I received contained a teaser chapter for Jennifer Haymore’s next book and it features Sam, Luke’s older brother. And I can’t wait.
Ratings: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
About the author:
Jennifer Haymore grew up in California and on the Big Island of Hawaii. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in Education from UCLA. Before she became a full-time writer she held various jobs from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to playing bit roles in soap operas.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.