I couldn’t believe it when I found this in a Little Free Library a few months after the release date in brand new condition!
When A Rogue Meets His Match is the second book in Elizabeth’s Hoyt’s new Greycourt series and follows Lady Messalina Greycourts’s forced marriage to her uncle’s wicked bully-for-hire, Gideon Hawthorne.
This book opens on a bang with a knife-wielding Hawthorne (there is…a lot of knife fighting in this book) slicing and dicing the highwaymen attacking the carriage taking Messalina to her unwanted wedding. I was instantly intrigued but, as I continued to read, I started to find this book extremely tedious.
Messalina and Gideon strike up a deal to make the marriage work and the book is mostly Messalina re-evaluating her misconceptions about Gideon and learning what it means to be a non-titled person. The book starts to loose steam after a while and the writing, in particular, felt extremely repetitive. Messalina is constantly referred to by her grey eyes and Gideon’s “wicked eyebrows” are mentioned so much it started to feel like a comedy. Also, this book has one of the worst third-act breakups I’ve ever read. It lasts about three pages.
After I read this book I listened to Elizabeth Hoyt’s interview about this series on the Wicked Wallflowers podcast and the overall concept that Hoyt describes sounds so different from what this book delivered. She discusses a commune-like women’s organization that is central to the series–but that aspect only shows up in this book as a side conversation between friends. Hoyt has a tendency to play long games in her series so maybe it will all weave together later. While this was a disappointment, I’m still willing to give the series another go.
Night of The Scoundrel by Kelly Bowen
The paperback edition of When A Rogue Meets His Match has the novella Night of The Scoundrel in the back. I wasn’t planning on reading it but then I read the opening scene where a rapier-wielding woman takes down two men in a slum alley and I was hooked.
This novella was everything I didn’t know I wanted in a historical romance. Our sword-wielding heroine is Adeline Archambult, who is like a one-woman version of TNT’s Leverage– she’s the person you call when you’ve exhausted all options. She’s in London to steal from King, a notorious lord of the slums but ends up doing a job for him instead and becomes the first person to see beyond the myth he’s made of himself.
Bowen cleverly weaves in elements of mystery and thriller in this darkly captivating romance. I get the sense that King is a recurring character in Bowen’s previous series and this serves as a culmination of both series but it reads well as a standalone.
The publisher did a great job putting this in the back of the book because you better believe I’ve already got a Bowen checked out from the library. Bonus: Ashford McNab narrates for her!