ARC Review: “Never Rescue a Rogue,” by Virginia Heath

Hello party readers! I had the great pleasure of being chosen to read the ARC for Never Rescue a Rogue, Virginia Heath’s second book in the Merriwell series (thank you, Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press!) Rogue picks up not too long after the events of Never Fall for your Fiancée, and is even more delightful than the last. So without further ado…


From the Publisher:

Virginia Heath’s Never Rescue a Rogue, the next book in the Merriwell Sisters series, is filled with whip-smart banter, swoony romance, hilarious mishaps, and twisty reveals that will make you gasp and laugh in delight.

Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that the two of them are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that their constant pithy barbs come from a shared disdain—not a hidden attraction. Diana loves the freedom of working at the newspaper too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily married to his bachelor lifestyle. But they do have one thing in common—the secrets they can’t risk escaping.

When Giles’ father, the curmudgeonly Duke of Harpenden unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes crawling out of the woodwork who knows the true circumstances of his only son’s birth. As the threat of blackmail becomes real, Giles must uncover the truth of his parentage first, or else he and all those who depend upon him will be ruined—and dogged bloodhound Diana is his best hope at sniffing out the truth. As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that the two of them insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. Soon, the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…


What I Loved:

  • Diana and Giles. Banter, banter, banter. I love good enemies to lovers, and Diana and Giles are no exception. The two of them exchange barbs and sarcastic quips while the tension slowly sizzles underneath. I love how they are fiercely loyal to friends and family, and that drives them together even while they pretend to hate each other. I love how each character grew as a person from the last book, and were fully fleshed out in the best way. Diana and Giles (in my humble opinion) are even better suited than Hugh and Minerva, and that’s saying something.
  • The Mysteries. I am a sucker for a good mystery (hence half my blog being cozies). While I did not go into Never Rescue a Rogue thinking it would be anything more than a fun historical romcom, the “serious” mystery was delightful. I love Diana’s secret life as a newspaper columnist that seeks and find secrets like its nobody’s business (ha) and it was even better watching her put that to use to help Giles with his dark family past. Giles, in turn, is tortured by a secret, but not for his sake: for the sake of the people suffering around him. As they delve into Giles’s past, it is a match made in heaven.
  • The Character Development. I loved book one in this series, but basically hated Diana, Giles, and little sister Vee. They were all annoying, obstinate, and one-sided. However here, every character (even Vee) had time to shine. This is not a series that suffers a book 2 slump.

What Didn’t Work as Well:

  • The Pace. I loved Never Rescue a Rogue, but the pace was pretty erratic. The beginning was a slow burn that I was into, but can see why others would think it dragged, then the middle is a lovely crescendo as the mystery comes together. However, the end speeds through like a train, with the ultimate ending almost feeling like it wasn’t “won.” If you can get through the beginning, it is worth it.

That is really all. This book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved the blend between mystery and romance, hot glances, witty banter, and frenemies to lovers.


Conclusion:

Never Rescue a Rogue was a delightful second book in a great series, arguably better than the first. I recommend it to all of my regency romance fans, and even to those who like some mystery more than romance. Four and a half waves! This fun tome came out two weeks ago, so grab your copy here. And if you haven’t read book one yet, grab Never Fall for your Fiancée here – you won’t regret it.

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