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Forbidden (Company of Rogues #4)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,014 ratings  ·  52 reviews

Finally freed from a cruel, depraved husband, Serena Riverton wants nothing more to do with men or marriage. Fate and her brothers give her no choice except to flee – into a storm, and into the arms of a stranger.

A Desperate Seduction

Without friend or fortune, Serena seduces the handsome lord. But just one night together will start a sequence of events that thre
Mass Market Paperback, 436 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Zebra (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

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Elis Madison
Serena Riverton, a new widow, is determined not to marry again. Her first husband was quite enough for one girl, thank you.

So when her greedy, heartless brothers inform her that they're offering her in wedlock (or maybe out of wedlock; since she's barren, they might get higher offers from men who want a mistress than those who need an heir) to the highest bidder, she has no choice. She runs, taking only the few coins she can steal without detection and the clothing on her back.

Francis, Lord Mi
Kody Keplinger
This is my favorite in the series so far.

Francis is a fantastic hero. He's sweet and loving. He's also a unique hero of this genre because, we find out early on, he's a virgin at the start. On the otherhand, the heroine, Serena, is far from innocent. She's been in a very unhappy marriage since she was 15 to a man that used her. Usually in this genre, its the hero with experience and the heroine that's an innnocent. The twist here, discover at the start of the book, is really interesting.

Serena i
ummm, it was better than St. Raven? Heroine is a widow of evil dude who kept her in sexual slavery, and she decides to escape her evil brothers who want to sell her to another man like that, runs into hapless hero and rapes (about it more later) him, seeking to become his mistress, she gets preggers, they marry, discover true love, barf barf the end. Part of my problem with this book arises from the fact that I recently realized I hate the set up of 'a person is forced to marry another.' There a ...more
I don't think I can do this book justice. It's so unusual: a virgin hero, an abused widow on the run -- how cliched does that sound? The hero is a crack shot, one of the Company of Rogues, Nicholas Delaney's best friend. Serena is both complicated and simple: a young woman possessed of a sultry beauty capable of "shooting an arrow straight to a man's heart", she wants to be a wife and mother. Her tart interior monologue is wryly humourous, the advice Francis receives from Nicholas and Lucien is ...more
Better than Unwilling Bride and as good in a different way as Christmas Angel. This novel of the Rogues series is actually the first one Beverley wrote years before she was first published. Francis, Lord Middlethorpe is a quirky and unusual male lead for a romance novel. I liked Francis for his honesty, his drive and his goodness. It's not true that good guy finish last. Not in this case. Serena, I dislike that name, is more of a classic romance heroine, bad brothers, rotten, wicked dead husband ...more
Loved this book! A really different twist on the usual Regency period romance--featuring an experienced woman and an inexperienced man. Serena found herself in a desperate situation and her path crossed that of Francis, Lord Middlethorpe, one of the Company of Rogues who is known to readers of the series. This one kept me up to finish--I had to see how their story worked itself out, as well as an additional story line of a related relationship. Looking forward to seeing how this couple fares as ...more
Carol Storm
Serena -- vulnerable and voluptuous. Francis -- fearless and innocent. Jo Beverley takes all the traditional male/female roles in a romance novel and turns them upside down. She is the cynical seducer. He is the virgin with principles. The sex is unbelievably hot, the emotions raw, the ending real and believable. This is an all-time keeper of a book, as well as being one of the rare historical romances that completely rejects formula.
Lin Stepp
A wonderfully entertaining Jo Beverly title - one of my favorites!
Serena Riverton came from a cruel and bullish father and a brawly bunch of brothers, no better.
Her father married her to an old, lecherous man for money ... and after his demise, her brothers plan more of the same. Especially after wasting every penny of her inheritance. When she learns they are actually auctioning her off for another marriage to the highest bidder ... she runs for her life.
And, sweetly, finally finds her life and
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've been reading Jo Beverley's Georgian romances recently, but this is part of a Regency series, A Company of Rogues. I've read a couple of others in this series and liked them, but I had a hard time with the hero in this one - he seemed amazingly obtuse and always imagining the worst about the heroine. Quite frankly, I'm not sure why she put up with him at all, let alone fell in love with him. Her dark past was interesting but glossed over, and her anger at the end seems forced, if long overdu ...more
Dueep Jyot
I began the book halfheartedly and the sheer gag factor kept me going for the first few chapters. When the virgin hero is raped by the heroine in his sleep because she wants to be his mistress and she is barren, groan number one. I know when she is going to turn up pregnant. She does,right when he is going to offer for suitable maiden. Surprise, surprise. So still gagging I turn to the end. He is hit by her, he belts her back,she hits him again. Hurrah for domestic peace. So she has 2 brothers w ...more
♆ BookAddict ♨ ✒ La Crimson Femme❇ ♐
Serena the siren or the slut? I'm hard pressed to decide. Lady Anne Peckworth is the loser here. Just like nice guys, nice girls finish last. Fortunately Anne is gracious, if hurt. Francis shouldn't have led her on. Sure Serena and Francis didn't want to hurt Anne, but they did anyway.
Borderline keeper for me. Detested the heroine's brothers and the hero's mother, as well as the never-ending miscommunication and misunderstandings between all of the main characters. On the other hand, I couldn't put it down ...
My favorite in the Company of Rogues series to date. Liked both the hero and the heroine
Great strong dialogue and a fairly complicated plot, reminded me of Kleypas Wallflower series, since it's both regency and flows really well. It's not perfect, Francis was a bit of an undecided washcloth, not my fave manly man type, he was never truly remorseful when it warranted. The ending is very good, and generally an original book. Will look into this series, i like the way Beverly writes. The juxtaposition of her sexual experience while mentally innocent and his mental knowledge while inno ...more
2.5 stars Skimmed this. Well written but I really dislike this kind of plot.

If you are triggered by rape, you may want to skip this one.

Trying to explain why it didn't work for me -> (Spoilers)
(view spoiler)
Author: Jo Beverley
First published: 1994
Length: 5095 locations
Setting: England. Regency.
Sex: Reasonably frequent. Often unsatisfactory. References to Serena being (effectively) a sex slave to late husband.
Cheating: Francis is almost betrothed when he meets Serena.
Hero: (view spoiler).
Heroine: Widow. She was married at 15 (sold by her father) and is now 23. She believes herself barren.
Trigger: Rape. Serena is kept as a sex slave by her late husband and forced to witness and
I didn’t care for this novel at all. It was very slow moving. I thought the heroine was very weak and whimpy and didn’t have much of a personality. She seemed a bit beaten down and not at all interesting to read about. She’d survived being married to a sexually deviant husband and it seems to have taken a toll on her.

The hero, Francis, was a virgin and I found that a bit hard to understand. He didn’t want prostitutes because they were dirty yet, without hesitation, he slept with Serena, believi
The h here is a widow. She was sold to her first husband (who was so cruel to her) by her family at 15 where she remained without much contact to the outside world. Now that they were planning to repeat it she runs away. No money and no place to go she makes a bad decision to become someone’s mistress when she was almost spotted by her brother. She meets the H on her way and they share a room due to a storm.

She(view spoiler)
Mary Craven
I am happy to be just discovering Jo Beverley and the World of the Rogues. Stumbled on Christmas Angel last December and fell in love with the whole Company of Rogues. Now with all the books on hand, I am reading them in rapid succession. Enjoying EVERY minute. I cannot believe that the author could write such wonderful and intertwined plots from book to book without a great deal of planning and attention to the smallest detail. Just masterful!
Germaine Lefebvre
Per una volta ho sbagliato tutto ed ho letto il 4° libro di una serie, senza pensare che quantomeno i primi due libri avrebbero aggiunto molto all'eroe di questo libro. Francis è, dopo aver letto i volumi 1 e 2, un personaggio ancora piu' completo, scombussolato, sconvolto dalle sue stesse reazioni e piu' comrensibilmente umano. La diversita' nei libri di Beverley, è che quando i suoi protagonisti litigano non sembra di stare in una slapstick comedy, ma finalmente nella vita vera. E quindi un li ...more
I liked this book. Always an interesting perspective when traditional gender roles a skewed.
Heroine rapes hero at the beginning of the book. And everyone acts like this is ok? WTF?
This is a reprint of an older Jo Beverly novel but since this is new to me I gobbled it up and thoroughly enjoyed! It is part of a series and sadly, of course, I read it out of order so I did have some confusion on some of the secondary characters but overall this was a really enjoyable read. I loved the contrast between Francis’s stiff bearing and Serena’s independence. They made such an interesting contrasting couple that I was routing for them and their Happily Ever After. Now I just need to ...more
So read..can't put her books down.
Julie Martinez
Weird, didn't like!!
A dark, miserable marriage-of-convenience novel. The characters barely interact with each other for the first 40% of the book, and a forced marriage occurs only when a pregnancy results from a near rape of the hero. The main characters themselves are generally pleasant and kind, so inane misunderstandings are used to cause angst and suspicion until the bitter end. The "Company of Rogues" only adds to the distastefulness of the story - it is a lewd and nearly incestuous group of couples.
Megan Frampton
I really liked the initial set-up of this book, since its premise seemed to riff off of old skool romance, but took a few interesting turns. But as the book went on, and the hero got more and more of an asshat, I really began to dislike it. My dislike intensified in the last section of the book, where the hero calls the heroine some horrible names, and then the next scene they're confessing their love, and she's telling him she trusts him. What? I didn't believe it.
Good story, lots of scandalous angst.

This is the first time Lady Anne is jilted. This is the story with the scandalous widow and her wicked brothers.
Elizabet Luna
Awesome ending.
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Mary Josephine Dunn was born 22 September 1947 in Lancashire, England, UK. At the age of eleven she went to an all-girls boarding school, Layton Hill Convent, Blackpool. At sixteen, she wrote her first romance, with a medieval setting, completed in installments in an exercise book. From 1966 to 1970, she obtained a degree in English history from Keele University in Staffordshire, where she met her ...more
More about Jo Beverley...

Other Books in the Series

Company of Rogues (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • An Arranged Marriage (Company of Rogues, #1)
  • An Unwilling Bride (Company of Rogues, #2)
  • Christmas Angel
  • Dangerous Joy (Company of Rogues, #5)
  • The Demon's Mistress (Three Heroes, #1) (Company of Rogues, #6)
  • The Dragon's Bride (Three Heroes, #2) (Company of Rogues, #7)
  • The Devil's Heiress (Three Heroes, #3) (Company of Rogues, #8)
  • Hazard (Company of Rogues, #9)
  • St. Raven (Company of Rogues, #10)
  • Skylark (Company of Rogues, #11)
My Lady Notorious (Malloren, #1) An Arranged Marriage (Company of Rogues, #1) An Unwilling Bride (Company of Rogues, #2) Devilish (Malloren, #5) Something Wicked (Malloren, #3)

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