3 stars to the slow first half; 4 stars to the much better second half.
Rogue takes place a few months after the events of Stray. Faythe is settling in to her new role as the first ever female werecat enforcer. She is partnered with on-again, off-again love interest, Marc. Faythe has made some serious concessions since Stray: She's willing to stay at the Lazy S as long as she can train to be an enforcer, and she's freely admitting her love for Marc. The couple seems very happy at the beginning of this book.
The plot thickens as strippers and tomcats are turning up missing and/or dead, and the tomcats are being killed by a tabby. The Sanders Pride must figure out what's happening - they can't have tomcats turning up in their territory dead every couple of days.
Faythe and Marc seem very close as they are investigating this mystery. Faythe is trying to watch her smart tongue and to learn as much as she can, and she's making headway, respect-wise, with her father and Marc.
As soon as Faythe figures out the "big mystery" she tells her "Daddy" and the rest of the gang that (view spoiler)[she probably accidentally infected her ex-human boyfriend, Andrew while sexing it up with him, and now he's a killing machine, coming after her for payback. And seriously, I know these werecats aren't that modest, but how awkward is it to continually have to talk about/smell like sex in front of your day? (hide spoiler)]
This is the part in the book where things get good. Marc is livid with Faythe for not telling him sooner, and feels that she's making a fool out of him. Marc has some serious hangups (view spoiler)[about what Faythe has done to Andrew since Marc himself was infected against his will as a child. (hide spoiler)]
Marc and Faythe fight. Then they make up. Then Greg separates them as a team. Then Marc gets super pissed. If you can't tell - this is where it all get a tad dramatic.
Marc and Faythe (view spoiler)[have angry sex. The only time they do it in the entire book. (hide spoiler)]
Marc is very hurt and is now giving back to Faythe the pain she has caused him for the last five years:"You make me hate myself, for not being man enough to say I've had it and tell you to go to hell."
As much as the above quote seems over-the-top to me (after all, Faythe doesn't have a good track record. She left him at the alter and he's been waiting for her for 5 years - he doesn't want to look like a wimp to everyone), I felt terrible for Faythe. The entire situation they are fighting about isn't her fault. A mistake that no one could have predicted was made. However, Faythe has made her bed, and now she needs to lie in it.
So although there is tension between Marc and Faythe, the team finds the first surprise and is attacked. During the attack, Faythe is cut up, and Jace is wounded trying to protect Faythe. After they haul surprise number 1 back to the ranch, the evil Luiz from Stray comes to take Faythe and avenge his brother. There is a lot of action at the end, there are fights, injuries and the usual. The book ends on a mild cliff hanger, and with many, many loose strings.
Once again, Rachel Vincent writes excellently descriptive violent scenes. Just one example that had me turning my head as I read:Forcing my feet into motion, I pulled the dumbbell up as high as I could. Two feet away, I swung it forward. He looked up just in time. His eyes widened in surprise, and in sudden fear. The weight crashed down on him, crumpling his forehead with a horrific, wet, crunching sound.......He no longer had a face. He had only a crater, with teeth embedded in mutilated, wet red flesh.
I said there were a lot of loose ends at the end of Stray. One being the fact that mama Sanders is spending a lot of time alone and in furry form. Something's going on with her - I just don't know what. And Ryan. He's a sniveling, out-for-himself, stab-you-in-the-back, opportunist, sure. But what's his real purpose in this story? Surely Vincent didn't write a character that's only purpose is to rot in the cage. And of course, the mild cliff hanger at the end. Faythe's brother Michael was a real a-hole in this book. He said a lot of not-so-nice things to Faythe that I thought were a bit harsh. I don't know what he holds against Faythe, but he needs to be put in line.
Marc and Faythe - My problem with these two is that I'm not 100% invested in them yet. Although I'm told that will change, I can't help but thinking that these two deserve each other. Marc is over protective and bossy, but he would also die for Faythe. Faythe is still a spoiled bitch, but she does love Marc. The problem is that Faythe won't give in an inch. Not at all, and Marc needs just a tiny bit to placate him and all would be well. They are both to blame for the situation they are in right now.
This book became much more interesting about halfway through. For me, it went from lukewarm to "I-need-to-read-Pride-right-away." I will be reading Pride as soon as I can. My interest is piqued just enough to finish this story.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>