Deja vu. A few lines into the second volume of the Stud Club trilogy, I realised that Ms Dare had picked one of the supporting cast of One Dance with a Duke
-- not necessarily the most sympathetic -- and decided to make him the hero of Book Two.
Fortunately, she removes him physically from the focus of the first volume and provides brief but welcome respite from the continuing saga of the Stud Club. Sadly, 'brief' is the operative word. Two of the characters from One Dance with a Duke
return to help resolve the mystery surrounding the murder of the founder of the Club, so Twice Tempted by a Rogue
fails as a stand-alone read.
However, such weaknesses are more than balanced by two outstandingly original romantic leads: a male aristocrat traumatised by parental abuse and years of bloody soldiering, and a self-reliant and sexually confident female inn-keeper.
One or two of the characters were drawn with suspiciously subdued strokes -- probably an indication that they will star in the third volume of the trilogy.
The physical descriptions of bleak Devon moorland and the idyllic village that forms the setting for most of the story were particularly well done.
As with the first volume, the romantic climax slips into stereotyped dialogues and reunions. The saga of the Stud Club could easily have closed with Twice Tempted by a Rogue
, but a third volume remains to be read.