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Maiden Lane #8

Dearest Rogue

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Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times—the very irritating Captain Trevillion.


Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all—until she's targeted by kidnappers.


Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads—one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior...and the possibility of a life—and love—she never imagined possible.

326 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 26, 2015

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About the author

Elizabeth Hoyt

51 books6,663 followers
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,091 reviews
Profile Image for Arini.
696 reviews1,548 followers
December 28, 2022
3.5 stars

this felt like reading a Kristen Ashley book just from the amount of kidnappings and attacks the heroine had to endure lol.


(✓) a BLIND heroine,

“She stood, a little unsteadily, true, but on her own two feet. “It’s not my blindness that cripples me, it’s everyone else deciding I can’t live because of my blindness. If I stumble, if I run into things and fall and hurt myself it’s because I can and I’m free to do so, Maximus. Because without that freedom I’m just a dull, chained thing and I won’t be that woman anymore. I simply won’t, Maximus.”

who had a strong, kind, upbeat personality and optimistic view in life.

(✓) a hero with a LIMP,

“Somewhere, at some indefinable point, he’d crossed a bridge and the bridge had crumbled behind him. There was no going back. He cared for Lady Phoebe Batten more than anything else in life. More than his family. More than his honor. More than his freedom, should it come to that.”

he was your typical silent, broody, gruff, stoic, expressionless hero who looked, sounded, and acted like nothing fazed him, but deep down he secretly ✧ adored ✧ the heroine.

(✓) he was also an ex-military man of sort and happened to be her BODYGUARD hired by the heroine’s—


(✓) both MCs had significant AGE GAP. the hero was 31yo (or 33yo, im blinking on this particular detail) and the heroine 21yo virgin.

(✓) in an attempt to escape some danger, they ran away to the hero’s remote hometown. during the travel, they played the FAKE RELATIONSHIP card and *innocently* engaged in some ONE BED action.

(✓) they were far apart in CLASS & SOCIAL STATUS, but together they were quite the GRUMPY/SUNSHINE pair.

“I’m not letting you go after this.” He raised his head. “Marry me, Phoebe, please. Damn the courtship. Damn your brother. Damn the waiting. I can’t...I can’t breathe when you’re not with me. I love you with all my cynical heart. Be my wife and teach me to laugh and let me buy you beer and ride with me on the beaches of Cornwall. Be my love and my wife forevermore.”


(―) i think that some of the dialogues were skating the edge of cheese-land, but they werent cringey.

(―) for all the suspense and abduction shenanigans, the big reveal and explanation for why they happened was kind of... ridiculous.

(―) we didnt see the initial introduction between the MCs. the story began with them having already established a somewhat friendly, professional guard/client relationship.


(✗) im being overdramatic with this one, but truly the way the hero ended literally every sentence he spoke to the heroine with “My Lady” grated on my nerves.

(✗) i didnt particularly care for all the parts (there were significant amount) that were given to set up for future installments mostly because i read this as a standalone. whoops.

other than that, this was a sweet HR with lots of interesting elements that i enjoyed. honestly, if youre a follower of this series and have bonded with the characters since the beginning, i think you might like it more.

(Personal Note: Originally Read as an Audiobook in 2021, but Shelved on the “2017 Reading Challenge”)
Profile Image for Alp.
731 reviews368 followers
November 6, 2016

“You’ve ruined me. I don’t know if I can breathe without you. I don’t know how I can ever live without you.” –James Trevillion

Much better than my expectations. Thoroughly beautiful!

I postponed reading this book for so long, considering I wasn’t impressed with Phoebe's character in the previous book. I found her quite stubborn, so I was afraid she would get on my nerves in this installment. But oh, how wrong I was to think of her that way! She was nothing like I thought she would be. Honestly, her courage and her strength utterly surprised me. I can tell she’s pretty much my kind of heroine!

Dearest Rogue captured me from the first page and I found myself unable to put it down till the end. The story was very well-written, full of passionate romance, exciting action, and engaging suspense.

In this book, we meet Captain James Trevillion and Lady Phoebe Batten.

During Captain James Trevillion's patrol shift in St. Giles, his horse was shot and she fell atop him. He suffered a horrifying broken leg and it immediately ended his army career in the dragoons. The Duke of Wakefield offered him a job as his little sister's bodyguard. The more time he spent by Phoebe's side, the more he grew to care about her. She became something more than duty to him. Even though he knew deep down inside that it would be impossible for him to deny that she'd already occupied every corner of his heart, she was the Duke's sister, born and raised aristocratically. He was just a former dragoon with a lame leg and he knew he had nothing to offer her. Without a doubt, he wasn't good enough for her.

Because of her blindness, the sister of the Duke of Wakefield, Lady Phoebe Batten was treated like a little child by everyone around her. Her brother believed that most outings were too dangerous for her and she needed someone to accompany her everywhere, so he hired James as her bodyguard to keep her safe. At first, she wasn’t at all happy with James’s constant presence, but the longer she knew him, the more she realized how much she enjoyed his company and felt comfortable with him. All she wanted was for James to see her as a woman, not a precious thing that needed to be protected all the time.

After Phoebe was kidnapped from her house, James knew immediately that he needed to do something in order to save her, and then he swore to protect her life with his own.

Although this isn't my favorite in this series, still it was a good and enjoyable read. I loved both James and Phoebe, and I was actually satisfied with the ending. I’m so happy I decided to pick up this one.

Fans of historical romances and forbidden love stories shouldn’t miss this book.

“You’ve brought the sun into my lonely, gray life.”
“Lonely no more,” she whispered back.

Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,006 reviews9,931 followers
March 1, 2021
If you're looking for a bodyguard romance to love, you HAVE to read Dearest Rogue!! The heroine is the sister of a duke, is blind, and has a huge grump of a bodyguard. James is broody but you can just feel how much he adores Phoebe and is willing to do anything to protect her. There's also the "only one bed" trope AND they have to pretend to be husband and wife during that scene. I just had so much fun reading this one!
Profile Image for Lady Wesley.
924 reviews314 followers
November 5, 2022
7 May 2015
My thoughts upon finishing Dearest Rogue
Warning! Do not begin this book unless you are prepared to stay up all night finishing it. Dearest Rogue may be my favorite Maiden Lane book yet. The romance between Phoebe and Trevillion will sweep you up, and besides that there is adventure, mystery, and an adorable child.

29 May 2015

Elizabeth Hoyt’s books just keeps getting better! As I noted in my five-star review of her last book, Darling Beast, she has taken the Maiden Lane series in a new direction, adding characters while keeping the ones we’ve met before. Captain James Trevillion first appeared in Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3) , leading a troop of mounted soldiers hunting for an accused murderer known as the Ghost of St. Giles. He wasn’t a villain exactly, but his strict devotion to duty put him in conflict with the heroes of the earlier books. Trevillion was invalided out of the army when his leg was badly broken after his horse was shot and fell on him. Now, walking with a cane but still able to ride like the devil, he has taken a job guarding Phoebe Batten, the young sister of a former adversary, Maximus Batten, Duke of Wakefield.

Maximus has decreed that Phoebe must have a guard because she is almost completely blind. Phoebe was not born blind; her sight began deteriorating when she was twelve, and now at age 21, she can detect light but nothing more. The duke is not cruel or ashamed of her; he just wants to protect her from gossip or teasing or injury. And her brother knows that London in 1741 can be dangerous for any lady, even if accompanied by footmen; Trevillion, with his two pistols strapped across his chest, escorts Phoebe everywhere.

Phoebe is sweet, pretty, and charming to everyone – except Trevillion. She detests the restrictions imposed by her brother (although she loves him dearly) and is hostile toward Trevillion as a result (although she has full confidence in his ability to protect her). For his part, Trevillion accepts Phoebe’s enmity stoically while occasionally harboring secret tender feelings toward her. He knows that there can be nothing between a duke’s sister and a commoner.

The first chapter of this book is so cracking good that it could be a case study in how to set up a plot, introduce the main characters, and hook the reader. While Phoebe is shopping on Bond Street, four brutes attempt to kidnap her. Before Phoebe even realizes what is happening, Trevillion has shot two of them, stolen a horse, and is galloping away to safety with Phoebe in front of him. That's the short, plain version of what happened. Ms. Hoyt's version gives us the sights, sounds, and smells – especially Phoebe's experience of the sounds and smells and riding a horse for the first time in years – as well as each character's innermost thoughts and reactions. She is exhilarated by the experience, and Trevillion is impressed by Phoebe's heretofore hidden passion.

Circumstances put Phoebe and Trevillion in an unusual position. They frequently are in close proximity, her hand on his arm, and sometimes they are alone, something that never would be allowed under ordinary conditions. There is this tension though, because they don't like one another, except they sort of do, and it is a joy to watch them grapple with putting aside their preconceptions and get to actually know one another. Repeated kidnapping attempts bring the couple even closer, until finally Trevillion takes drastic action.

I've had some trouble writing this review because I don't want to give away too much of the plot. Suffice it to say that they depart from London, and the enforced nearness and isolation bring Phoebe and Trevillion closer to one another. Each of them discovers the possibility of a whole new life they had never dreamt of before. Phoebe relentlessly assails Trevillion's grim reserve, and he comes to appreciate her as so much more that just a blind girl. Unlike her brother, Trevillion is willing to let Phoebe try things even though she sometimes falls. It is just a beautiful love story and will melt the your heart and curl your toes.

Can you tell that I fell a little bit in love with Trevillion? To begin with, Elizabeth Hoyt's Pintererst page features a photograph of Richard Armitage as Trevillion, and he perfectly fits the book's description. Moreover, for all of his dour demeanor, Trevillion is a man of passion too. I simply adored this passage, which shows us Trevillion's heart as well as Ms. Hoyt's talent:
Trevillion watched Phoebe in the sea, the waves lapping about her ankles. She was laughing, her skirts lifted to her knees, her face shining in the sun, and he wished he could paint the scene. Keep it in his memory always.
Somewhere, at some indefinable point, he'd crossed a bridge and the bridge had crumbled behind him. There was no going back. He cared for Lady Phoebe Batten more than anything else in life. More than his family. More than his honor.
More than his freedom, should it come to that.
Bringing her joy was worth more than any amount of money. He knew – without doubt, without fear – that he would kill for her.
That he would die for her.
It was almost a relief, this realization. He might fight intellectually against it, using all those well-worn arguments: he was too old, she was too young, they were too far apart in class, but it simply didn't matter. His heart had performed a coup d'état over his mind and there was nothing more to be done about it.
He loved Phoebe Batten, now and forevermore.

I have no real criticism of this book. Yes, the kidnapping story is rather convoluted and far-fetched, but that did not detract from my enjoyment At the end, I put it down with a happy smile on my face. In fact, it's official: Dearest Rogue is now my favorite book in the Maiden Lane series.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,588 reviews1,466 followers
June 28, 2017
I’m going to tell you that I might be a smidge biased about this book as this is really one of my favorite tropes and I’m a sucker for a Captain, any kind of captain in fact from Captain Jack Sparrow, to James Tiberius Kirk, to Captain Malcolm Reynolds and let us not forget Captain Thorn (the Lunar Chronicles), Both Captains of the Queensgaurd, Hector (Girl of Fire and Thorns) and Amon Byrne (Seven Realms) and last but not least Captain America. But this has the added bodyguard who falls in love with his body to guard.

I have been waiting for Trevillions book for a while especially when I learned that Phoebe was the love interest. I have liked her small parts in all of the other books and I’ve also felt so bad for her that because she has been going blind she is cut off from most of society and while her family loves her they are maybe doing a bit too much to make sure she is safe that it is no wonder she almost feels a prisoner in her own home.
She stood, a little unsteadily, true, but on her own two feet. “It’s not my blindness that cripples me, it’s everyone else deciding I can’t live because of my blindness. If I stumble, if I run into things and fall and hurt myself it’s because I can and I’m free to do so, Maximus. Because without that freedom I’m just a dull, chained thing and I won’t be that woman anymore. I simply won’t, Maximus.”

It was so easy to like Phoebe, sure her life has changed and she can’t see but it hasn’t diminished her in any way and her positivity and good attitude towards every new challenge that comes her was made me want her to find the love of her life and get the HEA that she deserves.

Trevillion is a man of honor and duty. He wants to do want is right by Phoebe and feels like he couldn’t possibly be the man for her, he is too old not a noble and has a leg injury that has slowed him down. He wants the best for her since he has over time come to care for her but it is difficult being with her everyday as his feelings grow and her life becomes more and more in danger.
…while you may not be a caged bird, neither are you merely a woman. You’re a precious artifact. As long as there are men who wish to steal you, I’ll be right by your side.”

Someone is trying to kidnap Phoebe and force a marriage on her. If they accomplish that then they can basically hold the Duke of Wakefield in the palm of their hands. Trevillion seems to be the only thing standing between the Kidnappers and Phoebe. But there seems to be someone in The Duke of Wakefield’s employee that might be working against him. To protect her he will need to hide her and in that they will both discover everything about the other person.

I loved this story. Okay so Phoebe almost being kidnapped and actually being kidnapped more than once was a little OTT and comical. But I really liked everything about their story and how Trevillion’s war within himself to do the right thing didn’t stand a chance in the wake of Phoebe.
Only when she sighed into his mouth, a small submission, did he whisper against her lips, “I’m tired of you tempting me.”
“I’m not tempting you anymore,” she murmured back, her wet lips brushing his.
He nipped her bottom lip in punishment. “Aren’t you?”
“No,” she whispered. “You’ve given in.”

I enjoyed this book more than most in this series just because of the Trope and the character. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,238 reviews265 followers
April 23, 2020
This, my 16th high rating reread, held up. Damn, I love these two (might be a 4, but tripping across moors is one of my all time favorite scenes.) Original review:

*Tosses kobo aside. Steeples fingers. Leans forward. Raises eyebrows*

Oh. I've found another for my collection.

*Plucks James from pages. Adds to "heroes I want to lick" shelf.*

I've enjoyed Phoebe's parts in the books prior to this and her book was not at all disappointing.I also l enjoyed the image of Trevillion just moments behind each Ghost. He's a clever and a tenacious one. Apparently he's also the strong, silent, steady type. It doesn't hurt, nope, in fact it helps, that he appears to ride horses like some kind of warrior from Rohan. I can't tell you I've ever drooled about superhuman horse-riding skills, but somehow Elizabeth Hoyt made me do it.

I don't really have a heroes I want to lick shelf, I have the boringly named 'book boyfriends' but I really need to up my naming convention there. Some of these new heroes, it just doesn't suit. (Delicious heroes?)

I felt she was careful in the characters, they were wildly consistent. A wonderfully, superbly, satisfying read. (I enjoyed Cornwall too! It suits them. Lovely.)

oh dear sweet bunny rabbits when he watched her fall three times. My heart.

I'm about to get real weird, so I'm going to just push save on this baby and go off to read Down by Contact In other words, I'll be up till 2 finishing that tonight.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,644 reviews1,001 followers
September 13, 2016
I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up.

While I’ve enjoyed all the books in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, Dearest Rogue has been the one I’ve most eagerly anticipated. In fact, it’s one of my most highly anticipated books of 2015. Perhaps that’s a little unusual, considering this is the eighth book in a long-running series, but something about the pairing of the older, world-weary, dour ex-officer with the young, vital but blind sister of a duke is intriguing and completely irresistible. Perhaps it’s that whole “bodyguard-falls-for-his-charge” thing – although that’s not a plotline I’m fussed about either way – or what’s more likely is that the glimpses we’ve been given of Phoebe Batten and Captain Trevillion in the earlier books, both separately and together, plus their appearance in the short Christmas story that appeared on the author’s website a couple of years back showed an already amazing chemistry that I was keen to revisit and experience in a whole novel.

Readers familiar with the earlier books will know that James Trevillion, Captain in the King’s 4th Dragoons was injured in the line of duty, his right leg severely damaged when he was crushed beneath his horse. No longer able to perform his military role, he resigned his commission and was then offered a job by Maximus Batten, the powerful Duke of Wakefield, as bodyguard to his youngest sister, Phoebe. Phoebe’s eyesight has been gradually worsening since the age of twelve, and now, at twenty-one, she is completely blind. She is not at all happy at the idea of having a permanent keeper, but her brother is an incredibly influential man, and the possibility of her being kidnapped or harmed in order to gain leverage over him is a very real one. Phoebe knows that her brother is concerned for her safety, but he’s stifling her; she may have lost her sight, but she wants to live as normal a life as possible, not be wrapped up in cotton wool like a china doll.

It was clear in the previous book (Darling Beast) that Trevillion was smitten with his charge, while Phoebe saw him as little more than an inconvenience. She still sees him that way, but he is well aware that the day is not far off when his growing attraction to her will mean he must resign his post. He can’t protect her properly if he is overly emotionally invested – and he is already in over his head, Phoebe’s courage, tenacity and determination drawing him to her as much as her loveliness.

Following a failed kidnap attempt at the start of the book, Phoebe finds herself suddenly curious about “her” captain and beginning to think of him as a person rather than just as an annoyance thrust upon her by her over-protective brother. A true friendship starts to develop between them as Phoebe comes to know more about the man who is constantly at her side and to finally realise something she’s always known – that Trevillion is the one person who will never lie to her or attempt to sugar-coat the truth.

When, following a second unsuccessful abduction, the captain resigns his post because he feels he failed in his duty, Phoebe is distraught. James – as she has begun to think of him – was the one person who truly understood her need for independence. Her brother instead surrounds her with lots of burly footmen, but even they cannot keep Phoebe safe from what, I admit, is her own stupidity when she ventures out to the stables early one morning. Fortunately for her, one of those footmen used to be a soldier under Trevillion’s command and quickly seeks him out. This is the last straw as far as the captain is concerned – he tracks the kidnappers and rescues Phoebe, then spirits her away to somewhere she won’t be found – and doesn’t even tell the duke where they’ve gone.

They journey to the Cornish coast, to the home Trevillion hasn’t seen for twelve years. While Phoebe has managed to prise some of his life-story from him, he hasn’t divulged the reasons for such a long absence, and clearly doesn’t like talking about his past. His father is simultaneously pleased to see him and angry with him for being gone for so long, but Phoebe is nonetheless made welcome and soon falls into the way of life on the remote horse-breeding farm. It’s at this point that she finally discovers the reasons behind James’ almost compulsive need to protect her; and while it’s not exactly a surprise, it nonetheless makes perfect sense.

I loved the way the relationship between the protagonists developed and especially the way in which Phoebe, unable to see, becomes aware of James as a man in other ways, through touch, scent and the sound of his voice. Despite the difference in their stations, once he realises the attraction between them is mutual, he doesn’t hesitate or keep pushing her away for her own good. He pays her the compliment of believing she knows her own mind – which is a refreshing change – so there is no overly contrived angst.

Even though I loved the book, it’s not without flaws. Phoebe is kidnapped so many times, the author even has the character metaphorically rolling her eyes at it and thinking she should be used to it by now! The reasons behind it are a bit wishy-washy, to be honest, although during this part of the story, the author introduces the heroine of the next book, and also keeps the Machiavellian machinations of the enigmatic Duke of Montgomery at the forefront of the reader’s mind.

But I was so wrapped up in Phoebe and Trevillion that it didn’t spoil the book for me, and in terms of the romance, Ms Hoyt delivers and then some. Phoebe is only twenty-one, but has shown such courage in the face of adversity over the time in which we’ve come to know her that it’s easy to sympathise with her and with her desire to be allowed to live her life in the light she can no longer see. Trevillion is a wonderful hero – deeply honourable and loyal, and possessed of the sort of unwavering devotion and quiet competence that are incredibly attractive. He’s not voluble, but has a dry wit and sense of humour that are normally buried, so it’s lovely to see him unbending around Phoebe, who, he quips, has “made him into a frivolity”; and incongruous as the pairing may have been at first glance, he’s the perfect hero for her. He’ll never talk down to her or try to coddle her; even though he wants to keep her safe from harm, he knows that sometimes one has to fall down in order to pick oneself up again.

As I’ve come to expect from this author, the writing is elegant and richly detailed, and the characterisation is strongly observed all round. The sex scenes are luscious and sensual and somehow, in a genre which is overflowing with them, quite unique. Ms Hoyt manages to imbue such moments with a kind of earthy romanticism that never descends into the overly crude; sex in her books is lusty and honest – emotional but not sentimental.

Dearest Rogue fulfilled all my expectations, so I can’t in all good conscience do anything other than make it a DIK, in spite of the small reservations I’ve mentioned. It’s gone straight onto my keeper shelf and I’ve already read it twice – so it’s a good bet I’ll be returning to it often.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,228 followers
February 6, 2017
Better than the last one. High praise, indeed. And, sure this couple was also boring, but the story was sweet and actually a little bit believable. There was actual chemistry.

So, we have Phoebe, a blind girl who gets all annoyed when people want to help her walk without falling into a hole. And, James, her bodyguard who is a bit crippled from injuries to one of his legs who gets annoyed if anyone wants to help him in any way. Perfect match.

They fight, she resents him, he secretly loves her, he leaves her, she misses him, he kidnaps her for her "safety", and then...

The only thing that annoyed me about this book, other than the idiotic scene where she convinces him to let her walk unassisted along a hole-ridden, uneven road and she falls over and over again, but hey, "independence", was how utterly stupid James has suddenly become. When he was the captain of the police, he was uncannily perceptive and smart at figuring things out. But, suddenly he can't figure out the most obvious kidnapper ever. The guy practically screamed "it's me" from the start, but Captain Unobvious couldn't see it. Perhaps he also knocked his brain loose when he hurt his leg. I was unimpressed.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,351 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2016
So sweet. Wasn't sure how I would like this one. Trevillion is a bit of a moody character in the previous books ... but he ended up being a real sweetheart.

TREVILLION woke the next morning as he often did: all at once, at exactly six of the clock , and with a stiff cock ...

Of course Trevillion was not of her station so did not feel worthy of her.

God, he was a cad.

"You've ruined me. I don't know if I can breathe without you. I don't know how I can ever live without you."

"Then don't." she murmured into the eternal darkness ...

"I'm so lucky you would have me."
Profile Image for Choko.
1,178 reviews2,568 followers
February 6, 2017
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the Romantics at the MacHalo Freaks :) Because we love love!!!

Yes, we are back in 18th century England, Maiden Lane, ravaged by Gin and poverty, crime and filth... Well, that is on Maiden Lane... In the houses of the Ton, life seems much easier and more gentile... It does not matter where or when you are, money and privilege are always a plus.

"...“I don’t want you hurt,” he said gruffly.
“I know.��� Her smile was winsome. “But falling isn’t the end of the world. I may fall, it’s true—in fact, I probably will fall—but really, one can’t live without falling now and again.” ..."

Lady Phoebe Batten is the sister of a Duke, comfort, luxury and privilege are a given for her station. For this beautiful and full of life young woman the skies should be the only limit. However, even the greatest families can not always get away from faith and in Phoebe's case, a disease of the eyes at an early age has her vision degenerating with an alarming speed. Her advancing blindness is the reason her Duke brother enlists the recently injured Captain James Trevillion, who finds himself unable to continue with his military duties since his leg was smashed by his dying horse. Both the Lady and the Captain find the situation bothersome. Travillion is the perfect soldier, intense, obsessed with his job, and weary of growing close with his charge. Because he finds this woman, 12 years younger than him and an aristocrat, way too enchanting and appealing for his comfort.

"...“She stood, a little unsteadily, true, but on her own two feet. “It’s not my blindness that cripples me, it’s everyone else deciding I can’t live because of my blindness. If I stumble, if I run into things and fall and hurt myself it’s because I can and I’m free to do so, Maximus. Because without that freedom I’m just a dull, chained thing and I won’t be that woman anymore. I simply won’t, Maximus.”..."

Lady Phoebe, however, sees his distance and composure as stuffiness and a way for him to show her up and display his dislike of her... She is very irritated by him, but despite all that, he makes her feel safe when he is near, more than anything or anyone else. This is even better highlighted when attempts to kidnap her become a reality and no one knows who is behind them. James is steadfast and heroic, putting her well-being above his own life. Until once, when he fails to be the one to save her, he decides that his injury and condition are rendering him unfit and he steps down in order for better men to protect her... Of course, as we all suspected, no one is better at protecting her and she is taken. James finds a way to locate her and from there on, he swears to never leave her side... Even if that means to abduct her himself:):):)

The story was interesting and the romance was very, very sweet!!! I truly liked all the characters, despite that at times Travillien's self pity to get on my nerves big time - I am not a big fan of a big bad alpha dude with such pathetic internal monologue, even if it did get better... The Duke of Montgomery also is on my to kill list at this point, so he really has to gravel until we get to his book!!! I loved Travillien's family and his niece and sister's story tugged on my heartstrings quite a bit! Overall, the book was another solid entry in this very pleasant series!!! Recommend it to all Historical Romance fans!!!

I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful books to come!!!
Profile Image for Crystal's Bookish Life.
757 reviews1,289 followers
April 10, 2021
This one was SO GREAT. Bodyguard romance, blind heroine, a truly beautiful kiss described from the heroine's point of view by touch. A fun mystery, a horse breeding farm!

I am in love with this series. Worth the hype for sure.
Profile Image for Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover.
865 reviews552 followers
June 25, 2015
**3.5 Stars**

It's no surprise that this is my favorite historical series. Only a few authors are on my "auto-buy" list and Elizabeth Hoyt is one of them. This story was sweet...which is not bad but I'm so used to the action, suspense and intrigue from the other books that I kind of missed it it in this one...and I'm especially missing the Ghost of St. Giles. I really wish there could be a fourth one!

This was a sweet read, and my first book where the heroine is blind. EH is such an amazing author that she somehow made it work, but I just wanted more. I also didn't like all of the kidnappings and the Duke of Montgomery was starting to annoy me, but overall, if you're a EH fan, a Maiden lane fan, then you'd enjoy this book. Just know that is a bit different from the others. It's more about the characters and what drives them, than all of the action packed stuff. Buy sometimes in a book that's all you need.
Profile Image for Princess under cover.
529 reviews239 followers
June 30, 2018
I upgraded the rating from 4 the first time around to 4.5 rounded to 5 this time. Maybe I'm just in a generous mood.

What I liked about it:

The wounded Hero, gruff, serious, truly a hero and leader of men. He's always been such a stick in the mud from previous books and you know he's one of the good guys but you can't help but think - someone needs to pull that pole out of your ass! So I was curious how EH would treat him in this book, how she'd open him up and get us to fall in love.

She did great. The easiest part of it was just showing us his POV now that he's the main character. And when you know what he's thinking, how he looks at his duty and his charge, you can't help but to like him.

Plus, it doesn't hurt to be handsome - dark hair, blue eyes, tall and broad, soft lips. What's not to like??? And I do love the name James. For some reason, it makes him more elegant, more refined, more sensitive in a way. I like that h loves calling him that and how it makes him feel to hear her call him that.


(EH's fascination with chest hair disturbs me a bit. I'm not a fan of hairy chests myself and have to always skip that part in the description. Thankfully, the cover models aren't hairy!!)

The Heroine I've always liked. And I really like her now. Such optimism and light for someone suffering with such a loss. I've said this many times - I like heroines who go after what they want. They could do it softly or directly or be a hard-ass, but I like that they go for it, and Phoebe sure does!

The rest of it I kind of skipped. I don't plan to reread about Eve and Asa. Seem to recall I didn't like that one all that much. Good to end my streak of EH on a strong note!
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,044 reviews384 followers
October 30, 2018
Was she more to him now than simply a duty?
Big smiles, you guys. Big, BIG smiles. Such a solid read. I loved it!

Phoebe was a fabulous heroine. I adored her. She was strong, kind, and optimistic in a way that didn't grate on my nerves. I applaud Hoyt for not allowing her blind heroine to flounder around in the deep end of the schmaltzy cheese pool.
"I just want to live."
Trevillion was just as wonderful; strong, noble, and severe in an edgy way that didn't grate on my nerves. :-)
She was twelve years younger than he and a hundred years more innocent, and the daughter and sister of a duke, fresh, gay, beautiful.

He had two loaded pistols, a lame leg, and a hard cock to his name.
And together, they served up everything that makes historical romance great. I devoured every last word.

Plus the set up for future installments didn't feel intrusive, like it was taking page time away from the main couple . . . which leads me to the ever growing enigma that's been brewing over the last few books of the series: Who the hell does the Duke of Montgomery think he is?

I can't wait to find out!
Profile Image for Dani.
555 reviews160 followers
May 31, 2022
Reread #2 (5/31/2022): 4.5⭐️

Read #1 (4/24/2022): 4.25⭐️

Bodyguard and grumpy/sunshine romance with a heroine who's blind and plus-size, hero who's a war veteran, walks with a cane, and likes to shoot people in the face at close range if they dare try to kidnap the heroine 😍🥰

Lol this was actually v cute, and the heroine doesn't pity herself just because of her disability and wants to live life to her fullest ability.
Profile Image for Tenley.
235 reviews24 followers
August 12, 2022
So, I loved the premise of this book and I dug James' love for Phoebe but the majority of this book is a total snooze. I managed to finish it but 😴😴😴.
Profile Image for willaful.
1,155 reviews371 followers
May 29, 2015
Like many fans of the "Maiden Lane" series, I've been curious about a story for Lady Phoebe Batten, a young woman who's been progressively losing her sight over the course of the previous books in the series, and one for Captain James Trevillion, who started out as sort of the Sheriff of Nottingham to the previous heroes and then became an ally. Their pairing is a fairly obvious choice for romance -- vulnerable heroine with protective hero. (Who also has his own vulnerability, because of a leg injury.)

In some ways this was better than I expected. In my memory, Phoebe was a fairly meek, dependent person. But perhaps getting older, or losing more of her vision, or being stuck with a full-time bodyguard, or a combination of the three, have made her start to rebel against her sheltered life:

"I know [my brother] cares for me. I know he worries for me. But in doing so, he's constrained me utterly. Even before this attack Maximus wouldn't let me go to parties or fairs or anywhere he deemed dangerous. I'm afraid after this that he'll pack me in cotton wool and set me at the back of the cupboard for safekeeping. I... I just don't know if I can live like this."

Later she tells her brother, "I deserve to run and trip and fall without having my every move plotted and planned... and tied down so that I never, ever risk living."

Unfortunately, Phoebe still comes across as helpless for much of the book. Perhaps this is realistic: she hasn't been allowed to learn any tools for taking care of herself. But she wanted more for herself and I'd have liked to see her really get it.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,067 reviews901 followers
April 27, 2022
I could have sworn I wrote a review for this!

Captain Trevillian has been vexing our various Ghosts of St. Giles over the course of this series and I always had a feeling he'd get his own HEA, especially after it became clear he was falling for his Lady Phoebe after becoming her bodyguard. And oh, lo, I was right!

I cannot comment on the rep, so I will be looking for reviews from readers with disabilities, but this was definitely the first time I read a romance where both main characters have a disability. James' has a bad leg that never healed correctly after being badly broken when his dragoon horse fell on him. He uses a cane or a walking stick when he needs to, and his leg makes him concerned he cannot properly guard Phoebe. Phoebe is blind. She gradually lost her sight beginning in her teens and realizes at the beginning of this book her vision is now gone no matter the lighting conditions.

Captain Trevillion is one of those stoic, morose, and stern characters I adore, who when they melt for their loved one they are lost completely. He is your classic "I'd sacrifice everything, even my happiness to make sure you are safe" types that needs to realize sometimes being a little unsafe is worth the price of falling in love. He also goes completely feral when Lady Phoebe is kidnapped and I LOVED IT.

Phoebe was also amazing, and I loved seeing her assert her will and make her own choices. The imagery of Phoebe and James walking the moors, James afraid she'll fall and Phoebe acknowledging she might but the falls would be worth it to do something she's always wanted to do.

Phoebe buying James a custom scent because he was scentless was a bit amusing to me. I can't fathom the man, fastidious and neat as a pin, wasn't using some sort of soap, but I went with it because it was adorable. Lots of great scent descriptions in this book.

One of my favs of this series for sure.

Remains my favorite Maiden Lane! 2022
354 reviews121 followers
April 30, 2016
This romance was very well written and a delight to read. An old soldier is hired to protect a young blind lady. Durring there relationship they fall in love and have a beautiful romance which was fraught with parils from kid nappers, and the young lady's brother who is a Duke.
It has a very happy ending.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,271 reviews516 followers
May 20, 2015
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lady Phoebe has been steadily going blind for the last couple years and as the sister to a powerful and rich duke, her brother hires a bodyguard to keep her safe. Captain James Trevillion used to ride the streets of St. Giles chasing down gin makers until an accident left him lame in one leg but still highly capable he becomes Phoebe's bodyguard. The aristocrat and the commoner find themselves at crossed swords quite often but as they get to know one another, they find themselves slowly lowering all their defenses.

Sometimes Phoebe wondered what Captain Trevillion would do if she reached up and slapped his face. Or kissed him.

If you have read the previous books in the series (focusing on the lead's romance in this book you would be fine without prior knowledge but there will be secondary characters and side storylines that will pass you by) you would have gotten a little taste of Trevillion and Phoebe's somewhat tense relationship. This story is what many have excitedly anticipated, the progression of all that tension. The interaction between Trevillion and Phoebe was what definitely worked the best for me while the kidnapping plot didn't seem the best put together. It worked to put our couple together but the over and over resurgence of it felt much dragged on.

I'm no longer a fit guard, he thought, I can't keep my objectivity around her anymore. God help me. God help her.

The fear of not being able to see, having her brother stifle her nearly to madness out of love, and exuberance of youth made Phoebe a very likeable and believable character. It was unfortunately, also her youth and sheltered life, at times I felt like the character felt even younger than the age stated and that lost me. There was a lot of "I want, I want" from Phoebe that manifested itself in a very child like manner that wasn't a lot of fun for me to read. On the other hand, the feeling of her desperation to feel alive was so heartbreaking. Trevillion's restraining looks, wanting, and feelings toward Phoebe were what sold me towards his character. Unfortunately, again, what made up a good chunk of his character, stoic and contained, that made him gruff and vulnerable also made him too inscrutable. I couldn't quite feel connected to him as an individual. The first half moved pretty slowly for me, it was when Trevillion kidnaps Phoebe to keep her safe from being kidnapped and they start spending a lot of time alone that I began to really feel this couple.

She was an aristocrat---a world apart from his yeoman upbringing. But here, in this quiet paddock, the only sound the soft thump of the horses' hooves on grass, they were just a man and a woman. That simple.
And that complex.

In this second half and particularly in the 60-80% area, this couple will entrench themselves in your heart. The way Trevillion sees Phoebe, past her blindness, will have your eyes watering and the way the air crackles when they are close together will heat your blood. There is a scene involving stockings that will definitely be a nominee for my best scene of 2015; scorching hot. With everything stripped away, the kidnapping plot and mechanism's of secondary characters, Phoebe and Trevillion radiated brightly and emotionally. Their time together, Phoebe's growth from Trevillion's strength and ability to see her as more than her blindness and willingness to let her fall was beautifully romantic. The last 20% or so with what seemed like a lot of forced sex scenes smashed into it and one too many kidnaps had me wishing for the quieter moments of our couple's time spent hidden away.

Overall, there are some truly beautiful moments in this story and if you are a fan of the series you definitely don't want to miss out on this couple's happily ever after. This series and book has a great many fans and there is definitely a reason for it. If looking to escape the regency ballrooms to the 1700s, this would be a great series to pick up.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,654 reviews984 followers
February 6, 2017
Another sexy, suspense filled, and romantic read! In this one the heroine is blind, and she falls for her bodyguard; who we have come to know in the past books as Trevillion. He takes things in his own hands when it comes to protecting his charge...and his life and hers will never be the same.

I am still loving this series, and I definitely recommend this one for anyone who is interested in Historical Romances. Elizabeth Hoyt does a brilliant job of creating a steamy and exciting romance!!! This series is a must read!!
Profile Image for Niki (mustreadalltheromance).
1,126 reviews78 followers
May 6, 2022
Lady Phoebe Batten wants to enjoy the social life she should merit as the sister of a duke, but her blindness means her brother is incredibly overprotective and won’t allow her to venture from the house without her armed bodyguard.

Captain James Trevellion has seen his career in the dragoons cut short by a leg injury that left him with a permanent limp. There’s nothing wrong with his shooting or riding skills though, making the brooding man well-suited to guard Phoebe. He fills his role seamlessly until Phoebe is targeted by kidnappers.

James risks everything to keep Phoebe safe from low men who hope to force Phoebe into an unwanted marriage and steal her dowry. Sharing tight quarters with James, Phoebe begins to see the gentle, caring man he truly is beneath his rough exterior and view him as far more than just her bodyguard.

I nearly always adore tortured/scarred hero, former soldier stories and add in the fact that this was a bodyguard story, and it was just catnip for me. This story proved to be no exception. James was the sort of strong, silent hero that I can’t seem to resist, and I just adored his protectiveness over Phoebe, especially when it was clear that action went well beyond a job for him. I loved Phoebe’s refusal to be coddled and hemmed in because of her blindness, and her insistence on learning James as a person and making him see the possibility of a future for them together, then insisting on making it happen. My heart. It melts. It was just fantastic. Add in the danger and suspense aspects of someone continually trying to kidnap Phoebe and this was definitely a book I didn’t want to put down. It was great to see James finally get the respect he deserved and the happy ending he didn’t think himself worthy of and I loved the fact that he fully recognized that it was Phoebe who brought that light into his life. These two were a delightful couple and their relationship progression felt natural to me; they were definitely a pair I could root for. I realize I jumped into this series right in the middle, but I’m not sorry for it and I’ll get to the rest of the books eventually, hopefully sooner than later.

Blog link: https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...
Profile Image for Dagmar .
192 reviews31 followers
March 1, 2022

Another gorgeous, steamy, suspenseful, moving and perfect Maiden Lane novel. Older, brooding and tender bodyguard Hero James Trevellion is absolutely swoonworthy paired with young and beautiful Lady Phoebe, blind, spirited, independent sunsine heroine who captures his heart. A sweet and authentic story. Adventurous and moving, this is one of those can't stop reading, exciting, heartachingly lovely, sexy-as-hell memorable books that will go right on the keeper shelves.

Maiden Lane is my favourite historical romance series of all-time. Just...everything💖
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,755 reviews795 followers
May 20, 2015
Review-Dearest Rogue I received a ARC copy in exchange for a honest review, thanks to Netgalley…this does not alter my view of this title 
Lady Phoebe, has known for most of her life, that she was losing her vision, and she knows that soon she won’t be able to see anything at all…not even the light. Phoebe is a woman of strength, and is determined to not let her very over protective brother, smother her in safety, she wants to live and experience life even if she is blind, she knows that there is much she can do. Her bodyguard, James Trevillion, is a prime example of the over protectiveness, but they have a friendship or sorts, and she does trust James. But when she is almost kidnapped, she knows her desire to explore and gain freedom, is about to be gone…because James and her brother are about to get even worse than before. But it soon becomes apparent, as she convinces to let James take her about town, that someone wants her, and badly, When there is a attempt to kidnap her, at her own home, James rescues her and takes her away from her family and London, back to his own roots, but there James will have to face his past, and a passion erupts between James and Phoebe, and even though James has nothing to offer Phoebe except heartache…he would give anything to have her in his life…
The Hero 
James, has been on the run from his past for years. After serving in the military, he came back to London, and lost his precious horse in an accident, that damaged his leg, and double fractured it, and he has never healed, and has to use a walking stick to walk. James views himself as not good enough for Phoebe due to his injury. But there is more to James past than a lame leg, he has a father, a sister and a niece, and he hasn’t seen them in many years. James was a hero you just ache to give a hug to. He is quite tortured at times, and when you learn everything about his past, you begin to understand why he is the way he is portrayed in the story. I really admired his character, because he is protective, but he also is understanding and empathetic to Phoebe’s situation. He lets her breathe, and explore the world despite her blindness.
The Heroine 
Now Phoebe is what makes this story entertaining and lively and full of zest. I can’t even begin to express how much I adored her, and I have ever since the book “Duke of Midnight” which is her brother Maximus’ story, but that is where we first meet Phoebe and I loved her from that moment and I was so excited to get her story here. Phoebe deals with blindness, but most of her light she can see some things if they are in the light or bright enough. She keeps a garden with only white flowers…so that she can see them. (which just about broke my heart), you see her love for her family, her passion to live life to its fullest, and even though we see her struggle with her blindness, you see her courage and strength of will too. I love how she battles her fears and is determined to battle her brother if necessary to gain some sense of normalcy and freedom. She is quite endearing and admirable.
Plot and Story Line 
Dearest Rogue, is a story to enchant and delight. And it’s not just about the romance here, we see also a story of facing your fears and battling inner demons. There is also a mystery at work here in the plot, and with the attempt kidnapping, a sense of danger. The danger isn’t super heavy, like some of her previous books we have seen, it is more that it adds a bit more depth and perception to the story. And it also introduces us to a side character…that just may get her own story soon. The majority of this story we see how characters grow due to circumstances and face challenges. The romance that blossoms between James and Phoebe is slow to begin…its more of a comfortable friendship and bond at the beginning, but when they are alone and together more, you see a change in their relationship, and I found myself captivated by this story, the plot developments, and the way that we see the characters come together when its the pivotal moment in the story. I loved the balance and the even pace, and how the story just seemed to flow like water for this reader. If you are a fan of Hoyt, and love this series, you will have quite a fun time with this story.
The Cover 
I love both the front cover and the step back!! I love the spring theme to the cover, with the sky blue color of her dress, and the white roses and the pose of the pair…very warm and sensual.
Overall View 
Dearest Rogue is a fantastic installment to the Maiden Lane Series. It’s a story of determination, of battling your inner demons and gaining strength from your challenges, and embracing the fullness of what life offers. Zesty and Passionate!!
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,040 reviews691 followers
October 11, 2018
Audio-book: Narrator - Ashford McNab

Love the life and passion this narrator brings to these characters. Such an enjoyable audio to listen to. Each voice very distinctive.

My heart has hurt for Phoebe since I first met her and realized her plight. So I was particularly invested in her story and who this author would pair her with. Wow! I couldn’t have dreamed of a better couple. The fact that James was so kind and considerate to her and yet knew she needed her freedom was sometimes so beautiful to listen to that it was blinding. He was simply a man in love with a woman that by all rights and appearances should have never even considered him. But she does and it was so spectacularly sweet to watch her awaken under his guidance even as part of that awakening was standing tall and firm in her own right.

Definitely one of the better stories of the series...and yes! She was a maiden! Lol!

Multi POV
Profile Image for Alexandra.
156 reviews28 followers
August 31, 2020
Have you ever read romance where the two leads are so well matched and so perfect for each other that you would read a 10 book series of them living their lives doing everyday things together?

For me, this is that book. Phoebe and James are that couple.

I live for the short glimpses of them in the other Maiden Lane books. I could read 100 pages of them planting a garden or something and be happy.

I love them to death, and there is absolutely no way that I can give this book a coherent review even after 5 rereads.

"Marry me, Phoebe, please. Damn the courtship. Damn your brother. Damn the waiting. I can't... I can't breathe when you're not with me. I love you with all my cynical heart. Be my wife and teach me to laugh and let me buy you beer and ride with me on the beaches of Cornwall. Be my love and my wife forevermore."
"I will," she whispered to him. "Oh, James, I will."
Profile Image for Daniella.
256 reviews520 followers
July 15, 2015
In a nutshell:

I almost gave up on Dearest Rogue. I was already halfway finished and there still wasn't any significant developments in James and Phoebe's relationship. To make matters worse, I was already at my wits end with Phoebe and her spoiled attitude. Maximus was equally irritating with his fiercely autocratic and arrogant disposition. Save for James, I really couldn't give a fuck about any of the characters (it's my first book in the Maiden Lane series so I don't have any prior attachments to any of them). That's usually enough reason for me to throw in the towel. But damn, I liked James too much for me to leave him without knowing his happily ever after.

And so I continued reading.

And I found out that things, actually, get better. Phoebe actually stopped being such a pain in the ass and matured. Maximus eventually received a well-deserved kick to his ego. And James finally got rid of all his insecurities and realised that love was worth all the risks. I was prepared to barely tolerate their existence until the end, but I surprised myself by ending up genuinely liking them. The character development was definitely artfully done, subtle yet convincing.

By the way, Ms. Elizabeth Hoyt deserves an award for creating James. He was so delicious and sweet and everything you would want in a hero. He was perfect for Phoebe (once she realised this and matured). And they had such good chemistry!

And the sex. Dear Lord, can we talk about THE SEX? IT WAS SO HOT I HAD TO FAN MYSELF.

SERIOUSLY. MY GOD. I felt my cheeks burning when I read those parts. I think they did it like 4 times, if you won't include the rubbing scene. That number seemed rather excessive to me, but hey, who am I to complain, eh?

The plot was okay, but the kidnappings, just like the love scenes, seemed too much.

Overall, I really liked this. It took me a while to actually realise that I liked it, though. Haha. The pace was slow at the start, but the characters developed well and the romance was great. I would probably read the other books in the series, though I have some reservations about Eve's and Artemis' stories.
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