Mandi Schreiner's Reviews > Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell
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Aug 20, 2012

it was ok

This is a joint review with my review partner May.

May: When Mandi told me she heard of a book coming out that just screamed “This is a May kind of book” I was intrigued and picked it up as soon as I could. Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed plays on the Beauty and the Beast trope, but is at the same time its own unique and memorable story.

Merrick wants revenge upon his cousin more than anything else. Luckily, revenge is easy for him to find not only by being incredibly wealthy and successful (while his cousin is struggling), but now he also holds his cousin’s wife in a great amount of gambling debt. Indeed, the lady owes him a great debt which she can’t afford – or a week in his bed. He finds the prospect of bedding his cousin’s wife and cuckolding him to be a great revenge.

So Merrick is surprised when instead of the lady in question appears in his home one stormy night, her sister comes in her place. Indeed, the virgin spinster sister is quite literally sacrificing her body to this unknown man. As her sister has two children and a hideously abusive husband, she can think of no alternatives but to offer herself and hope that she can survive the week.

I thank Mandi for bringing this book to my attention because I absolutely loved it. It was so emotional and tender, harsh and intense, and just everything that is good about both the beast trope and romance in general. Mandi – did you love it as much as I did?

Mandi: Well…no. LOL. The set-up sounds wonderful. A hero who is scarred, a recluse, and scary beyond belief. A virgin heroine set to pay her sister’s debt. But it didn’t work for me. My very first problem is the hero. He sets up the heroine’s sister, Roberta to fail, and to sell her body to him just to get revenge. Yet, we never see that beastly side of him. He acts like a gentleman to Sidonie from the start. Now would he have treated Roberta with respect if she had shown up? We can only assume no. Not that I wanted him to ravage a virgin and force himself on Sidonie. But I wanted him to scare her more. To be ruthless! I wanted to slowly watch him turn into a romantic hero. But she accepts his scars and his ‘scary’ nature pretty easily. And he shows his good virtues too soon.

May: You wanted more of a dangerous or villainous edge. Yep, I could see that. I felt like he was seen as a villain, but that wasn’t the truth at all. He was like a wounded beast – he really was sensitive and so alone and wanted someone to be on his side, but he’d never dreamed it could be so. I really think the author did a great job with his history and showing us how he really is a good man, but one who has never had a truly trustworthy friend in his corner and is deeply emotionally injured. I also felt like the fact that Sidonie would give herself this way to honor her sister’s debt threw him really hard and made him question what it would be like to have someone with such spirit root for him.

Speaking of the sisters,I really liked the progression of the sisters relationship and how she comes to see that perhaps her darling sister doesn’t quite deserve her unending loyalty. I also really liked the heroine (at least, until the end which I’ll get to later) and how she finds herself drawn to the man that Merrick is, how she sees him for who he is. What did you think of our heroine?

Mandi: I didn’t dislike Sidonie. I did think it was an odd moment when Merrick finally decides to absolve Roberta’s debts, Sidnoie immediately thinks, “For once she intended to follow her heart rather than her head. She meant to become Jonas Merrick’s mistress with a wholehearted joy that would have astonished the girl who arrived at Castle Craven.”

Hmmmm. Really? After what..three days, from literally never having been kissed, to staying at a man’s house, she wants this? From a man who set out to ruin her beloved sister? I don’t buy it. She was going to sell her morals to this guy, and that statement above is a very close statement to love. And I don’t think it fits with the seriousness of how this story starts.

I like that the sister isn’t necessarily a saint, and I think her husband makes a worthy foe for Merrick. I do wonder why Sidonie doesn’t see her sister for what she really is before this. Maybe she does, but just felt because of Roberta’s abusive husband, this was her only choice.

May: I do have to agree about the oddity of Sidonie deciding to stay and be with him after a matter of a few days. I get why the author handled it that way, but to me it wasn’t the way to play it. I couldn’t quite buy that Merrick would free her in a snap like that either. As for seeing the true nature – yes I think you’re right (about the abusive husband) and that Sidonie was too close to see it at first.

I had one big complaint about this book, and that is how it all ended. I won’t give away spoilers, but I will say that I was deeply disappointed that we were not in the hero’s head at all. I also felt that it could have been better put to HEA rest before it was, and without our heroine having to grovel as much as she did. How did you feel about the resolution/ending?

Mandi: I completely agree on everything you said. I wanted to be in the hero’s head, I felt like the heroine had to grovel way too much, and I wanted more happiness with them before the book ended. We basically don’t get resolution until the epilogue. The conflict dragged on for too long and felt too forced at the end.

May: Well, at least we agree that the ending was badly done! I have to wonder – did you find yourself highlighting quotes like crazy? Because I was lighting up my kindle like mad and resisting the urge to send you quotes like every 30seconds. Here are two that I highlighted:

Jonas stretched on an excruciating rack of desire and shame. Stoically he stared into the mirror above, but the view offered no reassurance. A big ugly man lay naked and spread-eagled on a wide bed. His cock stood at attention and his eyes glittered with panic. He was hers to do with as she willed. The thought was loathsome, even as his rational mind reminded him this was Sidonie who had never treated him as less than a man. But old wounds of mockery and disgust barely healed. He just had to look at his scars to know that some old wounds didn’t heal at all.

And another favorite quote…

“I don’t make a habit of associating with unprincipled rakes. Why are you making so much of this? You know I’m a virgin.”
“Oh, yes.” Something flared in his deep-set silver eyes before he lowered his eyelids and studied her mouth. “But you’re even more… virgin than I’d guessed.”
“You can’t be more virgin than a virgin,” she snapped.

Mandi: I think I spent too much time frowning and grumbling to highlight favorite quotes in this one.

May: Well then, here’s one more of my favorites:

She didn’t just want Jonas Merrick. She idn’t just find him fascinating. She liked the reprobate. She liked him more than she’d liked anyone. When she left, longing or the lover would burn like acid. But the true tragedy was she’d miss Jonas himself.

Alright Mandi, I think I already know but to wrap this up let me ask- what is your final verdict? Any last thoughts on Seven Nights?

Mandi: I love a beauty and the beast trope, but this one did not work for me. I felt the beast side of the hero lacked, and I never understood the heroine’s desire for him and I didn’t like the end. My Rating: D

May: I would encourage anyone interested to look at it, read an excerpt, and judge for yourself. I found the book so emotional, so captivating, and it just held me from page one. I really loved that the ‘beast’ in this story is a man filled with goodness but so alone and so damaged he can’t show vulnerability or even kindness to anyone. My grade for this book is definitely an A
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Reading Progress

August 20, 2012 – Started Reading
August 20, 2012 – Shelved
August 21, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Katie Michaels I have sadz. So sorry you didn't enjoy it, Mandi!

Mandi Schreiner Hey - I can't like them all! :)

Shauni I agree with your assessment but I still loved the book. Dark, brooding and seething..

message 4: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Sigh, I think I might be with you on this one, Mandi. Sidonie annoys me. She waffles too much.

Mandi Schreiner I just posted my review at Smexy so I added it here. Yeah - there was a lot that didn't work for me.

Bernadette Rowley Love the idea of the two review in one, girls. The conversation really works for me, especially with such different feelings about the book. well done!

Mandi Schreiner Bernadette wrote: "Love the idea of the two review in one, girls. The conversation really works for me, especially with such different feelings about the book. well done!"

Thanks :)

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