Review: When You Wish Upon a Rogue (Debutante Diaries #3) by Anna Bennett - .Red Wine & Books

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Review: When You Wish Upon a Rogue (Debutante Diaries #3) by Anna Bennett


Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Press (May 26, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  She knows what she wants.
Miss Sophie Kendall is happiest arranging the secret meetings of the Debutante Underground, a group of women who come together to discuss the weekly advice column The Debutante’s Revenge. What makes Sophie most unhappy is her impending march down the aisle to a man she does not love. But her family’s finances are in increasingly dire straits.

He makes an offer she can’t refuse.
Henry Reese, Earl of Warshire, hasn’t slept in weeks. Desperate to escape his manor house and its haunting memories, he heads for one of his abandoned London properties. There he meets a beautiful, intriguing woman―trespassing. Reese is far less interested in Sophie’s search for a secret meeting spot than he is in her surprising ability to soothe his demons. So he strikes a bargain with her: his shop in exchange for spending one night a week with him.

Is this love for real―or just a dream?
Sophie never expected this to happen. But she cannot deny the fire Reese sparks in her―and soon their shared desire burns bright. Sophie is irrevocably promised to another. But maybe these two ill-fated lovers can find a way to risk it all―all the way to happily ever after…


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Like the two prior installments of the Debutant Diaries series; When you Wish Upon a Rogue can be read as a stand-alone novel. There are some appearances by the two women from the prior novels, but things are laid out in such a way that it is easy to understand the parts these women play in Sophie’s life.

I’m going to be honest there, this novel will not be enjoyed by those who are sticklers for regency life. Some of the speech seems more modern than it should be for the times, and there is no way a young unmarried woman (much less one who needed to marry a wealthy lord in order to save her family) would be willing to ride in a hire hackney to (and from) the home of a bachelor. I also struggled a bit with the idea of the Debutant Underground such as it was. It is one thing for women of all classes and walks of life to read a column in a newspaper and take advice from it, and another thing altogether to believe these women would all willingly risk their reputations meeting in secret over it. Not to mention knowing how the ton treated those they perceived to be of a “lower class”? It was all a bit hard to believe.

Now these characters?

Separately – I feel as though the Hero by far overshadowed the heroine. Reese was the sort of Hero that I am drawn to. One who is deeply flawed, but still in a way relatable. He has PTSD, not only due to the horrors of war that he saw when he was enlisted, but due to the fact that he had to leave his men behind when his brother died (both of which presented their own unique sets of challenges and hardships). While Sophie? Really didn’t stand out from any of the other bevels of debutants from other books who is being forced to marry in order to save her family from “dire circumstances”. She did possess a certain freshness and charm about her, but frankly, watching another young woman sacrifice her happiness because her father has *insert any number of vices here* is a historical romance trope that I could do without.

However, when they were together?

There was a connection that couldn’t be denied. A sort of sweetness and magic to the chemistry between these two. And although I know it seems like they fell hard and fast for each other, when you look at all the little things they shared together, it was certainly easy to understand. Reese, for all of his demons and perceived shortcomings, he certainly knew how to properly woo a lady (in secret nonetheless).

Sadly, I think Lord Singleton got the short end of the stick here. I can’t go into too much detail because of spoilers, but it seemed very odd to me that the author would choose to have him resort to the actions he did at the end instead of having him and Sophie simply be honest with one another. I feel like while things were done for an almost “OH MY GOODNESS” reaction, there were so many ways it could have been done to give everyone (reader included) a satisfactory ending other than what we were given.

Taking all of these things into consideration however, I do still believe this story will appeal to a lot of readers. I loved these two as a couple, I found this to be a fitting end to an overall enjoyable trilogy, and I would definitely read more from this author.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                  When You Wish Upon a Rogue is available from Amazon.com

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