Last year, one of my favorite romances was Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Heath. The first in a trilogy, I could hardly wait for the next installment, so I was excited to get an ARC of book #2, Never Rescue a Rogue. Much as I loved its predecessor, Never Rescue a Rogue may be even better. It is absolutely delightful!
Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC of this book!
Ever since Minerva and Hugh got together in Never Fall for Your Fiancée, her younger sister Diana and his best friend Giles have been dedicated frenemies. They’re forced to see each other frequently, and always enjoy their banter filled with light barbs and sarcasm. However, things get serious when Giles suddenly loses his father and finds himself in potential legal trouble. He has a dark secret and some lowly family members ready to expose it, and he could lose everything. Diana, herself secretly an investigative journalist, may be the only one who can help Giles… and the only one he trusts to do so. While these two embark on a hunt for the truth, they may also be forced to face another truth concerning their feelings for each other.
Never Rescue a Rogue is, in a word, delightful. After enjoying the previous book in the series, Never Fall for Your Fiancée, I was fully ready to see Giles and Diana navigate their frenemies-to-lovers romance. Both were set up so well in book #1, and their personalities shine through even brighter here.
Right away, it’s clear that while Never Fall for Your Fiancée was a mostly light and fun read, Never Rescue a Rogue explores some weightier moods. There is some serious stuff here, primarily concerning Giles: he was unloved and even neglected by his parents; the true identity of his mother is unknown; his father suddenly dies, making him the (possibly illegal) Duke of Harpenden. He is dealing with a lot of grief and conflicted feelings, and this sets a heavier tone for Never Rescue a Rogue early on. However, the novel does also capture the sense of humor and fun that defined its predecessor, preventing it from going too far in the other direction. After the sadder themes are introduced, there’s more room for the story to breathe and take on a silly, cute mood and weave in some tender romance.
Also in contrast to the previous book, Never Rescue a Rogue combines a bit of historical mystery into the Regency romance. While the love story between Giles and Diana is the main focus, untangling Giles’s situation is of roughly equal prominence. The mystery is intriguing, and I enjoyed following the clues and forming my own theories alongside the characters.
Though fairly plot-driven, the characters of Giles and Diana captured my full attention. They are so enjoyable to watch together, and I love how well matched they are. They revel in their rivalry, having too much fun in their pointed remarks and impassive insults. Underneath all that faked hostility, it’s clear that they genuinely care for each other and are quite similar.
One thing I found charming is Giles’s love of alliteration. Perhaps partially due to his centuries-long list of ancestors with names starting with the letter G, Giles is fascinated by literary devices. He’s also beguiled by Diana’s writing style, grammar, and overall intelligence. That he’s the only one who figured out Diana’s secret writing gig shows how much he pays attention to her. He respects her and is able to confide in her in his darkest hour.
Giles also worries about Diana’s safety, and indeed, her secret job certainly puts her into precarious situations. One of my favorite scenes is when he helps her with a gig by the sea port – what hilarity! But the feeling goes both ways: Diana also wants to protect Giles, and is fierce in her commitment to help him.
The romance, too, feels so real between them. There’s mutual pining but also mutual denial of feelings, an accidental kiss, and some fun times while spying on criminals. Giles and Diana are adorable together, whether engaging in banter, admiring each other’s wit, tracking down the dangerous truth, or finding each other alone in a room together.
The side characters are equally delightful and add to the fun. Giles employs an unconventional, overly opinionated man as his butler, and he ended up being one of my favorite characters. Diana’s younger sister Vee (the youngest Merriwell, whose book will complete the trilogy) is a great presence here, though not the most effective chaperone! She, along with everyone else in the book, is trying so hard to get Giles and Diana together, which contributes to the frivolity. And then there’s Giles’s evil uncle and wild card cousin. By the end, the plot and cast of characters becomes comically convoluted; I loved it.
Never Rescue a Rogue was a joy to read, and I flew through the book. Even with some slightly heavier elements, the novel is filled with humor, wit, and fun. Giles and Diana make a cute couple who ultimately lift each other up. I already want to read more about these two and their future together.
So far, I’ve absolutely loved both books in the Merriwell Sisters trilogy. Never Rescue a Rogue was the perfect escape, and the book that got me out of a bad reading slump. I look forward to reading Vee’s love story in the next book… and is it just me, or was that already set up a bit here? We shall see!
Get the Book
You can pre-order Neve Rescue a Rogue here – it will be available on November 8, 2022 as a paperback and ebook.
|Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath|
|Series||Merriwell Sisters (#2)|
|Genre||Historical Romance; Historical Mystery|
|Number of Pages||368|
|Format I Read||ebook (NetGalley)|
|Original Publication Date||November 8, 2022|
Virginia Heath’s Never Rescue a Rogue, the next book in the Merriwell Sisters series, is filled with whip-smart banter, swoony romance, hilarious mishaps, and twisty reveals that will make you gasp and laugh in delight.
Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that the two of them are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that their constant pithy barbs come from a shared disdain—not a hidden attraction. Diana loves the freedom of working at the newspaper too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily married to his bachelor lifestyle. But they do have one thing in common—the secrets they can’t risk escaping.
When Giles’ father, the curmudgeonly Duke of Harpenden unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes crawling out of the woodwork who knows the true circumstances of his only son’s birth. As the threat of blackmail becomes real, Giles must uncover the truth of his parentage first, or else he and all those who depend upon him will be ruined—and dogged bloodhound Diana is his best hope at sniffing out the truth. As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that the two of them insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. Soon, the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…
About the Author
When lifelong insomniac Virginia Heath was a little girl, she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. She did this every night for over forty years until one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Now, to her absolute delight and utter astonishment, her slightly racy Regency Romcoms are published in many languages across the globe.
When she isn’t furiously writing romance fuelled on far too much English tea, she likes to travel to far flung places, shop for things she doesn’t need and drag her long suffering husband and her devoted Labrador Trevor on long walks around her native London.
And in case you were wondering, three Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations and twenty-five books later, it still takes Virginia forever to fall asleep.