STORY: Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, remembers little of Miss Elena Barnes beyond her slight build, mousey character, and bookish ways. Her unavoidable presence at Carrington House would be inconvenient, true, but a woman could hardly prove enough of a distraction to interfere with what was the most important case of Dash’s life—ferreting out the monster who’d murdered a dear friend’s mother many year before.
Dash would, of course, live to regret such an assumption.
As for Elena, a trip to London to retrieve a priceless book is troublesome, though not nearly as much as the feelings the viscount inspires in her. His touch elicits feelings from Elena that she’d only ever read about. Her skin tingles. Lord Hardwicke is as handsome as she remembered—actually, more so as he’d grown into his frame in a rather attractive manner—and as dim as a ha’penny tallow. Or is he? The more time Elena spends with the man, the greater her suspicions grow regarding his intellect and just what he might be up to as they’re thrown together in the search for an individual known only as the Rook.
Can true love save the day? Find out in the exciting and enthralling fourth installment of the Regency Rogues.
REVIEW: The story opens up in 1768 with our hero Dash Matthews, his friends Nicholas and Langdon Bourne, and Sophia Southwell playing on the grounds of Afton Manor, Earl of Afton’s and Sophia’s fathers country estate. All are good friends, but now that they are growing up, the boys are having a bit of trouble explaining to Sophia that she’s not ‘fitting’ in with their boy’s games, and to get that across, they’re pulling her hair, making fun of her and she’s not having none of it….
“Sophia shaded her eyes against the sunlight and crowned him with her bouquet, bits of green leaves and white petals showering his shoulders. ‘First of all, you shan’t get near any part of me with those spit-stained hands of yours or I shall kill you. Secondly, it’s not just my braids, you ninny,’ she huffed, sweeping the three with an exasperated look. ‘It’s your treatment of me this summer-as if I’m somehow different…’
‘But you are, aren’t you?’ Dash asked, grinning. ‘Look now, you’re wearing a dress, while we three,’ he paused, punching first Nicholas in the arm, then Langdon, ‘are attired in breeches. And shirts. Nary a dress among us.’
Sophia brained all three with the flowers this time. ‘I’ve always worn dresses, you idiot-I am, after all, a girl.’
‘Precisely,’ Dash agreed, brushing daisy petals from his hair. ‘ A girl, with …Well, that is to say…What I mean…’ He felt his cheeks grow hot. ‘Come on, Sophia. Don’t make me say it.’
‘With girl parts and such,’ Nicholas offered helpfully as he arched his eyebrows. ‘You’ve ten-year-old girl parts.’
Suddenly, Dash and Langdon couldn’t take their eyes off of a greenish-blue emperor dragonfly that’d presumably followed them up from the lake. To watch the boys expire from embarrassment. ‘Well, it’s true, isn’t it?’ Nicholas added, scrubbing at his sweaty neck. Langdon sighed and shoved his brother up the path. ‘We don’t want to talk about your girl parts, Sophia-well, that is, we would. If it wasn’t rude. But it is, isn’t it?’
‘Of course it is,’ Sophia agreed simply, apparently quite calm about such intimate references. ‘Yes, of course. Anyway, it’s just that we’re all getting older,’ he explained in his steady way, belaying his thirteen years. ‘You’re ten now. Nick and Dash nearly twelve. And I’ll be fourteen soon enough. We’re growing up.'”
That was such a prophetic statement from Langdon, as all four would face a life changing and altering event.
Our hero, Dash Matthews, now Viscount Carrington, is as handsome as a Greek god, very intelligent and yet because of his work as the Corinthians’ best code-breaker, he is forced to hide that intelligence, and to the ton, he appears as someone who is ‘slow’.
Dash’s father left his prized library of rare books to Baron Harcourt, and as Baron Harcourt was unable to take the long journey, he sends his daughter, Elena in his stead.
Our heroine is Elena Barnes and she loves her life in the country. She is definitely her father’s daughter; smart and witty as well as very well read. Upon learning from her father that they would be soon the caretakers of such a great treasure trove of books, she’s willing to leave her comfort zone and go even though the trip would be bringing some unpleasant memories from her come-out season. However, her plan to make this trip short, unravels as her chaperone has matchmaking on her mind.
This is another fast paced story from Ms. Sloane full of action, humor and romance. What made this story so much fun was its hero. He was one of the best Beta heroes I’ve read about in a while. Very charming, witty and passionate.
The Saint Who Stole My Heart by Stefanie Sloane is book 4 in Regency Rogues series and from the first page of the prologue, I knew it would be a story to make me laugh and cry. Guess what? I was right and I’m looking forward to reading Nicholas’ story in The Scoundrel Takes a Bride out October 30, 2012, which promises to be yet another emotional journey for not just our protagonists, but for us too.
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* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*