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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Bilson

One For The Rogue by Manda Collins

Fourth in Manda Collins’ Studies In Scandal series about a quartet of brilliant, scholarly young women bequeathed an estate and a series of mysteries, One For The Rogue seems very mis-named, because honestly there was nothing roguish about Lord Cameron Lisle at all. Quite the opposite. He was charming, respectful, and not in the slightest bit rakish. Yes, he appreciated Gemma’s beauty, but he was just as appreciative of her intelligence and determination, and always did his best to ensure both her safety and her reputation. Rogue? I think not.

That quibble aside, I actually really enjoyed the book. Cameron and Gemma had a marvellous relationship which started poorly when he dismissed her interest in geology because she was a mere female, a perfectly normal attitude for a gentleman at the time. However, by the time this book has started, that incident is in the past and Cameron has learned better, and understands Gemma is both educated and intelligent enough to be a force to be reckoned with in her field of study. Though the dismissal occurs during a previous book in the series, it’s not necessary to have read any of the others to understand perfectly well what’s going on in this one. Gemma’s sister Sophia being married to Cameron’s brother Benedick is more than enough reason for the pair to be thrown into each other’s company.

Gemma’s also forceful in personality, as evidenced when SHE propositions CAMERON for sex during a fictional betrothal they are forced by circumstances to present as real (yet another reason why he’s not in the least a rogue - he’s shocked). Being a red-blooded male, he accepts with alacrity, though, and there are a couple of fairly raunchy scenes in the book.

The author has clearly done her research and the portrayal of fossil-hunters and their explorations and theorems at the time is beautifully portrayed, particularly the story of Mary Anning, the famous woman of Lyme Regis who found many of the most famous specimens of the day but was never taken seriously due to her gender (and social status, an advantage Gemma does have). A thoroughly enjoyable story where you’ll actually learn something about a very specialized field of study during the time period, I still can’t quite bring myself to give it five stars because of that thoroughly misleading title.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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