Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Retro Book & Audio Review: Lady Beware by Jo Beverley

Lady Beware by Jo Beverley
(Company of Rogues, Book 14)

Publisher & Release Date: Signet, June 5, 2007  

Time and setting: 1817, London, England

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Length: 432 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description:

For generations, the Cave family has been marked by scandal, madness, and violence. But after earning a reputation for bravery in the army, Horatio Cave, the new Viscount Darien, has come home to charm London society and restore the family name. He means to start with the lovely Lady Thea Debenham. 

The magnetism between them is immediate, but can Thea trust the dark, sexy "Vile Viscount"? And will Thea's brother Dare-the most dashing member of the Company of Rogues-believe that Horatio does not deserve the cursed Cave reputation?

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Vikki’s Musings
I am having such a delightful time re-visiting the rogues! I found Jo Beverley’s Company of Rogues series many years ago and fell in love. Ms. Beverley immediately became one of my all-time favorite authors, and I devoured her back list. This time around, I am listening to the audio versions, and I am enjoying these books as much as I did reading them.

Lady Beware tells the love story of Lady Thea Debenham, daughter of a duke and sister to Dare from the previous book. At first, I had a difficult time warming up to Thea’s character. She is a bit sanctimonious and extremely naïve early on in the story, but as the story unfolds, I fell in love. Her kind-hearted ways and her staunch support of her family and friends won me over.

While I met Viscount Darien’s character under less than flattering conditions—he blackmails Thea into a six-week engagement in exchange for clearing Dare’s war record—I fell in love with him anyway, since Ms. Beverley gave me the reason behind his behavior. Also Darien is a tortured soul, my favorite kind of hero. His willingness to retract his conditions, although he fulfilled his end of the bargain immediately, even though Thea is quite horrible to him in the beginning, showed me what an honorable man he is. He puts up with a multitude of sins from Thea and remains a gentleman throughout it all.

As with all of Ms. Beverley’s books, the pace is fast and the story unique. Her sparkling dialogue truly brought the characters to life and helped to create great sexual tension. It was so rewarding to see the rogues band together to right a childhood hurt that has followed Darien all his adult life. Always love learning more about the rogues and their families. Most of them are in this one or at least mentioned.

The narrator for Lady Beware is Simon Prebble and he gives another stellar performance. He has narrated several of the Company of Rogues books, and I have enjoyed his performance a great deal. Not only does he read with deep emotion without going overboard, he does an excellent job with the female voices.

The wonderful thing about this series is that even if you read them out of order, they still work. Although, reading them in order is a pleasure and fills in a few of the blanks. If you haven’t read Ms. Beverley’s books, once you read Lady Beware, you will definitely want to read her backlist. I have yet to read one by her books that I did not like. Happy reading! 

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