Warning: This review may contain spoilers
Once More, My Darling Rogue is the second book in the Scoundrels of St. James series by Lorraine Heath and focuses on Drake Darling and Lady Ophelia Lyttleton. We meet both of these characters in the first book When the Duke was Wicked since Lady Ophelia is Lady Grace’s best friend. We should also note that Drake Darling is that little boy Frannie and Sterling adopted in Surrender to the Devil who was then known as Peter Sykes.
Let me start to say this book is very emotional since it touches on subjects that are not usually touched on in Historical Romances. In this book, it is both hero and heroine that are scarred, that are presenting a facade different to hide their true feelings and nature.
Drake Darling, who now manages Dodger’s Drawing Room, feels like he is still a few inches from the gutter where he came from despite being raised by the Duke and Duchess of Greystone, being friends with a Duke, a few other members of the peerage. Naturally, Ophelia knows about his sordid past and does not let anyone, including Drake, forget it. In fact, she treats him as little more than a servant. The twist comes when Drake rescues Ophelia by the Thames with amnesia and decides to teach her a lesson by claiming that she is his housekeeper.
When I started reading this book, I knew that there was something drastic in Ophelia’s past that she was trying to conceal and she was also trying to hide her attraction to Drake. When she was rescued and woke up in the rooms of Drake with amnesia, her walls fell and Drake was able to catch a glimpse of the woman within. Initially, he had wanted to teach her a lesson for a day but he couldn’t seem to let her go. There was also the mystery of how she came to be in the Thames, in the middle of the night.
I was not warming up to Drake when I started this book. In fact, I had no patience for his tricks and his plan to teach Ophelia a lesson but as the story wore on, I could see that Drake was also struggling. Not only with his past but with his future. I loved that both Ophelia and Drake cultivated a friendship and got closer as they were constantly in contact with each other.
I love the subtle passion that the author added to the story. It wasn’t as spicy as most romances but there was a really steamy tub bath that I really loved, plus the passion sizzling between the two characters was just perfect.
When the villain of the story was finally revealed, I was not surprised. This trope has been done before but I liked the way Ms. Heath made it her own. I also liked that she used an issue that was not only true then but also today.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Hands down the best book in this series so far. Ms. Heath did not disappoint!