Thursday, December 17, 2015

REVIEW: A Rebel Without A Rogue by Bliss Bennet

A Rebel Without a Rogue
by Bliss Bennet

Publisher: self-published
Page Count: 304
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Format: Kindle

How got: free copy from author

First attention getter: a different take on a Regency


From GoodReads:

A woman striving for justice

Fianna Cameron has devoted her life to avenging the death of her father, hanged as a traitor during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Now, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, only one last miscreant remains: Major Christopher Pennington, the English army officer who not only oversaw her father’s execution, but falsely maligned his honor. Fianna risks everything to travel to London and confront the man who has haunted her every nightmare. Only after her pistol misfires does she realize her sickening mistake: the Pennington she wounded is far too young to be the man who killed her father.

A man who will protect his family at all costs

Rumors of being shot by a spurned mistress might burnish the reputation of a rake, but for Kit Pennington, determined to add to his family’s honor by winning a seat in Parliament, such salacious gossip is nothing but a nightmare. To regain his good name, Kit will have to track down his mysterious attacker and force her to reveal the true motivation behind her unprovoked assault. Accepting an acquaintance’s mistress as an ally in his search is risky enough, but when Kit begins to develop feelings for the icy, ethereal Miss Cameron, more than his political career is in danger. For Kit is beginning to suspect that Fianna Cameron knows far more about the shooting—and the reasons behind it—than she’s willing to reveal.

As their search begins to unearth long-held secrets, Kit and Fianna find themselves caught between duty to family and their beliefs in what’s right. How can you balance the competing demands of loyalty and justice—especially when you add love to the mix?

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 4.5

This romance pleasantly surprised me. It started out a bit stiff but quickly picked up pace, emotionally, characterization-wise, and its story. This is definitely a keeper.

Both Kit and Fianna stand out as individuals. Fianna’s cold quest for revenge that hides a much scarred interior makes her such an interesting character. Her mix of vulnerable and balls of steel steal the show more than once. I liked that she accepted the lengths she’d gone for that revenge and didn’t let regret or society’s view of her now make her slink into the shadows. Yet, it still prevents her from fully pursuing her budding love with Kit until some very heavy soul-searching and emotional healing had occurred.

I don’t think the author could have chosen a better hero than Kit to balance out Fianna’s personality. He’s principled, emotionally supportive, and comforting. He wants to protect Fianna from the world at large, but he isn’t afraid to also let her fight her own battles or find her own way. He just seems like the perfect caring, emotional foil for Fianna’s colder, more analytical frame of mind.

At first, the romance bit was a bit rocky. In the beginning, I found the exchanges between the two stiff. Their conversation seemed very hackneyed, like I’d seen it all before, read it all before. However, this quickly changed. After their first emotionally charged kiss, I found myself sucked into such an emotionally complex relationship that I was very surprised. It’s such a dance of outside, societal influences and deep, tearing emotions that the reader can’t help but feel every glance or embrace.

I also have to give a special shout-out to the author’s effort to give her story a firm basis in historical fact. She gives great detail about the politics of the 1820’s, the 1798 rebellion in Ireland, the dire situation in Ireland at the time, and details on everyday society. I loved this attention to detail. She gives her book such depth, giving the gripping romance a great background and details with which to enhance that main relationship.

Overall, this book has become a favorite romance. Despite the rocky start to Kit and Fianna’s interaction, their quick save into a satisfying emotional support duo definitely has placed this on a favorite list. I love both Kit and Fianna’s personalities; they round each other out so well. And the historical background details only add in the book’s favor. I’d definitely recommend this one to historical fiction lovers. It’s something different than your typical Regency era book and a great read.

Note: Book received for free from author in exchange for honest review.

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