by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Duke's Men #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night. Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her, after he helped steal the royal diamonds! Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passions, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.
I adore Sabrina Jeffries brand of historical fiction from her head-strong heroines to her swoon-worthy heroes, and the Duke’s Men series has become one of my favorites. When the Rogue Returns is the second book, and it offered up an engaging plot and lovable characters. Mini review: Suspenseful, romantic and captivating I consumed this in a single afternoon.
Victor Cale’s newlywed bride, Isabella, disappeared right before the royal Dutch diamonds were discovered stolen and replaced by exquisite imitations. Is it a coincidence that Isabella is skilled at making them? Ten years later he is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron’s mysterious bride-to-be by the Duke’s Men. The would-be-bride Isa, masquerading as a window turns out to be his estranged wife! Imagine his surprise when she accuses him of abandoned her after he helped steal the gems! The tale that unfolds is sweet, and suspenseful. Jeffries adds twists and turns at every corner keeping well satisfied.
Isa or Isabella is a strong character. When she first married Victor she was meek and naïve but hard times, abandonment and a broken heart have made her toughen up. I adored her and her wit. Victor is such a wonderful hero. Even when his wife abandoned him, a small part refused to believe, and he never sold her out. Jeffries really peeled back their layers and had me connecting with them emotionally. I loved their interaction and watching them piece together the events from the past. The attraction between them was intense, and I so wanted them to find their happy. Other characters added to the tale and gave us villains to loathe. The rest of the Dukes Men make an appearance, and I loved the scenes when they were all together. A young, feisty woman named Lady Zoe, asks the Duke’s Men for a favor, and I cannot wait to see how that unfolds.
When the Rogue Returns had such a delightful plot. Jeffries is a master storyteller, and I found myself intrigued from the very first pages. We traveled the continent and the story regarding imitation gems were such a fascinating thread. I would have enjoyed more details about the craft as Jeffries provided enough to make me curious. The Baron’s mother was positively ghastly making the tale a colorful one. The interaction, banter and romance of Isa and Victor was delicious. The shared history of the main characters really added to the tale and was brilliantly done. Jeffries creates just enough angst and twists to keep you enthralled. I could hardly believe it when I realized I had consumed this in just a few hours. The Netherland setting was wonderful as Jeffries continues to take us traveling in this series. I adore this blending of mystery and romance and cannot wait for the next book, How the Scoundrel Seduces.
Fans of regency romance, fleshed out characters, and mystery will adore When the Rogue Returns. Book one of the Duke’s Men series What the Duke Desires made my top ten favorites in 2013. How the Scoundrel Seduces will release in August 2014.
I love this cover! And Isa sounds like my kind of character! You’ve had some really good reads lately, but you’re going to kill my book budget goal 🙂
Book Budget?!? Hey now.. no naughty words on my blog!
I had a bit of fun with this one too and enjoyed the more plebeian roots of the leads.
you were dying to use that Roman word weren’t you my lover of all things Roman..LOL
I really need to read the book I already own from this author, but I may try to find the first book of this series. It sounds too good to pass up.
I love this author so really you cannot go wrong 🙂
She really is an amazing story teller. I was pretty drawn in too. And curious about the pastes. lol I so want to see one in real life now! I love reading about stuff like that. Glad to see you enjoyed it too 🙂
I do too, I love learning little interesting tid-bits like that 🙂
This sounds like a much “meatier” story line that I usually get with my regency romances. This sounds like a great tale.
Yes, but it well paced, I love the mix of mystery and suspense she brings to this series 🙂
I’ve never heard of this book or of this author but that can be blamed mainly to the fact that I am not really into historical fictions. In my entire reading career, I am only aware of Judith McNaught, Danielle Steel and Julia Quinn’s works.
If I will ever read historical fictions again, I would definitely put this on my list of choices. I love my stories angsty and with strong characters. Most importantly, I want a rake for a boyfriend. Hahahah.
Great review, Kimba!
I took a five year hiatus from historical romances and now read a few a month. I love the Regency era romances that are wrapped in adventure, mystery and suspense..of course a rogue or two is always nice..LOL
I love Sabrina’s books & can’t wait to read this one!
Oh enjoy Sharlene it’s a good one!
I swear, you and your rouges. lol. It does sound like fun fun though. 😉
Yes, I love my rogues, scoundrels, bad boys..they always make the perfect lover 🙂
*squee* so excited about this one <3 glad to hear that it is wonderful as always. I think I would love Isa!
Enjoy my friend!
That is one sexy cover, and I’m all about “head-strong heroines” and “swoon-worthy heroes”! This sounds so good, Kimba, and I love books with twists! Fantastic review!
thanks Michele 🙂
I need to try a book by her one day
oh my yes!
This sounds like such a great romance! I love that it’s full of suspense, mystery, and plot twists! Wonderful Review Kim 🙂
I love this series 🙂 thanks Lindy!
Melissa (Books and Things)
Nice! I love Jeffries! I haven’t read this series yet, but I’m so going to have to pick it up. Love that he didn’t sell her out when he could have. Looks like he is a swoony character! Darn it! You know you sold me on ANOTHER! 🙂
then my job as a book pusher is done for the day 🙂
Great to hear the characters were still lovable and story still captivating!
thanks Brandi, I love that each book has a new couple and we still get to see the others 🙂
I don’t read many regency romances, I know I know.. but if I were going to grab one, it would be with a good mystery like this. I also adore the covers because I think back necklaces are so sexy. I need to get one!
I love the cover too, and yes if you aren’t a big regency fan this series with its travels and suspenseful mysteries will certainly engage you. It also helps that the men are so swoon-worthy 🙂
So each installment can be read as standalone? Bc the publisher has sent me a few books from the series, but I haven’t given them a try yet?
Great review, btw!
Ok, this is only the second book in the Duke’s Men series but yes, they will work as standalone.
I agree – one afternoon?!?! Yeah, there are times when I read too fast and I wish I went slower to enjoy it. That’s usually when I go back and re-read key sections.
I keep wondering when I’ll have time to read a Regency romance. I remember the Ugly Duck one and I wanted to read that one and now I want to read this one!!! There just isn’t time for all the genres I want to get into!!! Stop reading such great books!!!! I DO Jeffries is awesome – we have a TON of her books!!!!
As always, you rock!!!
This would be a most excellent series to try *hint*
wow, you read this really quick! that’s usually a sure sign of an enjoyable book. I’m glad you like this author so much. I’ve never read anything by her…I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I should try it more.
This series is fantastic and I slip right into the tale and the rest of the world fades away 🙂
I love strong female characters, and Isa sounds awesome! I can’t wait to meet her and Victor, this sounds like such a fun and romantic story. Wonderful review!
thanks Lauren, I love this series 🙂
Felicia The Geeky Blogger
I have this one! YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I am always overly excited when people love books that I have on my kindle already 🙂
Enjoy my friend!!
Oh, how I agree with you, Kimba! Sabrina Jeffries has become one of my favorite HR writers, and her The Duke’s Men series is awesome! I loved When the Rogue Returns – so many things happened. And Isa is such a great heroine 🙂 I love reading HR where the heroine isn’t a quivering virgin 😀 I know, very naughty of me, but it just works so much better for me that way.
Great review! If I hadn’t read this already, you would have made me want to 🙂
Sweet, so glad you love them too 🙂
I read an art forgery/heist mystery not long ago and thought the whole process was fascinating. I’ll have to check this one out too.
I find it intriguing too 🙂
Kimba, great cover, great review, oh my aching pile 🙂
*looks around at mountains of books* I find it’s better not think about it. Sure we will probably never read them all, but they are pretty:)
Book Savvy Babe
I have several of Sabrina Jeffries’ books on my TBR shelf. I haven’t had the chance to read them yet, but I think I have another series to bump up the list 🙂 Thanks for the great review!
*tackles and hugs you* Good to see you Heather and yes you need to bump these up your list. I enjoy all of her books 🙂
Lovely review, I look forward to reading this book myself.
enjoy Aurian I look forward to reading your thoughts 🙂
Sounds like a fun series. I love jewel/art heist movies so need to try some books too 🙂
Me too Tanya, thanks 🙂
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Sounds like a great set of characetrs and I think I’d love the traveling aspect…to get to “see” glimpses of what the continent was like back then…
I liked that it didn’t all happen in London 🙂
Victoria (aka Zemfirka)
Haven’t read this series yet, but sounds great: strong characters, romance, mystery… and you read it in an afternoon! — wish I can do that, too. 🙂 lol I feel like such a slow-poke.
Thank you for sharing another great review with us!
It doesn’t happen all the time, usually even if I read a book in one day I break it up into a couple sittings.
You always know a book is good when you read it is one sitting.
It is a high we all chase!
I love the series too. Reviewed both books. It is fun to see what other say.
thanks Jo and I agree I love seeing how others react to a book 🙂
This sounds absolutely wonderful, Kim. I always love books where the characters seem to have a history together. I should check Sabrina Jeffries books! Maybe I’ll start with this one.
The Duke’s Men is a wonderful series to start with 🙂
Oh, well, THAT’s an interesting twist to a story! Already married, theft, and a possible remarriage (naughty girl! Her hubs is still alive — no marrying the Duke, too!).
I thought it was clever and added a little something to the tale since we as the reader know what actually happened before they do 🙂
This sounds terribly captivating!! You have to love when a book gets to you so much that you devour it in a matter of hours. I think it’s one of the most precious feelings ever! Great review, Kimberly 🙂
Haha it is until afterwards when its over and you are mad at yourself because now you have to wait again..LOL
You find the most interesting books and from so many authors I have never heard of! Wow you read this in 1 sitting and it was only an afternoon.. I wish I had your ninja reading skills!
Great review Kimba 🙂 As Always <3
Yeah and then I was mad at myself for not savoring it more..LOL
Strong female characters are what often make a book for me. So I loved hearing about Isa. She sounds awesome.
Loving the cover too.
Agreed Jennifer, thanks 🙂