Sometimes a Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
More like 3.5 stars. I'd say four, if it weren't for the slightly-too-easy escapes from disaster. And the fact that Mariah going into labor in the opening scene was a bit too sudden and dramatic. Not that water breaking and things going awry isn't likely, especially in that day & age, but as someone who is currently waiting for labor to start, I can tell you that water breaking--as the first sign of labor--is almost certainly not followed seconds later by second stage labor (i.e. the pushing phase), no matter what is portrayed on tv or in movies.
Still, I really enjoyed the story of Sarah Clarke-Townsend and Rob Carmichael. She's the identical twin of the pregnant Duchess of Ashton; he's the Bow Street Runner and friend of the Duke of Ashton who races to rescue her from the kidnappers who've abducted her by mistake. Sarah is no fragile flower, though, and Rob's admiration for her intrepid spirit grows by the hour as they struggle to evade capture throughout the Irish countryside. A near-death calamity leads to Sarah claiming, for expediency's sake, to be his fiancee, which turns out to be the best thing for both of them as they turn pretense into reality.
This is a great series for keeping oneself entertained and distracted. I seem to have accidentally skipped book #4, however, so I do need to go back and locate that one now.
For readers' advisors: story and character doorways, primarily, but also historical setting (Regency England). Several sex scenes later in the book, but thankfully not especially explicit. Some mild swearing, particularly on the part of a young girl who's spent an unfortunate two years with her crude and abusive grandfather.
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