Sweet Rogue of Mine by Shana Galen

Sweet Rogue of Mine by Shana Galen
The Survivors: Book IX
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A sharpshooter who’s lost his sight…

When a stray pistol ball from the battlefield took Nash’s sight, it also took his entire identity. He’s retreated to his father’s county home to lick his wounds, but his drinking and isolation have only made things worse. When Nash’s father, a powerful earl, threatens to send Nash to an asylum, his former brothers-in-arms call in one of their own to set Nash back on the right course. Nash fears he’s fallen too far and perhaps ending it all is the best solution. Until he encounters a woman in the garden singing a bawdy tune at the top of her lungs.

An outcast who sees too much…

Prudence Howard has traveled the world with her missionary parents. But after the scandal she caused in Cairo, they’ve foisted her on a vicar in the small town of Milcroft and sailed to the Far East to evangelize without her. Pru doesn’t mean to cause trouble; it’s just that being good is so very hard. When she meets Nash Pope, she’s instantly intrigued. He might be hot-tempered, but he’s handsome and unusual and arouses her interest and passion like no one she’s ever met. He might not know he needs or even wants her help, but Pru has a plan to save him.
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Together they glimpse a brighter future.

Nash is bewildered by the unconventional woman who keeps turning up on his doorstep. She tries to teach him night writing, claims a feral peacock is a momentous sign, and makes his toes curl when she kisses him. She refuses to give up on him. But though Nash finds it easy to believe in Pru, can he ever trust himself again?

I am exceedingly glad that Ms. Galen chose Nash as the next hero to find his happy ever after. When he shot (wounded only) one of his good friends in the last book, I just knew he was a man that needed saving. What happened to him was horrible indeed, but what he’s chosen to do with his life is a tragedy. If anyone needed an intervention, it was Nash Pope. To say his ‘rescuer’ was unconventional is an understatement. However, Rowden was the perfect choice. He didn’t scare easily and was committed to his friendship with the hero, even though said hero threatens to shoot him. From the first chapter I’d come to the conclusion that the unusual and unexpected were the very things that could jumpstart Nash into living again. How he came upon Prudence and what she was singing not only got the hero’s attention, but mine too. The heroine is not typical or boring, which means she fit the bill perfectly. Prudence was a delight, fun to watch and she truly livened up the storyline.

Prudence wasn’t all sunshine and bawdy tunes – she has her own issues, ones that made me feel strongly that I wanted her to find happiness too. I wanted her to be wanted for herself and I wanted that spark of life within her to flourish. Well, I later found out that the heroine has a bit too much spark, if you get my drift. Yes, she’s sweet, and her personality plays off well against the grumpy hero, but she has a secret. Personally, I think the author was genius. It was a kind of role reversal – she’s not exactly what I expected but I can tell you, Nash ends up being so intrigued by her, even though he tries really hard not to be, that he just can’t help himself. I think the push/pull of their friendship and relationship was the best part of the story. I enjoyed watching it grow and I was definitely entertained by Nash’s inability to resist Prudence. I also was happy to see that the heroine was a really wonderful plot mover – she motivated some important secondary characters to get involved with Nash’s life, whether he liked it or not. The results were storybook perfect. And fun. And humorous at times. There were SO many scenes that made me smile and grin.

Mrs. Northgate’s role is as an important secondary character. She helps Prudence grow in confidence and skill. She also plays a vital role in the drama and serious scenes that occur later in the book. I like how the author portrayed Mrs. Northgate’s personality. She ended up as being one of my favorites, after Nash and Prudence of course. There are others but I won’t mention them. I’ll let readers decide who their favorites are. Oh, wait, there’s Clopdon. Okay, his addition to the story made me grin a lot too. And giggle.

There’s quite a bit of symbolism in the story too. For instance, peacocks. Now that I think back on those scenes I can clearly state that Ms. Galen not only has a way of creating a romance story worth reading, but in this book especially, she created a romantic feeling, a mystical, optimistic, sigh-worthy ambiance that fed into the feel-good emotion I felt while heading for the very satisfying and swoon-worthy happy-ever-after ending.

I know I’m being gushy about this book. I really enjoyed myself. It’s not all fun and lightheartedness though. There is a bit of villainy aimed at Prudence so that created drama, intensity and suspense. Then there is the threat that Nash might end up in an asylum. It’s a race against time to convince everyone that he can be saved. So many details, so many other aspects to this novel, it’s hard to avoid spoilers. This book is chock full of good stuff.

I’ll end my review here. I could go on and on because Ms. Galen packed a lot of depth and details within this book’s pages. Sweet Rogue of Mine is an excellent read, a great addition to the series and it’s going on my keeper shelf.

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