Friday, February 23, 2018

Book Review: 'Tempted by a Rogue' by Lauren Smith

Oklahoma author Lauren Smith comes to her second career (she is an attorney) with a rich background of experience: a native Oklahoman, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Oklahoma State University, studies at Cambridge, in Ireland and in China, and two law degrees from both the University of Detroit-Mercy in Michigan and the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. By day she is an intellectual property attorney in Tulsa and by night she pens highly awarded novels of about every variation of Romance conceivable. As she has stated `Mankind has mastered many secrets of the universe, but the secrets of love are too vast and deep to be solved so easily. I write about romance to explore the mysterious and beautiful power of love. What better way to do this than to explore stories on the page?'

With a fine sense of creating atmosphere and historical setting Lauren opens her book with the following proscenium arch: ‘Midhurst, West Sussex 1817 - White and pink roses formed spots of striking color against the dense green hedges as Gemma Haverford walked through the gardens of her home. She let her fingertips touch the petals of the roses as she headed toward the center of the garden. Twilight was her favorite time of day. Birds began to quiet their singing, the sunlight softened, giving everything a soft glow. Gemma took a seat on a cool marble bench at the center of the maze of hedges and rosebushes. Her hands trembled as she smoothed out her skirts. She was anxious enough that her knees knocked together
too, but she couldn’t banish her nerves. It wasn’t every day that she wore her best gown, an almost sheer sky blue silk, for a secret garden rendezvous. Everything needed to be perfect.’ For every tone of the sounds, tenor, and color she offers us the flavor and characteristics of our leading lady like few other authors.

Lauren gives us a tight synopsis of where she is taking us: ‘The rogue’s temptation would be her undoing … Gemma Haverford knows exactly who she will marry: James Randolph, the man she’s had a secret understanding with for the last eleven years. With every letter written between them while he's been off at sea, their love has grown. Now they will be reunited with his return to England. There’s just one problem. The man whose words she'd fallen in love with isn’t James at all… Jasper Holland, a gentleman rogue of the first order, is trapped. Talked into a scheme by his best friend, he pretended to be James for eleven years as he wrote to Gemma, even though he'd promised James he’d break it off. But now with his return to England his secret will come out – and he’ll lose the one woman he can’t live without. What began as a game of words, now becomes a game of hearts, and Jasper will pay any price to call Gemma his.’

‘This is a fine romance’ and as always Lauren brings it to us with style and aplomb. Another winner from Lauren Smith. Grady Harp, September 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.