26 August 2014

Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #2)

Summary from Goodreads:
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when her memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

Lady Ophelia Lyttleton is so high in the instep that she can barely be polite to Drake Darling, even at a family wedding.  She would prefer to rub his nose in his gutter birth and then toss him out onto the street where he belongs.  So it is little wonder that Drake would relish the opportunity to take Ophelia down a notch or two.  When he rescues her from certain drowning in the Thames, and Ophelia can't remember who she actually is, Drake informs her she is his new housekeeper.

Now, this is where I have problems.  Amnesia plots are very hard to pull off, particularly when one character gains some power over the other.  And then you throw in the issue of consent...  I was iffy on Miranda Neville's The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton.  Mary Balogh did a superb take on the amnesia plot in Slightly Sinful, even having the hero and heroine acknowledge that he many never regain his memory or, if he does, what he remembers could pull them apart.  Here, in Once More, My Darling Rogue, the deception is carried on by Drake far longer than it should have to the point that one could argue that she could not fully consent to any sort of sexual activity - and it is only after that that Ophelia regains her memory.  I don't care how much he castigates himself...I would have shot him or worse.  Even though the characters reconcile, and we learn about Ophelia's past, and the HEA is good, the amount of deception in this plot left a bad taste in my mouth.

Dear FTC:  I received a DRC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss.

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