Short Version: NO!
Medium Version: My romance spirit guide, Malin, gave me this book and guessed it based on the blurb.
It’s a Victorian romance this –
plus a Victorian romance that –
resulting in a Victorian romance reading experience of:
While continuing to be an author I try to avoid actually paying for Lorraine Heath is solidly B-Minus List writer with some decent books under her belt. She can be dated in her plotting and characters and Once More, My Darling Rogue is no exception.
Lady Ophelia (God is kind, so she is called Phee by her friends) is an uptight snob, a Mean Girl. Gaming Hell owner Drake is a member of her social set, the adopted urchin son of a family friend. Drake’s sister and Phee’s best friend was the heroine of the first book in this series, When the Duke Was Wicked. It was not really a success either, but it did not inculcate violent urges. Phee has had snobbery engrained in her from an early age, which is admittedly historically accurate, and she is particularly awful to Drake. She treats him like a servant. He puts up with it, but it is wearing thin. They each wear masks to protect themselves and hide their true blah blah blah. You can see where this is going. The movie posters gave it away.
Phee has an accident and loses her memory. Drake conveniently finds and takes her in to his opportunely newly purchased, and thus undecorated and under-minioned home. Telling her she is his housekeeper/cook/maid of all work, he lets this illusion go on for more than .1473 seconds and it crosses the line into unforgivable. I remember thinking things like, “If these two embark on a physical relationship before she regains her memory I’m going to go postal!” They did and I didn’t, but I finished the book out of spite. There was some vague rationale about her unhappy past and the healing that comes with forgetfulness, but to hell with that. All I know is that her character flaws were rooted in trauma and SOMEHOW the fact that the character development that came with new trauma Drake inflicted was liberating for her is supposed to make it okay. It does not.
Also by Lorraine Heath, But for Romance Novel Withdrawal Emergencies Only:
The Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Series:
When the Duke Was Wicked