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June Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Blue cover with a silhouette of a man and a woman in an embrace - he's leaning over her and she's bending backwards, it is perhaps ambiguous whether she's entirely willing, a large fan is behind their headsA Rogue’s Downfall by Mary Balogh – C+/B- I pick up Mary Balogh’s old Signet Regencies as they become available electronically. Some are better than others. A Rogue’s Downfall is a collection of three novellas which were originally published in multi-author anthologies between 1993 and 1995 and falls somewhere in the middling range overall.

The Anniversary tells the story of a rake who compromised a debutante and ended up married with a baby. Hugh Reardon, Earl of Richmond, feels guilty for his conduct and stays away for most of a year. In fact, he thinks of what he did as rape but it is clear to readers that Amy was entirely willing. I did not find any dubious consent in the story but I did appreciate that he wondered about his conduct and felt guilty and actually named it in his mind as rape. Perversely, if he was as bad as he thought he might have been he’d never have considered the term as applying to him. In any event, he had loved her from afar and has been true to his marriage vows. He longs fro his wife and son and tries to woo her of the course of the day of their “anniversary” (ie the anniversary of sex, not the wedding). While he does not regret their marriage he wishes what led to it had been different and so he tries a version of a do-over. Amy is, understandably, initially suspicious but as she loved him prior to their encounter too, she’s by no means immune to his charms. The story is sweet, full of inappropriate servants and could have been longer but I liked it well enough.

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