|Touch Of A Rogue is the second in Mia Marlowe's The Touch Of Seduction series and it certainly seduced me.
Julianne Tyndale is the Dowager Countess of Cambourne, fresh out of mourning her husband and desperate for money. She also wants to prove that her late husband didn't kill himself. Hiring Jacob Preston serves both purposes.
Julianne's late husband Algernon was an older man, gentle and kind to Julianne. He studied antiquities and Druidism and collected many artifacts as he sought to understand them. He shared a lot of his studies with Julianne, and she worries now that his collection of Druid daggers, one of which was found lodged in his chest upon his death, might have had something to do with his demise.
Algernon left the daggers to Julianne, along with an incomplete manuscript that was supposed to point the way to the final dagger. Unfortunately, Algernon had to leave the rest of his estate to his adult son, who's intent on either marrying her off to one of his terrible friends or cutting her off financially.
Then, Julianne receives curious correspondence from an unknown party offering to buy the full set of daggers by a specific date, thereby ending her money troubles. Julianne journeys to London to hire help, and she decides that Jacob is the perfect man for the job.
Jacob Preston has a well earned reputation of being a rascal, he's partial to affairs with married women, and acts as a careless wastrel in public. This helps to shield speculation on his sharp intelligence as well as his very secret ability Ė Jacob is a metal mage. He's only recently found out that this brand of talent runs in his family, his cousin Viola can read information from gemstones. Jacob hears the voices of metal and when he touches a metal object, he can see its past. When Julianne brings him one of her Druid daggers, he immediately knows two things: that Algernon didnít kill himself, and that the daggers are extremely complex and will be very dangerous in the wrong hands. He has to help Julianne to find out how to protect her, and he would love to explore the very strong attraction that sprang up suddenly upon their first meeting.
Touch Of A Rogue is much more multifaceted and layered than what I have explained here, each character is exquisitely crafted, the dialogue is sharp and the story is always moving.
Jacob Preston is a wonderful hero, charismatic enough to charm, intelligent enough to be witty and sexy enough to have Julianne go crazy. Jacob's rapier wit, his surprisingly gentle side, and his warm family relationships are a great combination, and surprisingly irresistible.
Julianne is exactly how I like my heroines - sparky, independent and sexually aware. She's also ruthlessly self aware and understands her own weaknesses. Julianne's emotional softening over the course of the tale is amazingly told.
The deeply layered action story is well paced and moves Julianne and Jacob through a maze of mystery, intrigue and passion. We also meet Jacob's cousin Viola and her husband Quinn, the stars of Touch Of A Thief, the first book in this series. While I haven't read it, Viola and Quinn are introduced like old friends, so likeable and fun to read.
If you're up for a great read with a hot couple, fast action and a healthy dose of mystery, pick up your copy of Touch Of A Rogue, and get ready to be seduced.