Posted by: Jennifer | February 3, 2009

The Rogue and the Rival – Maya Rodale

Rodale, Maya. The Rogue and the Rival. (New York: Berkley, 2008). ISBN – 9780425224526.

Main Characters: Angela Sullivan and Phillip Kensington, Marquis of Huntley

Date: 1822

Related Works: This is part of the Negligent Chaperone series by Maya Rodale. Books in the series include the following:

  • The Heir and the Spare – story of Devon Kensington and Emilia Highhart
  • The Rogue and the Rival – story of Lord Phillip Kensington and Angela Sullivan

Description from book:

Six long years have passed since Angela Sullivan set eyes on a man. Six years since the man she loved ruined her – and her parents banished her to  Stanbrook Abbey, where she’s now preparing to take her vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity. But when the abbey takes in a handsome – if impudent – injured rogue, it will take divine intervention for Angela to quell her sinful thoughts . . .

If Lord Phillip were not in such pain from his riding accident, he would consider himself lucky to be staying in a building full of women. But his rakish reputation has preceded him. True, Phillip may not be his angelic twin brother, but as days become weeks, his thoughts of Angela grow nobler – even as Angela’s thoughts of him become less than holy . . .

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, The Heir and the Spare. However, I was rather reluctant to read The Rogue and the Rival because of the hero, Lord Phillip. He was rather nasty and thoroughly unlikeable in The Heir and the Spare. In fact, he was the main obstacle, in many ways, to the happiness of his brother Devon and Emilia. But, I had a copy of this book and was determined to see how Maya Rodale handled Phillip as a romantic hero.

Oddly enough, I might actually like this book better than The Heir and the Spare. Here, Lord Phillip has returned from France after running into a bit of a problem with gambling debts. As a result of these debts, Phillip finds himself badly injured and in the care of nuns at Stanbrook Abbey. Angela has been living at the abbey for six years after having been ruined. For the most part, Angela spends her days trying to atone for her sins and make up her mind about formally becoming a nun. Angela’s life and purpose change pretty dramatically after meeting Phillip. At first, she finds him rather troublesome, but soon finds herself drawn to Phillip. Fortunately for Angela, Phillip finds himself becoming attached to her as well. Of course, true love can’t happen that easily. There are some misunderstandings, a reappearance of the man that ruined Angela and the presence of Lady Palmerston, the Negiligent Chaperone. But in the end, Angela and Phillip do find ther HEA.

So, why do I like this book better? I’m not entirely sure. I think that I was expecting not to like this book, and was surprised by how much I did. I was not sympathetic to Phillip in any way after reading The Rogue and the Rival. I almost hated him. However, in his book, he has to come face to face with his life and what it has become. When he arrives at Stanbrook Abbey, he is still the dissolute rogue from The Heir and the Spare. He had gambled away all of his money and returned to England with  no clear purpose or place to go. But then he meets Angela, a woman who has been ruined by another member of the peerage. While Phillip isn’t the man responsible, he has ruined 4 women – and he has to face the consequences of such a ruination; see the face of a real person who has suffered at another’s hands.

Phillip is very drawn to Angela. After all, they are forced to spend quite a bit of time together. But a surprising thing happens to him. He actually cares about Angela and can’t help but think about his own actions in relation to her. He does not want to ruin her – and is also reminded to be careful by several other residents of the abbey. While Phillip does propose to Angela before he leaves the abbey, I didn’t find this an easy solution for Phillip to arrive at. After all, he is broke with little hope of income to support a wife and family. Honestly, if things had worked out at this point, I would have thought it was too easy. While I could see the growth in Phillip, he still had a ways to go.

When thugs threaten Angela if Phillip does not pay off his debt, he returns home to his family to ask for help from his brother Devon. He is unsure of his welcome, but desperate enough to try. Devon and Emilia can see that Phillip is different and agree to help him. This, I found, to be the real turning point for Phillip. Both Phillip and Devon needed to overcome their pasts and find each other again.

It takes a while for Phillip and Angela to find each other again. The thugs had made Phillip leave the abbey without saying goodbye. Shortly afterwards, Angela leaves the abbey to travel to London to stay with Lady Palmerston. She is devastated, believing that Phillip regretted his offer of marriage. She refuses to forgive Phillip too easily – and actually makes him apologize to the 4 women that he has ruined. This was one of my favorite parts of the book. I think that Phillip learns a great deal about himself – and the women he ruined. Ironically, Angela finally gets her own apology from the man who ruined her all of those years ago. I’m not sure that I would want it to happen in the  middle of my wedding, but I think it made for a great scene.

 

Read first February 3, 2009

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Responses

  1. […] The Rogue and the Rival – story of Lord Phillip Kensington and Angela Sullivan […]

  2. […] The Rogue and the Royal – Maya Rodale […]

  3. […] The Rogue and the Royal – Maya Rodale […]


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