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A Rogue's Game Mass Market Paperback – Apr 29 2008
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About the Author
Renee Bernard is a freelance writer for Romantic Times Bookclub magazine. A Lady's Pleasure is her first novel. She has also written a story, "Mischief's Holiday," for the anthology The School for Heiresses. Renee lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. Visit her website at ReneeBernardAuthor.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
That being said, this third book's characters have more backstory and development than usual. They have more dilemmas than just being a virgin or getting sexual revenge. I think Bernard is finding her own voice more & more with each new title.
I found the characters unlikeable which, for me, is a cardinal sin, particularly in a romance: the hero is a self-confessed love-cheat, and the heroine admits to having stolen jewellery and is fleecing the Ton. None of the supporting characters seems at all well-drawn, and therefore their actions mostly seem totally random.
At the same time this book is weighed down anachronisms, inconsistencies and cliches. The author obviously never decided on a naming convention for her characters, and therefore they alternate between using first names, full names and titles for one another, even between friends, so the hero calls his friend "Elton" and that same friend then replies to "Lord Westleigh". Also the villainess refers to the heroine as a "grifter"; and I just can't believe any member of the British aristocracy in Victorian England would have used such a newly-coined Americanism (indeed, I doubt that any of them even know what it means today). And seriously - can you just hear a Dickens' character referring to a win-win situation as the hero does! There's a real plethora of cliches too - the heroine is forever gasping,, and even at one point pants that infamous line "Julian, oh Julian!"
Definitely not for me.
So I was really looking forward to the next two books in Ms. Bernard's "Mistress" trilogy. I was disappointed after reading book number two, (see my review) but I thought "everyone deserves a bad outing -- maybe she was saving the best for last." Unfortunately that is not the case.
I just finished slogging through A Rogue's Game (Mistress Trilogy). Although not in the really poor taste of Madame's Deception which utilized an unbelievably naive Disneyesque view of brothels and those who work in them, it is still uninspiring, poorly plotted and dull.
The hero and heroine of A Rogue's Game don't even seem to like each other, and the gambling subplot is boring. Even at the end, I do not have a clear idea of why these two might achieve any kind of "happily ever after." And how can the Earl of Westleigh be broke for most of the book, and then suddenly a rich man after one good night at the tables? Nothing about any of this plot is believable or remotely compelling. It's like Renee Barnard was writing on auto-pilot in order to meet a deadline, and never even considered what made her first book so terrific.
I won't go into a plot synopsis. Other reviewers have done that admirably. Just let me say that if you loved A Lady's Pleasure, don't bother buying this book. I think Ms. Bernard is one of those writers who had just one fresh, imaginative book in her. I will no longer be buying her tripe, although if my copy of A Lady's Pleasure wears out, I will replace it.