Title: Rogue Most Wanted
The Cavensham Heiresses Series, Book 5
Author: Janna MacGregor
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Prologue –1804, London; Northumberland, near the Scottish Border
Published by: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Published Date: June 25, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Wanted: an engagement of convenience. Found: A noble suitor.
Raised on a remote Scottish estate by her adoring grandfather, Lady Theodora Worth has inherited an earldom as well as the land itself. But when an upstart duke challenges her claim to the title and the Ladykyrk estate, Thea is suddenly in need of a husband—in name, at least. An elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might be the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except she has no intention of marrying the first man she meets. That would be utterly ridiculous.
It just can’t be him. . .
Lord William Cavensham is entirely too devoted to his family’s estate—ever since he was jilted as a lad–to wed, but he agrees to meet the woman his aunt has taken under her wing—and introduce her to possible suitors. But after just one meeting with beautiful, spirited Thea, Will is determined to help her reclaim her title. And even more so, he can’t stop thinking that perhaps marriage to this bold, passionate woman may be the one thing he’s been missing all along?
My Review: The heroine, Lady Theodora, becomes Countess of Eanruig, after the passing of her beloved grandfather. The title and property are being questioned by a distant cousin. He works toward taking the property and title for himself.
Theo’s grandfather raised and loved her, wanting to leave all to her when he died. It is her birthright. Two charters are not to be found which prove the property’s true lineage and acknowledged by the king of England. Death took him after he was ill with senility for seven years. Although she ran the estate, she had never seen the charters. Would she be able to convince the authorities of her claim without those?
More is dogging Theo’s steps. She holds guilt she was relieved when her grandfather passed away. The gossip column in London hints at her killing her grandfather. She has been caring for her grandfather since she was young and doesn’t know the rules of the ton, the manners necessary to ‘play’ the part of her lineage.
Her desire is to continue caring for the people on her lands who are dependent on her, and she considers them family. She is a young woman who wants to succeed but doesn’t have the tools or know-how to make it happen. Her solicitor tells her to study some books on etiquette and marry or at least be betrothed before she is called to appear in front of the House of Lords.
Self-doubt, low self-esteem and not knowing how to be a proper noble lady will derail anyone’s path to happiness. Theo turns to her neighbor, Lady Stella Payne, an old friend of her grandfather’s. Theo asks for assistance and guidance. Stella suggests she can help…on many fronts—one includes having Theo marry her great nephew. I enjoyed Stella very much. She added lots of levity to the story.
Will Cavensham has his own life and past woman problems, making him keep his distance. He loves his great aunt very much. He decides to help her help Theodore keep her title—not marry her, only help her. He finds her refreshing, with upstanding character, honest, as well as beautiful.
The story has scenes which are remarkably tender, easily had me in tear, others, all out crying. Hard decisions must be made. Once Theo and Will’s hearts are connected, it only makes them harder.
The author has done her job. Great reading. It is a Regency novel with many layers and secondary plots creating a rich environment and character interplay; pacing was perfect. More than one character became a friend. With the happy-ever-after, I somehow felt vindicated.