Ambitious, sly, and lethally intelligent, Gideon Hawthorne has spent his life clawing his way up from the gutter. For the last ten years, he’s acted as the Duke of Windemere’s fixer, performing the most dangerous tasks without question. Now Gideon’s ready to quit the duke’s service and work solely for himself. But Windermere wants Gideon to complete one last task, and his reward is impossible to resist: Messalina Greycourt’s hand in marriage.
Witty, vivacious Messalina Greycourt has her pick of suitors. When Windermere summons Messalina to inform his niece that she must marry Mr. Hawthorne, she is appalled. But she’s surprised when Gideon offers her a compromise: as long as she plays the complacent wife, he promises to leave her alone until she asks for his touch. Since Messalina is confident that she’ll never ask Gideon for anything, she readily agrees. However, the more time she spends with Gideon, the harder it is to stay away.
Title: When A Rogue Meets His Match
Series: Greycourt #2
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: December 1, 2020
My Rating: 4.5 stars
When A Rogue Meets His Match is the second title in the Greycourt series and Messalina and Gideon quickly drew me into their unique story. We pick up almost at the ending of Not The Duke’s Darling, and because of that (and my own preferences) as well as references back to events that happened previously I’d strongly suggest beginning with the first story. There is a lot going on in this world beyond the Greycourts and de Morays feud/suspicions, so without the base world-building of the first story, you might feel as if you’re missing something. You do what works best for you, always – but if you need the background to enjoy a world then read this series in order.
While there was so much happening in the previous book, When A Rogue Meets His Match tones that down a bit, and we focus mostly on Messalina and Gideon’s unexpected marriage of convenience between at least one person falling into the enemy to lover trope.
Gideon grew up on the streets, he’s a man who survives and does that well since his intelligence is almost as strong as his cunning ways. He’s been in the employ of a rather odious man doing the shaky things that the members of the ton would never ever touch. But he’s planned, and invested, and learned over the years and now he’s ready to go out on his own, forge his own destiny… except for one final offer and a reward he cannot turn down. The hand in marriage of the woman he’s always held a special affection for… Messalina. Too bad she didn’t feel the same way.
Messalina hates her uncle with a passion, one that is also held against his henchman, Gideon. When her uncle hands her over as wife to Gideon, with the threat of making her sister the bride instead, she has no choice… but that doesn’t mean she has no options. With Gideon agreeing to a marriage of convenience, at least for a time, he gets what he wants in an acceptance into society through his marriage. He also wants his wife to agree to a true marriage and will work his considerable charms to hurry that aspect along. Messalina gets time and eventually access to her dowry which she plans to use for an escape to America with her sister. Yet, neither counted on the sparks between them changing all of their plans.
I had such a good time with When A Rogue Meets His Match. There is a smoothness that was missing from the previous book where so much was happening. And the sexual tensions, discovering true love, and bantering between this couple are simply off the charts. I liked them, even when they did something foolish (which every hero or heroine eventually does). There are dashes of danger, some secondary characters that I’d like to know more about, and the woven thread of the Greycourts and de Morays situation to keep us on our toes. In all, a delightful read, and I’m already looking forward to my next trip to this world.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in a variety of formats including for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.