The Rogue to Ruin
by Vivienne Lorret
Series Misadventures in Matchmaking Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date July 30, 2019
The Bourne Matrimonial Agency has one rule: Never fall in love with a client, which shouldn’t be a problem when one’s faking an engagement to the rogue across the street .
Ainsley Bourne needs the family business to succeed. But one obstacle stands in her way—Reed Sterling, the huge, handsome, former prize fighter and owner of the gaming hell across the street. His scandalous customers scare off all her marriage-minded patrons and since the devilish brute has no intention of relocating, she sets out to ruin his unsavory establishment. Yet when a vile suitor from her past reappears, Ainsley hastily claims an attachment to the first man who comes to mind . . . Mr. Sterling, to be exact.
Reed doesn’t know who is more surprised by Miss Bourne’s declaration. She clearly hates him, and he’d never admit their arguments simmer with unrequited attraction. Something about the pleading look in her eyes calls to Reed, and against his better judgment, he quickly plays the part of the besotted fiancé.
Pretending to be in love requires a convincing charade. But with each tantalizing touch and every scandalous kiss, Ainsley starts to wonder if Reed was ever really the enemy at all.
“I hardly need your advice,” Ainsley scolded him in return, every word pushing her flesh against his. Almost as if . . . as if she had just kissed him.
But this wasn’t kissing, she assured herself. This was merely a new form of arguing.
Anticipating his next contradiction, she angled her head for closer contact and Reed growled in response.
The low, primal sound sent an unexpected thrill rushing through her.
“It would be a waste of breath to attempt to tell you anything,” he said, fitting his other hand over the curve of her cheek to cradle her face. “Even if I wanted to say that your lips are soft and plump and more luscious than wine-poached pears, I wouldn’t.”
Then he tilted her head back to cement his argument, opening her mouth with his own. He nibbled gently into her flesh, tasting the seam of her lips without hurry. The slow, thorough exploration caused her eyes to drift closed.
Her senses centered on the firm, enticing pressure of his mouth, the delicious rasp of his tongue. A wanton mewl tore from her throat, hungry and needy and urgent.
The unguarded sound brought her to an uncomfortable admission . . .
She might be kissing the enemy.
A wonderful ending to a delightful series!
The Rogue to Ruin is a enemies-to-lovers / fake relationship story–two troupes that can be so much fun on their own when done well, but together…? Romance gold!
I loved Ainsley and Reed–both as individuals and as couples, they’re delightful. Their banter is outstanding (there may have been some snort-laughing while reading over here) and their chemistry is undeniable. I really enjoyed seeing their evolving relationship from both sides–even when one or both of them was making a misstep, it was so easy to empathize with what they were trying to do (or thought they were trying to do…) I loved them even when they made me a little crazy.
And that epilogue? OMG, so many happy feels 😀
If you’ve read the other two books in the series (you don’t have to; this one would work fine as a standalone too) there’s a delightful symmetry to the series with a reveal here that I didn’t suspect until about 50% in–but once I did, I may have given a rather loud and happy squeal 😉
Just when you think Ainsley might be the sister not to break the Agency’s “one rule…” LOL!
I’m bummed that the series is over, but am really looking forward to seeing what Ms. Lorret has in store for us next!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
USA Today bestselling author VIVIENNE LORRET transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of works including: The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Season’s Original Series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series. For more information on her books, sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net.