I fell in love with Anna Randol's fascinating and intriguing spy twists on historical romance from the first time I read her debut novel, A SECRET IN HER KISS. When she began the Sinners Trio series, I knew I'd never pass up a chance to read her work, ever! Thankfully, I was able to read an ARC of the second book in the series, SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE and I was not disappointed.
***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE:
Revenge never tasted so sweet…
When Clayton Campbell shows up on her doorstep, Olivia Swift is stunned. For long ago, Clayton was the boy who stole her heart. He’s also the man her betrayal had sent to the gallows. A man she believed dead, now standing before her, looking leaner, harder, more powerful than ever, his haunted eyes filled with a lust she had never seen—for vengeance…
Or burned so hot…
He’s a Crown spy who once faced death and escaped unscathed. Yet Clayton Campbell cannot deny that the sight of Olivia rouses in him something more than a thirst for revenge. Or that the bold beauty would lure him once more into a dangerous game. Only this time, Clayton plans to be the victor—with the tempting Olivia in his bed as his prize. But once passion ignites between them, the hard-hearted agent will face his greatest battle yet—for his heart…
* * * * * *
Clayton Campbell, aka Cipher, has returned to gain revenge on the man and girl who sent him to the gallows and prevent them from further undermining the British government through criminal dealings. Having spent the years since escaping the gallows as a spy and trained assassin for the crown, he uses the wealth he's accumulated to purchase the debts owed by Olivia Swift, her father, and the mill where he'd once clerked, fell in love, and then was betrayed by the woman to whom he gave his heart.
Olivia Swift believed the only man she ever loved to be dead, sentenced to hang because when he came to her with the accusation that her father was guilty of criminal acts against the Bank of England, she didn't believe him. She ran to her father, told him of Clayton's belief and in return, her father accused Clayton of the act and sent him to the gallows. Olivia has lived with the weight of that betrayal, and vowed to undo all the evil her father had perpetrated upon others, help the town, aid those less fortunate, and to change her selfish ways. She thought she was doing right by all until one day when Clayton returned from the dead and carried with him, the mill's debts and an order to repay them or he will shut down the mill. Frustrated, angry, bewildered and fearing that Clayton will learn of her deceptions to undo the wrongs of her father, Olivia attempts to concoct a plan to outwit Clayton and save the mill - only all goes astray when she's mistaken for the spy, La Petit, is kidnapped, and taken to Russia.
When Clayton discovers her missing, he has no choice but to follow even while believing her to be working with revolutionaries, only to rescue her and keep her at arms length until he can learn the truth.
I love historicals, I love regency but sometimes, like with anything in life, change is good. Russia, how wonderful! In SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE by Anna Randol, we travel to the cold, barren, frostbitten world of Russia in the time of Czar Alexander and the unrest that is already beginning to plague Russia's undercurrents. This action-filled, tense, dangerous, mystery-laden story is engrossing, captivating, and exceptionally endearing as Olivia attempts to convince Clayton of her innocence, all the while carrying the guilts of her past actions. Clayton fights his attraction and his, still very much alive, love for Olivia because he cannot trust her. The tension between these two is nearly as hard and cold as the deep frozen snow they find themselves trying to survive. Fortunately, my favorite member of the trio shows up to lighten the mood - Ian Maddox, aka Wraith. With his teasing, self-aware intelligence and sense of humor, Ian does more to bring the couple together than any argument, attempt at seduction, or confession. As a team, Clayton, Olivia, and Ian manage to thwart a revolution, make new friends, and save those who need saving and dispatch those who don't.
I highly recommend SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE by Anna Randol if you're a true lover of historical romance filled with wonderful characters, fictional as well as factual, political intrigue, old world settings, and lots of action-filled scenes that bring out the best in spies, friends, and lovers. Anna Randol has definitely become a beautiful and exciting voice in the romance genre.
Happy Reading Everyone!
SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE, a Sinners Trio novel by Anna Randol, Avon Romance, release date - March 26, 2013 in print and ebook formats.