Julie Ann Long can be hit or miss for me, but she did write one of my all time favorite romances, What I Did for a Duke. How to Tame a Wild Rogue tapped into a lot of things I loved about What I Did for a Duke. Long takes these two characters who wouldn’t normally be in close contact and gives them reasons to question their assumptions about themselves and their place in the world. Because they are out of their usual milieu, they look at each other differently. Being forced outside of their roles creates the possibility of something different, something they never imagined. Daphne, Lady Worth, and Lorcan St. James (a privateer and formerly a smuggler) need shelter during a massive storm. They pretend to be married while rooming at The Grand Palace on the Thames (the Palace of Rogues), which happens to be owned and run by people they each know.
Though Daphne isn’t quite willing to look directly at it initially, she is tired of being a convenience to the men in her life. She has a marriage offer in hand, which would solve some of her father’s financial difficulties, but she isn’t excited about being yet another man’s furniture. Being in proximity to Daphne makes Lorcan start to consider what he may have missed along the way when he was striving to survive. He has considered himself to be experienced, and even jaded, but when he asks Daphne why she likes oranges, her answer upends his sense of himself. I thoroughly enjoyed their fake marriage.
If you have been reading the Palace of Rogues series, you get to spend more time with Delilah and Hardy and Angelique and Tristan and Dot. If you have not been reading the series, you won’t be lost, but you might be intrigued enough to go back and read the first earlier books. Long dips her toe a bit into the morality of smuggling, considering that there may be varying levels of culpability between the folks struggling to survive and the wealthy who want to wage war and have their luxuries.
CW: a child is endangered and rescued, discussion of past murder attempt, emotional neglect and abuse in the past, estrangement from a parent.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Avon and Harper Voyager, and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.