Never Rescue a Rogue
by Virginia Heath
Release Date: November 8, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Book #2 in The Merriwell Sisters series
Number of Pages: 368
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Ages 14 and up
CW: sexual assault
Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that the two of them are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that their constant pithy barbs come from a shared disdain—not a hidden attraction. Diana loves the freedom of working at the newspaper too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily married to his bachelor lifestyle. But they do have one thing in common—the secrets they can’t risk escaping.
When Giles’ father, the curmudgeonly Duke of Harpenden unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes crawling out of the woodwork who knows the true circumstances of his only son’s birth. As the threat of blackmail becomes real, Giles must uncover the truth of his parentage first, or else he and all those who depend upon him will be ruined—and dogged bloodhound Diana is his best hope at sniffing out the truth. As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that the two of them insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. Soon, the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…
While I was looking forward to the story between Diana and Giles, there were a few things at the beginning that made this a slow starter for me. Namely, the pair of them poking fun at a woman they thought Giles’ father intended to force him to marry. (To be clear, this was not done within hearing of anyone else, including the poor lady.) There was a lot of derogatory language used about this poor young woman who, by their own admission, was a harmless and kind person. It came up a few more times throughout the story, but not to the extent it did in the first chapter. I think I understand what the author was going for, but it just felt very mean-spirited and unnecessary to me.
In the long run, I’m glad I continued the story. Diana and Giles are great at denying their true feelings, but everyone around them can feel the chemistry they have. Their banter and nitpicking are fun instead of tedious. They are able to open up to each other far more than they can with anyone else. When it comes to the romance, I felt the story was spot on.
Giles’ valet. Dalton is such a hoot. He’s grumpy but loyal. Once he spends time with Diana, he becomes just as loyal to her as he is to Giles. He understands her mind and where she came from. Diana has a need to be independent and spending the majority of her life struggling to make ends meet she doesn’t understand the need for propriety. Dalton gives her far more leeway than Giles ever would, but it’s what is needed for her job and Dalton still makes sure she is always safe.
All of the characters, from Diana and her extended family and Giles and his staff, add a zany richness to this story. Not in an over-the-top way, but in an enjoyable comedic way. When it comes to the storyline and characters I really can’t complain. But there were times I felt the author needed to reach outside the box she was in. When describing facial expressions she often fell back on the same phrase and it stood out because it was an interesting phrase to use. It became much less interesting when used numerous times throughout.
I found that once I got into this story, I liked it even more than the first book. I can already see where the youngest Merriwell sister will find her love and it should be quite interesting.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely*