cover image A Rogue by Night

A Rogue by Night

Kelly Bowen. Forever, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-4789-1862-2

Bowen’s slightly loopy third Devils of Dover novel (after Last Night with the Earl), set in 1820 but with only lip service paid to the class strictures of the era, introduces a couple entangled in the smuggling that was rife on the English coast in the 18th and 19th centuries. Katherine Wright’s family has always supported itself by smuggling. When her brother is shot by patrols, she tries to tend his wounds, but fears he’ll be discovered and arrested. Unexpectedly, the Wrights are aided by Harland Hayward, Baron Strathmore, an eccentric nobleman trained as a surgeon who admires Katherine’s medical prowess as well as her beauty. To finance a safer life for her family, Katherine accepts a paid assignment to accompany Strathmore to rescue some seamen, which forces her into dangerous intimacy with the daring doctor. Both have been hurt before by faithless partners and have secrets that inhibit their ability to trust, but an irresistible attraction breaks through their barriers. Katherine is remarkably refined for a smuggler’s daughter, and both her family and Strathmore’s are implausibly willing to accept their romance, but the chemistry between her and Strathmore will distract readers from these and other weaknesses in the plot. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (June)