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Book CoverC2’s review of The Infamous Rogue by Alexandra Benedict
Historical romance, released 28 July 2009 by Avon

What’s a pirate to do when he can no longer scour the seas for booty? *Heh. Booty.* Captain James Hawkins was once the infamous pirate Black Hawk. He and his brothers sailed the seas, preying on whatever ships caught their fancy. However, when their only sister married a duke of the realm, the Hawkins brothers decided to put away the Jolly Roger *snicker* so she would never be embarrassed or endangered by their actions.

James and his brothers have become sea merchants – their ship no longer slipping up silently on unsuspecting vessels and relieving them of their cargo but, instead, carrying legal goods bound for or returning from exotic ports. James is slowly being smothered by society’s constraints but what can he do? He refuses to hurt his sister in any way.

While suffering through a society ball, he escapes into the garden, hoping he can breathe easier there. Instead of feeling refreshed, James feels a knife at his back and hears a voice say “Why aren’t you rotting in hell, Black Hawk?” It is a voice James did not expect to hear ever again…that of his one-time mistress, Sophia. To say they parted under bad circumstances would be…well, accurate, actually.

Sophia Dawson, daughter of a pirate and an island wench, has come to England to marry nobility. She wants to escape the censure and stigma she grew up with in the islands. Seven years ago, she left James Hawkins after he refused to marry her. Her parting gift – a solid gold watch with the inscription ”May you rot in everlasting hell”. Oh yes, faithful reader, Sophia has style when it comes to vengefulness.

James is baffled by Sophia’s desire to become part of the very society he loathes. He cannot understand how the free-spirited lass he was involved with could ever want to confine herself that way. Plus, he is still angry about the way the relationship ended. He wants her to suffer like he suffered and feel the way he felt when she left him.  Oh, and his pet snake is named after Sophia…he’s vengefully creative, too.

It seems the harder Sophia and James try to avoid each other, the more they are thrown together. And when they are thrown together sparks fly. Each insists they want nothing to do with the other but it never quite works out that way.

The Infamous Rogue is the first in a series – I’m sure each of the other three brothers will get his turn at finding a Happily Ever After. Heaven knows I love me some pirate books…but I didn’t love this one as much as I would have liked. The characters were interesting, the plot was fine – the sub-plot was a building block for the rest of the books, I’m guessing, because it could have been left out, otherwise. The dialogue was good, especially between the brothers (and the sniping between James and Sophia was fun, too). Still, awkward sentence structure and some odd word choices were distracting as I read the book. Bottom line – *smirk* *seriously…enough with the teenage boy humor* – will I check out the next book in the series? I think I will.

CSquareds C2 IconGrade: C+

They paid no mind to society’s prying eyes . . .

The daughter of a wealthy bandit, Sophia Dawson once lost herself in the arms of Black Hawk, the most infamous pirate ever to command the high seas. But now, determined to put her sinful past behind her, she prepares to enter society as the bride of a well-born nobleman who knows nothing of her scandalous youth. All goes according to plan until her ex-lover—now a respectable sea captain but just as handsome and dangerous as ever—appears and once again tempts her with desire.

From the moment he sees Sophia again, James Hawkins wants only one thing: Revenge. He’ll see to it that the reckless beauty pays for abandoning their heated affair. And so begins a battle of wills that can end only in utter ruin . . . or wicked surrender . . .

Other books in the series:
Book Cover