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The story “I Loved a Rogue” by Katharine Ashe is the last book in her “The Prince Catchers” trilogy. I hate that I’m only just reading Ashe this past year. She is a superb writer. I found myself highlighting many parts of the story because her writing is just so beautiful. Needless to say I plan on reading the two previous books in the series “I Married the Duke” and “I Adored a Lord.” I was first introduced to Ashe when I heard the audiobook “My Lady, My Lord” which is one of my favorites. I was completly captivated by her ability to weave a fun farfetched tale into a greatly enjoyable story.
In the last book of the series we have Eleanor Caulfield. She is the youngest of three sisters and adopted by a clergyman. Now that her sisters are both married and her “Papa” (as she affectionately calls him) is married, she feels like she has no purpose. The day of her Papa’s wedding Taliesin reappears.
Taliesin is a gypsy. Eleanor and he were childhood friends/rivals. One day Taliesin disappeared and eleven years have gone by. But Eleanor has never stopped thinking about him or missing him. First, the friendship between Taliesen and Eleanor was so beautiful. I absolutely ached for them as two young people getting to know each other. When Eleanor became sick as a young child it was Taliesin that pushed her out of her sickness and challenged her. The friction and tension between them was palpable. At the beginning of the story they barely acknowledge each other least of all speak to each other. When one of Eleanor’s sisters encourages Eleanor to find out the truth of their heritage. Taliesin accompanies her.
A running theme between the stories is that the three sisters appeared on the shores after a shipwreck. But they never knew who their parents were. Eleanor begins to gather clues. The story was a five star rating for me until about 70% of the story when Eleanor starts to uncover the clues behind the shipwreck. The author reveals a lot of surprises not only about Eleanor but also about Taliesin and his family. These secrets were fantastic. They were rich and I was really surprised even though I hadn’t read the previous books. My only complaint is that too much was packed into the last 30% of the book. There were other key characters that we meet and also a huge part of the historical significance to Eleanor’s parentage. Which was great and interesting but I thought it dragged the story down a little. My last and really only other complaint was Taliesin’s constant leaving. I get that he is a Gypsy but enough already.
Really I cannot recommend this book enough. The characters were rich and well developed. I loved both the hero and heroine. I loved who they were, who they became and who they discovered they were! Bravo Ms. Ashe!