My Review of “The Irresistable Rogue” by Valerie Bowman

“The Irresistable Rogue”

by Valerie Bowman

Playful Brides Series, Book 4

Publication Date: Nov 3, 2015
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN-10: 1250072573
ISBN-13: 978-1250072573
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Length: Novel
Print List Price/Digital Price: $7.9951DBpnFLbJL__SX304_BO1,204,203,200_


Daphne Swift has not laid eyes on her devilishly charming husband, Captain Rafferty Cavendish, in quite some time. As a matter of fact, she wants the rogue to annul their brief marriage so that she can marry the reliable and estimable Lord Fitzwell. But the breathtakingly handsome Rafe is not interested in letting Daphne go—at least not without paying his scandalous price…


Rafe prefers to face the dangers of spying alone, but this time he needs his innocent, fiery wife to uncover the information he seeks. He has even agreed to release her from their marriage if she submits completely to his plan. However, Daphne’s alluring combination of courage and curves makes her a dangerous distraction, and it is not long before Rafe is trading subterfuge for seduction in order to prove that Daphne is meant to be his and his alone…


Sep 28, 2015 – Bowman’s enjoyable fourth Playful Brides Regency (after The Unlikely Lady) puts a 19th-century spin on Philip Barry’s The Philadelphia Story. Lady Daphne Swift’s knowledge of Russian made her the perfect person to accompany Capt. Rafe Cavendish on a spy mission from England to Russia. In order to protect her reputation, she needed to marry him first, but their union was never consummated. On the eve of her engagement to another man, Rafe reappears, asking for her help before he will agree to an annulment. While Daphne claims that she never wanted their “marriage,” she can’t help her attraction to the dashing captain. Daphne is not a typical aristocratic young lady; she refuses to enjoy proper ladylike sedentary pursuits and must decide whether she is willing to break from the secure but stifling life her family has created for her and go after the one man she desires. And Rafe must learn to let go of the past and rise above his father’s demeaning criticisms of him if he’s going to allow Daphne into his life. Bowman’s novel is the complete package, filled with fascinating characters, sparkling romance, and a touch of espionage.


In the previous book “The Unlikely Lady” you may remember Daphne Swift’s announcement at the very end that she was married to Captain Rafe Cavendish. As it turns out, Daphne, who speaks Russian, was asked by her brother Donald to go on a spy mission with Rafe so she could eavesdrop on some Russians and the Russian-speaking French agents they are working for. The only catch: Donald demanded that Rafe marry Daphne supposedly in name only, before they left in case they were discovered. This was to keep Daphne’s reputation secure. So Daphne, disguised as cabin boy Grey, sails off with Rafe on the True Love. She fell head over heels for her husband, but he insisted he thought of her only as a sister.

Now, Daphne asks Rafe for an annulment so she can marry an appropriate man. At the engagement ball Rafe shows up asking for Daphne’s help on a mission to find Donald’s killer. If she goes with him, he’ll give her the annulment. Daphne’s surviving brother, Julian, allows her to go to help get justice for their brother, Donald’s death. This time, though, Rafe’s not sure he wants to give up his wife to someone else so he sends Daphne an engagement present…a miniature of the True Love as a reminder of their recent past. And when Daphne gets too tired of being called perfect… Well let’s just say you’ll have to read the book to find out!


 If you read much regency-era romance and think this storyline is preposterous…it is. As the author says in her note at the end, she’s an entertainer/writer, not a historian. So if you think no nobleman in his right mind would let his high-born little sister dress as a boy to go on missions with spies, you’re of course correct in your thinking. But ignore , in this case what your mind knows and enjoy the story.

These characters are simply delightful. There’s younger cousin Delilah, who is charming and manipulative and thinks she’s totally responsible for the outcome between Rafe and her cousin Daphne. Then there’s Aunt Willie, who immediately spots Rafe in the crowd at the “Engagement Ball” and is rooting for him over the social-climbing potential fiancé and plots with Delilah to make it happen. Delilah deserves her own book and I certainly hope it’s one in the making.

I would give this book 4.75 stars. It is everything that I’ve come to expect from a Valerie Bowman novel.

This book can be read as a standalone, but is much better read as part of the series.

 I received a Digital ARC of this book Free from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:

Print: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ IndieBound ~ Powell’s

eBooks: iBooks ~ Kindle ~ Kobo ~ Nook


About The Author:


Valerie Bowman is a historical romance author who writes racy Regency romps! Her debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally rescue dog, Roo. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Visit Valerie on the web at
Twitter: @ValerieGBowman
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