Hazard Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Lady Anne Peckforth, daughter of the Duke of Arran, who will make her husband a rich man but who is considered less desirable by virtue of the fact that she has a club foot (walks with an unsightly limp, can't dance), has just suffered her second disappointment. Following on from Lord Middlethorpe's snub - he married another woman while in the process of negotiating for her hand - she then hears that Con, Viscount Amleigh, has married someone else after having indicated an interest in her. So she is doubly rejected.
Race de Vere, introduced in Dragon's Bride as Con's secretary, was asked by 'King Rogue', Nicholas Delaney, to check up on Anne. After all, she is unfinished business: twice a Rogue played dirty with her, and Nicholas therefore considers her his responsibility. He wants Race to establish whether she is genuinely hurt. So Race attaches himself to the Marquess of Uffham, Anne's brother, allowing Uffham to use him as semi-companion, semi-servant, all in the interests of helping the Rogues and seeing what he can do for Anne. Race, after all, is a congenital 'helper'.
Race, we discover, has very uncertain origins. He bears a surname which he has no right to - his father changed the family name in an attempt to 'gentrify' them, but didn't realise that the name he chose would be immediately suspect, as it was the family name of the Earls of Oxford, a line now extinct. So Race attracts attention everywhere as someone who can't possibly be what he appears. And anyway, as a 'hanger-on' to Society, he could never aspire to the hand of Lady Anne Peckforth.Read more ›
Lady Anne Peckworth (who has appeared in two of the Rogues books) seems to have an unfortunate habit - that of being jilted by the Rogues. When the second Rogue who has been courting her marries someone else the Rogues, worried about Lady Anne who really is a very nice woman, send Race de Vere to check that she is OK. Race teams up with her brother Uffham, working as his secretary/assistant, and thus gets invited to the Duke of Arran's home (Anne's father) and is able to get to know her.
Anne can't decide what to do with herself. Two betrothals that haven't quite happened make her wonder if it's safe to get married but the alternative, dwindling to a spinster, isn't appealing. When she meets Race de Vere she enjoys her conversations with him, particularly when he shows her more of the fun side of life - brandy drinking, playing hazard, kissing. Of course he's wildly ineligible, being from a family line which was born the wrong side of the blanket, but she finds herself coming out of her shell in his company. Then he disappears and Lady Anne sets herself the task of finding a husband with her friend, Tris St Raven, giving her advice on their suitability.
Anne very much comes out of her shell in this book - she turns from a quiet, reclusive lady with a limp to a bright, lively woman who seems to slay passing men with her charms and who behaves in a rather indecorous way at times. In fact I wasn't entirely sure how believable Anne was... her behaviour towards the end of the book gets pretty shocking.Read more ›
The rest of the book is about Anne's efforts to find someone she could face marrying instead of Race and how she eventually came to acknowledge that she wanted Race and no other.
Jo Beverley tells the love story between these two well and manages to describe what a real barrier that their social positions would be; and find a solution without giving the characters anachronistic modern views.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very good series of books very well written and follows on from previos books about a group of friends and there livesPublished on 28 Oct. 2013 by sarah mycock
This book was brilliant!
It was not your usual book in the series as it wasn't about any of the rogues in particular, one or two did make a brief appearance though. Read more