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Skylark Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2004
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About the Author
Jo Beverley was the New York Times bestselling author of the Rogue series and numerous other romance novels. Widely regarded as one of the most talented romance writers today, she was a five-time winner of Romance Writers of America's cherished RITA Award and one of only a handful of members of the RWA Hall of Fame. She also twice received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. She had two grown sons and lived with her husband in England. Jo Beverley passed away in May 2016.
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Top customer reviews
I was looking forward to reading this book as I really enjoying the whole of the series so far, and even though this book was not as good as the others, it was still a good book. The reason I gave only 3 stars is because I did enjoy reading the books before more than I did this.
I really enjoyed reading about the rogue Stephen Ball and how his character got developed from the times that we had read about him in the books before.
Laura was a very good character as well, more developed as a woman compared to the other female characters in the past books but she was easily likable.
I did enjoy the book overall. I am now reading "The Rogues Return".
Skylark is one of the Company of Rogues series, a group of twelve men who formed a club at Harrow school and are slowly getting married off. Sir Stephen Ball MP, mentioned in several of the other books, is the hero of this story. "Skylark" his his nickname for Laura Gardyne, a widow with a young son, Harry. When Laura first got engaged to Hal Gardyne, Stephen tried to persuade her to marry him instead but she was betwitched by Hal and Stephen was disappointed. Now, six years on, Laura's mourning is nearing its end and Stephen has decided to court her.
However, when he arrives at Caldfort House, the home of the Gardyne family, he discovers Laura is no longer the carefree woman he remembers but is in fear for the safety of her son, heir to the Viscountcy. Her late husband's brother Jack seems to be rather more interested in the Viscountcy than he should be and Laura is afraid he will harm her son, particularly as the current Viscount is ailing. So Laura takes the opportunity to visit her family but before she leaves she finds evidence that the Viscount is being blackmailed and she and Stephen agree to try to stop it.
Much of this story involves Laura and Stephen staying at an Inn and trying to find out information about the two strange characters living there, one a mysterious Arab named Farouk who is apparently the blackmailer, another a young man who seems very ill. Laura is there in disguise but she chafes under the restrictions of looking like a spinster cousin when all Stephen's attractions are becoming more apparent to her. Do either Stephen or Laura actually know each other now, six years on from when they were friends, and can they rekindle the friendship and perhaps more.
Somehow this book lacked emotional force and interest. Laura's love for her son was well portrayed and the disappointments of her marriage to Hal but somehow Stephen and she always seemed rather remote, Stephen particularly. I suppose it's hard for modern people to find any politician a sympathetic character and Laura also had her moments of shallowness but somehow I couldn't care enough about their relationship. Jo Beverley often partly redeems her 'baddies' and in this book that also happened, it's hard to feel that anyone is genuinely evil in her world.
This book doesn't have to be read with the rest of the Rogues stories as the Rogue information isn't necessary but on its own it feels like a rather thin story without enough to recommend it for it to stay on my keeper shelf.
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