Book Series: Malory & Anderson #3
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Pirate Romance, Regency Era Romance
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
VERY MILD SPOILERS 😉
Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey was her third entry in the Malory series.
It is among her most popular–and is arguably her best–book. After 30 years, it is still in print and read by many new-to-the-romance-genre readers.
Johanna Lindsey Mania
I first read Gentle Rogue eons ago, when Johanna Lindsey was the greatest writer on earth. At 12 years old, what did I know?
I recall anxiously walking to Woolworth’s daily in November 1990, freaking out for her latest release. Boy, did I annoy the clerks by repeatedly asking when it was coming in!
The day I saw the clerk stocking the shelves, I grabbed the first book from the top of the box, not caring that it had a tiny slit on the cover.
I was a bit disheartened because for a Duillo–Fabio–Lindsey outing, save for Georgina’s lovely rose-trimmed gown, to me, it was lackluster. With its drab green tones and bird-bats flying in front of a huge moon, I was less than impressed.
When I saw Lindsey’s next book, Once a Princess, I would be even more disappointed in the cover design. No more Fabio (although he’d make a comeback for a few more Lindseys). Plus, Once a Princess had a stepback with a floral font on the front. I actually preferred that weird, pointed, sci-fi-looking typeface.
The “old” Duillo-Lindsey era (1987 to 1990) was over with Gentle Rogue.
Gentle Rogue starts hilariously. Georgina Anderson is in a grungy inn in a seedy part of London. She attempts to kill a cockroach on the wall by propelling food at it, fails, but doesn’t care so long as it’s out of sight.
As usual with a Lindsey book, things get ridiculous, so check your brain at the door. Just enjoy the ride.
Stuck in England after secretly traveling there to search for her long-lost love who’d abandoned her years before, the American Georgina and her companion, Mac, lack both funds connections. They are desperately looking for a way back home.
Mac signs them up to work their way home. Georgina disguises herself as a boy to obtain passage on The Maiden Anne.
Little does she know that the ship’s captain already knows she’s a female because: #1 He’s James Malory, so he has eyes.
And #2, he’d met her before at a tavern when she was dressed in her masculine garments. Thinking she was someone else, he picked her up, only to cop a feel of her boobies.
Hardly someone the so-called “connoisseur of women” would forget.
James has the time of his life as he slowly seduces Georgina–or George, as he lovingly calls her.
But the tables are turned on this love-’em-and-leave-’em rake as Georgina leaves him when they land in the Caribbean. One of her sea-faring brothers is there at the port and whisks her away to Connecticut.
Parts of this book run parallel to its precursor, Tender Rebel (which, for me, was so-so due to a dull-as-dishwater heroine). There is some word-for-word repetition of previous scenes (perhaps to pad the word count).
Unlike its predecessor, the heroine in Gentle Rogue is a delight. All the characters are a blast: James, Georgina, James’ droll and equally rakish brother Anthony, and best of all, Georgina’s five belligerent older brothers.
In a memorable scene, they all take turns beating James into a pulp before holding him and his crew prisoners.
Lindsey and her readers must have loved George’s brothers as I did. Three of the Anderson men feature as heroes in subsequent books of their own.
Final Analysis of Gentle Rogue
The title of the book is quite accurate. The hard-muscled ex-pirate James Malory is an unrepentant rogue, taking advantage of Georgina. He thoroughly disgraces her in front of her brothers, so they’re forced to wed.
James is a droll charmer, witty, and arrogant. The perfect hero.
My favorite Anderson brother was Warren. His book, The Magic of You, is my second favorite in the Malory-Anderson series. There, he meets his match with the much younger and very persistent Amy Malory.
Those two romances are the high points for me in the Malory-Anderson series, although Gentle Rogue is a wee better.
I enjoyed Gentle Rogue very much when I first read it.
I’ve grown to love it much more now that I picture James looking like another blond, green-eyed Englishman: a young Sean Bean!
Nothing against Fabio, he’s a legend, but he can’t be the hero of every romance from ’87 to ’95!
If you haven’t read Gentle Rogue, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It’s a romance classic.
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Heartsick and desperate to return home to America, Georgina Anderson boards the Maiden Anne disguised as a cabin boy, never dreaming she’ll be forced into intimate servitude at the whim of the ship’s irrepressible captain, James Mallory.
The black sheep of a proud and tempestuous family, the handsome ex-pirate once swore no woman alive could entice him into matrimony. But on the high seas his resolve will be weakened by an unrestrained passion and by the high-spirited beauty whose love of freedom and adventure rivals his own.GENTLE ROGUE by JOHANNA LINDSEY