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A Rogue to Remember

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In this irresistible historical romance debut, a seasoned spy sets out to rescue the childhood friend he once loved from a reputation-destroying rumor—only to discover that she is actually the source. After enduring five interminable seasons, Lottie Carlisle has had enough of shallow London society, her boring little life, and her uncle Alfred's meddling. When he demands sh In this irresistible historical romance debut, a seasoned spy sets out to rescue the childhood friend he once loved from a reputation-destroying rumor—only to discover that she is actually the source. After enduring five interminable seasons, Lottie Carlisle has had enough of shallow London society, her boring little life, and her uncle Alfred's meddling. When he demands she accept a proposal by the end of next season or else he will choose a husband for her, she devises a plan: create a scandal shocking enough to make her unmarriageable and spend her spinsterhood far enough away in the countryside where no one will ever recognize her. Alec Gresham hasn't seen Lottie since he left his childhood friend without a word five years ago. So he's not surprised to find her furious when he appears on her doorstep. Especially bearing the news he brings: her uncle is dying, her blasted reputation is still intact, and Lottie must return home. As they make the journey back to her family estate, it becomes increasingly clear that the last five years hasn't erased their history, nor their explosive chemistry. Can Lottie look past her old heartache and trust Alec, or will his secrets doom their relationship once again?


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In this irresistible historical romance debut, a seasoned spy sets out to rescue the childhood friend he once loved from a reputation-destroying rumor—only to discover that she is actually the source. After enduring five interminable seasons, Lottie Carlisle has had enough of shallow London society, her boring little life, and her uncle Alfred's meddling. When he demands sh In this irresistible historical romance debut, a seasoned spy sets out to rescue the childhood friend he once loved from a reputation-destroying rumor—only to discover that she is actually the source. After enduring five interminable seasons, Lottie Carlisle has had enough of shallow London society, her boring little life, and her uncle Alfred's meddling. When he demands she accept a proposal by the end of next season or else he will choose a husband for her, she devises a plan: create a scandal shocking enough to make her unmarriageable and spend her spinsterhood far enough away in the countryside where no one will ever recognize her. Alec Gresham hasn't seen Lottie since he left his childhood friend without a word five years ago. So he's not surprised to find her furious when he appears on her doorstep. Especially bearing the news he brings: her uncle is dying, her blasted reputation is still intact, and Lottie must return home. As they make the journey back to her family estate, it becomes increasingly clear that the last five years hasn't erased their history, nor their explosive chemistry. Can Lottie look past her old heartache and trust Alec, or will his secrets doom their relationship once again?

30 review for A Rogue to Remember

  1. 5 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    I absolutely loved the first quarter or so of this book. The two MC’s were intriguing and had amazing chemistry, and the setting in the Italian countryside was enchanting and unique. Early on, I was sure I would give this book at least 4 stars, hopefully more, but unfortunately as the story continued I felt more and more whiplashed and found I didn’t mesh with the author’s choices for the plot. As I mentioned, I initially really enjoyed the characters. Unwilling London heiress Lottie fled to Ita I absolutely loved the first quarter or so of this book. The two MC’s were intriguing and had amazing chemistry, and the setting in the Italian countryside was enchanting and unique. Early on, I was sure I would give this book at least 4 stars, hopefully more, but unfortunately as the story continued I felt more and more whiplashed and found I didn’t mesh with the author’s choices for the plot. As I mentioned, I initially really enjoyed the characters. Unwilling London heiress Lottie fled to Italy to avoid a forced marriage, and from the get-go she proved to be tenacious and cunning, yet kind, with a wonderful rebellious side. It was immediately clear she and our hero were a perfect match when tragic, fragile Alec, a spy working for her uncle in service to the Crown, arrived to bring her back to England. They shared incredible chemistry from chapter one, and with the fake marriage ploy the two of them put in place, the story seemed set up to be a never-ending cycle of the much-loved “only one bed” trope. On top of that, it also promised to take Lottie and Alec traipsing through the Italian countryside all the way to Venice, with Alec playing tour guide along the way and fighting not to give in to desire. His history with Lottie was sweet, as Emily Sullivan did an excellent job integrating the childhood-friends-to-lovers trope to establish how much the two still cared for one another. Their meet-cute included some amusing banter, and the sexual tension was so intense that I couldn’t wait to see how Sullivan would continue to build it throughout the book. All in all, the beginning of this book was amazingly set up, and therefore it had me so excited to read the rest. I had to stop myself from staying up too late once I started; it was just that good. Sadly, around the time Lottie and Alec ran into the first “only one bed” scenario, things started to go downhill. It felt like the tension and desire lessened between them as they got caught up in their heads about their feelings for each other and what they should or should not do. For two people who grew up together, Lottie and Alec were not very good at communicating with each other, despite their clear bond. Instead of heightening the stakes, this made it feel as if most of their problems could have been solved if they talked openly with one another. Seeing them dance around their feelings and miss opportunities to explain their past actions ultimately became more frustrating than compelling. In addition, the plot veered away from an Italian-voyage-will-they/won’t-they story and instead became inundated with spy drama and family turmoil. When they arrive in Venice, Alec finds he must complete some spy work at a party, and he begrudgingly takes Lottie along. It felt a bit forced and ultimately did not add much to the plot, especially because the end of the book focused more around Lottie’s uncle forcing her to marry than it did espionage. All of the elements did not weave together well and, again, I was disappointed to see the tension-filled journey across Italy fade into the background. I settled on a 3 star rating because I truly enjoyed parts of this book, in particular the beginning, and Emily Sullivan is a talented writer. This is a solid debut, though I’m not sure I’ll continue this series given that Alec’s spy friend, Rafe, is the main character in book #2. He played a small role in this book, and regretfully I did not like him at all. That being said, I will definitely be on the lookout for future books by Sullivan and look forward to following her writing career. Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mazey Eddings

    OH MY GAWD I AM NOT OKAY THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. Have you ever wanted the intrigue and espionage of Hello Stranger to have a love child with unapologetic feminism of Loretta Chase mixed with the cleverness of Sarah MacLean? Then go preorder this book right now. I’ll wait. Now that you’re back, I can’t stress enough how much I loved this story. HOLY SHIT ITS SO GOOD. It’s set in 1897 Italy, which automatically gives it an atmospheric uniqueness but it also throws in a road-trip, childhood friends, OH MY GAWD I AM NOT OKAY THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. Have you ever wanted the intrigue and espionage of Hello Stranger to have a love child with unapologetic feminism of Loretta Chase mixed with the cleverness of Sarah MacLean? Then go preorder this book right now. I’ll wait. Now that you’re back, I can’t stress enough how much I loved this story. HOLY SHIT ITS SO GOOD. It’s set in 1897 Italy, which automatically gives it an atmospheric uniqueness but it also throws in a road-trip, childhood friends, second chance, hella 🌲pining 🌲hero and nearly melted my brain out of my ears. My girl Lottie, witty, brilliant, stubborn bad bitch she is, staged her own ruination to runaway from the life that was slowly choking her. Enter Alec, hot af spy who left childhood BFF Lottie without a damn WORD five years prior, and he’s now tasked with getting her home to England. Y’all, the chemistry. I absolutely could not handle it. From the first moment these two reunite, it absolutely sizzles and pines and aches and there were times I sat there dumbly with my kindle on my lap in awe of Sullivan's talent. This is a remarkable read with wit, intrigue, heartache, and breathtaking tenderness.

  3. 4 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    Seasoned spy Alec is sent to bring his childhood friend, the woman he's always yearned for, home after she runs away to Italy. Their road trip takes them from a small village to Venice, and eventually back to England. I loved this debut so very much. The cover doesn't yell 1897 to me but this is one of my fav historical time periods to read romances in right now. I loved seeing this former friends snipe at each other and be oh so horny once Alec picks Lottie up in the small Italian town she's hi Seasoned spy Alec is sent to bring his childhood friend, the woman he's always yearned for, home after she runs away to Italy. Their road trip takes them from a small village to Venice, and eventually back to England. I loved this debut so very much. The cover doesn't yell 1897 to me but this is one of my fav historical time periods to read romances in right now. I loved seeing this former friends snipe at each other and be oh so horny once Alec picks Lottie up in the small Italian town she's hiding out in, and him charming everyone and making them believe they are honeymooners to protect her reputation. This was extremely horny and sexy. I wasn't quite sold on the Uncle who forced them apart when they were young, and who Alex felt indebted to enough to give up Lottie based on his secret shame (or them forgiving him at the end), but overall this was such a fun read. Thank you to the publisher for the ARC. CW: parental death (in the past, lingering grief issues), death of a family member (on page), fighting, sexual assault (heroine is forcibly kissed and it is implied the man will be back to rape her), imprisonment of heroine, threat of forced marriage/rape.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a very cautious B- at AAR, 3.5 stars This historical romance début from Emily Sullivan shows promise, but despite its good points (likeable characters with great chemistry and well-written love scenes) the book is ultimately derailed by a lack of focus and clear direction, uneven pacing, nonsensical plot points and some poor editing.  That the author’s ability to actually write shines through is what earns A Rogue to Remember book a (very) cautious recommendation – she’s worth che I've given this a very cautious B- at AAR, 3.5 stars This historical romance début from Emily Sullivan shows promise, but despite its good points (likeable characters with great chemistry and well-written love scenes) the book is ultimately derailed by a lack of focus and clear direction, uneven pacing, nonsensical plot points and some poor editing.  That the author’s ability to actually write shines through is what earns A Rogue to Remember book a (very) cautious recommendation – she’s worth checking out, because if those problems can be eliminated, then she could very well become an author to watch. At twenty-four, Lottie Carlisle has had enough of London Seasons and the marriage mart.  After causing a scandal when she publicly rejected the suitor her uncle favoured (the heir to an almost bankrupt earldom who wanted her fortune), she decided enough was enough and set out to ruin her reputation so as to put herself beyond the pale.  Sent out of the country on a trip to Italy with a battleaxe of a chaperone – and also with a warning from her uncle that she’ll be married to a man of his choosing before the year is out – she gives the chaperone the slip and leaves behind a note saying (or strongly implying) that she’s run off with her Italian lover.  She hasn’t, of course; instead, she poses as a widow and heads for the cottage in the small Tuscan village where her late parents had spent their honeymoon.  She’s leased it for a year and intends to live a quiet but independent life there. (The fact she’s planned to live in Italy without being able to speak more than a few words of Italian bugged me right off the bat.) Lottie has managed this quiet independent existence for a few months when, out of the blue, she receives a visit from someone she hasn’t seen in years – Alec Gresham, the boy she’d grown up with, and the young man who’d broken her heart when he left England without a word five years earlier.  Alec was her uncle’s ward, and was groomed by him for a career as a spy (Lottie’s uncle Sir Alfred appears to be a mild-mannered eccentric, but is actually a ruthless government spymaster) – even though Alec’s real interest was ancient history and he wanted to pursue an academic life.  Alec and Lottie were both orphans and they had something of an idyllic childhood, growing together as they grew up, and slowly falling in love.  But when Alec asked for permission to marry Lottie, Sir Alfred refused, telling Alec he’d ruin his life if he didn’t leave the country immediately and start working as one of his agents. Between the scandal of his birth and his complete lack of funds, Alec was convinced he could never give Lottie the life she deserved and scurried off with his tail between his legs. You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance .

  5. 4 out of 5

    PlotTrysts

    4.5 stars for this great debut from Emily Sullivan! A Rogue to Remember matches up a spy and his childhood friend. Five years ago Alec left Lottie the day after her coming out ball - and he hasn't written since. This is an angsty second chance romance. Their earlier relationship is shown through flashbacks which lend poignancy to their interactions in the current-day portion of the plot. We are suckers for academic/archaeologist spies and the women who love them (The Falcon at the Portal/He Shal 4.5 stars for this great debut from Emily Sullivan! A Rogue to Remember matches up a spy and his childhood friend. Five years ago Alec left Lottie the day after her coming out ball - and he hasn't written since. This is an angsty second chance romance. Their earlier relationship is shown through flashbacks which lend poignancy to their interactions in the current-day portion of the plot. We are suckers for academic/archaeologist spies and the women who love them (The Falcon at the Portal/He Shall Thunder in the Sky, Sherry Thomas's Lady Sherlock, Your Scandalous Ways anyone?) and this delivers. We also love women who know what they want and then ask for it, and who take their own destinies in their hands. The only reason this is not a solid five stars is the final conflict. We would have loved to see Alec and Lottie working together to unmask a traitor instead of working separately to save each other. Like we said, we love it when our lovers communicate and tell each other what they want, and while Alec certainly had his reasons for deceiving Lottie, it would have made the payoff much sweeter if our couple weren't separated for the final act. We are looking forward to seeing much more from Emily Sullivan! 34-word summaries: Meg: Lottie and Alec fell in love five years ago. Then he left without saying goodbye. When the reluctant spy shows up to ruin her ruination scheme, she’s not inclined to cut him any slack. Laine: Lottie chooses her own destiny but the only man she's ever loved is sent to stop her. Alec disappeared from Lottie's life because he thought it'd be best for her (and he's a spy). This objective review is based on a complimentary advanced reader copy. www.linktr.ee/plottrysts

  6. 5 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    I picked up A Rogue to Remember by Emily Sullivan after learning that Mazey loved it. I've been in the mood for historical romances lately and it didn't much convincing to pick up this book. It's got spies, a childhood friends-to-lovers romance, and an Italian road trip of sorts! Emily Sullivan's debut was a fun reading experience that I found myself devouring. Tired of London society and her uncle Alfred's constant pressure on her to marry, Lottie fakes a scandal and runs away to the Italian cou I picked up A Rogue to Remember by Emily Sullivan after learning that Mazey loved it. I've been in the mood for historical romances lately and it didn't much convincing to pick up this book. It's got spies, a childhood friends-to-lovers romance, and an Italian road trip of sorts! Emily Sullivan's debut was a fun reading experience that I found myself devouring. Tired of London society and her uncle Alfred's constant pressure on her to marry, Lottie fakes a scandal and runs away to the Italian countryside where no one will recognize her. She wants to be left alone to live her life as a spinster on her own terms. Too bad (or is it really?) for her, her childhood friend, Alex, who is now a professor and agent of the crown, shows up on her doorstep with news that he is here to take her back to England where her uncle is passing away. Lottie is angry at Alex but their journey back home is reviving all of her feelings for him and it's fantastic! Plus, Alex is the pining kind of hero so I pretty much ate this romance up! I liked both of these characters, but it was the romance and chemistry between Lottie and Alex that kept me glued to the pages. They both have had feelings for each other for the longest time that they thought were unrequited and they are just waiting to spill over. I realized after reading this book how much I love the angst of a romance where two people are clearly made for each other, but they think their feelings are unrequited and it takes the romantic journey for them to realize it - oof! All the chest aches! When the two stubborn knuckleheads finally do give in to the sizzling sexual tension and years of emotions between them, it's sensual, steamy, and will have your toes curling. They have their fair share of obstacles in this book, including some danger and intrigue, that only added to my enjoyment of A Rogue to Remember. I thought Emily Sullivan did a good job with the characterizations in A Rogue to Remember. I enjoyed both of the main characters individually and I also thought she did a good job at getting me intrigued by some of the side characters - hullo, Rafe! Both Lottie and Alex have interesting backstories. I was especially invested in Alex's past and there are quite a few secrets surrounding his family revealed about him. I also found his dual profession as an archaeologist and spy to be interesting for a historical romance. The man definitely had issues with his self-worth that he has to work on throughout the book, but most of all I just liked how genuine he appeared to be. Sure, he was an idiot when it came to Lottie, but a lovable one! Lottie, herself, was fantastic. She has a good head on her shoulders and went after what she wanted. All in all, I enjoyed this cast and I hope we get to see Alex and Lottie as side characters in future books of the series. If you enjoy historical romances, I would give A Rogue to Remember a chance! Emily Sullivan has got a new fan and reader in me and I simply cannot wait to read more from this series! CWs: parental deaths, on-page death of MC's uncle Relationship disclosure: Emily Sullivan & I are mutuals on social media.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    A Rogue to Remember was a surprising and delightful historical romance debut from Emily Sullivan. Lottie Carlisle runs away from her chaperone to a small town in Italy, determined to ruin her reputation in order to avoid a marriage arranged by her uncle. She didn't expect to be discovered so quickly, by her childhood best friend, the only man she has ever loved, and the man she hasn't heard a word from in five years. Alec grew up as the ward of Lottie's uncle, who groomed Alec for a career in esp A Rogue to Remember was a surprising and delightful historical romance debut from Emily Sullivan. Lottie Carlisle runs away from her chaperone to a small town in Italy, determined to ruin her reputation in order to avoid a marriage arranged by her uncle. She didn't expect to be discovered so quickly, by her childhood best friend, the only man she has ever loved, and the man she hasn't heard a word from in five years. Alec grew up as the ward of Lottie's uncle, who groomed Alec for a career in espionage. Despite his love for Lottie, he was convinced that he could never give her the life she deserved, so he leaves. Now he's come to rescue her from ruin, but things get complicated and past hurts can't be ignored. Nor can their burning attraction for each other. I enjoyed this story for its intrigue and adventure. Most of the story takes place in Italy, and there's a good mix of road trip tropes - only one bed, of course! - and action and adventure. At its heart, it's a second chance romance with complicated family dynamics. I liked that there wasn't a two-dimensional villian here, but people who made difficult choices with unintended consequences. I will be looking forward to the next book in this series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (the naptime writer)

    Thanks to @readforeverpub & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided my own. @romance.in.the.wild 's glowing review of Emily Sullivan’s A Rogue to Remember made me request it right away & let me tell you that I did not regret it. This stunning debut is so emotionally rich, the setting is sumptuous, the way it kept me on a knife’s edge until it finally tumbled into a HEA was divine. It’s lovely. Set largely in 1897 Italy, ARTR tells the second chance story of Lottie Carlisle & Alec Thanks to @readforeverpub & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided my own. @romance.in.the.wild 's glowing review of Emily Sullivan’s A Rogue to Remember made me request it right away & let me tell you that I did not regret it. This stunning debut is so emotionally rich, the setting is sumptuous, the way it kept me on a knife’s edge until it finally tumbled into a HEA was divine. It’s lovely. Set largely in 1897 Italy, ARTR tells the second chance story of Lottie Carlisle & Alec Gresham, who both grew up with Lottie’s political mastermind uncle as guardian. Very close as children, they had one magical night where it seemed their relationship would become romantic & then Alec left abruptly without word. Five years later, Alec, an agent of the crown, has come to Italy to bring the wealthy Lottie back to England before she succeeds in deliberately ruining herself. On their journey home they must wrestle with the weight of their past, shared & not, &, among other things, Alec must decide if he’s willing to take what Lottie would offer. I’m so excited about Emily Sullivan’s talent, about these characters she’s written & how beautifully she writes their journey. On top of the aforementioned emotional mastery on display here, this book offers stellar sex scenes including one in front of a mirror 🥵 & I think that’s all I need to say about that. I did think that one aspect of the plot could have been a little tighter but wow, what a book! 5 ⭐️. A Rogue to Remember is available on 03/09/21.

  9. 5 out of 5

    India Holton

    This book was lovely, I found it impossible to put down. The synopsis lured me in, it sounded really fun. Even so, I was surprised by how quickly Lottie and Alec engaged my heart. I genuinely liked them. The flashbacks to their childhood were endearing, the chemistry between them sizzled, and I sincerely hoped they would reconcile. I loved that the story takes place mostly in Italy. It was an enchanting change from the usual English setting. The secondary characters are well-portrayed and the pl This book was lovely, I found it impossible to put down. The synopsis lured me in, it sounded really fun. Even so, I was surprised by how quickly Lottie and Alec engaged my heart. I genuinely liked them. The flashbacks to their childhood were endearing, the chemistry between them sizzled, and I sincerely hoped they would reconcile. I loved that the story takes place mostly in Italy. It was an enchanting change from the usual English setting. The secondary characters are well-portrayed and the plot a good scaffold for the relationship arc. I could mention so many scenes that made me chuckle or sigh dreamily, but will refrain for fear of spoilers. Suffice it to say, I was left most definitely wanting more from this author.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christi (christireadsalot)

    The swoon! A Rogue to Remember is one of those “my cheeks hurt from all the smiling” type of swoon reads. The mutual pining & childhood history between these two characters, omg it was delicious, sweet, steamy and just oh-so-romantic. If no one listens to any other review I give this year, listen to this one & go pre-order this book! 😍 This story is set in 1897 and takes place mostly in Italy (which I loved reading a HR set in somewhere besides England). Charlotte “Lottie” Carlisle was born into The swoon! A Rogue to Remember is one of those “my cheeks hurt from all the smiling” type of swoon reads. The mutual pining & childhood history between these two characters, omg it was delicious, sweet, steamy and just oh-so-romantic. If no one listens to any other review I give this year, listen to this one & go pre-order this book! 😍 This story is set in 1897 and takes place mostly in Italy (which I loved reading a HR set in somewhere besides England). Charlotte “Lottie” Carlisle was born into one of the finest families in England and when she became an orphan at a young age, her Uncle Alfred (who is also a legendary spy for the Crown) took her in. Uncle Alfred had another ward as well, Alec, and he & Lottie bonded over an idyllic childhood of adventures together. The self-proclaimed “misfits” grew close over the years until they got ripped apart the night of her debutante ball. Now 5 years have passed and Lottie, who was tired of the shallow & stifling existence society demanded of her, ran away to a small town in Italy with the hopes that the scandal would ruin her. Her Uncle sends Alec, who followed in his footsteps and is now an agent for the crown, after Lottie to bring her back home. But when the Alec & Lottie meet again...sparks definitely re-ignite, especially when Alec tells her they need to pretend to be husband & wife as they travel together. So I loved this second-chance romance so much! A little bit of intrigue, lots of adventure, traveling together with lots of “only 1 bed”. The writing is amazing and the romance was just everything! The low-key angst & pining of how perfect Lottie and Alec are together was so good, and the steamy times....I mean that mirror scene. 🔥 This book was just amazing and definitely a favorite of the year. I cannot wait for more from this author in the future! Thank you to the publisher (Forever) for an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts & review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andreajanel_reads

    A huge thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Recommended if you love Lisa Kleypas and Katharine Ashe. This was a lovely friends-to-lovers historical romance. The childhood connection between Lottie and Alec is the defining relationship in both their lives. Until it isn't. Until they are manipulated into believing they are not what is best or right or happy for each other. Lottie has resolutely recovered from Alec's abandonment five ye A huge thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Recommended if you love Lisa Kleypas and Katharine Ashe. This was a lovely friends-to-lovers historical romance. The childhood connection between Lottie and Alec is the defining relationship in both their lives. Until it isn't. Until they are manipulated into believing they are not what is best or right or happy for each other. Lottie has resolutely recovered from Alec's abandonment five years ago. She is determined to become an independent woman untethered by the apron strings of society and free to pursue a life of travel and adventure. But her escape has garnered the eagle attention of her uncle -- and he will not tolerate her willfulness. Alec is tasked with returning her to England. When they meet again, it is oil and water. When he kisses her, she wants to believe it is because of something more substantial than their fake relationship ruse. She wants him to understand her, but she doesn't want that vulnerability between them. And Alec is convinced that his past is an insurmountable obstacle to a future with her. The navigation of their star-crossed circumstances had me smiling and shaking my head. In the tradition of all obtuse and oblivious men, Alec doesn't realize that he is exactly what Lottie both wants and needs.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alvina

    Tags: road trip, misunderstandings, second chance For a “second chance” romance to work for me, I need to like the couple as separate people first. I want to be reassured that they’ve learned their lessons enough to make a success of their relationship. So, even setting aside the endless nonsensical miscommunication, my biggest problem with this book is that I didnt like hero and heroine at all. The hero’s high-handed ways, his lack of communication, and his noble idiocy are all old school romanc Tags: road trip, misunderstandings, second chance For a “second chance” romance to work for me, I need to like the couple as separate people first. I want to be reassured that they’ve learned their lessons enough to make a success of their relationship. So, even setting aside the endless nonsensical miscommunication, my biggest problem with this book is that I didnt like hero and heroine at all. The hero’s high-handed ways, his lack of communication, and his noble idiocy are all old school romance tropes. He has a Badass Career and Daddy/Parent issues so typical of a hero’s dark past. I think over the many years of reading romance novels, I’ve become sort of resigned to ubiquity of this sort of characterization? Surprisingly, its this new trend of faux feminism that especially annoys me—dialogue that supposedly supports a woman’s competence but none of the actions follow through. I’ve had problems with this before, and I always have to check myself and try to give characters a chance but the heroine constantly has sentiments like this: “And most women would like to be valued for more than their looks.” “Of course.” Alec grinned. “I would never dare suggest otherwise.” […] “Besides,” she went on, “I refuse to limit my reading to what is considered ‘proper.’ That would be incredibly boring.” […] “Women do travel, you know. And often alone.” Then Lottie raised an eyebrow. “I had no idea you had become so conservative.” […] “I’m not some helpless little girl anymore,” Lottie continued with a stamp of her foot. “I’m capable of taking care of myself. And I don’t need your protection.” Its just an endless litany of memeable feminist talking points but none of her actions show real self-reliance, agency, or even logic. It feels pandering and totally cringe. Most importantly, I could forgive all of this if I cared about the storyline or felt any chemistry...but I didnt. I kept reading because I was more interested in the mysterious Uncle Alfred and his manipulations than the couple. Unfortunately for me, this book failed as a romance and failed with the intrigue. The writing would technically make this a 3 star read, but I'm not feeling generous.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ChasingLeslie

    Miss Lottie Carlisle has a plan: escape London and render herself unmarriageable. She has no interest in shallow society, or her uncle's plans to find her a husband. When her childhood friend Alec Gresham tracks her down in Italy, she is angry to hear that her reputation is intact and he has orders to bring her home because her uncle is ill. Though they haven't seen each other in five years, Lottie's and Alec's connection runs deep. Their past is complicated and the painful secrets can't stay hi Miss Lottie Carlisle has a plan: escape London and render herself unmarriageable. She has no interest in shallow society, or her uncle's plans to find her a husband. When her childhood friend Alec Gresham tracks her down in Italy, she is angry to hear that her reputation is intact and he has orders to bring her home because her uncle is ill. Though they haven't seen each other in five years, Lottie's and Alec's connection runs deep. Their past is complicated and the painful secrets can't stay hidden much longer. This is the first in a new series for this debut author. I struggled with the story's pacing as more than half of the book felt like set up (and a small detail that could have made the end more impactful was glossed over). For me, the details of Lottie's and Alec's estrangement took too long to unravel, and my interest in their love story waned. I did, however, like and appreciate the Italian setting. 2.5 stars rounded to 3. Tropes: Childhood Friends, Second Chance Romance, Road Trip, Forced Proximity, Spy/Govt Work Eggplant rating: 3 * I received an ARC and this is my honest review. #ARogueToRemember #NetGalley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    The novel follows Lottie, who has runaway from home in an attempt to “ruin” her reputation, and Alec, her childhood friend turned spy who is sent to retrieve her. Of course, nothing goes as planned and as they travel through Italy sparks fly, though they try quite hard to deny them. The tension is this book was intense and kept me turning the pages to see when they would finally let go and kiss already! The chemistry between these two was palpable, and their story heartbreaking. I loved Lottie’s The novel follows Lottie, who has runaway from home in an attempt to “ruin” her reputation, and Alec, her childhood friend turned spy who is sent to retrieve her. Of course, nothing goes as planned and as they travel through Italy sparks fly, though they try quite hard to deny them. The tension is this book was intense and kept me turning the pages to see when they would finally let go and kiss already! The chemistry between these two was palpable, and their story heartbreaking. I loved Lottie’s rebellious nature and Alec’s soft center despite a hardened shell. Their love was real and hidden and broken, but never gone. As the story processed, I hurt for Alec and wanted Lottie to get everything she wanted damn the consequences. And all that was before they ever truly kissed. Once they do kiss (and more), the heartache and excitement sped up into an intriguing and unexpected climax (no pun intended here!) and a satisfying ending that left me excited for the second book in the series!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Em

    I wish I could tell you I loved this one; I can't. I was intrigued by the premise, but unfortunately the story runs into problems almost from the get-go. Improbable (implausible?) situations, loose editing, random espionage plots that go absolutely nowhere, henchmen who are suckers for “true love,” and yearning - SO MUCH OF THE YEARNING - sabotage what could have been an enjoyable debut. I think this one would be better in a shorter format, minus the spies. They don’t add anything to this romanc I wish I could tell you I loved this one; I can't. I was intrigued by the premise, but unfortunately the story runs into problems almost from the get-go. Improbable (implausible?) situations, loose editing, random espionage plots that go absolutely nowhere, henchmen who are suckers for “true love,” and yearning - SO MUCH OF THE YEARNING - sabotage what could have been an enjoyable debut. I think this one would be better in a shorter format, minus the spies. They don’t add anything to this romance, and detract from the yearning - which also could have used a good, ruthless trimming. Highlights? The romantic tension between our principal characters, and some nicely steamy love scenes. Our heroine is a bit braver in bed than most fictional Regency virgins but I’m here for it. Get it girl. Raised by her mostly indulgent Uncle Alfred after the sudden death of her parents in a carriage accident, Lottie Carlisle had a happy childhood. But these days she’s miserable. After five seasons spent rejecting suitor after suitor, longing for love from her childhood friend and companion Alec (a ward of her uncle), Uncle Alfred has demanded she marry before the end of the following season. While Lottie knows her love for Alec is futile - he clearly isn't interested in love or friendship with her - vanishing the morning after her debut, she won't settle for a loveless marriage either. Tired of London, its shallow society, and her uninspiring life (good ‘ole Uncle Alfred put a quick end to her meetings with suffragettes the moment he learned of her interest), Lottie decides to take matters into her own hands. After spurring yet another suitor (he was super pissed), she’s sent to Italy with a repressive chaperone. Knowing her uncle intends to marry her off during the next season and unwilling to live her tedious life any longer, Lottie escapes the chaperone and travels to Tuscany. Once there she leases a cottage for a year, pretends to be a widow, and hopes her scandalous behavior will ruin her for good. She leaves behind clues that suggest she's headed to Rome with a lover! (gasp), and hopes she can live in peace in Tuscany - painting and living the good life. Unfortunately for Lottie, her uncle is a super fancy spymaster for the Crown and he has any number of agents at his disposal to track her down. Oops. That pesky detail! MS. SULLIVAN! HE'S A SPY. SHE'S A YOUNG, WHITE WOMAN TRAVELING ON HER OWN. SHE DOESN'T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE. I mean. Come on. Her plan was for shit. For real. Spy or not, tracking her down isn't difficult. She has beautiful, distinctive red hair (of course!), her skin is pale white and freckled, she doesn't speak the language, and she's settled in the place her parents once honeymooned. Ooh, good one Lottie! So tricky. FFS. Well, guess which spy takes the case? Yep! Alec! Now, poor lust filled Alec has spent the past five years keeping tabs on the LOVE OF HIS LIFE after sweet Uncle Alfred told him he’d ruin his life if he put the moves on Lottie. He rejected Alec’s offer to marry her and instead told him a career as a spy was his future - not Lottie. And if he decided to pursue her anyway, he’d reveal the true story behind Alec’s parentage. Oh no! MON - FREAKING - DIEU!!! Alec loves Lottie TOO MUCH to soil her with the truth of his origins, so he becomes a spy. Look, if this sounds super lameville as a reason for avoiding the love of your life for five years, spoiler alert, it is! Maybe you don’t know her as well as you think you do? Because she’s actually kind of a decent person. Who would have been sympathetic to you? She's your best friend! And nice. And thoughtful. And kind. So there's ALL THAT. But ignore it. Do the spy thing. Pine. Anywho. Alec turns out to be VERY GOOD AT HIS SPY JOB. Murder! Mayhem! Knives! Also, charitable works in Venice. For reals. Alec maintains a cover as The Professor (he teaches Etruscan history at the local university), dabbles in helping the odd widow and orphan out, and keeps his spying on the downlow. He’s all that and a bag of chips folks. Well, he follows the trail of TOTALLY OBVIOUS clues/breadcrumbs and shows up at Lottie’s door. Once there he pretends he’s her husband to the super stoked servant Maria. She’s all “OH, THAT SILLY, LYING LOTTIE! SHE ACTUALLY HAS A MAN!! WE KNEW IT! HE’S HOT! ALL WILL BE WELL! LET’S MAKE LOTS OF FOOD SO THEY CAN GIVE EACH OTHER LINGERING LOOKS WHILE THEY STUFF THEIR FACES! MANGIAMO AMICI.” Lottie isn’t nearly as thrilled. Psych! She totally is. But pretends she isn’t. They argue - PASSIONATELY (duh) - and then Alec tells her Uncle Alfred is dying and she has to come back. With him. That’s crazy. Right? Alrighty then. So, not-so-spoilery alert, she goes. And the journey is bonkers. Lots of eye fucking. Inadvertent peep shows. There was even that one time Lottie spotted his bulge even though his back was to her. Yep! Moving on. Lust. One bed. Spycraft. Danger. Intrigue. Random other spies who make no sense in the story and practically scream I’m the hero in the next book. Nice to meet you Rafe. But beat it. You make zero sense in this story. Okay. So, this review has gone off the rails….just like this story does once these two wind up in Venice for a pitstop at Alec’s secret lair. FRIENDS. Alec lives in the home he grew up in before his parents...well, before. But apparently it's so ultra secret that none of the dastardly villains in this story bothered to check if maybe that’s where he hides out. Moving on. I liked these two as a couple, and as individuals. They seem like good people. Life (the author) threw a wrench in their true love plans, but they find each other anyway. Their chemistry is excellent, and they are deeply in lust with each other - maybe for a tad too long in this novel. But once they give in and get it on, we veer heavily into purple prose-ville. Also, Lottie turns out to be a minx when her clothes come off. She’s curious and eager and these two have a nice couple of interludes before Alec reminds himself “he’s not good enough.” For The Love, Alec! For the love. Then there’s that secret intrigue we all TOTALLY COULD SEE FROM A MILE AWAY that the author is determined to shoehorn into the story. Look, I wanted to like this. But I’m sorry to say it’s too long, and the intrigue makes no sense except to introduce our buddy Rafe. Promising start, not so great finish. I can't recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Twice Upon A Book

    Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend if you're looking for (SPOILERS) -m/f friends to frenemies to lovers -second chance romance -childhood friends -only one bed -some fake relationship through in as well -a professor hero who also is a spy -an heiress heroine who doesn't need anyone else to save her -some intrigue and a whole lot of sexual tension -slow burn This was such a sweet yet fiery debut. I loved Lottie. Immediately when we meet her she Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend if you're looking for (SPOILERS) -m/f friends to frenemies to lovers -second chance romance -childhood friends -only one bed -some fake relationship through in as well -a professor hero who also is a spy -an heiress heroine who doesn't need anyone else to save her -some intrigue and a whole lot of sexual tension -slow burn This was such a sweet yet fiery debut. I loved Lottie. Immediately when we meet her she is rescuing herself, refusing to marry for anything but love and deciding to run away and let everyone believe she's ruined. All of the forced proximity situations especially at the beginning had me flipping the page, yelling as they fought their obvious attraction for each other. Alex was a sweetheart with a soft spot for Lottie. He grapples with his past and his place in the world. He's kept Lottie on a pedestal for a long time though I wish he had recognized her own fight and that she wasn't a damsel a bit sooner in the book. As the secrets of his past unraveled he finally realized all Lottie wanted was him which was wonderful. Their reunion scene was so honest and fully recognized how they had gotten to that place. This was a trope-filled fun read, with some spycraft added for a great twist. So glad this is going to be a series, I can't wait for Rafe's story. Rating: 4 Steam: 3 CW: grief, death of a parent, parental abandonment, sick family member, threat/attempted sexual assault

  17. 4 out of 5

    RomanceAllTheWay S

    I love a second chance romance and this came with so much sweetness and pining and that slow burn I just loved it. The language is easy, Marta is delightful and the turns and twists keep you on your toes. Trying not to give any spoilers is so hard. :) Alec and Lottie totally irritate each other but when the pull becomes strong you can't help but cheer them on. Lottie is a sweet mix of a strong woman and a sponge for love. Alec has no idea how good he is. They are a perfect mix. Bonus is the unexpe I love a second chance romance and this came with so much sweetness and pining and that slow burn I just loved it. The language is easy, Marta is delightful and the turns and twists keep you on your toes. Trying not to give any spoilers is so hard. :) Alec and Lottie totally irritate each other but when the pull becomes strong you can't help but cheer them on. Lottie is a sweet mix of a strong woman and a sponge for love. Alec has no idea how good he is. They are a perfect mix. Bonus is the unexpectedly adventurous tour they get on and the scenery you experience through the author's words. So hop on it and it would be a "read to remember!"

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    This was book was fantastic! I loved Lottie strength, Alec's intrigues, and the Italian setting was just perfect. Watching their romance develop as lie after lie is slowly peeled away was just so satisfying. This was book was fantastic! I loved Lottie strength, Alec's intrigues, and the Italian setting was just perfect. Watching their romance develop as lie after lie is slowly peeled away was just so satisfying.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hannah B.

    ✨Italian sunsets, road trip travelling, and a hot professor—need I say more?✨ Okay fine, if you insist—only one bed; childhood friends to enemies to lovers; and hot, secrety spies. Right off the bat I was hooked on this book. I love when the heroine and hero are immediately present on the page together. As soon as we meet Alec five pages in, the sticky sweet tension between the two never falters. I loved the Italian setting because not only was the imagery sparkling, but I also found it fascinati ✨Italian sunsets, road trip travelling, and a hot professor—need I say more?✨ Okay fine, if you insist—only one bed; childhood friends to enemies to lovers; and hot, secrety spies. Right off the bat I was hooked on this book. I love when the heroine and hero are immediately present on the page together. As soon as we meet Alec five pages in, the sticky sweet tension between the two never falters. I loved the Italian setting because not only was the imagery sparkling, but I also found it fascinating to read about other countries from the perspective of Victorian English characters. While this is a debut novel, it reads so polished and organized. I loved Sullivan’s voice, the dual POVs, and the way she interwove some of the childhood memories into the narrative. I am rather new to the childhood friends to lovers trope and I am so, so happy that it wasn’t all smooth sailing on the Mediterranean. I loved that there was a definite enemies to lovers moment. I don’t like when the romance is too easy or fast, which I find happens when one or both of the characters don’t mistake love for hate at least five times. Alec and Lottie’s chemistry was electric throughout the book, and I ate up their character development. I have an unfortunate propensity to get to the sex scenes as soon as I sit down for supper. My sister eats very slow so there is normally time to read after I’m done . . . well safe to say this book is NSFDT—not safe for dinner table. You have thus been warned. I audibly whooped when I found out who the sequel would follow and I can’t wait to see cameos from Alec and Lottie. Thank you so much to Emily Sullivan and Forever for sending me an early review copy! 🌶🌶🌶🌶/5 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

  20. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    2.5 stars I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Despite my typical aversion to trying new Regency/Victorian authors due to burnout with the genre, I was cautiously optimistic about A Rogue to Remember, due to the friends-to-lovers plot and the promise of unconventional characters. However, while there are some positives, I largely found this book rather unmemorable. Emily Sullivan has a way with words, managing to write fairl 2.5 stars I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Despite my typical aversion to trying new Regency/Victorian authors due to burnout with the genre, I was cautiously optimistic about A Rogue to Remember, due to the friends-to-lovers plot and the promise of unconventional characters. However, while there are some positives, I largely found this book rather unmemorable. Emily Sullivan has a way with words, managing to write fairly engaging prose that kept me interested enough in spite of all my other issues. And while I didn’t care a ton for Alec as a whole, he had some secrets that made his arc the more interesting of the two by a slight margin. Unfortunately, Lottie just wasn’t what I expected. I wanted her to have more of a spine, especially given how she was built up, especially given that Alec could be kind of cruel to her at times. That really put a damper on my belief in their relationship. And the “spy” element wasn’t included enough to feel relevant, but it also felt like it was included too much simultaneously, if that makes sense? I’m not opposed to trying another book from Emily Sullivan in the future, as she does have potential, but I feel this was a massive disappointment. I do think that some historical romance fans will still like it, and would encourage you to try it if it piques your interest.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Addie Yoder

    The setting in A Rogue to Remember is everything I didn't know I wanted. I am deeply invested in historical romance right now and had no idea that shifting the location to Italy would do so much for me. The sense of place felt so strong and it helped to invest me in the story and the espionage. While I felt like the tension between Alec and Lottie was a little uneven at times (it kind of ebbed and flowed instead of building for me), I wanted to know where the story went and needed to see what ha The setting in A Rogue to Remember is everything I didn't know I wanted. I am deeply invested in historical romance right now and had no idea that shifting the location to Italy would do so much for me. The sense of place felt so strong and it helped to invest me in the story and the espionage. While I felt like the tension between Alec and Lottie was a little uneven at times (it kind of ebbed and flowed instead of building for me), I wanted to know where the story went and needed to see what happened. It was fast paced, a little suspenseful and had a great sense of place. I got just enough of Rafe to be deeply excited for his book soon!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    The pining, oh the pining. If you like some angsty requited love (but characters who believe they are alone in their affections) and a spy subplot/hero, you will probably enjoy this book. Spies do nothing for me, so I could have done with less of that, but I know some people are into it. A solid debut novel, this is a unique spin historical romance that takes place primarily in Italy despite having an English heroine. I love the second chance romance between childhood friends who find each other The pining, oh the pining. If you like some angsty requited love (but characters who believe they are alone in their affections) and a spy subplot/hero, you will probably enjoy this book. Spies do nothing for me, so I could have done with less of that, but I know some people are into it. A solid debut novel, this is a unique spin historical romance that takes place primarily in Italy despite having an English heroine. I love the second chance romance between childhood friends who find each other gain in adulthood after our heroine runs off trying to start a scandal to avoid marriage. The chemistry was excellent, the pacing was strange, and the groveling was not nearly long enough for my taste. For all the angst, I would have preferred more emotional coal-raking at the end as the characters reconciled, rather than dragging it out so long at the beginning. Overall though, an enjoyable twist on the usual fare of historical romance.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Everett

    A Rogue to Remember by Emily Sullivan is a second-chance at love/road trip romance mash up. What you need to know first is that the road trip takes place in Italy. Yes! The change of scenery makes this regency romance that much more romantic and I thoroughly appreciate Sullivan dragging us all out of the tepid English rain and into the gorgeous Italian sunshine and the elaborate Venetian dining rooms. Lottie and Alec grew up together and their childhood affection blossomed into love, but Lottie’ A Rogue to Remember by Emily Sullivan is a second-chance at love/road trip romance mash up. What you need to know first is that the road trip takes place in Italy. Yes! The change of scenery makes this regency romance that much more romantic and I thoroughly appreciate Sullivan dragging us all out of the tepid English rain and into the gorgeous Italian sunshine and the elaborate Venetian dining rooms. Lottie and Alec grew up together and their childhood affection blossomed into love, but Lottie’s uncle, who was also Alec’s guardian, separated them for reasons. Now, Lottie has slipped from beneath her uncle’s thumb and taken off across Italy and Alec has been sent to bring her back. Sullivan’s writing is intelligent and engaging. She does an excellent job building the sexual tension between the two (there is ONLY ONE BED at the inn!!) while at the same time giving us an emotional connection between the two that makes the inevitable plunge into the ONLY ONE BED satisfying and bittersweet at the same time. I highly recommend A Rogue to Remember for all readers of historical fiction who appreciate an angsty journey through the Italian countryside on their way to an HEA.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily Connor Dafoe

    Oh my good lord - this book! This was a wake up an hour before I need to in the morning to read a few chapters before work situation over here. I think the thing I loved most about this book was that it just jumped right into it. So many books I read spend so much time on the exposition that the plot doesn't really start until 30% in - not the case here! The book hits the ground running while also not making me feel like I was missing any key information about the characters. A+ 5/5 A+ ** I receiv Oh my good lord - this book! This was a wake up an hour before I need to in the morning to read a few chapters before work situation over here. I think the thing I loved most about this book was that it just jumped right into it. So many books I read spend so much time on the exposition that the plot doesn't really start until 30% in - not the case here! The book hits the ground running while also not making me feel like I was missing any key information about the characters. A+ 5/5 A+ ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Childhood friends to lovers romance is a good idea. Alec and Lottie are an amazing couple in this story. At first the story goes back and forth from the present to the past. It is amazing what the back story lets us know.. Emily Sullivan has crafted an awesome story. This is the first time I've read a book by this author but it won't be the last. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Childhood friends to lovers romance is a good idea. Alec and Lottie are an amazing couple in this story. At first the story goes back and forth from the present to the past. It is amazing what the back story lets us know.. Emily Sullivan has crafted an awesome story. This is the first time I've read a book by this author but it won't be the last. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Martin

    4.5 stars! This sweeping historical romance set primarily in Italy had me glued to my chair! I finished in one day, could not put it down. The authors bright and lovely descriptions of Italy gave me extreme wanderlust, and I was easily able to imagine it in my mind. This is my first book by this author and it did not disappoint. The Heroine and Hero’s story felt true and heartfelt. Strong smart heroines are my absolute favorite. This book has a dash of danger and suspense, which will keep you in 4.5 stars! This sweeping historical romance set primarily in Italy had me glued to my chair! I finished in one day, could not put it down. The authors bright and lovely descriptions of Italy gave me extreme wanderlust, and I was easily able to imagine it in my mind. This is my first book by this author and it did not disappoint. The Heroine and Hero’s story felt true and heartfelt. Strong smart heroines are my absolute favorite. This book has a dash of danger and suspense, which will keep you in the edge of your seat!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cece

    I liked this one so much more than I thought I would! After a string of disappointing traditionally published historical romances this year, my expectations were fairly low going in, but on the whole, I was impressed with Emily Sullivan’s 2021 debut and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Having said that, A Rogue to Remember is far from perfect and readers should expect some unevenness, particularly in the second half. Also, a large part of my enjoyment derives I liked this one so much more than I thought I would! After a string of disappointing traditionally published historical romances this year, my expectations were fairly low going in, but on the whole, I was impressed with Emily Sullivan’s 2021 debut and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Having said that, A Rogue to Remember is far from perfect and readers should expect some unevenness, particularly in the second half. Also, a large part of my enjoyment derives from finding this book full of stuff I really like in romance more generally, so if your taste is different from mine, this probably won’t work for you as well as it did for me. On holiday in late Victorian-era Italy, 24-year-old wealthy heiress Lottie Carlisle slips her elderly chaperone, fakes a scandalous lovers’ rendezvous, and rents a rural cottage where she can enjoy some much-needed independence from societal expectation and familial obligation. Her spymaster uncle, who is increasingly insistent she marry a high-ranking man of his choosing, sends his former ward, 28-year-old spy Alec Gresham, to retrieve her and bring her home. But the reunion between these once-childhood friends isn’t entirely a happy one. Five years before, Lottie had believed she and Alec were in love, only to wake up one morning with him gone from the house they shared with her uncle. He hasn’t spoken or written to her since. After persuading her to return to her uncle, who is now in failing health, Alec and Lottie set out on a road trip to Venice, where he’s based, and there, she experiences his dangerous lifestyle firsthand and their layered misunderstandings gradually come to light. Early on, this second chance romance got its hooks in me. I fell for the unusual setting; it was such a relief to read a historical that wasn’t set in Britain or the Regency era. I also loved how the author didn’t immediately reveal the circumstances of her couple’s earlier estrangement and we instead got incomplete glimpses of their former closeness as children and the slow unveiling of their final meeting five years before. This kept me engaged, since I wanted to read more and more to find out what really happened between them. The characterization also held my interest: neither romantic lead has a hereditary title and Alec is an academically inclined, sensitive individual who has rather unwillingly found himself working as a spy. And thankfully, no one is “rescuing” destitute sex workers or otherwise trying to awkwardly justify their immense wealth and unequal class privilege, of which at least Lottie benefits from. There were a few one-liners about gender that felt a tad clunky or modern, but overall, Lottie’s dissatisfaction with a continued life of leisure was plausibly written. Many of the complaints I have with the latest generation of historical romance weren’t applicable here. But the best part of A Rogue to Remember was the romance. The mutual pining is top-notch and Emily Sullivan is a genius with scenes of shifting poignant emotion. Watching Lottie and Alec fight their instinctive attraction and fondness for one another was transporting enough, but to have that buried beneath layers of self-recrimination, childhood abandonment and a tangled knot of obligations turned the reading experience combustible. I felt this love story in my bones and found myself fully invested in the couple’s eventual HEA ending. In my experience, this je ne sais quoi factor in relationship building is the toughest for a genre author to get right, and Emily Sullivan nailed it. Unfortunately, at the halfway point, it’s as if the author loses some of her confidence. Once the road trip portion is complete, a spy subplot is introduced and while I’m typically a fan of this trope in historical romance, it didn’t work for me here because it felt inelegantly transplanted from a lesser James Bond movie. The author’s earlier deft touch is lost in a cloud of incompetent character behavior, clumsy action scenes, and a brief cameo from a hastily discarded, moustache-twirling villain. The fantastic erotic scenes redeem this portion of the book, but only slightly. Although Lottie and Alec are separated yet again, their “dark moment” was too emotionally muddled (his reasons for this final rejection being...his reasons for rejecting her all along??) and the denouement back in Britain was unsatisfying. For me, the ending would’ve been stronger if the antagonist was kept morally grey and the resolution hadn’t concluded with such an overly tidy bow. Of course, I wanted Alec and Lottie together happily in the end, but I’m not sure I needed the controlling and manipulative villain to completely reverse his villainy within the space of a few pages. A Rogue to Remember has been a tricky book to review and read others’ reviews of. Many of the people I follow on Goodreads didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, which I mostly understand. I was partially so drawn to this because it was full of stuff that I love about romance that isn’t totally en vogue at the moment, like angst, layered miscommunications, family secrets, and tortured penniless heroes. Since it’s harder to find those things in the sub-genre right now, I value this story even more, but it’s also a debut with a lot of first book issues, albeit by an author who writes beautifully about love and longing. If I was trying to be as clinical and detached as possible, this would be a 3-star book, but that isn’t what romance is always about and my reading enjoyment in the moment was much closer to 4. I can’t wait to read more from this promising author!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jacinda Gardner

    A headstrong heroine who plots her own ruination and a seasoned spymaster who keeps his heart well-hidden get a second chance at love in this alluring historical romance debut. Thank you to Forever, the publisher, for an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. SUMMARY: Lottie Carlisle has had enough of her hollow life among London’s elite. Season after season she’s rejected proposals from suitors in hopes of a love match. Now, she’s pretty sure it’s a fruitless hope, and so is her com A headstrong heroine who plots her own ruination and a seasoned spymaster who keeps his heart well-hidden get a second chance at love in this alluring historical romance debut. Thank you to Forever, the publisher, for an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. SUMMARY: Lottie Carlisle has had enough of her hollow life among London’s elite. Season after season she’s rejected proposals from suitors in hopes of a love match. Now, she’s pretty sure it’s a fruitless hope, and so is her commanding Uncle Alfred, who delivers an ultimatum: she must marry by the end of next season. To escape this fate, Lottie fabricates a scandal that will ruin her and slips away to the Italian countryside. Who does the proud and well-connected Uncle Alfred select to bring Lottie home safely? Alec Gresham: his former ward, his current spymaster colleague, and most importantly, Lottie’s childhood best friend. Five years ago, Alec had every intention of courting Lottie. But Uncle Alfred didn’t approve, declaring Lottie could do better on the marriage market. Alec agreed and left without a word. But that doesn’t mean he forgot her. In fact, he’s the only one who knows Lottie well enough to uncover her hideout. How romantic right? Well, sparks do fly at their reunion… but not in a particularly good way. Lottie is furious at Alec. After all, could she have meant anything to him at all if he never even wrote? Plus, Alec brings frustrating news: Lottie’s bloody reputation is still intact, Uncle Alfred is terminably ill, and Lottie is expected to return home… with Alec. Could their journey to her family estate give these two long-lost friends a second chance? The answer is a resounding yes. MY THOUGHTS: Plenty of romance tropes are employed to bring these two lovebirds together. Not only do they have to pretend to be husband and wife to avoid suspicion while traveling, they also have to share a room... and even a bed! As Lottie is thrust into Alec's dangerous world of espionage, the stakes get higher (and sexier). Did I mention the pining? Because there is lots and lots of pining. So much pining. Their shared history and palpable chemistry draw them closer even as lies and secrets threaten to tear them apart. Trust is the secret ingredient they were both missing all along. I’m happy to give this debut novel from Emily Sullivan three and a half stars. It is a romance first and foremost—as it should be—so naturally, the espionage takes a backseat. Lottie and Alec are vibrant characters. I believed their love and their feelings even when some of the finer plot points made me raise an eyebrow. Were there moments the story could have been tighter? Sure. Sullivan has proved herself to be a talented writer, and her skill will only grow from here! This book is just so FUN. I always appreciate when an author delivers on humor. Sullivan also writes some steamy scenes, aided by Lottie's adventurous spirit in the bedroom. Hello, mirror sex! RECOMMENDATIONS: If you’re a fan of second chance and friends to lover romances, then you need to pick this up! I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical romance (this story takes place in 1897). This is a fun, easy read with plenty of moments that’ll make you smile ear to ear. If you liked “On the Way to the Wedding or “It's in His Kiss” from Julia Quinn’s famous Bridgerton series, then I think you’d like this book, too. Will I read book 2 in Sullivan’s League of Scoundrels series? Absolutely. Content Warnings: Mentions of parental death (off page), unwanted advances (not by hero), grief, sick relative, mentions of alcoholism (off page), mentions of infidelity (off page)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Lynn

    I have never been more thankful to have watched a conversation between authors than I have in this moment. Harper St. George and Elizabeth Everette (both excellent author’s who’s books I have attached at the bottom of this post) were having an IG live event and they brought up that this was a book they were both excited to see launched. So naturally I remembered that I had seen it on NetGalley earlier. It doesn’t have the cover I normally lean towards, but the premise was promising and with both I have never been more thankful to have watched a conversation between authors than I have in this moment. Harper St. George and Elizabeth Everette (both excellent author’s who’s books I have attached at the bottom of this post) were having an IG live event and they brought up that this was a book they were both excited to see launched. So naturally I remembered that I had seen it on NetGalley earlier. It doesn’t have the cover I normally lean towards, but the premise was promising and with both of these excellent authors recommending it I requested it. Let me say, I LOVED A Rogue to Remember by Emily Sullivan! I devoured it. I sat down after dinner and before I knew it I was flipping (okay, sliding the kindle screen) to the last page and it was late at night. It was enthralling! Please, for the love of everything good in the world: PICK THIS BOOK UP! I’ve read a decent amount of historical fiction, but this one takes place on a journey through Italy in 1897, which being stuck for so long due to the pandemic was wonderful. The plot, the characters, the writing, the scenery: all phenomenal. I got so caught up in the growing tension and chemistry between Alec and Lottie and wanting to know more of their back stories that I finished it in one sitting. It is so, so good. Plus the chemistry between the characters was off the charts! Like everyone else said, the mirror scene is wow. Loves: Lottie: She wants more than to be settled down with a high society man. She has a brain, ambition, and adventure in her and settling down would be stifling. Plus, she gave her heart away a long time ago. Her story was utterly compelling and watching her fight for what she wanted was beautiful. I found some of her actions to be rather stupid, but that’s what we want in a book, right? No one to be perfect, but just wanting to be better and to love those around them. Lottie is those things. Alec: Can I keep him? His sense of duty and honor were the backbone of his character and watching him try to keep those but also listen to his heart was superb. I did want to hear more about both of his professions. But he was a great opposite to Lottie in every way and even when he did mess up he acknowledged it and addressed it. Plus his jobs are the coolest things and I want to be both of them too;). Plot: It was so much fun! The setting constantly was changing and the characters had to adapt. There were several ‘one bed only’ scenes, which are great. Sullivan brought in enough subplots to keep everything moving and kept feeding us small hints towards the major plots. The flashbacks added to the overall story and I wanted to know everything. There were some moments in the book that lagged behind and made things a little slower. Plus the ending was a full ending! There were consequences to actions! The plots were settled. It was amazing. Dislikes: Uncle Alfred: Okay, this isn’t like a full issue with the character rather more of an issue with the plot involving Uncle Alfred at the end of the book was a little loose. Everything else in the novel was tight and moving, where this issue was strange and was resolved strangely. I don’t want to give anything away, but it was the only minor issue I had with it! Long Story Short: Run, don’t walk to get this book. Read it! I fell in love with the writing and characters during the 300+ pages I read and I want this for everyone else too. My heart was crushed a little when I realized I reached the end. I wanted more. So please, please, please buy this book. Show off the cover with pride. Enjoy the deep character arcs and thrilling plot. I loved it and I hope that you all will too. And thank you, Emily Sullivan for writing such a spectacular novel, it was a thrill reading it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie - One Book More

    A Rogue to Remember follows Lottie and Alec, childhood friends who haven’t seen each other since his devastating rejection five years ago. Alec is sent to retrieve Lottie, who has left London to create a scandal that would render her unmarriageable, and return her home to her uncle. As the pair journeys home, old feelings and chemistry flares. Can Lottie forgive Alec for his past rejection? Will they admit their feelings for each other and find their happily-ever-after? This is an engaging and ro A Rogue to Remember follows Lottie and Alec, childhood friends who haven’t seen each other since his devastating rejection five years ago. Alec is sent to retrieve Lottie, who has left London to create a scandal that would render her unmarriageable, and return her home to her uncle. As the pair journeys home, old feelings and chemistry flares. Can Lottie forgive Alec for his past rejection? Will they admit their feelings for each other and find their happily-ever-after? This is an engaging and romantic story with a fabulous setting and fantastic characters. Lottie is definitely one of my favorites, and her independent, liberal spirit is a breath of fresh air. Stifled by the constraints and expectations put upon her by her uncle and elite society as a whole, Lottie flees. She longs for freedom and adventure and love, and she refuses to marry for anything less. I love that Lottie stands up for herself. Even with Alec, Lottie fights for what she wants and refuses to give up on him and their love. Some of my favorite stories follow characters who go on physical and emotional journeys, and A Rogue to Remember does just that. The setting of the story follows Lottie and Alec through Italy and takes the reader to lush landscapes, quaint villages, Venetian canals, and more. As the couple travels, they face internal and external obstacles, and I like that the mystery, tension, and intrigue they go through throughout their journey parallels the internal turmoil they experience. Both Lottie and Alec must come to terms with their long-buried feelings for each other. Even though Alec deeply loved her, he always believed that he wasn’t good enough for Lottie. Lottie still feels the sting of rejection from five years ago and doesn’t fully trust Alec with her heart. Both characters must learn the truth of the past and face their feelings for each other as the story progresses. The chemistry between Lottie and Alec is amazing! They have such a deep and profound connection that spans almost two decades, and this friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-fake-marriage-to-lovers romance is filled with yearning, regret, and hope. Lottie and Alec have such a strong bond, and it’s clear that they love each other, though neither wants to admit it. Lack of communication, feelings of unworthiness, societal pressures, the past, and a meddlesome relative prove difficult obstacles to overcome, but the pair proves that their feelings for each other are greater than anything that stands in their way. The story also touches upon some heavier subjects, especially the grief and pain that comes with losing a loved one. Both Alec and Lottie lost their parents at a young age, though their lives and the feelings toward the losses are very different. There’s a lot about the past that Alec doesn’t know. Secrets about his parents that have purposely been kept from him have detrimentally affected Alec and his relationship with others. He’s good at keeping people at a distance and not showing his true self to anyone. Lottie is one of the few who sees the man beneath the tough and emotionless exterior. Intrigue, adventure, secrets and lies, a fake relationship, and a second-chance romance all make for a delightful and memorable read. I enjoyed the love story and the setting, and the book introduces intriguing characters that I can’t wait to read about in future books in the series! Thanks so much to NetGalley, Forever, and Emily Sullivan for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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