Book Review: One for the Rogue By Manda Collins

Release date: June 26, 2018

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Gemma Hastings feels the threat she can’t see. For more than a week, she’s felt as though someone is watching her every move, and she fears it may be an attempt to steal her fossil discoveries. Discounted for her gender, Gemma has fought for recognition in the male-dominated area of geology, recognition that garnered her the attention of her benefactress, a woman who left an muddy mystery behind in the form of the Beauchamp Lizard, a legendary fossil rumored to be on the Beauchamp property. Gemma rejects the claims until a man is murdered on her property while trying to take one of her fossils, and she joins forces with her nemesis Lord Cameron Lisle to find the missing discovery. Cameron Lisle doesn’t want a wife with an opinion, much less a rival. But the time he spends with Gemma on the hunt for the fossil soon forces him into a temporary betrothal, and though they agree to split after a few months, both find themselves questioning whether their fake engagement should turn into a real marriage.

In this fourth installment of the Studies in Scandals series, Collins treats reader to the story of the final bluestocking lady, Gemma Hastings. Each of the would-be heiresses have the tedious task of being a leader in her respective fields but without the recognition she deserves, and though Gemma’s interest in geology and paleontology isn’t the most romantic of fields, her story is still characteristic of the mysteries Collins has created in each of these novels. And though lots of character names are introduced quickly in the first few chapters, the reader will not need them all, and the important characters soon make their presence known. Being a fan of the series made the story easier to follow, but most readers will still be able to follow the plot without previous reading.

As is the case in many romance novels, Gemma doesn’t realize she’s beautiful, but she really doesn’t receive male attention until she lays down her digging implements and “gussies up,” an irony not lost on Gemma or the reader. The standard “he’s so swoon-worthy I could die” hero isn’t really present either. Though Cam isn’t described as UNattractive, he also isn’t given the attention that many romance heroes get in this area. In fact, Gemma definitely dominates in the novel, fitting since it is about the empowerment of women.

Having two people so vehemently against marriage is a bit of an anomaly as well. Typically, one of the two protagonists will desire the marriage, but neither Gemma nor Cam want marriage, both agreeing instead to the scandalous proposal of a teacher-learner kind until late in the novel.

I enjoyed this book, but it didn’t have the shine the first two novels had, but if Collins writes another series, I will definitely read it!

4 Stars


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