Review – The Companions Secret (Rogues and Rebels #1) by Susanna Craig

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In this tempestuous new series, rebellious hearts prove hard to tame—but can England’s most dangerous rake be captured by a wild Irish rose?

They call him Lord Ash, for his desires burn hot and leave devastation in their wake. But Gabriel Finch, Marquess of Ashborough, knows the fortune he’s made at the card table won’t be enough to save his family estate. For that he needs a bride with a sterling reputation to distract from his tarnished past, a woman who’ll be proof against the fires of his dark passion. Fate deals him the perfect lady. So why can’t Gabriel keep his eyes from wandering to her outspoken, infuriatingly independent Irish cousin?

Camellia Burke came to London as her aunt’s companion, and she’s brought a secret with her: she’s written a scandalous novel. Now, her publisher demands that she make her fictional villain more realistic. Who better than the notorious Lord Ash as a model? Duty-bound to prevent her cousin from making a disastrous match, Cami never meant to gamble her own heart away. But when she’s called home, Ash follows. And though they’re surrounded by the flames of Rebellion, the sparks between them may be the most dangerous of all…

This is book one in the new “Rogues and Rebels” series from Susanna Craig, and my goodness me, it’s going to be a scorcher of a series going by this first installment. It is an exciting, fast paced story an highly enjoyable a thrilling romp through a dangerous time.

Camellia Burke has left her Irish home and gone to live with her aunt in London to take on the role as companion, unbeknown to everyone she isn’t just a spare relative who is taken in to become what is little more than a servant; she is a budding writer. When she gets a reply from a London publisher – which is the main reason she took up her aunt’s offer to be her companion, to be nearer to publishers – who is interested in her book, but he isn’t happy about her villain. Her publisher claims that her character isn’t real enough, so she re-works her villain altogether and takes inspiration from the most notorious man in London; Lord Ash!

Gabriel; Marquis of Ashborough (or Ash) is a notorious scoundrel, a rake is on the hunt for the one thing that he never in his life thought he would need; a wife! But not just any wife, he needs a woman of standing, he needs a sterling reputation that will counteract his own blackened one. He knows that because of his tarnished reputation he will never win a wife the old-fashioned way because no one will want to associate themselves with him; a notorious scoundrel. So, with a little blackmail he sets out to marry a woman who is perfect for his requirement’s.

Felicity isn’t strong enough to handle rakish Ash, she came across to me as a weeping dormouse. Whenever he is around, Felicity is a quivering wallflower instead of the Lady she should be, the girl needs a bit of gumption. I think beneath that, with the right man and away from her bossy mother she will transform into a real catch.

As much as Ash tries to move forward with his plan, he can’t stop his being intrigued by Felicity’s cousin; Camellia. She is so different from her cousin, she is an enigma to him and he can’t get enough of her. Ash is a great character, he is a seductive rake, a scoundrel with no morels. Sexually charged he always appears so alive, he has been treated very harshly by the aristocracy because of what happened in his past – the reason why people call him Ash is because they say he has the ability to burn everything he touches, which just shows how back stabbing society is. They are very hurtful towards him.

Ash is a such an interesting character he does at first appear to be the ultimate rake, but the way he is with his best friend and how protective he is towards Cami – even after he finds out her dark secret, he stands by her willing to go wherever she is willing to take him. They are a fun and fascinating couple, at first glance at wouldn’t have put these two together they seem so different. They are both highly passionate people, they have intriguing and intelligent minds and their individual characters do bounce off each other and create this feisty and sexy double act that at the end of the book you know that they were made for each other. They are both attracted to each other but do she doesn’t trust him she has secrets that if found out could lead to danger and scandal for both sides of her family.

Budding author Cami is bold and very sure of herself, she is an intriguing character she has a keen interest in politics – which for the day was very unheard of and as the story unfolds we find out that there is a very good reason and very personal reason for that. She speaks her mind when able to do so and she loves her family dearly, I really like how family focussed she is and that is an integral part of the story.

I like how Craig worked their story, I completely changed my thoughts on them as a couple as the story went along. From thinking that surely these two aren’t compatible to these two are perfect! That takes real skill as a writer to be able to create such dynamic and lovable character’s that draw your attention.

This is very highly recommended and a new series to watch for all historical romance fans.

The Companions Secret is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.

This was an ARC copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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