Series & Title: The Penningtons, Book 1: A Rebel Without a Rogue
Author: Bliss Bennet
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Release Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Bliss Bennet
A woman striving for justice
Fianna Cameron has devoted her life to avenging the death of her father, hanged as a traitor during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Now, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, only one last miscreant remains: Major Christopher Pennington, the English army officer who not only oversaw her father’s execution, but falsely maligned his honor. Fianna risks everything to travel to London and confront the man who has haunted her every nightmare. Only after her pistol misfires does she realize her sickening mistake: the Pennington she wounded is far too young to be the man who killed her father.
A man who will protect his family at all costs
Rumors of being shot by a spurned mistress might burnish the reputation of a rake, but for Kit Pennington, determined to add to his family’s honor by winning a seat in Parliament, such salacious gossip is nothing but a nightmare. To regain his good name, Kit will have to track down his mysterious attacker and force her to reveal the true motivation behind her unprovoked assault. Accepting the mistress of an acquaintance as an ally in his search is risky enough, but when Kit begins to develop feelings for the icy, ethereal Miss Cameron, more than his political career is in danger. For Kit is beginning to suspect that Fianna Cameron knows far more about the shooting—and the reasons behind it—than she’s willing to reveal.
As their search begins to unearth long-held secrets, Kit and Fianna find themselves caught be-tween duty to family and their beliefs in what’s right. How can you balance the competing demands of loyalty and justice—especially when you add love to the mix?
Fianna's mission might be simple--avenge her father's wrongful execution--but a case of mistaken identity adds layers of complications she doesn't want or need. Fianna is a strong heroine, devoted to her purpose, unwilling to give up even after so many years. But under that strength is a woman who is lonely, alone, confused, and hurting. She doesn't have what her heart quietly mourns for: family that accepts and loves her without demanding proof of her loyalty.
Kit has that and so much more. Being shot at by mistake is no laughing matter and, in all fairness, could be reason enough for him to dislike Fianna once he discovers what she's about. But it doesn't because he sees deeper than most, and what he sees propels him into action. He brings her home, shows her the kind of life she's been missing--one that includes a loving, welcoming family--and uncovers more about her than he thought possible.
Ms. Bennet flawlessly, seamlessly, turns this story from one of vengeance to one of longing not just for love from one man but acceptance by his family. The desire and want in Fianna seeps from the pages. Kit's heartfelt pleas for her to take his hand and join him and his family had me waiting with bated breath for her answer. The hurt and anger and bitterness Fianna lived with for so many years melted under Kit's gentle persuasion, and it was the soft manner in which he handled Fianna that made her acceptance, her "Yes" so much more meaningful.
Ms. Bennet is a new-to-me author, and I'm so honored I had this chance to read this story. The pacing is a tad bit slow for nearly the first half of the book but please don't let that be a reason to put it down. I promise, the second half more than makes up for the first in regards to pacing. This story's rich in history, description, as well as emotion. I love the way Kit approaches Fianna, how he takes his time with her, how he sees her like no one else does. The depth of his feelings aren't born from lust or physical attraction, but from time and getting to know her. It's the kind of romance that makes me smile and my heart glad.
Bliss Bennet writes smart, edgy novels for readers who love history as much as they love romance. Despite being born and bred in New England, Bliss finds herself fascinated by the history of that country across the pond, particular the politically volatile period known as the English Regency. Though she's visited England several times, Bliss continues to make her home in New England, along with her husband, daughter, and two monstrously fluffy black cats.