The Rogue You Know (Covent Gardens Series, Book #2) by Shana Galen
Overview by Amazon:
She’s beyond his reach…
Gideon Harrow has spent his life in London’s dark underworld-and he wants out. A thief and a con, he plans one last heist to finally win his freedom. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself at the tender mercies of one of Society’s most untouchable women-Lady Susanna Derring.
…and out of her depth.
Susanna has spent her life in London’s glittering ton, under the thumb of a domineering mother-and she wants out. When a wickedly charming rogue lands at her feet, she jumps at the chance to experience life before it’s too late. But as she descends into London’s underworld, she finds that nothing- not even Gideon-is as it seems. As excitement turns to danger, Susanna must decide what price she’s willing to pay…for the love of a reformed thief.
As I sit and write this review I am watching the Disney movie “Tangled” with my little man. I love this movie, I think it is one of the best Disney has ever done. So to my immense pleasure, I started to pick up a “Tangled” vibe about this book the more I read. I actually tweeted the author to see I was on the right track and she confirmed it. It only made me fall more in love with the book!
Susanna is the sister of Dane and Brooks who were introduced in the first book in the series, Earls Just Want To Have Fun. To say that she lives with a controlling, harridan of a mother is a gross understatement. Her mother manages every aspect of her life. Susanna just longs to have some freedom and adventure. She can barely breathe from the tightly coiled restrictions placed upon her.
So how does this book align with “Tangled”? Well, Susanna catches Gideon (former friend of her now sister-in-law, Marlowe) with a necklace in her house. She forces him to fulfill her dream of going Vauxhall Gardens for an evening of adventure. In the movie, Rapunzel forces Flynn to take her on an adventure otherwise she will never give him back his stolen tiara. What had me laughing out loud was the weapon of choice for Susanna. She whacks Gideon with a candlestick and Rapunzel has a frying pan.
Gideon reminded me so much of the fictional Flynn. Dashing, charismatic, cheeky and a ruffian, Gideon is the perfect companion for the adventure that Susanna desires. His nickname of ‘Strawberry’ was just too adorable. I could almost picture his smirk when he teased her about her long, thick strawberry blond hair.
Gideon takes Susanna to a house in the rookeries where she encounters some of his very nefarious counterparts. They want to turn Gideon in to Beezle for the reward (just like Flynn!), but Susanna manages to convince them to let her live her dream. I smiled the whole time I read this scene because Gideon is trying to scare Susanna into going home, but somehow she turns the tables on him. Just like Rapunzel, she manages to get the ruffians and thugs to share their dreams with her. It’s not a musical number like “Tangled”, but all of a sudden, the gang of undesirables send them on their way.
Like Flynn and Rapunzel, Gideon and Susanna have their share of mishaps and danger. Chased through the rookeries, interrupting nefarious business deals and picking up stray animals. In the movie, Rapunzel and Flynn meet Maximus the horse. In this book, Susanna adopts Beauty a dog who is very much a part of their adventures.
Gideon really could have overpowered Susanna anytime and taken the necklace back. But he likes her and wants to spend time with her. She has become important to him. There are some really hot scenes where he takes the time to show her pleasure. This shows the evolution of Gideon from a selfish thief, to a redeemable rogue.
There are no floating lanterns in the book, but the dark gardens of Vauxhall Gardens are the perfect spot for the two of them to share their emotions with each other. I loved that the two of them became partners in the mad cap adventure of traipsing through London on their way to fulfill her adventure.
I started to get really worried while reading this book. Even Susanna shared the sentiment I had. How would they have their happily ever after? He wasn’t a viscount in hiding and Susanna was the daughter of an Earl. The class divide was extreme and Gideon didn’t have a home or a way to support a family. Some of the ending follows the plot of Rapunzel, but it was really ingenious how Shana Galen brought in Susanna’s family to make the HEA happen.
This was a delightful book to read. I am really enjoying this series by Shana Galen. I have loved her work for a long time, but this book was just the right blend of adventure and fun. Gideon had a wicked sense of humour and I admired his joie de vivre. Susanna was so much fun – totally determined and headstrong once she got out of her gilded cage. A great time was had by all and I think it was completely inspired to create a story that features my favourite Disney characters.