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July 1, 2023

A Rogue at Stonecliffe by Candace Camp ~ a Review

by MK French

Annabeth Winfield moved on after her first love Sloane Rutherford left her. She believes their romance was reckless and temporary, and could never last. Twelve years later, Annabeth is engaged to a dependable man, ready to move on to the next stage of her life. Of course, that's when Sloane returns with a warning. He had been a spy for years, and a dangerous blackmailer is after Annabeth. He offers to hide her at Stonecliffe, the Rutherford estate, but she demands to be part of the investigation. Their old romance is about to be rekindled, no matter what else is happening around them.

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book cover of Regency romance novel A Rogue at Stonecliffe by Candance Camp
June 2023; Canary Street Press; 978-1335513106
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); Regency romance

A Rogue at Stonecliffe
 is the second novel in the Stonecliffe series, following An Affair At Stonecliffe (read my review). The Rutherford family is full of secrets, this time because of Sloane's job as a spy. We have a few callbacks to the first book in the form of returning characters in the beginning, seeing the effects of that happily ever after. Sloane from the start is blackmailed into being a spy for the sake of Annabeth's reputation, as he couldn't allow it to hurt her if news came out that her father worked with traitors. Documents outlining her father's past work might still be around, so even though he's dead, Annabeth is still in danger. He still loves her and always will, and she protests that her love for him had died years ago with his silence, which allowed her to get engaged to someone else. But everyone else around her knows full well that she still has feelings for him.

There are several secrets that are uncovered along the way, which sends Annabeth and Sloane to several different locations across England. They argue and can't agree on Sloane's actions in the past. He maintains he was protecting her, she maintains he didn't trust her or believe that a marriage between them would work. They work together to figure out the past, and by the end are debating suspects together and figure it all out. Their emotions are rekindled, and Sloane must admit that their love is stronger than his fear. It all works out in the end, of course, and we get a happily ever after that fits them.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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