Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Shana Galen's THE ROGUE YOU KNOW Giveaway & Review

How many of y'all have read Shana's books prior to her Covent Garden Cubs series? Confess to being a bit late to the game but my tastes were running contrary to the spy themed books that were so prevalent recently.  That doesn't mean I won't go back & read them at some future date. You have to be in a certain mood to read spy books et al....or at least I do. 
THE ROGUE YOU KNOW is second in the series but can stand alone. That's a good quality to have in a series, especially for those who come in later. Now, on to the purpose of this post...:)

When we think about Regency England, we tend to think of the balls, the carriages, the gowns. We forget that for every duke or marquess, there were hundreds of thieves and pickpockets living in the slums of the city. Covent Garden was an area of London with plenty of rookeries, and the thieves who lived there often banded together because there’s protection in numbers. My fictional gang called the Covent Garden Cubs is made up of the leader Satin, his second-in-command Beezle, and an assortment of pickpockets and house-breakers with names like Gap, Racer, and Stub. The gang also has one girl, Marlowe, and I wrote about her in Earls Just Want to Have Fun. Her best friend in the gang in Gideon, and he’s the hero in The Rogue You Know. Gideon is the ultimate bad boy who can cheat, lie, and steal with the best of them. He was orphaned at a young age and had no choice but to steal to survive. Now Gideon wants a different life for himself, and if he can just complete one last job, he’ll have it…or die trying.

When writing about my bad boy hero, I had plenty of inspiration.

1) Flynn Rider from Tangled

Yes, I know Flynn is animated, but he is the main inspiration for Gideon. Like the Disney bad boy, Gideon is charming, funny, and self-deprecating. Flynn makes no apologies for his lifestyle, and while he may try to hide his sensitive side, his love for Rapunzel brings it out.

2) George Gordon Byron, Baron Byron

Byron was a poet, nobleman, and ultimate bad boy. Described as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” Byron titillated the Regency world. He generated enormous debts, had numerous affairs and liaisons, and ultimately died young and tragically abroad. A bad boy with the heart of a romantic is always an inspiration.

3) Danny in Grease

We’ve all seen Grease so many times we forget that Travolta’s character was really a bad boy. He’s dangerous for Sandy’s reputation and just plain dangerous, period. But like any bad boy we love, love wins Danny over and he’s willing to change to be with the woman who means everything.

4) Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You

I love a bad boy who sets out to corrupt the good girl and then is corrupted by her instead. Heath Ledger is fabulous as the new kid in school who agrees to date the heroine…for a fee. “How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.” The banter between Patrick and Kat makes this bad boy movie memorable.

5) Nick Gentry in Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

While Gideon may be on the wrong side of the law and Nick Gentry a Bow Street Runner, Nick definitely serves as an inspiration. He’s a man with a dark past and much to hide, but Charlotte is able to peel away the layers one by one. Her love for him, and his for her, redeems this bad boy and makes us love him all the more.

I enjoyed taking inspiration from each of these bad boys and creating the character of Gideon. He may be a thief and a rogue, but he is also capable of deep love. And that’s what my books are about—characters for whom love changes everything.

Who are your favorite redeemed rogues?


(cover pic, blurb, excerpt, & buy links from the authors site)
The Rogue You Know Book 2 in the Covent Garden Cubs series

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.
In the library, Susanna went still. There it was again.
The town house was old and had a tendency to creak and groan. But then she heard it again, and this time she knew it was not the house. It sounded like...a window. There were two windows behind Dane's desk, and both looked out upon the small garden. One was directly across from where she sat huddled on the floor. The draperies were closed, and nothing stirred behind them. Was she imagining the noise, or was something or—God forbid—someone trying to enter the house?
She peered around the corner of the desk and stared at the opposite window. Her breath caught when the draperies rustled with the breeze. The window had definitely not been open before. It had been cold enough in the room without allowing the night air inside.
Susanna jerked back, hidden on the far side of the desk again. Everyone knew London was rife with housebreakers, but would the thieves be so bold as to try and enter a house when the family was home? She heard a thump and trembled.
Apparently, the rogues were so bold. What would they do to her if they found her? Kill her? Rape her? Kidnap her for ransom?
She must escape, but how?
She peered around the desk again and saw two legs standing in front of the window. It was too late to run. The thief was already inside. She did a quick inventory of herself. She had nothing, absolutely nothing that would protect her from a ruffian.
She could hear the thief breathing now. He was breathing hard, as though he'd been running. She pressed her back against the oak of the desk and craned her neck. She spotted the shadow of a candlestick on the edge of the desk. She hadn't lit the candle in it. If she could pull it off the edge without the thief noticing, she could use it to protect herself.
She felt the edge of the desk with her fingertips. Closing her eyes, she stretched her fingers until she touched the cool silver of the candlestick. She eased her fingers around it and tugged it soundlessly over the edge of the desk.
The candlestick shook in her hands. The weight was more than she was prepared for, but she caught hold of it and clutched it to her chest just in time.
The thief clomped into the room. He wasn't worried about being quiet. She could hear him now. He lifted books and replaced them. She knew the sound the binding made when lifted and released. That meant his back was to her.
Her heart thundered so loudly she feared he could hear her, and she was at risk of swooning at any moment. She dug her fingers into the ornamentation around the candlestick until the silver cut into her palm.
She must be strong. She must be brave.
It didn't appear as though any other thieves were entering after this one. She could hit him with the candlestick and prove to her mother that she was an independent, capable young woman who should be allowed to go to Vauxhall Gardens—or anywhere she pleased!
Susanna trembled as she moved to her knees and slanted her eyes up and over the desk.
There he was!
He looked every inch the dangerous rogue! He was tall and powerfully built and had dark hair covered with a cap. And he was indeed pawing through her father's books. She had to stop him.
She ducked down and scooted along the edge of the desk until she reached the side closest to the shelves. She was exposed now. If he should but move a little to his left, he would see her. She forced herself to slide slowly and with exaggerated care until her back collided with the sharp edge of the far corner of the desk.
She could smell the thief now. She'd expected him to smell of something rank and evil, but he smelled of the night air and something else, perhaps sandalwood?
This close she saw the rough hew of his clothing. The dirt on his boots. He did not belong here, and his actions left no question as to his intent. She grasped her skirts in one hand to keep them from tripping her, and held the heavy candlestick in the other. Soundlessly, she rose. He seemed to sense her movement, but right before he could turn, she rushed him and slammed the candlestick onto the back of his head.
With a groan, he went down, the cap tumbling from his head.
She'd done it! She'd really done it.
She gave a small gasp of surprise and horror when she saw the trickle of blood on his neck. Oh, God. Had she killed him? What would happen to her if she'd killed him? Would she go to Newgate?
She wanted to wake Crawford, but she couldn't call the butler if she'd killed a man. He'd be forced to summon the magistrate. Better to ensure the thief was alive before calling for anyone.
Tentatively, she knelt down, and her hand wavered over the thief's neck. She'd seen her mother's physician touch the dowager's neck at this point to check her pulse. Susanna had never tried to check a pulse, and she'd never touched a man other than her father or her brothers. Her hand hovered above the man's neck, until finally she shut her eyes and forced herself to touch him.
He was still warm. His head was turned away from her, so she couldn't see if her hand was in the right position, but she didn't feel a pulse. She moved her fingers a fraction of an inch.
Still nothing.
She moved them again, and he groaned.
She snatched her hand away and scrambled backward. The man tried to rise, lifting his shoulders off the floor and cupping the back of his head. He groaned again and turned his head to look at her, just as she was about to raise the candlestick again. He raised his hand to ward off the blow, but she'd paused anyway.
His eyes held her. He faced the hearth behind her, and she could see the pain in his eyes but also the color.
They were green, a vivid beautiful green that reminded her of forests and glades and the serenity of the country. And so she paused.
Later, she would come to realize that small hesitation had been a mistake.
Later, she would realize that was the moment everything had gone wrong.
But as she sat with the candlestick held aloft, the thief staring at her, all she could think was that he was beautiful. That she wanted to sketch him; that it would be impossible to find the right color for his eyes.
"Lady Susanna?" 
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My thoughts.....4 stars
Lady Susanna Derring has been smothered by her mother. Always falling just below her mother’s standards for everything she’s spent her life yearning for freedom. When opportunity presents itself, in the form of Gideon, she grabs it with both hands.
Gideon Harrow has the means to escape his life as a thief and con in London in his hands. Double crossing Beezle to gain his freedom is a small price to pay, until his escape is thwarted by one Lady Susanna Derring.
What’s a thief to do when his freedom is in the hands of a young miss with a mission to attend Vauxhall Gardens? Why, take her of course.
What happens when you mix a young lady of the ton with a member of the Covent Garden Cubs gang of thieves?  You’ll have to read THE ROGUE YOU KNOW to find out.

Those who’ve read Earls Just Want to have Fun, the first book in the Covent Garden Cubs series featuring the thief Marlowe and Maxwell, Lord Dane, Susanna and Gideon will be familiar. For those who haven’t, no worries. THE ROGUE YOU KNOW can easily stand on its own.

Lady Susanna is a bit naive and her initial reasoning for wanting to go to Vauxhall Gardens is shaky, at best. After all these years what can she truly hope to discover regarding her mother? And just on the mere hint from  Lady Winthorpe in the retiring room that there’s anything at all, well that and her mother’s reaction when Susanna asks to go.
Gideon Harrow has his sights set on escaping life in Seven Dials. He no longer wants to be a thief and con. With what he gets from his last score, that double crossed Beezle no less, he can see a light at the end of the tunnel. His first mistake was breaking into Lady Susanna’s home in search of his friend Marlowe. Now he’s at her mercy with no choice but to take her to Vauxhall Gardens if he wants to reclaim what’s his, well not actually his but you get the gist…
Just a heads up, most of the story takes place in a brief, compact, time frame.
Adventurous romance, screwball comedy of errors, dangerous encounters, a scrappy dog, and yes, there are times a suspension of belief is needed but when you boil it all down to its essence, THE ROGUE YOU KNOW is simply flat out fun.

Gideon and Susanna have one heck of an adventure that changes not only their lives, but the lives of those around them whether they wanted it or not. Kind of a domino effect.  Readers will find the pages flying by as Susanna discovers her backbone and Gideon discovers who he really is under all that cock sure attitude. They both discover that what they thought they wanted no longer applies….
If you want a fun filled adventure with plenty of laughs, a dangerous time or two, and a plucky dog that adopts Susanna as her new ward, look no further than THE ROGUE YOU KNOW.  Seriously, Beauty is a treat and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Galen has in store for Brook, Susanna’s “just the facts~no emotions need apply” investigator brother. The Derring family is not your typically traditional Ton family, thank goodness.

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Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman.Kirkus says of her books,
"The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Book Reviews calls her books "lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she's up to daily on Facebook and Twitter. Stop by her website at
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