Sometimes a Rogue (Lost Lords Series #5)

Sometimes a Rogue (Lost Lords Series #5)

by Mary Jo Putney


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"Composed of equal measures of dangerous intrigue and potent passion, Putney's fifth elegantly written installment in her Lost Lords series delivers captivating characters, an impeccably realized Regency setting, and a thrilling plot rich in action and adventure."
Booklist, STARRED review for Sometimes a Rogue

"Putney's reputation as one of the finest writers of Regency romance is well deserved. She never shies away from different plots or atypical characters and writes wildly exciting adventure romances. She's done it all again in the marvelous, emotional and thrilling fifth book in the Lost Lords series."
RT Book Reviews on Sometimes a Rogue Top Pick

Sometimes. . .

Even the most proper young lady yearns for adventure. But when the very well bred Miss Sarah Clarke-Townsend impulsively takes the place of her pregnant twin, it puts her own life at risk. If the kidnappers after her sister discover they've abducted Sarah instead, she will surely pay with her life. . .

A Rogue. . .

Rob Carmichael survived his disastrous family by turning his back on his heritage and becoming a formidable Bow Street Runner with a talent for rescuing damsels in distress. But Sarah is one damsel who is equal to whatever comes. Whether racing across Ireland with her roguish rescuer or throwing herself into his arms, she challenges Rob at every turn.

"You can't go wrong with a Putney romance!"
—Sabrina Jeffries

Praise For Mary Jo Putney's Lost Lords Series

"Romance at its best!"
—Julia Quinn

"Exquisitely and sensitively written."
Library Journal, starred review

"Intoxicating and not-to-be missed."
RT Book Reviews (4 ½ Stars, Top Pick)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758288196
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Series: Lost Lords Series , #5
Pages: 374
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 60 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed. Visit her at

Read an Excerpt

Sometimes a Rogue



Copyright © 2013Mary Jo Putney
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8819-6



"What do you do with a pregnant duchess,
What do you do with a pregnant duchess,
What do you do with a pregnant duchess?
Ear-lye in the moooor-ning!"

Sarah Clarke-Townsend caroled the song to the heavens as she guided the curricle into a green lane leading away from Ralston Abbey. As she drew her breath to start another verse, her very pregnant twin sister, Mariah, Duchess of Ashton, burst into laughter, pressing one hand to her abdomen. "Did you compose that song, Sarah?"

Sarah grinned. The sun was just rising over the horizon, and she was wearing a daffodil-colored dress in honor of a glorious spring day. "I altered the words of a sailors' song I heard once. The original asks what to do with a drunken sailor."

"A drunken sailor would be more graceful than I am at the moment," Mariah said ruefully as she brushed back the golden hair that was the exact same shade as Sarah's. "Don't make me laugh so, or I might have this baby right now!"

"Don't do that!" Sarah said with alarm. "It's bad enough that I let you talk me into taking you for a dawn drive. Everyone in Ralston Abbey will have strong hysterics when they find out even though Murphy is following us at a discreet distance."

"That's why I wanted to get out," Mariah said with exasperation. "I feel so restless! My back aches and my temper is on edge because everyone fusses over me as if I'm made of porcelain. It's driving me mad!" Which is why the Duchess of Ashton had dressed herself and tiptoed through dark corridors to tap on Sarah's door and beg for an early morning drive on the estate.

"That's the price you pay for having a husband who adores you," Sarah said, her tone light to disguise her envy. She didn't begrudge her sister having a wonderful husband; Mariah had endured a rather irregular childhood and deserved her happiness. But Sarah regretted having lost her own chance for such happiness.

"True, and I count my blessings!" Mariah winced. "Ow, the little devil is kicking! Adam has been a saint about my moods. I was never this volatile before."

"Soon the baby will be here and you will once more be the serene and laughing Golden Duchess." With one hand, Sarah pulled her soft wool carriage rug close. She and her sister were both warmly dressed and the curricle's hood was pulled up to block the wind, but the morning air was still cool.

"I hope you're right." Mariah hesitated. "I've been feeling a ... a cloud hanging over me. As if something dreadful is going to happen."

Sarah frowned, then quickly smoothed her expression. "That's natural, especially with a first baby. But women have been doing this since time immemorial, and you'll manage with your usual efficiency. Mama isn't much taller than we are, and she had twins with no trouble."

"So she claims now, but she may just be trying to cheer me." In a swift change of mood, Mariah grinned. "I look forward to being all calm and sensible when you're wildly moody with your first child. And don't give me any of that nonsense of how you're doomed to spinsterhood. Half of Adam's friends would marry you on the instant if you smiled at them."

Sarah rolled her eyes. "You are absurd. I have no desire to be an imitation Golden Duchess." She slowed the pair of matched chestnuts as they approached a junction. "I don't know the estate well. Which way should we go?"

"Take the right fork," her sister said. "The lane leads up to an abandoned church on the highest hill of the estate. It's very, very old and not conveniently located, so eventually it was abandoned as Ralston village grew down in the valley." Mariah looked wistful. "Adam and I enjoyed riding up there when I wasn't the size and shape of an overfed cow. I look at you to remind myself what I used to look like."

"And will again. Mother said that even though she had twins, she regained her figure very quickly, so it's in our blood to be beautiful."

"I hope she's right." Mariah squeezed one of Sarah's hands. "I'm so glad you're here! I resent all those years we were apart."

"We have years ahead in which to become gossipy crones," Sarah assured her.

The lane had been climbing. As the curricle approached the crest of the hill, they rounded a bend and a plain stone church came into view. "Marvelous!" Sarah exclaimed as they approached the structure. "It looks Saxon. That would make it over a thousand years old. It's in very good shape."

"Adam maintains the church. During the winter when there isn't much field work, this is a project to keep laborers employed." Mariah frowned as she rubbed the great curve of her abdomen. "They even cleaned out the crypt and built oak pews. When the church is all repaired, he'll have to find them something else to restore."

The wind was sharp on the exposed hilltop. Reminding herself that it was spring, not summer, Sarah said, "Shall we head back now? We can't have you catch a chill. With luck we'll be back at the abbey before people wake up and realize you've escaped."

Mariah started to answer, then gasped and bent over, wrapping her arms around her belly. "Oh, Lord, I think this baby wants to come right now!"

Sarah's heart congealed as she pulled the carriage to a halt. "Oh, please, no! Wait until we get back to the abbey! Less than half an hour."

"I ... I can't!" Mariah clung to the edge of the curricle, her brown eyes wide with panic. "Julia explained to me all the stages and said sometimes birth is quick and sometimes it's slow, and I'd probably be slow since this is my first."

"But being impatient, you decided to produce this baby quickly." Sarah tried to keep her voice light, but she was terrified. She tied off the reins and leaped down to ease Mariah out of the curricle. Blood and fluid were staining the back of her sister's skirts. What to do? What to do?

The groom. Murphy had rounded the bend and could see them, so Sarah waved her free hand frantically.

Murphy kicked the horse to a gallop and was with them in seconds. "What's wrong, miss?"

"The baby is coming!" Sarah said tersely.

Murphy's face showed a flash of the horror most men felt when confronted with female reproduction, but he'd been a soldier. It took only an instant for him to collect himself and ask tersely, "Shall I carry the duchess back to the house on my horse? That would be the quickest way to get her home."

"No!" Mariah straightened, her face strained. "I need a ... slower way. And—oh, God, I need Adam!"

It would be dangerous for a pregnant woman to be carried across a saddlebow, and the curricle was too small for Mariah to stretch out in. What would be better? Mind racing, Sarah said, "I'll take her into the church and make her comfortable. Bring Ashton and a large wagon with a lot of padding—straw and feather beds or some such. And bring Lady Julia, since she's the duchess's midwife."

"Yes, miss." Murphy wheeled his mount and set off at top speed.

"Can you walk?" Sarah asked her sister, trying to sound calm.

"I ... I think so." Mariah closed her eyes for a moment as she composed herself. "The contractions have passed for now. Help me inside so I can lie down."

With her free hand, Sarah grabbed the carriage rugs from the curricle before guiding her sister into the old stone building. The door, like the roof, looked new and it swung open easily.

Inside a dozen pews faced the chancel, which was a step above the nave and held a simple stone altar. An arched opening on the far side of the nave led to a small room, probably the Lady Chapel. Narrow arched windows made the interior dim, and since there was no glass, the church was cold. But at le

Excerpted from Sometimes a Rogue by MARY JO PUTNEY. Copyright © 2013 by Mary Jo Putney. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sometimes a Rogue 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Bukgoddess More than 1 year ago
Mariah Townsend the Duchess of Ashton heavy with the pregnancy of her first child and feeling restless with all the extra fussing and attention begged her twin sister, Sara Clarke-Townsend to sneak out of Ralston Abbey and take her on an early dawn curricle ride around the estate property in order to gain some fresh air.  Although being followed at a discreet distance by their groom Murphy, the sisters knew that upon their return the inhabitants of Ralston Abbey were bound to be up in arms at their early morning wanderings with their Golden Duchess so close to term.  Mariah instructed to ride to the highest point of the estate up a hill, which contained an abandoned church currently under restoration.  Enjoying their stolen freedom immensely, the two sisters talked of love, babies and the opportunities to be together.  Upon reaching the church, Mariah gave a painful gasp and soon discovered her skirts stained with liquid and blood.  Fearing the baby’s early arrival, the groom was sent hurriedly back to the Abbey to obtain a wagon to carry the duchess home since it was not safe to return the way they came.  Sara, determined to keep her sister safe suggested she lie down in the church until help arrived.  Upon the sound of hoof beats Sara ran to the door to discover not the Duke and a wagon but rough men announcing their good fortune that the groom had rode away leaving them with to proceed with their assigned task of kidnapping the Duchess and her unborn child.  Thinking fast Sara decided to hide Mariah on the church crypt and pass herself off as her sister Mariah the Duchess of Ashton.  In haughty tones she expected would be required, Sara was convincing enough to make the men believe that she was indeed the Duchess having recently given birth.  Her tale complete, the imposter Duchess Sara Clarke-Townsend was taken away by knifepoint and led to an awaiting carriage while her sister the true Duchess, awaited in the dark crypt for assistance to arrive. Hoping for some peace and quiet after a long journey, Rob Carmichael, Bow Street Runner decided to act on an open invitation and visit his friend Adam who was also the Duke of Ashton.  Upon arriving at Ralston Abbey, he soon discovered pandemonium outside the grounds, which also consisted of the Duchess who appeared to be in distressed labor.  Once apprised of the situation at hand, Rob Carmichael although weary from his travels set out to find clues, which he hoped, would lead him to discover the whereabouts and lead to the safe rescue the falsely kidnapped Sara Clarke-Townsend along with the identity of the perpetrator who orchestrated the ghastly scheme.
mary08824 More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and it was great. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Tracy_St_Davids More than 1 year ago
MJP spins a good yarn, and this one's no exception. If you've enjoyed the earlier books, you'll see some of your new favorite characters as well. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining i think that Rob and Sarah are perfect for eachother. This is the first book i read from Mary Jo Putney and love it. I can't wait to read more books about this author
ReadingGenie More than 1 year ago
"Sometimes a Rogue" by Mary Jo Putney 2013 Book 5 of 'Lost Lords Series' Sarah Clarke-Townsend was visiting her very pregnant twin sister, Mariah,the Duchess of Ashton. Mariah was unusually restless and wanted to be moving. She talked Sarah into going out in a curricle. They made their way up to an abandoned church. They were looking at the interior when Mariah started to go into labor. The groom, who had been following them was told that the baby was coming and to go and get help as Mariah would have to be taken down the hill in something where she could lay down and she could not do so in the curricle. The groom hadn't been gone long when they heard voices outside. Thinking it was Mariah's husband, Adam, Sarah went to the door only to be shocked as she heard men plotting to kidnap her pregnant sister. Fearing that if they took Mariah, the baby and possibly Mariah could perish, Sarah decided that she had to save Mariah and the baby. Hiding Mariah behind the altar in an old crypt she closed the trap door and met the kidnappers head on. Because she looked just like Mariah, she convinced them she had already had her child and that she was the Duchess, The kidnappers took her not knowing that Mariah was in the crypt. They headed to Ireland. Rob Carmichael, a bow street runner, was on his way back to London. Ashton had offered him hospitality whenever he was near Aston's family seat. As Rob was approaching the house, he found turmoil outside. They were in the process of removing the Duchess of Aston from the back of a wagon. She was in agony and in labor. Ashton who was very relieved to see Rob explained to him the situation. Telling Rob how Sarah had pretended to be the duchess and was now in great danger having been taken by force. Rob started out after her. The trail led to Ireland. Rob rescues Sarah but to their dismay, the escape turned dangerous but Sarah shows she can hold her own. Will Sarah unexpectedly find love and happiness with this dangerous but trustworth bow street runner? Happy Reading!
BHogWild More than 1 year ago
#5 in the Lost Lords series, Mary Jo Putney once again delivers a Regency period romance that takes twists and turns to achieve her goals. Putney has Sarah pretend to be her twin sister so she can take her place when kidnappers come to take her hostage. Rob, a Bow Street Runner must rescue the lady and bring her safely back home. Both Sarah and Rob are strong, independent characters who shouldn't fit together at all, but who learn their struggle just brings them closer together. Just when everything appears to be safe, another set of circumstances brings in trials for the two. If you like the Lost Lords series, you'll truly enjoy this one. It's fast-paced and very satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed reading from the beginning until the end. Exciting novel with a lovely ending. LORRAINE
Lugslady More than 1 year ago
Nice series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Lost Lords
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy Mary Jo's books. Never a dull moment with great characters and plots.
ornerylibrarian More than 1 year ago
Twin sisters, one about to give birth when kidnappers show up to take the pregnant duchess, her sister assumes her identity so they take the wrong twin. Sarah goes with the thugs to protect her sister knowing her brother in law will swiftly come to her rescue, but he must stay with his wife as she gives birth. Luckily his good friend shows up in the nick of time, happens to be a Bow Street Runner and very skilled at saving the ladies. Rob Carmichael is soon hot on the trail of the nefarious criminals and then hot on Sarah's trail... Ms. Putney does it again. Another winner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has it all.....some parts were predictable but you fell in love with the characters immediately....very heartwarming, adventurous and funny at times. Good read!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very entertaining book, very likable characters, good storyline, plenty of intrigue and adventure. Cant wait for the next onein the series.
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book. I love to read M.J' s books and my shelves show it. It took me a bit to shuffle the characters around in my head. After I got them in place the action took off. Sarah took the place of her twin Mariah in a kidnapping plot. Rob, a Bow Street Runner, has to go to Ireland to rescue her. After fleeing across Ireland, sailing a small boat and wrecking on English soil, life gets progressively crazier. Rob gets news he doesn't like. Sarah doesn't want to go home and I was on pins and needles as to when the bad guys would show up again. This book hooked me quickly. I couldn't put it down. You must read and add this book to your library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of meaningless description and dialogue. Dialogue is very modern, and like previously mentioned by others, very juvenile. Plot was drawn out, contrived, hokey.
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lucyblue60 More than 1 year ago
I used to love Mary Jo Putney's books but the last couple have very stilted and boring writing. This story could have been so much more fun. It was just boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the writing and characterization to be juvenile and not in keeping with the period, at all. The author doesnt display even a rudimentary understanding of British society, let alone the historical period in which she has set her story. Neither the H nor the h has a consistent character with the h becoming rather officiously bossy and modern. And the plot is ridiculous. Needless to say, i really disliked it and wont be bothering with this author, again.