A Rebel without a Rogue (The Penningtons: Book One)

Written by Bliss Bennet
Review by Celia Shea

A Rebel Without A Rogue, the first volume in Bliss Bennet’s Penningtons series, hinges on the burning desire for revenge felt by its heroine, Fianna Cameron, whose father was hanged by a traitor by the English during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

By the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Fianna’s quest is nearly complete: only one of her English targets remains. She travels to London in order to kill Major Christopher Pennington, the very man who oversaw her father’s execution. But the mania for revenge often blinds its actors, and Fianna is no exception: it is only once she has found and actually shot Pennington does she realize, to her horror, that the man she nearly killed is far too young to be the man she was hunting.

That young man, Kit, is indeed a scion of the Pennington family, and he naturally becomes fascinated as to the identity of this mysterious woman who shot him and then fled.

Bennet takes this exuberant romance-novel premise and twists and turns it very enjoyably, bringing her high-spirited future lovers together in a series increasingly sympathetic clashes as they gradually learn to know each other. And along the way, Bennet also manages to do what may be the most important background task she needs to accomplish: she interests her readers in the larger story of the Penningtons, which she will pursue in future books.

A sparkling debut.