Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean!
My god. My. God. What is Sarah MacLean doing to me? I simply cannot function when I’m reading one of her books in the Rules of Scoundrels series, because I become obsessed with the characters, the romance, the story–everything–while reading. I adore this series. I am completely, 100%, over-the-moon in love with this series. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover and No Good Duke Goes Unpunished are absolute gems (A Rogue by Any Other Name was pretty great too). I don’t know how Sarah MacLean does it, but the owners of The Fallen Angel are to. die. for. And Temple… He makes me swoon so friggin’ hard. And yep, I have another book boyfriend to add to my already long list.
I can’t even begin to do this book justice. It’s just… too amazing. The story blew me away, the romance was the divine, and I fell so hard for the characters. I honestly had no idea I would love historical romances as much as I love this series. No Good Duke just cemented my love of the genre. Sarah MacLean is a genius! I don’t know how you do it Sarah, but DON’T EVER STOP!
Okay, okay. So if you’ve read the previous two books in the series (and if you haven’t, get right to it now!) and loved them just like me, you were crazed to read Temple’s book. It’s the Killer Duke’s book! And have you read that synopsis? Like, hot damn. I knew Sarah MacLean would give us another incredible, heart-wrenching romance, and yes, she delivers! Quite perfectly, if you ask me.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure Sarah could top One Good Earl (book 2). I loved loved loved Cross so damn much that I didn’t think that any of the other characters in their group of four could beat him. And while I can’t say Temple is better, I can say that Temple is absolutely on par with Cross. If you make me choose between them, I won’t be able to! So, you know, I totally call dibs on the both of them. Cross AND Temple… Be still, my heart.
Temple is known as the Killer Duke because he woke up in his father’s bride’s room covered with blood. He remembers nothing from the night before, and Mara, the bride, had disappeared. Temple was accused of her murder, and for the twelve years since her death, Temple has been haunted and wrecked with guilt. He feels he doesn’t deserve anything good since he truly believes he’s a murderer. And he’s a fighter as well. He’s huge, bigger than Bourne, Cross, and Chase, and Temple’s job is to fight the patrons of the gaming hell. If a gambler loses everything, he has a chance at gaining everything back if he can defeat Temple. But no once ever does. Temple is undefeated.
And in the midst of this new life Temple has created, Mara reappears. She’s not dead, which means Temple didn’t kill her, and he’s not the Killer Duke. And understandably, Temple is pissed as hell. He was accused of murder, and all of a sudden, the girl he supposedly killed comes back? And only to gain back the money her brother lost while gambling? He’s pissed and he wants revenge. And so the two go head to head all the time and sparks fly. The amount of sexual tension is off the charts too, and Sarah MacLean is a master at building the tension between the two.
“Don’t you see, Mara.” He leaned in and whispered, “You’re mine, now.”
I always liked Mara throughout the entire book, even when I should have hated her on behalf of Temple. She had her reasons for her deception, and she pays a heavy price for it. I mostly felt sympathetic towards her, because she is not welcomed by Temple or his friends. And yet she never gives up, never stops trying to gain back her brother’s lost money to help her orphanage. Her kids in the orphanage (and her pig, Lavender, the most adorable thing ever) are the most important things to her, and there’s so much more depth to her than we could have realized.
He’d made her laugh and smile. He’d made her feel beautiful.
For the first time in her life.
For the only time in her life.
I was honestly smiling and grinning so hard every time Temple and Mara see each other, because I couldn’t wait to see how the Sarah MacLean would make them fall for each other. And when they do fall in love, slowly but surely, it’s a bit heart-wrenching, because you don’t see a happily ever after in sight. You want one for them of course, but things become complicated. Revenge is what fuels Temple, and taking care of her orphanage is what fuels Mara. With Mara willing to do whatever it takes to earn back the lost money, including spending time with Temple (there might be some kissing involved), and eventually coming out and confessing to the public about the truth of that night she was ‘killed’, and Temple knowing that once she confesses, he’ll lose her forever, neither Temple nor Mara can imagine themselves living happily ever after with each other.
“You want me.”
“Want does not begin to describe the way I feel about you,” his low voice promised. “Want is nothing compared with the level of desire I have. With the desperation I feel. With the way I long for you.”
But, oh god, the journey along the way to their HEA is perfection. They learn more about each other, fall more in love with each other when they shouldn’t, and there’s so much excitement going on, both in their romance and within The Fallen Angel. There are some seriously intense fight scenes that were so gripping and had me on the edge of my seat. And the tension and angst built up so much that this book made me TEAR UP. I rarely ever cry for books, and yet No Good Duke took my breath away and made me tear up a little for Temple and Mara. I laughed, I cried, my heart ached, and I couldn’t have imagined a better story for Temple and Mara.
“I love your laugh. I want to hear it every day. I want to be through all this darkness and devastation. I want happiness now. I want our due. I want what we’ve deserved from the beginning.” He paused and stared deep into her eyes, willing her to understand how much he loved her. “I want you.”
Look at what I found on Sarah MacLean’s blog! We’re finally going to find out Chase’s mysterious secret, and I for one CAN’T WAIT!
Are you excited? Like Sarah said, even though I’ve read the ARC, I still don’t know Chase’s secret! The epilogue was cut off, and AH the wait is killing me. I know for sure what I’ll be doing on No Good Duke’s release day. 😉
If there’s a historical romance book you need to read, it’s No Good Duke Goes Unpunished. And One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. And A Rogue by Any Other Name. Read. These. Books. They’re romance at its finest. And you will fall in love with everything about them. I can’t get enough of this series! I’m so, so unbelievably excited for Chase’s book now! It’s finally coming! Soon.
5 hearts of course! Loved it with all my heart. (You have no idea how happy I was to read an ARC of this book. So THANK YOU to the publisher, Avon!)
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series
#1 ~ A Rogue by Any Other Name: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
paperbacks of A ROUGE BY ANY OTHER NAME & ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, Book One and Two of the Rules of Scoundrels Series