Blog Tour // Review + Excerpt: Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
Series: Bareknuckle Bastards #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 30th 2019
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New York Times Bestselling Author Sarah MacLean returns with the next book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series about three brothers bound by a secret that they cannot escape—and the women who bring them to their knees.

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleIndieBound

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I really, really wish I didn’t struggle with this series like I do. Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite historical romance authors (she gave us the Rules of Scoundrels series, which I worship), but the Bareknuckle Bastards series just doesn’t seem to be working for me. It’s not BAD, but it’s not that great either. I found myself bored more than anything with Brazen and the Beast, which was the same issue I had with book one, Wicked and the Wallflower. The plot moved too slowly that I had to skim parts of the book. The only saving grace to this book was Hattie, but even she wasn’t enough to make me love this one.

Henrietta “Hattie” Sedley decides to make her 29th birthday the start of “The Year of Hattie,” in which she claims control of her life in terms of fortune, business, home, and future. I LOVED Hattie in the first half of this book. She was an awesome, head-strong woman who took charge of her life and didn’t look back. Unfortunately, one major bump in the road to The Year of Hattie is Whit, the second half of the Bareknuckle Bastards and co-ruler of the darker side of London. He sees Hattie and wants her, though he thinks he’s not good enough for her. What he will help her out with is her body – he’s determined to show her all the carnal pleasures of life, but nothing more.

The first half of this book went great – I was excited for Hattie, excited to see how she’d manage her new life with the addition of Whit. She is very much an endearing, relatable heroine. The second half of the book however, went a little downhill for me. The plot felt like it stalled – Hattie claiming her father’s business didn’t go anywhere, Whit kept going on and on about not being good enough for Hattie and going hot and cold with her. The only thing that happened was more and more sex – which is great, but I also wanted to see more of The Year of Hattie besides her learning about her body.

So yeah, I struggle with this. I think by the end of the book I was reading it for the secondary characters more than anything. I liked Hattie but didn’t care for Whit. SM tried to make Whit (and his brother) seem dark, dangerous, and broody, and while he is broody, he’s just not the dangerous character she writes him out to be. SM’s writing is great, and I did enjoy seeing little snippets of past characters from the Scandal & Scoundrel series. I’m clinging onto this series for the couple in the third and final book – Grace and Ewan’s story. They have been teased and hyped throughout the series and I am PRAYING that it won’t disappoint!


lacey

Now here’s an excerpt from Brazen and the Beast! ❤

excerpt button

September 1837
Mayfair

In twenty-eight years and three hundred sixty-four days, Lady Henrietta Sedley liked to think that she’d learned a few things.

She’d learned, for example, that if a lady could not get away with wearing trousers (an unfortunate reality for the daughter of an earl, even one who had begun life without title or fortune), then she should absolutely ensure that her skirts included pockets. A woman never knew when she might require a bit of rope, or a knife to cut it, after all.

She’d also learned that any decent escape from her Mayfair home required the cover of darkness and a carriage driven by an ally. Coachmen tended to talk a fine game when it came to keeping secrets, but were ultimately beholden to those who paid their salaries. An important addendum to that particular lesson was this: The best of allies was often the best of friends.

And perhaps first on the list of things she had learned in her lifetime was how to tie a Bosun knot. She’d been able to do that for as long as she could remember.

With such an obscure and uncommon collection of knowledge, one might imagine that Henrietta Sedley would have known precisely what to do in the likelihood she discovered a human male bound and unconscious in her carriage.

One would be incorrect.

In point of fact, Henrietta Sedley would never have described such a scenario as a likelihood. After all, she might have been more comfortable on London’s docks than in its ballrooms, but Hattie’s impressive collection of life experience lacked anything close to a criminal element.

And yet, here she was, pockets full, dearest friend at her side, standing in the pitch dark on the night before her twenty-ninth birthday, about to steal away from Mayfair for a night of best-laid plans, and…

Lady Eleanora Madewell whistled, low and unladylike at Hattie’s ear. Daughter of a duke and the Irish actress he loved so much he’d made her a duchess, Nora had the kind of brashness that was allowed in those with impervious titles and scads of money. “There’s a bloke in the gig, Hattie.”

Hattie did not look away from the bloke in question. “Yes, I see that.”

“There wasn’t a bloke in the gig when we hitched the horses.”

“No, there wasn’t.” They’d left the hitched—and most definitely empty—carriage in the dark rear drive of Sedley House not three-quarters of an hour earlier, before hiking upstairs to exchange carriage-hitching dresses for attire more appropriate for their evening plans.

At some point between corset and kohl, someone had left her an extraordinarily unwelcome package.

“Seems we would’ve noticed a bloke in the gig,”

“I should think we would have,” came Hattie’s distracted reply. “This is really just awful timing.”

Nora cut her a look. “Is there a good time for a man to be bound in one’s carriage?”

Hattie imagined there wasn’t, but, “He could have selected a different evening. What a terrible birthday gift.” She squinted into the dark interior of the carriage. “Do you think he’s dead?”

Please, don’t let him be dead.

Silence. Then, a thoughtful, “Does one store dead men in carriages?” Nora reached forward, her coachman’s coat pulling tight over her shoulders, and poked the dead man in question. He did not move. “He’s not moving,” she added. “Could be dead.”

Hattie sighed, removing a glove and leaning into the carriage to place two fingers to the man’s neck. “I’m sure he’s not dead.”

“What are you doing?” Nora whispered, urgently. “If he’s not dead, you’ll wake him!”

“That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Hattie pointed out. “Then we could ask him to kindly exit our conveyance and we could be on our way.”

“Oh, yes. This brute seems like precisely the kind of man who would immediately do just that and not immediately take his revenge. He’d no doubt doff his cap and wish us a fine good evening.”

“He’s not wearing a cap,” Hattie pointed out, unable to refute any of the rest of the assessment of the mysterious, possibly dead man. He was very broad, and very solid, and even in the darkness she could tell that this wasn’t a man with whom one took a turn about a ballroom.

This was the kind of man who ransacked a ballroom.

“What do you feel?” Nora pressed.

“No pulse.” Though she wasn’t precisely certain of the location one would find a pulse. “But he’s—”

Warm.

Dead men were not warm, and this man was very warm. Like a fire in winter. The kind of warm that made someone realize how cold she might be.

Ignoring the silly thought, Hattie moved her fingers down the column of his neck, to the place where it disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt, where the curve of his shoulder and the slope of…the rest of him… met in a fascinating indentation.

“Anything now?”

“Quiet.” Hattie held her breath. Nothing. She shook her head.

“Christ.” It wasn’t a prayer.

Hattie couldn’t have agreed more. But then…

There. A small flutter. She pressed a touch more firmly. The flutter became firm. Slow. Even. “I feel it. She said. “He’s alive.” She repeated herself. “He’s alive.” She exhaled, long and relieved. “He’s not dead.”

“Excellent. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s unconscious in the carriage, and you have somewhere to be.” She paused. “We should leave him and take the curricle.”

Hattie had been planning for this particular excursion on this particular night for a full three months. This was the night that would begin her twenty-ninth year. The year her life would become her own. The year she would become her own. And she had a very specific plan for a very specific location at a very specific hour, for which she had donned a very specific frock. And yet, as she stared at the man in her carriage, specifics seemed not at all important.

What seemed important was seeing his face.

Clinging to the handle at the edge of the door, Hattie collected the lantern from the upper rear corner of the carriage before swinging back out to face Nora, whose gaze flickered immediately to the unlit container.

Nora tilted her head. “Hattie. Leave him. Let’s take the curricle.”

“Just a peek,” Hattie replied.

The tilt became a shake. “If you peek, you’ll regret it.”

“I have to peek,” Hattie insisted, casting about for a decent reason—ignoring the odd fact that she was unable to tell her friend the truth. “I have to untie him.”

“Not necessarily,” Nora pointed out. “Someone thought he was best left tied up, and who are we to disagree?” Hattie was already reaching into the pocket of the carriage door for a flint. “What of your plans?”

There was plenty of time for her plans. “Just a peek,” she repeated, the oil in the lantern catching fire. She closed the door and turned to face the carriage, lifting the light high, casting a lovely golden glow over—

“Oh, my,” she said.

Nora choked back a laugh. “Not such a bad gift after all, perhaps.”

The man had the most beautiful face Hattie had ever seen. The most beautiful face anyone had ever seen, she imagined. She leaned closer, taking in his warm, bronze skin, the high cheekbones, the long, straight nose, the dark slashes of his brows and the impossibly long lashes that lay like feathers against his cheeks.

“What kind of man…” she trailed off. Shook her head.

What kind of man looked like this?

Reading Order: Bareknuckle Bastards series

 

#1 ~ Wicked and the Wallflower: EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Brazen and the Beast: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Daring and the Duke: Goodreads (June 30, 2020)

about the author button

A life-long romance reader, Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare, and never looked back. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances and a columnist for The Washington Post, where she writes about the romance genre. She lives in New York City. Visit her at http://www.sarahmaclean.net.

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Blog Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for one of my favorite reads of 2017, The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean!

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Add to Goodreads

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day

THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes • KoboGoogle Play

Now here’s an excerpt from The Day of the Duchess! ❤

excerpt button

Chapter 1

DESERTED DUKE DISAVOWED!

August 19, 1836

House of Lords, Parliament

She’d left him two years, seven months ago, exactly.

Malcolm Marcus Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven looked to the tiny wooden calendar wheels inlaid into the blotter on his desk in his private office above the House of Lords.

August the nineteenth, 1836. The last day of the parliamentary session, filled with pomp and idle. And lingering memory. He spun the wheel with the six embossed upon it. Five. Four. He took a deep breath.

Get out. He heard his own words, cold and angry with betrayal, echoing with quiet menace. Don’t ever return.

He touched the wheel again. August became July. May. March.

January the nineteenth, 1834. The day she left.

His fingers moved without thought, finding comfort in the familiar click of the wheels.

April the seventeenth, 1833.

The way I feel about you . . . Her words now—soft and full of temptation. I’ve never felt anything like this.

He hadn’t, either. As though light and breath and hope had flooded the room, filling all the dark spaces. Filling his lungs and heart. And all because of her.

Until he’d discovered the truth. The truth, which had mattered so much until it hadn’t mattered at all.

Where had she gone?

The clock in the corner of the room ticked and tocked, counting the seconds until Haven was due in his seat in the hallowed main chamber of the House of Lords, where men of higher purpose and passion had sat before him for generations. His fingers played the little calendar like a virtuoso, as though they’d done this dance a hundred times before. A thousand.

And they had.

March the first, 1833. The day they met.

So, they let simply anyone become a duke, do they? No deference. Teasing and charm and pure, unadulterated beauty.

If you think dukes are bad, imagine what they accept from duchesses?

That smile. As though she’d never met another man. As though she’d never wanted to. He’d been hers the moment he’d seen that smile. Before that. Imagine, indeed.

And then it had fallen apart. He’d lost everything, and then lost her. Or perhaps it had been the reverse. Or perhaps it was all the same.

Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?

Where had she gone?

The clock struck eleven, heavy chimes sounding in the room, echoed by a dozen others sounding down the long, oaken corridor beyond, summoning men of longstanding name to the duty that had been theirs before they drew breath.

Haven spun the calendar wheels with force, leaving them as they lay. November the thirty-seventh, 3842. A fine date—one on which he had absolutely no chance of thinking of her.

Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean 

#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: My Review • EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Day of the Duchess: My ReviewEbookPaperback • HardcoverAudible • Goodreads

The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:

Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

#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: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

about the author button

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Win a set of print copies of THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN and A SCOT IN THE DARK, books 1 & 2 in the Scandal and Scoundrel Series (US Only)

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Early Review: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Links: EbookPaperback • HardcoverAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day

THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS

AAHHHHH I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!!!!! This might honestly be my new all-time favorite book of Sarah MacLean’s (and if you know me, you know how much I loved One Good Earl Deserves a Lover). The angst had me in TEARS. I LOVED it. THIS is exactly the kind of book I want when I read a second chance romance (aka has a groveling hero who is unrelenting in his pursuit to win back the one and only love of his life). As soon as I finished The Day of the Duchess, I knew it would be one of the best books I’d read all year. I wholeheartedly loved every bit of this wonderful book, and I encourage all historical romance lovers and second chance romance lovers to read this book!

Home required more than river and rolling hills. Home required her. And so he would do this summer what he had done every moment he’d been away from London for the past two years and seven months, exactly. He would search for her.

For the past three years, Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has been searching endlessly for his runaway wife. We experience the pain and agony he’s been going through the past few years missing his wife – the woman he loves and hates. Sarah MacLean writes his anguish so well – I could FEEL exactly how he was feeling, and it was literally hurting my heart. I love some good angst, and the author gives it to us in huge doses. Then, finally, Malcolm’s wife reappears back in London, demanding a divorce… and all he can think about is having her back in his life forever.

The only woman he’d ever loved. The only woman he’d ever hated.
The same, and somehow entirely different.

Here, Sarah MacLean intertwines Sera and Malcolm’s love stories that take place both in the past and the present. We get the background of how they met and fell in love… before everything fell apart, before Malcolm hated Sera, before Sera ran away. Their past is heartbreaking and full of pain – I nearly had tears in my eyes because I felt like I was experiencing every bit of their pain alongside them.

Love is not enough.
There had been a time when it would have been. When he had been all she’d ever wished for. All she’d ever needed. But he’d been too blind to see that everything she’d done had been for him. For their family. For their future. And by the time he’d understood, she’d already been fixed to the firmament.

And then, I ACTUALLY cried as Malcolm was trying to win back his wife and love of his life. His desperation to earn Sera’s forgiveness and love again had my heart hurting, but I loved every second of the hurt. His path toward redemption is a bit wonky – having Sera find a replacement wife for him, all the while trying to get her to love him again – but he is definitely not letting her go again, because he never stopped loving her. I love a good grovel, and Sarah MacLean gave me everything I never knew I wanted in a groveling hero. I honestly didn’t think Malcolm would be redeemable after what happened in The Rogue Not Taken, but all I can say after having read this is that Malcolm is 100% redeemed in my eyes and I absolutely loved him and Sera together.

“I shall have you. I shall love you. And I shall grow old in your arms.”

This is probably my all-time favorite redeeming love story. I’m such a sucker for second chance romances but they’re never done quite the way I want them to. Luckily, Sarah MacLean surpassed all my expectations in a second chance romance with this beautiful, powerful love story. Everyone needs to experience the wonder that is this book!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean 

#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: My Review • EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Day of the Duchess: EbookPaperback • HardcoverAudible • Goodreads (June 27, 2017)

The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:

Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

#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: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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ARC Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Lonesome Lily turned Scandalous Siren

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate . . . until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke

The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town

Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love . . . and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much . . .

Sarah MacLean is probably my favorite historical romance author. I fell in love with her Rules of Scoundrels series and have been enjoying her spinoff, the Scandal & Scoundrel series. A Scot in the Dark is the second in the spinoff series, featuring an England-hating Scottish Duke and his new, scandalized ward. Their story is an emotional, angst-filled romance with a hero who believes he doesn’t deserve to be with the woman he loves. If you loved The Rogue Not Taken, then you will definitely love A Scot in the Dark!

Lily Hargrove has been alone all her life and dreams of finding love and a place to belong. She thinks she’s found that with a rising artist, but he ends up using her and betraying her in the end. Her reputation on the bridge of ruin, she’s reminded of just why she wants to leave London and never look back, but she needs the help of the Duke responsible for her to do so. Except when said Duke finds out about his scandalized ward, he makes plans to marry her off and be done with her.

“You forget yourself,” he said. “As my ward, your things are my things.”
Her gaze flew to his. “You beast.”
His lips pressed into a long straight line. “And you, the most beautiful woman in London,” he said, as though being beautiful was the most ugly thing she could be. “We make a fine match, Lovely Lily.”

The Scottish Duke of Warnick, Alec Stuart hates everything about London and its aristocracy, the same aristocracy that looked down on his when he was younger and caters to him now that he’s a Duke. He’s especially annoyed to find out he has a ward and has to go into the dreaded city to fix her reputation. But Lily turns out to be so much different than he expected and he finds himself unable to resist being around her and growing feelings for her. But he knows that she’s in a different league in him, not just in looks, but that she also deserves someone who will love and cherish her like she deserves, because that man can’t be him.

More. He’d thought he’d known what wanting felt like. What longing meant. And then he’d met Lillian Hargrove, and he’d realized the truth—that everything for which he’d ever hungered was nothing compared to her. There was nothing he would not pay. Nothing he would not do for another taste of her.
And that he was unworthy of her.

I really enjoyed the banter between Lily and Alec! I have to say it might be my favorite part of this book. To say these two don’t get along would be an understatement, which makes for some entertaining conversations between them. Plus, the underlying chemistry they have made the banter all the more fun. What did annoy me, though, was the back-and-forth between Alec’s feelings for Lily. He kept saying he didn’t deserve her but would take her for his own anyway, would go hot and cold so often it was a little frustrating. This ended up making the romance a little slower than I would’ve liked, but I could definitely feel the angst and emotional upheaval the characters were feeling themselves.

“I am yours, my love, body and soul. When I am old, I do not wish to think of you. I wish to be with you. I wish to love you.”

Despite the annoyances, Lily and Alec’s story was touching, romantic, and their love was definitely hard-earned. It had similar vibes to The Rogue Not Taken, so if you enjoyed that story, you will most likely enjoy this one too! Right now, I’m dying for the next Scandal & Scoundrel book – I love a good second chance romance, and The Day of the Duchess seems like there will be plenty of groveling too. I’m really hoping Sarah MacLean doesn’t disappoint (not that she ever does)!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Day of the Duchess: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (June 27, 2017)

The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:

Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

#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: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean!

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 29th 2015
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Lady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

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Sarah MacLean is, hands down, my favorite historical romance author. She always gets me so sucked into her stories and makes my emotions go haywire. I’m obsessed with her Rules of Scoundrels series, so when I heard she was writing a spinoff, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! The Rogue Not Taken is the first book in the new Scandals & Scoundrel series, and it was pure fun to read. It had a little Gossip Girl to it, a fantastic road trip, and hilarious, witty banter between the main characters. I didn’t love it quite as much as my favorites from the Rules of Scoundrels series, but if you’re a fan of Sarah MacLean, you still won’t want to miss this new series!

We first met Sophie Talbot in Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, and even though I wasn’t a fan of her then, I’m a huge fan of her now. I really loved Sophie’s character. She’s funny, sarcastic, protective of her family, and she hates the way society treats her family with scorn. Sophie is the ‘uninteresting’ one of her sisters, but when she creates a scandal that shocks even her siblings, she decides to leave London and most importantly, Society. But along the way, she comes across the Marquess of Eversley, an infamous scoundrel she can’t help but dislike on sight.

He was everything he was purported to be. Scandalous. Sinful. An utter scoundrel. Everything Society vilified, even as it celebrated it.

King, also known as the Marquess of Eversley, has built his reputation as a scoundrel for a reason. So he shouldn’t be bothered that Sophie doesn’t like him based on his scoundrel ways, but for some reason he is. As the two of them are flung along on an adventure across England, they go head-to-head in the most entertaining, delightful of ways. To say the two of them don’t get along is an understatement – the first half of the book is filled with hilarious banter, and witty remarks are constantly exchanged. But what I loved most about their banter was that it allowed King to see Sophie as more than the ‘boring’ Talbot sister. The two of them slowly start to fall for each other during their little adventure, but King proves stubborn and won’t allow himself to ever be vulnerable again.

She thought too little of herself, and King had suddenly wished very much to change her mind. As insane as that sounded.
He blamed her beautiful smile.

The second half of this book is a lot more emotional than the first, and Sarah MacLean had my heart aching and pounding for her characters. And as usual, she writes some HOT scenes in The Rogue Not Taken – the chemistry between King and Sophie is on fire. The build-up of the steam between them is fantastic, but I really wish we could’ve gotten more than the one sex scene there was.

I really enjoyed The Rogue Not Taken – I loved Sophie, but King took me a while to warm up to. He was too stubborn sometimes and I wanted to shake him when he grew frustrating, but the ending definitely made up for it. This was a great series starter, and now I can’t wait to see what Sarah MacLean has in store for the rest of the series!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Now here’s an excerpt from The Rogue Not Taken! ❤

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“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.

She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.

Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.

“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”

He raised a brow. “Clever. There’s food when you’ve bathed.” The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”

“It seems so,” she said.

“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”

She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”

“It’s a particular talent.”

“What with you being called King.”

“Name is destiny.”

She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.

King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.

If only someone would tell his body that.

Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: EbookPaperbackHardcoverGoodreads (Aug. 30, 2016)

The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:

Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

#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: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

about the author button

Sarah MacleanSarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at www.macleanspace.com

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

giveaway button

a Set of the Print editions of all books in the Rule of Scoundrels series
(A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, and NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER)
*U.S. ONLY

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