Blog Tour + Early Review & Giveaway: Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah Maclean

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean!

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #4 (full reading order below)
Release Date: November 25th 2014
Avon Romance
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RITA Award winning author, Sarah MacLean, reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel’s final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her New York Times bestselling Rules of Scoundrels series…

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered…until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear…including her heart.

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback • B&N • IndieBound • iTunesKobo

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Chase!! We finally get Chase’s book! It’s been a long time coming – this book was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year and it. was. AMAZING! I utterly adore the Rules of Scoundrels series. It truly is my all-time favorite historical romance series. Sarah MacLean writes characters like no other. Every time I open one of her books, I’m completely absorbed and invested in every page. I’ve reread this series countless times, and I know I’ll pick up these books again.

Ever since I read A Rogue by Any Other Name, Chase has held my intrigue. As the founder of The Fallen Angel, Chase is powerful yet mysterious. But now in Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, we finally get to uncover Chase’s secrets. (And Sarah MacLean seriously knows how to surprise her readers.)

If you have NOT read No Good Duke Goes Unpunished yet, PLEASE don’t read on. There will be a GIANT SPOILER for Never Judge a Lady!! TRUST ME, you don’t want to be spoiled. I can honestly say that I’ve never been so shocked and surprised by book as I have for No Good Duke… for this whole series!

Because… Chase is a woman. Chase is in fact, Lady Georgiana Pearson, daughter of a duke. My reaction? …Hell yes!! Girl power for the win. I do admit I felt a slight disappointment that Chase wasn’t a man because I had imagined Chase to be the best of all four men. But I got over it pretty quickly. Because guess what? Georgiana is one hell of a woman. She’s tough, loyal, and so protective over those she cares about.

Temple’s black brows rose. “It never fails to surprise me just how ruthless you can be.”
She smiled her sweetest smile at him. “Never trust a woman.”
He laughed. “Not you, at least.”

Now, the hero? He had to be someone intelligent, someone who could keep up with Chase, with Georgiana, step by step. And Duncan West was really the perfect man for her. Duncan and Georgiana have a fiery chemistry between, but there’s also an intense, sexy battle of wits. They’ve never been stronger or more vulnerable than they have when they’re together. I loved seeing them fall for each other, these two fiercely independent people falling when they least expected it.

And yes, this book is HOT. Georgiana and Duncan (oh god, DUNCAN) were ON FIRE in this book. Never Judge a Lady is the hottest book of the series, in my opinion. It was that burn, that tension between the characters when they wanted but couldn’t have each other. And I never expected it, but oh my word, Duncan is truly a scoundrel in this book. Loooved the sexy times in the book.

“Would you like that?” he whispered, “Would you like it if I took control of your pleasure? If I wrapped you in it? If I gave it to you over and over, until you could not bear it? Until you ached for my touch about all others?”

(Do you see!? Duncan had me burning up while I was reading!)

Unfortunately, as Chase cannot be revealed as a woman, secrets and lies build up. Georgiana and Duncan belong together, but their lies threaten to tear them apart. They can’t love each other, but they fall so hard anyway. I’m going to keep hush hush about the plot – Chase being a woman is only one of many secrets. What I will say is that there was never a dull moment in this book. I pretty much devoured this book as soon as I got it. I honestly couldn’t be happier with Chase’s book. I loved it!

4.5 hearts! Cross will always be my favorite of the four, but Chase’s is a close second. Because – Duncan! Georgiana! Epicness!

4.5 hearts
lacey

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

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: 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

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$50.00 Choice Book Seller Gift Card and Print Set of the Rule of Scoundrels Books 1-3

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Cover Reveal: Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah Maclean

WOOHOO!! I’m so unbelievably excited for NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean!! I’m the hugest fan of the Rules of Scoundrels series, and now we’re finally going have CHASE’S story!! And look at the gorgeous cover! It’s absolutely perfect.

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #4 (full reading order below)
Release Date: November 25th 2014
Add to Goodreads

RITA Award winning author, Sarah MacLean, reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel’s final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her New York Times bestselling Rules of Scoundrels series…

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered…until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear…including her heart.

Buy Links:
Ebook • Paperback • B&N • IndieBound

Behind-the-Scenes Quotes

“I’ve always loved cross-dressing heroines – the trope is probably my most favorite of all the romance tropes, so when I wrote Chase, I wanted to play with the cross-dressing heroine idea. She doesn’t just dress in trousers – she’s also built a persona to match. She’s a pre-Victorian Wizard of Oz, so to speak, thought to be a man, but one who has never been seen in public, and about whom very few people know the truth…namely, that he’s a she.”

–Sarah MacLean

“Seeing a woman in pants has not been shocking for about a century.

But when one remembers the historical context of Regency England it is extraordinary. I hope this cover attracts readers who are looking for something different, because Sarah is blazing her own path in historical romance.“

–Carrie Feron, Executive Editor

“It was a fabulous challenge.”

–Tom Egner, Avon Art Director

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 • Goodreads
#2 ~ One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Nov. 25, 2014)

about the author

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 http://www.macleanspace.com

Author Links
Website • Facebook • Twitter

Blog Tour + Early Review & Giveaway: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah Maclean

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished Sarah MacLean banner

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean!

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rule of Scoundrels #3 (full reading order below)
Release Date: November 26th 2013
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A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows . . . that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback • B&N • BAM • IndieBound

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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–everythingwhile 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!

Readers of No Good Duke will learn Chase’s secret.

The deep, dark secret that would ruin Chase, The Angel and all my scoundrels if it got out.

The deep, dark secret that no one (except for a very small band of merry men and women at Avon/HarperCollins) knows, because the bit of Temple’s book that reveals the secret was redacted from all early versions of the book. No reviewers know it. No early readers know it.

Everyone who reads the book when it’s released on November 26th will learn Chase’s secret together. And then, there will be spoilers. So watch out. 🙂

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!)

5 hearts
lacey

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

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: 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

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paperbacks of A ROUGE BY ANY OTHER NAME & ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, Book One and Two of the Rules of Scoundrels Series

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Review: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 29th 2013
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean.

Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she’s never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa’s done her research and Cross’s reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it’s more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

I. am. in. love! One Good Earl Deserves a Lover was incredible–it had the perfect amount of edge, angst, humor, sexiness, and sweetness. This book was everything I never knew I wanted in a historical romance!

I was fairly impressed with the first book in The Rules of Scoundrels series, but I didn’t LOVE it. And then I read this gem and WOW. Just WOW. I fell head over heels in love, and I couldn’t put the book down! The characters are incredibly written and the storyline hooked me from start to finish. And I’m hoping other historical romances set in England will be this divine!

love Philippa Marbury, aka Pippa. She’s quirky and cute and lovable. She’s incredibly intelligent–she knows random facts about anything and everything, but this makes her odd in her society. She’s meant for more in life, but she has to settle for marrying boring old Lord Castleton. Okay, so he’s not old, but he’s just not right for Pippa. She doesn’t make her breathless, her heart race, her body flush… but Cross does.

Cross–the enigmatic part owner of the gaming hell The Fallen Angel, who has just as many quirks as Pippa.

Pippa thinks purely in the scientific sense. She believes in cold hard facts, not in frivolous things like love. She’s never experienced passion and lust, and figures she should know what to expect when her wedding night comes. And so this leads to her research, research about passion, about desire. She goes to Cross, because of his scandalous reputation, for help in her “research.” But she never expected to actually feel things for him, to fall in love with him.

“My whole life . . . two and two has made four.”
He nodded, utterly focused on her, and she loved him all over again for paying attention . . . for understanding her.
“But now . . . it’s all gone wrong.” She shook her head. “It doesn’t make four anymore. It makes you.”

Pippa is just wonderful. She’s tough and stubborn and honest. She’s relatable and just so freakin’ adorable! Ever since she met Cross, she’s become someone more than just her über scientific self. She experiences passion and love. And yet I love how she retains her quirks. Cross just brings out the best in her, both her intelligent side, and her emotional side.

Oh my, Cross. Cross, Cross, Cross. He makes my heart flutter! This man is beautiful, inside and out. He’s so unusual for a main male lead, but that ended up being so endearing to me. Let’s see–he’s abnormally tall, even taller than what you would expect a hot male alpha to be (and he is such a hot male alpha *swoon!*), and he has a head full of red hair. Yes! He’s a redhead, and he makes having red hair sound hot! Personally, I think he could make anything look and sound sexy. There was one scene where Cross’s shirt was unbuttoned a little at the top, and his shirtsleeves were rolled up, baring those delicious forearms… *sigh* The forearms, they just do me in. Can you tell I’m in love with him? And not just with his physical traits either. This man, when he wants to be, is the sweetest man on earth. It may seem as if he’s a scoundrel and a selfish man, but in reality, everything he’s done, he’s done for those he loves. His remaining family has always been his number one priority ever since an incident years ago. But ever since Pippa came into his life, he’s never been the same.

She was everything he’d never known he wanted.
And he did want her. Enough to make him wish he were someone else. Enough to make him wish he were more. Different. Better.

Oh, this man made my heart swoon madly.

The angst! Oh gosh, it was perfect. Cross doesn’t believe he’s good enough for Pippa because of his past and what he’s done. So he pushes her away, doesn’t allow himself to be happy with her. And this just raises the tension off the charts!

I loved every single interaction between Cross and Pippa. There were the funny parts, where Cross would deny himself about feeling anything for Pippa and make an absolute fool out of himself. There were the parts that were so intense and filled with tension between Pippa and Cross. It made my heart flip flop and go crazy!

The secondary characters are so well written too. I became even more intrigued with the other owners of The Fallen Angel, Temple and Chase.

“No toast?”
“Not to love,” Temple said wryly. “Women may be warm and welcome . . . but they’re not to be trusted.”
“Now that you’ve said it, you know what that means.” Temple raised a black row as Chase toasted him with a grin. “You’re next.”

When I read this, it made me laugh so hard. Because yes, Temple will be next!

The book was perfect. Perfect characters, perfect story, perfect ending. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as hard as I did at that scene right before the epilogue. SAH-WOOON!

I’m not usually a reader of historical romances, at least those that are set in England during the Regency era, but this book was wonderful. If you love historical romances, you should read this book. If you don’t read historical romances, you should read this book. If you don’t like historical romances, you should read this book. You don’t even have to read this first book before diving into this one, it’s that good. (And I’m a stickler for reading books in order!)

*Sigh* I just loved everything about One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. And I cannot WAIT for the next book in the series. TEMPLE!!

5 hearts
lacey

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: 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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Review: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 28th 2012
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets…

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them… even her heart.

I was weirdly in the mood to read a historical romance. It felt like a craving, really. Don’t know why I wanted to read a historical romance, I just did! I was wondering which book I should choose, and I randomly chose this one. Why? Maybe the pretty cover? I have no clue, but I’m glad I read it!

I love stories where the main hero and heroine used to be friends. I just LOVE those stories. They were friends when they were children, they were with each other constantly, thought about each other constantly, but never acted on anything because they were young. Yet they always held the promise of something more. And then something tragic happens and they separate. AH! The angst!

In this case, Michael, Marquess of Bourne, and Penelope were best friends when they were younger. But then Michael loses a bet, losing everything he owned–his inheritance, his house, his land–and he leaves. He deserts Penelope, who is crushed. Years pass without Michael ever contacting Penelope, and she becomes engaged to another. This ends in a disastrous scandal, leaving Penelope’s reputation in ruins. Her family is desperate for her to marry, and so her father adds in Michael’s lost land into her dowry to attract a husband.

Michael, now known only as Bourne, is one of four owners of a gaming hell known as The Fallen Angel, and is very successful. He has rebuilt his fortune, his name, yet he never forgot the day the lost everything, the day he promised to take back what was lost and vowed revenge against the man to stole everything from him. And he starts by forcing Penelope into marriage–with him. Now the two have to pretend they are over the moon about each other, that they have truly achieved a love match, and have to prove to society they didn’t marry because of certain circumstances (which of course they did). And throughout their entire farce, when Michael is a loving husband in public, Penelope can’t help wondering, is Michael acting? Or does he maybe, truly, have feelings for her?

I really enjoyed the writing, but the characters were harder to like. Penelope was a bit hard to connect with, and Michael is very much a class A jerk to Penelope. He’s cold and heartless and ruthless, and he’ll let nothing stand in the way of his revenge, even his old friend Penelope. Penelope still has some feelings for the boy who left her, but the man who’s with her now is completely changed, and she doesn’t know how to feel about that. I started liking them better later on in the book, when the tension between them gets more intense. And WOW does it get intense! *fans self*

Michael feels guilty for how he treats Penelope, but that doesn’t excuse his treatment of her. And somewhere along the way, feelings come rushing back in, and he’s in a dilemma. If he wants Penelope, he has to give up his quest for revenge. But if he wants his revenge, he gives up love and the only person who ever meant anything to him. And here’s where I started really enjoying the book. The angst for Michael is so well done! My heart was aching for him and Penelope, because neither knows whether their marriage could ever be real. They each have their faults, and aren’t sure if they really can love each other. Michael kept disappointing Penelope, and there were too many lies and deceits, but I was really cheering for them to have a HEA. Because I’m just a sucker for a couple who were best friends as children. They need to have a HEA!

“I am too imperfect for you,” he whispered at her temple.
“You are perfectly imperfect for me.”

There were several Awww moments that made my heart flutter when Michael realizes that wants more with Penelope. And I loved when Penelope grew more confident in herself. She may not be the most beautiful girl, or the most special, but she’s stubborn, clever, and loves Michael a hell of a lot.

This wasn’t the most perfect book, but it definitely made me happy with what I chose to read to satisfy my historical romance craving. The characters got better over time, and I’m such a fan of Sarah MacLean’s writing. And I loved all the letters between young Penelope and young Michael interspersed between the chapters! They were SO cute! Highly recommend this book for romance lovers!

4 hearts!

4 hearts

The British nobility hierarchy (this is more for my personal reference for the names and forms of address, and it’s not exactly very elaborate, but oh well!):

Duke/Duchess (Your Grace)
Marquess/Marchioness (My Lord)
Earl/Countess (My Lord)
Viscount/Viscountess (My Lord)
Baron/Baroness (My Lord)

I read A Rogue by Any Other Name and One Good Earl Deserves a Lover back to back, so be on the lookout for my review of the second book!

lacey

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: 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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