Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

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.


 A Rogue by Any Other Name is the first book in Sarah MacLean’s The Rules of Scoundrels series and from the first page to the last is filled with emotion – happiness, heartbreak, passion, romance – a truly fabulous story!

I often find, with historical romances, that the rules society has placed on the women can make them seem mousey and pathetic, so I love it when an author takes those women and makes them strong enough to laugh at their peers – or at least gives them enough gumption to not care so much about what society thinks that they conform to what’s expected of them. That always makes for some funny, sexy stories, and that’s what Ms. MacLean has done with A Rogue by Any Other Name.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Love By Numbers series – in fact, I’ve often said that if I could choose to be any heroine from a historical romance novel, it would be Lady Calpurnia Hartwell from Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake. She’s strong, independent, feisty, funny… I’d be her in a heartbeat, but to be honest, I feel that way about most of Sarah MacLean’s heroines. Rarely do I get as attached to the heroine of a story as I do to the hero, but with this author’s books, I always do. 

But I digress….

Our hero, Michael, Marquess of Bourne, is horrible! He’s not just an ass, he’s a pain in the ass! And I adored every single bit of him! You just know that in the end, he’s going to get his, and watching it come about is just so much fun! We go from him devising his plan for revenge, then watching him carry it out, knowing that he never considers - not even for a moment - that it won’t go as flawlessly as he expected. Then we see, bit by bit, the transformation; the shock when he starts to question his motives, his feelings, his true wants and desires. I absolutely love watching this transformation!

Our heroine, Lady Penelope Marbury, truly is my kind of woman. As I said above, Sarah MacLean is one of the few authors who can write heroines who are as perfect as her heroes. Penelope is, in some ways, a victim of her times, but she doesn’t let those suffocating rules of society keep her from having an “adventure”. I LOVE this about her! She reminds me somewhat of Lady Calpurnia, and perhaps that’s why I adore her so much. She didn’t sit about whimpering or simpering as she did her needlework, waiting for something exciting to happen. Nope! She found ways to create her own excitement. I love how she took life by the horns and didn’t let go!

And the story! Oh, my goodness! Take a rake – or in this case, a rogue – and give him a truly compelling, believable reason for revenge and toss in an innocent, but not na├»ve, heroine, and you have the makings of an incredible story, and that’s what this one is. Twists, turns, heartache and happiness – never a dull moment and I adored every word!

The bottom line: It probably goes without saying, but I can’t say it enough – I love this story! It was filled with emotion and had me laughing, sighing and fanning myself, start to finish. Sarah MacLean is one of the few “auto-buy” authors on my list, and books like A Rogue by Any Other Name is why.

I am soooo looking forward to the next book in the series, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover and cannot wait to watch Penelope’s sister, Lady Philippa Marbury, match wits with the man known only as Cross, the bookkeeper of the The Fallen Angel gaming hell. That is a story guaranteed to deliver everything I crave in historical romance, and a story not to be missed!

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