Title: A Rogue By Any Other Name
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels, #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon (Imprint of HarperCollins)
Date Published: February 28th, 2012
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.
Sarah MacLean hits the nail on the head once again with her new historical romance series. This is one author who knows how to write rogues and their romantic counterparts very well. After being a big fan of her other historical romance series, Love by Numbers, I jumped right on reading this one as soon as I could get my hands on it, and MacLean doesn’t disappoint.
I think what makes these books so addictive is that the characters have so much personality. With historicals I tend to be very picky because the characters can end up feeling so much alike from book to book. While we do have some obvious stereotypes — the innocent and virgin heroine and the scandalous and rogue rake — she makes them stand on their own as well. I think this book most reminded me of the first book in the Love by Numbers series, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Penelope reminded me a lot of Callie. But not in the sense that they were the same. More in the sense that they would make very good friends.
Which brings me to the next great thing about this series. It’s a semi-spinoff of the Love by Numbers series, which I love. Penelope played a small role in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart. So I was very happy to see that. This takes place about eight years after the last book in that series, but I’m hoping some of the old characters will pop up in these books.
Bourne/Michael, like most of those males who don’t like to give in to their feelings, was a bit hard to love at first. But once his exterior shell started to break down, I could really see what Penelope saw in him when they were friends long ago. Romance novels that take the format of marriage first and love later are a bit hard sometimes for me, but also it’s a different twist that isn’t always done so it was interesting to see them grow back in love.
Overall a great historical romance. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of a good story about taming a rogue ex-gentleman, and/or the re-connecting with an old flame.
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