Friday, February 21, 2014

A Rogue By Any Other Name (Review)

(The Rules of Scoundrels, #1)

Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Publisher: Avon Books
Genres: Adult Historical Romance

My Review: (4.5/5 stars*)

A Rogue By Any Other Name is the best of regency romance. I have read enough in the genre to know when a book or series strays from the normal patterns making this one remarkable. It takes a really strong and interesting story to stick in your mind the way that Sarah MacLean's novel does. I have never read any books by MacLean until recently which I now know what I was missing because she's a great historical writer. It's an amazing discovery to find a historical where women aren't dumbed down and actually have a mind of their own. Many books set in an earlier era make them seem fragile and incompetent. The Lady Penelope Marbury isn't even close to being any of those things. I cannot get enough of stories that avert the tedious recycled plots of other works. A Rogue By Any Other Name switches it up by being a historical that reads like a modern love story.

One card changed the Marquess of Bourne's life, stripping him of everything he owned. His wealth, land, and home torn away leaving him titled, but completely destroyed. Years later and hardened by his loss Bourne is now a partner to the most exclusive gambling establishment with the vow to gain back all that he lost. Opportunity arises when Penelope
—a lovely unmarried lady—holds the key to unlocking his forfeited treasures. The handsome rogue will do just about anything to acquire his possessions including marrying Penelope, and threatening anyone who stands in his way. She, however, isn't above taking advantage of his proposal, and what he has to offer. A rakishly handsome scoundrel may just be the unlikeliest solution to her current situation. Breaking all the rules is exactly the kind of thing that could ruin her or give her everything she's ever wanted.

I liked that Pen isn't the type to just give in and she makes Bourne's life more complicated than he could have imagined. He's faced many challenges but none as daunting as her. They both are totally caught off guard by each other and the romance that unfolds is as unexpected as the events that follow as a result. Bourne's need for revenge is one of the larger drives of the story along with how Penelope fits into his plans. She is daring and seeks adventure, she wants freedom more than she wants fame and fortune. Lady Penelope has grown bored with adhering to the rules of society so when Michael drops into her life it's both the best and worst thing that could happen. Bourne comes off as a sly incorrigible man with one goal in mind but she rips away the layers and finds he's a big-hearted but misunderstood rogue. Penelope has such spirit and a daring attitude you'd think she was from this century instead of a past one. I love how it feels like a contemporary yet it's still historically set, I've never come across anything like it.

All in all A Rogue By Any Other Name is a standout read. If you haven't read regency before this is a fantastic novel to start with. It gives you the best of both worlds with its modern infusion. The heroine is stubborn, brave, and a firecracker of a woman. You'll root for her romance with Bourne, and get caught up in the transpiring events. Bourne is a hard one to understand, he has a secret agenda, passion, a fiercely guarded heart, and is a meticulous planner. Penelope derails everything he's worked for and makes him rethink his scheme for revenge. I was more than entertained by A Rogue By Any Other Name. It's incredibly written with lively and intriguing characters, and has an amazing plotted story. A Rogue By Any Other Name sparks with chemistry, witty banter, and intense emotions. I've just picked up the second book in The Rules of Scoundrels series and can't wait to read about Pen's bookish sister Philippa and one of Bourne's gambling partners, Cross.


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.


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