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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful story of revenge and redemption... and, of course, love!, 18 Dec 2013
Caz "So many books, so little time..." (Frinton-on-Sea) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: A Third Rule of Scoundrels: The Third Rule of Scoundrels (Mass Market Paperback)
This was a truly wonderful story of revenge and redemption, the darkest of the three books that have as yet appeared in this series. In Temple, Ms MacLean has created possibly her most engaging, heart-breakingly gorgeous hero so far, which is really saying something given how much I adored Cross in the previous book! But there's something about Temple that's so intensely loveable; a joie de vivre which - amazingly, given the ills that have befallen him - still shines forth, that is immediately and devastatingly captivating.

Named "The Killer Duke" because of the suspicion of murder hanging over his head, William Harrow, Duke of Lamont is one of the partners in "The Fallen Angel", the most successful gaming club in London. One evening, completely out of the blue, he is accosted by a young woman whom he almost immediately recognizes as the same woman he had met and taken to bed on the eve of his father's (fourth) wedding, twelve years before. Miss Mara Lowe has come to propose a bargain. If Temple will arrange for her brother's gambling debts to be written off, she will show herself to be unharmed and thus proclaim that Temple never murdered anybody. His name will be cleared, his title expunged of the taint of murder and he will be restored to his rightful place in society, able to find himself a proper wife, raise proper children and leave behind him a proper legacy.

But after twelve years - twelve years in which even Temple himself has never been completely sure of his innocence - that isn't enough. He has no memory of the events of the night that changed his life forever, and he wants more from Mara than proof that he is no murderer. He wants more than justice. He wants retribution.

Big, brawny, and beautiful, Temple is a truly wonderful character. He had a charmed life mapped out before him until it was all taken away, and it's no wonder that he wants revenge for the years he feels were stolen from him.

I found Mara a harder heroine to like than either of her predecessors. She is, after all the guilty party and is therefore in need of the hero's forgiveness. She did a stupid thing out of desperation which led to the ruin of a young man's life; and while the reasons behind those actions make some sort of sense and do elicit the reader's sympathy, their impact on an innocent man nonetheless makes them hard to justify.

Yet incredibly, Ms Maclean has somehow made Mara into a character with whom the reader can empathize. Even when I disliked her intensely, I understood her - and I take my hat off to the author for pulling off such an amazing feat. When I first heard the storyline of this book, I confess I was worried that it might be one of those stories from which I came away thinking that the heroine remained undeserving of the hero's love by the end. There were times throughout the book when I retained that opinion, but somehow, I ended up rooting for Mara just as much as for Temple who is, by any standards, an extremely sympathetic hero.

If you've enjoyed the other books in this series, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one - and if you haven't read the others, you can read this without needing to know too much about what has gone before. I was pleased to meet Bourne and Cross again, and particularly enjoyed the relationships and banter between the Angel's four owners, which felt very much in character. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished is well-written, funny, tender and heart-breaking; and in Temple and Mara, Ms MacLean has created a compelling central couple who, despite an inauspicious beginning, thoroughly deserve their hard-won HEA - and each other.

You can read a more detailed version of this review at All About Romance: [...]
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4.0 out of 5 stars Temple, The Killer Duke., 15 Dec 2013
4 piglets!

Hotness Factor: I believe they said something about the body of Greek God...

I've always enjoyed the premises of historical romance novels. The women are always trying to escape a bad family situation, a possible bad nuptial or just want to be left to her own device (silly creatures, freedom is for men). The men... ah the men, former/ notorious rake, former/notorious "bandit", widower and the old favorite redemption seeker...
Miss Mara Lowe in the Book 3 Rule Of Scoundrels is pretty much all of the above but with a twist. She accidentally faked her death (very avant-guarde of her) to be left alone, away from a bad family situation and possible bad nuptial. but in the process she got a duke to be banished for a murder he didn't commit. I loved it! Faking your own death by mistake (smile)
12 years later, her past catches up with her and she had to reach out to the man rumored (they never found the body) to have killed her for help. Now you have my attention!
I really enjoyed Mara and Temple/William's relationship. He's angry which is very understandable and she is as sassy as a woman can be. Then you have a cute little piglet pet, the children in the orphanage and Temple's companions. It's a fun cast and you will laugh as it keeps you awake late at night... you just had to finish that chapter! I highly recommend, but beware... this is a long novel :)
Oh and... you want to stick around for the fourth book. I guessed the premise of this one.

I received an ARC in exchange of an honest review
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