4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2012
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.
This is my first Sarah Maclean novel. The hero was obsessed with revenging himself on the man who had taken everything of value from him during a moment of gambling foolishness when he'd been only 21 years of age. He would let nothing stand in the way of this goal, including his former childhood friend Penelope who lived on a neighbouring estate to his.
It was an enjoyable read even though I found I was more interested in the secondary characters, Chase and Cross who were the hero's partners in the gaming hell and even in the heroine's sisters and the gorgeous housekeeper. I guess they will be getting stories of their own. Or at least I hope so.
And I didn't real get the villain's purpose in all if this. Why would he do such a terrible thing to his ward and the son of his best friend? I didn't buy the explanation.
But I enjoyed this book and will look for other Sarah Maclean novels.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A decade ago, young Michael Lawler, the Marquess of Bourne, lost everything on one turn of a card. Viscount Langford had been a friend and neighbor to his father, handpicked by the former Marquess of Bourne as guardian to his only son and heir. Langford's betrayal changed the life of the young Bourne. Bourne left, but vowed to restore Falconwell's lands to the manor and claim vengeance.
Now Bourne is a partner in London's most luxurious gaming house. He has more money than he could ever hope to spend. When Bourne learns that Langford has lost Falconwell's land to the Marquess of Needham and Dolby, he immediately begins making plans. Needham has included the land in the dowry of his daughter, Lady Penelope "Penny" Marbury. Bourne had grown up with Penny. They had been close friends. But now Needham has sealed her fate.
A broken engagement and years of mundane courtships has left Penny bored. She yearns for something more. But never did Penny imagine that her closest childhood friend would suddenly reappear, abduct her, thoroughly compromise her, and then force her to marry him. One look into Bourne's eyes and Penny cannot help but understand that all traces of her dearest friend is gone. He has been replaced by a cold-hearted, hardened man. And unless something drastic happens, Bourne will destroy everything - even her - for his vengeance.
**** FOUR STARS! This tale opened with such a life-altering blow to a young man that my attention was hooked instantly. Bourne's tenacity for Falconwell was everything. I found the man to be aggressive, self-absorbed, harsh, and intimidating. Yet by the story's end, I could not help but like and admire him. The author made it very clear to me as to why his character acted in such a manner. The story is well written, with fully developed characters, and the threat of scandal is constant. One thing is for sure: Stories by Sarah MacLean can become addictive. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2013
This is the first book by Sarah MacLean that I've read and I can't wait to try her other novels. Unlike many other books of this type written by American authors, there were only a couple of glaring linguistic anomalies (that I noticed, anyway) and both the story and her writing style had me gripped!
Laugh-out-loud funny in places, gorgeously sensuous in others, I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the lead characters' relationship develop, and found there were enough twists, turns and sub-plots to build up my expectations for the fittingly charming ending.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, settle back and lose yourself in Ms MacLean's brilliant book for a few hours. You'll not regret it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2013
Sarah Maclean managed to impress me for numerous reasons, but first and foremost because she convinces her reader from the first page onwards that she is a very gifted writer and story-teller with a distinct voice. Secondly, I find her approach to historical romance refreshing in its originality and charming wit. Maclean's characters are strong and bold and full of edges. They truly fly off the page. Her narrative is rich and her plot is always well-paced. I cannot think of another voice in historical romance that I have enjoyed reading as much in the past five years or so. Don't miss out on this novel or on any other novel by Sarah Maclean!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2012
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and they were right! The cover and title suggest a modest love story but hiding beneath is a juicy tale of 19th century scandal, making for a damn good read that is unput-downable. The story is engaging and the characters are fantastic. You'll be hooked from start to finish, and not just because of the steamy sex scenes and explosive arguements! This is a must read that will not leave you disappointed, and as a little teaser the last chapter points to another novel involving, fingers crossed, more drama, more scandal and naughtiness.
Personally, I couldn't get on the Internet quick enough to search of the new book's release. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is released on paperback in early October and I CANNOT wait!
Reviewed by Francesca Verbeeten on behalf of Bestchicklit.com
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2012
If you are looking for this book to be like sarah macleans previous books you will be disappointed.
For me there is not enough light humour in it, I seriously wanted to shout at Penelope and Michael, Penny was undecisive and Michael for being such a big baby.
Penny and Michael were childhood friends, Michael at 21 lost everything on the turn of the cards, he then built another fortune with a gaming club, and he then married Penny because she then owned part of his lost estate and then proceeded to treat her with distain.
The light relief came with Pennys letters and her father shooting at Michael.
If this had been my first S.M. novel I would have given it 5 stars but I could not get past her previous books and the laugh out loud moments I had with them, I did not find much to laugh at in this one.
However I shall persevere and in a few weeks I will read it again to see if I see the book any different.
I still look forward to the next book "One good earl deserves a lover". When I find a good author I tend to stick with them and despite my views on this book I still believe S.M. is one of the better ones, along with Julie Garwood, Loretta chase,and Susan E Phillips.
on 28 December 2014
Sarah Maclean is a....new to me...author, coming highly recommended from other respected reviewers and I was not disappointed. A Rogue by Any Other Name, the first in The Rules of Scoundrels series, is utterly delicious! Michael, Marquess of Bourne is a darkly tortured...believes he's beyond redemption...hunk of a hero. Lady Penelope Marbury is low on self esteem as a result of the expectations of society and it's treatment of her. She is resigned to the fact that she must yield to the role of sacrificial lamb for the sake of her younger, unmarried sisters' and as a result of this accepts Bourne's very unorthodox marriage proposal. Penelope is a victim of both men, her Father, to be rid of his slightly embarrassing eldest daughter, following on from a disastrous, aborted betrothal and Bourne's obsessive need to reclaim the lands now held by her Father. Michael had previously lost his lands in an ill thought out wager with his erstwhile guardian Viscount Langford, a decade before and which Penelope's Father has now by some means gained control of. The Viscount had been appointed Michael's guardian after the tragic, premature death of his parents. Langford increases the value of the Marques-sate of Bourne holdings and is then greedily reluctant to relinquish them, ruthlessly pushing the inexperienced young Marquess to lose them on the turn of a card.
Michael is driven by his need for revenge on Langford and his guilt at losing his beloved Falconwell, in the process he transforms from the laughing, playful, devil may care boy, who was once the beloved childhood friend of Penny and of Tommy (Langford's son) to a darkly brooding, seemingly uncaring, ruthless man. A social pariah and part owner of an exclusive gaming hell named The Fallen Angel, he has become rich and powerful through his driven and remorseless endeavours. He cares nothing for his disreputable reputation as nothing could compensate for his lust for revenge and desire to regain control of his Falconwell lands, nothing that is until he marries his demure, ladylike and innocent 'sixpence'...his childhood nickname for Penelope.
Even after the death of his parents and his eventual fall from grace, Michael is never forgotten by Penelope who writes to him over the years, always hoping for a reply...waiting and longing for his return, he never replies but the letters dotted throughout the story are endearing and enlightening, a nice touch.
Penelope's character is likeable, strong, loyal and dutiful although she has thus far managed to avoid all attempts to marry her off, that is until her Father adds the much coveted Falconwell lands to her dowry in order to lure a suitable suitor for his almost 'on the shelf' daughter. It emerges later that he has always had Michael in his sights, although this is not apparent at the outset. In any case Michael takes the bait and rushes hotfoot off to his deserted home after he is informed that 'his' lands are now part of Penelope's dowry. He encounters the lady one stormy night and literally captures and compromises her so that she will be forced into marrying him. Penelope's secret infatuation/obsession for Michael, call it what you will, is instrumental in her decision to accept his proposal even though she realises that she is being used and even though he is unaware of her feelings towards him. She is prepared to accept this arrangement so long as Michael does his utmost to become acceptable to society again in order to help find her sisters' suitable and decent husbands. The bargain is struck, Michael has his lands once more and will delay his vengeful ruining of Viscount Langford until the sisters' betrothals/marriages to worthy aristocrats are achieved, Penny will have marriage, freedom and adventure, but not the something special she knows is available to the lucky few.
In the intervening time between the relaunching of Michael into the ton and the ever nearing destruction of Langford, Michael becomes increasingly attracted to his intrepid and attractive wife, seeing the beauty and determination hidden beneath her unassuming, quiet and refined exterior. And very much against her better judgement, Penelope, begins to fall deeply in love with this darkly dangerous and forbidding man, although she believes he could never love her. She hopes and prays that she can turn him from his headlong flight into self destruction, believing that he will never recover if he succumbs to his all consuming desire to ruin Langford and in turn Tommy, their old friend, who will most certainly be caught in the crossfire.
I found Michael's slowly awakening desire, love and wanting of Penelope heartwarmingly beautiful and sensual and his belief that he could never be good enough for her very sad, also his descent into self loathing which is very apparent to the perceptive, caring Penny. He does not want his lifestyle to taint or touch the person of his 'perfect' wife and does all in his power to keep her away from The Fallen Angel even though part of their agreement is that she will be introduced to the hell as part of her agreed adventure. For her part Penny is determined that she will no longer sit on the sidelines of life and will have adventure if she cannot have love.
There are a few silly, unnecessary, discrepancies, also mentioned by another reviewer, which I found to be quite annoying given the calibre of the writing. Also Michael's often mentioned fastidiousness is never explained, although I expected it to be, it apparently has no bearing on the story and therefore seems an unnecessary addition. Nevertheless this is a wonderful start to Ms. Maclean's Scoundrels series the rest of which I will most definitely read, back to back, as I am looking forward to knowing what becomes of the other partners'. Lovely writing, interesting, if mediocre plot line, the writing flows, the romance is beautiful, especially as the awareness between the two main characters deepens and develops, certainly kept me reading. 4/5 stars, downgraded slightly because of the errors which should have been picked up in a novel of this quality and standard.
on 12 August 2013
Michael, the Marquess of Bourne lost his family's inheritance at the age of twenty-one in one, fateful card game. To his guardian. Disappearing from society for years, he rebuilds his fortune (however shadily) with a duel purpose; to reclaim what he lost, and most importantly; vengeance.
Enter Lady Penelope, his long abandoned childhood friend, the only thing that now stands in his way of seizing what's rightfully his. Viewed by men as a means to an end her whole life, Penny has had enough of being used.
Reuniting after years of separation, Bourne greets his childhood friend with abduction, smoothly sealing her fate to his without a thought for anything but his goal. Sick with the realization she had just become the ultimate pawn in a cruel twist of fate, Penny resolves to never make the mistake of trusting Michael again.
At the heart of this story lays one headstrong, intelligent heroine; one hero with a cold heart; one tittering mother; two polar opposite sisters; three meddlesome partners; one dismissive father; and one ruthless, unforgiving ton.
While I agree with one other reviewer who said the villain of the story left a little to be desired (in that the reasoning for his actions just didn't seem justifiable enough), A Rogue by Any Other Name is, in every other respect, a delight!
The interactions between Penny and Bourne were filled with friction and underscored at every turn by their mutual past (why did Bourne not answer Penny's letters!?) and the secondary characters were equally lovable; I especially loved Bourne's partners - their carry on reminding me more of the way women might gossip than men (but then again, who's to say men aren't equally as bad in that respect?!)
* One Good Earl Deserves Another is #2 in the series...and I started right into it the moment I finished A Rogue by Any Other Name. Time well spent!! ;)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2012
This book is amazing, what a way to kick of a new series. A Rogue by Any Other Name is expertly written and kept me entranced from start to finish. The characters are what made the book for me, they are in-depth, intriguing and definitely more-ish. I wasn't big into historical romance before but I have found myself an exciting new favourite genre.
Penelope Marbury is unwed at the age of 28, which means nothing these days but meant everything back in the 1800's. She is considered a spinster, she was engaged to a Duke, but she called off the engagement because he was in love with someone else. Which resulted in a scandal, which followed her around for years to come.
Tommy & Michael (Bourne) were Peneople's childhood best-friends, they done everything together. When Michael was 21 he lost everything he owned, all his inheritance in a card game to Tommy's father. He fled never coming back vowing revenge. Leaving Penelope missing an thinking about him for a long time. Tommy stays in Penelope's live though, like a brother more than anything else.
Years later, Penelope's father wins Falconwell (Michaels home & land). He adds the land to Penelope's dowry, to help her secure a husband.
Michael has reinvented himself from the night he lost everything, he has managed to build himself back up from nothing. He owns a gaming hell, a seedy club where everyone goes to gamble and loose all their money. When the news reached him that Falconwell has been added to Lady Penelope's dowry, he sees his opportunity to get his home back. He sets out to secure Penelope as his wife, not caring that he forces her hand or that he will ruin her in the process of his revenge.
Penelope just wants a normal marriage. She wants to be loved and most of all she wants adventure, something more out of life. She has no hopes with the ruthless stubborn man that is Bourne, not the Michael she used to know as a boy at all.
Well I'm not going to spoil the story for everyone, even though I could happily ramble on all day about this amazing book.
This story is engaging from start to finish. It has a wonderful outcome and an epilogue that has left me begging for the next in the series. There are so many fantastic characters throughout this book, like Bourne's partners in the gaming club and Penelope's sisters. But my favourite characters are the main ones, Penelope and Michael.
Penelope - Is a proper lady, perfect and polite, but underneath all that is proper is an incredibly strong, fierce woman who knows what she wants out of life and in the end is not afraid to do what she needs to to get it.
Bourne - Is devastatingly handsome and he knows it. He is cold, hard, ruthless and definitely not a gentleman, nor would you want him to be. He undergoes such a transformation and I am so happy he did because I could of slapped him sometimes for being so stubborn and holding back.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2012
I won't go into the storyline as there are great reviews here.
I was gripped from the beginning (prologue actually), and I couldn't put it down. A great beginning, middle & end. This novel is very well written, as I always expect from Sarah MacLean, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the sexy bits too!
Can't wait for One Good Earl Deserves A Lover with Phillipa & Cross.
Scorching, I hope.
Easily 5 stars.