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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
One Good Earl Deserves A Lover (Rules of Scoundrels)
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on 2 August 2017
A truly unique heroine, lovable rogues and a dash of mystery. I read straight through and can't wait to start the next in the series.
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on 28 January 2013
I've read all but one of Sarah MacLean's other historical romances, but I think she's outdone herself with this latest one.

It's got everything - a gorgeous, tortured hero, an endearing, intelligent heroine; it's romantic, it's sexy, it's angsty.

The plot revolves around the intelligent and curious Lady Philippa Marbury who is soon to be married and wants to know what to expect from the physical side of marriage. Unwilling to ask her married sisters (and even moreso her unmarried, but happily betrothed younger sister) she turns instead to her brother-in-law's business associate, Cross, whose reputation as a womaniser will, she believes, make him the ideal `research associate'.

It quickly becomes apparent that Pippa's ignorance is nothing to do with a lack of intelligence or understanding - she has never felt attraction or been desired. Cross wants nothing to do with Pippa's `research' - he recognises immediately that she represents a danger to his ordered existence, even if he won't admit to himself just why that is.

The plot is actually rather slight - but that isn't important because what this novel does so beautifully is chart the progression of the relationship between Cross and Pippa, showing how they connect with each other at a deep, almost primitive level. He `gets' her in a way that nobody else ever has, and she displays a similar, instinctual understanding when it comes to him.

The central characters are well-realised and very engaging. Pippa is clever and inquisitive without being annoying or `feisty'; and Cross is suitably brooding and dangerous, trying to atone for what he perceives to be the sins he committed years ago which destroyed his family.

In many of the historical romances I've read recently - the majority of them, I'm sorry to say, by newer authors - I've noticed a sad lack of sexual tension between the hero and heroine. Sure, they have sex - but there's no sense of any emotional connection being built between them; there are none of those stolen touches or almost-kisses that a skilled writer can turn into something as scorching hot as an explicit sex scene.

Thankfully, Sarah MacLean is one of those authors. The tension between Cross and Pippa sizzles from the outset - even though he doesn't even touch her for over half of the book. But this allows the author to make the most of the careless touch and the almost caress, culminating in the scene where he seduces her with his words alone.

If I have one niggle, it's that the ending seemed rather rushed (although I liked Pippa's solution and was amused when I read the author's note about its derivation) and that it felt as though Cross, who has carried his burdens for so many years and has ruthlessly instilled in himself the belief of his guilt - was able to put that all aside rather easily. But there is no doubt that he earned his redemption, so I can overlook the rather hasty conclusion to the story.

The rake-and-the-bluestocking is a frequently used trope in historical romance, but I feel as though Sarah MacLean has given it a fresh lick of paint with this book. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read, with compelling characters and a permeating sensuality.

Highly recommended.

With thanks to Avon Books and Edelweiss for the review copy.
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on 28 January 2014
It is always irritating to read of a heroine who is supposed to be intelligent and is instead clearly a fool. When, in this case, everyone proclaims her to be brilliant while she merrily waltzes around doing such remarkably stupid things that to merely qualify her as a moron is being kind it ceases being irritating and becomes infuriating. This woman ten days before she marries a man, marches inside a notorious gambling den and asks one of the owners to educate her sexually, when he tells her to go home then she opens to front door to a man who is clearly a lecher and a blackmailer, proceeds to ask similar questions from him and even informs him her fiance is an earl so he understands that here is a goose ripe for plucking. As this point I deleted this book from my kindle. It is so stupid, she has THREE married sisters. Why can’t she ask any one of them about sex?? Is it believable that a woman of her background and breeding in that age would a) go to a gambling den b) be allowed inside c) roam around freely until she wanders in to where the hero is sleeping half naked??? d) suddenly all the staff disappear so she HAS to become the door man! e) this den is supposed to be so very exclusive and private, at this rate anyone could walk in, rob them blind because since she is even able to access their ACCOUNTING LEDGERS thereby giving her the opportunity to correct some addition of the hero and prove how brilliant she is ANYONE could go through all the club’s private papers!!! So many holes in the plot its ridiculous! Oh and the obscene terminology she uses, informing him she is interested in his private parts, and instead of being repelled by her excessive vulgarity as any fastidious man would be, the hero starts swooning over her ‘INNOCENCE’. So do yourself a favour and DONT ORDER THIS BOOK!!!!!!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 February 2013
This book is actually the second book the Rules Of Scoundrels series, the first book being "A Rogue By Any Other Name". Whilst it is the second book, it is not essential to read the first book before this as it does work as a standalone. But if you're planning on reading this one, it might be a good idea to buy the first one too so that you can enjoy the whole series!

The book revolves around the main character, Lady Philippa Marbury. Philippa, or Pippa, as she likes to be known to her friends, is due to be married to Lord Castleton. Pippa is intelligent, clever and prefers books and science over fashion and ballrooms. But she wants to know about the physical side of marriage, specifically. She sets her sights on one man: the tall, charming and notorious Cross, her brother-in law's business partner, someone with experience to prepare her for her wedding night. Cross is attracted to Pippa, but he's trying very hard to resist...

The characters are very well-written. Pippa is instantly likeable, she is clever and curious and I warmed to her straight away. Cross is brilliantly written as a mysterious, potentially dangerous but charming man, and along with Pippa, the two make the story a very compelling and engaging read. The tension between Pippa and Cross in the book is fantastic, even when nothing was happening physically between them, it was intense and it was electric. It was gripping to read and had me turning the pages to see what would happen next.

Sarah MacLean writes beautifully, she has such a way with words that she can create many emotions from one piece of dialogue or a few paragraphs, and I found that I could picture every scene clearly in my mind, and the characters emotions shone out from the pages.

One Good Earl Deserves A Lover is a thoroughly enjoyable story, with lots of sizzling moments, tension and brilliant characters, making this a book that you can completely lose yourself in for many hours. I can't wait for the next part of the series!
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on 12 February 2013
This book starts exactly where the deliciously naughty `A Rogue by any Other Name' left off: Lady Philippa Marbury asks Cross to ruin her, she has realised she knows nothing about married life or what is supposed to happen on the wedding night and goes on a scientific expedition to find out. Pippa is truly odd (for her time) but you can't help but love her, she analyses everything logically and scientifically and when Cross starts to get under her skin she finds herself confused by her feelings and you end up feeling sorry for her and her naivety, it's really sweet how clueless she is. Cross was by far my favourite character even from the first book, I can't put my finger on it but there is just something about his character that I love, he's defiantly a scoundrel but so cunning he has you convinced he's harmless.

The story focuses on the relationship that develops between Cross and Pippa as she conducts her research and, just as I'd hope, there is more scandal, sexual suspense and drama, and this book is as good as if not better that the first. MacLean sets the scene so firmly in the 19th century that even a quickly snatched kiss or sneaky bit of leg will make you blush - it's a sizzling, seductive must read.

Review by Francesca Verbeeten on behalf of BestChickLit.com
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on 31 January 2013
The only advise I can give you, is, read, enjoy, then read again. The start of the book is excellent, and the story keeps going at a cracking pace. Not once did I get bored, and I found myself going back and rereading parts as I went along. I already have the next book in the series on preorder, and am waiting impatiently.
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on 3 February 2013
I'm really sorry to have to criticize this author who has previously written such enjoyable books. I really looked forward to reading this one. But, the protagonists in this book leave me extremely irritated, and I just wanted it to end. The Hero is such a mixture of conflicting emotions and characteristics that makes you wonder if he is a schizophrenic, or brave but stupid? The Heroine is presented as of an intelligent and scientific mind(i.e. she has thick eyeglasses?)but turns out to vacillating and of course beautiful.... I like a heroine to be intelligent, but why does she have to turn beautiful for a man to love her? Admittedly she "saves the day" by, suddenly, from nowhere, organizes an army of people to do her will. A book don't have to be logic to be good, but it has to be believable, and this one is not. Sorry!
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on 20 February 2013
I'm definitely finding that my reading tastes are expanding as I get older and I'm starting to enjoy a wide variety of genres, particularly Regency romances, which is where this book fits in.

Lady Philippa Marbury, or Pippa as she likes to call herself, has always been the odd one out amongst her four sisters. She's far more interested in science than fashion but with her wedding to Lord Castleton fast approaching she wants to know more about the physical aspect of what is expected of a wife.. there's only so much reading she can do.

So she sets off on a mission to find out more and she knows just the man who can help her, the handsome and charismatic Cross, business partner of her brother-in-law Bourne, whose reputation goes before him. Cross is initially surprised to find Pippa in his club and intrigued when he hears what she's wanting to find out from him especially as he's having to fight his own attraction to her considering she's promised to another man...

I loved the intensity of the tension and passion that builds between the two main characters Pippa and Cross, one a wide-eyed innocent in some aspects and the other a man of the world, even though not a single touch has been made between them. I found myself wanting to read quicker so that I could reach the conclusion to see how it all panned out for them...

Although One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is the second book in the Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean, it can be read entirely as a standalone which I've just done as hadn't read the first book, A Rogue by Any Other Name. As I like to read all books in a series, I will definitely look to read the first book at some stage, preferably before the next book in the series, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, is published in August.
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on 10 April 2013
As with the other books in this series i really liked the main characters and the side characters alike. The book has a good storyline which was engaging and i read it all in one sitting. I highly recommend this series
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on 22 February 2014
What a great book. I loved every minute of it. I also read a few comments from other readers about Lady Philippa which were less than flattering. I'm unsure as to whether the author meant this but Lady Philippa strikes me as someone with mild autism. And I liked that. Why should our heroes be perfect. Autism must have existed for ever and people with the condition will have been considered a bit odd or strange, which is exactly what Philippa is and she has no compunctions about stating this fact and quite often stating things that are glaringly obvious. They also struggle with shades of grey, something else which Lady Philippa does. Also he inability to really see the danger she is in every time she turns up at the fallen angel point to a mild autistic streak.

As I say, I may be wrong and this may never have been Sarah MacLean's intention but for me, it made Philippa (or Pippa) all the more adorable and not your average heroine. It made the fact that Cross saw through her oddness all the more interesting and made him a better man for it.

The story itself kept me riveted and Fallen Angel has fast become my favourite place in Mayfair, even though it does not exist in real life. Any way, I got through this book quicker than I have any book in a long long time. In fact I was up until 7am this morning reading it. It's that good.
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