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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! Even Better Than the First!
I first have to say how much I loved all of Sarah MacLean's other books. "Nine Rules to Break..." is probably my favorite ever historical romance. The rest of that series is fantastic too. The first in this series, "A Rogue By Any Other Name" was certainly equal to her other work (I even cried at one point). So I was actually a little scared to read this one, because...
Published 19 months ago by IrishRose

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65 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It left a lot to be desired.
I had really high expectations for this book; I have read everything else by Sarah MacLean (some of her books repeatedly) so I was one of many, it seems, who had marked this book release date on my calendar. And honestly, I didn't like it. I didn't hate it, but it definitely wasn't her best. I agree with other reviewers... there was a lot left to be desired (and, for the...
Published 19 months ago by Romance Reader


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54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! Even Better Than the First!, January 29, 2013
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IrishRose (Pittsburgh, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I first have to say how much I loved all of Sarah MacLean's other books. "Nine Rules to Break..." is probably my favorite ever historical romance. The rest of that series is fantastic too. The first in this series, "A Rogue By Any Other Name" was certainly equal to her other work (I even cried at one point). So I was actually a little scared to read this one, because frankly, how long can this last? Could this really be as good as "Rogue"?

The answer my friends is this: It is not. It is much, much, better.

That is really saying something, if you haven't picked up on how much I like her other books. At first I didn't think Pippa and Cross were going to be my favorite Hero/heronine couple. They each quickly won me over as I got to know them better, something the author does well. I understood the motivation of both the H/h as the book went on. I agreed with their choices (for the most part), and best of all, I just liked them.

And as for the chemistry between our H/h? I quit smoking over three years ago, but could have really used one after some of the steamy scenes in this book. My heart would race and I would be breathing a little heavier after certain scenes. My husband thought I was reading "that fifty shades crap again", but oh no, this is SO much steamier! There are scenes where he doesn't even touch her and it's incredibly sexy.

I cannot recommend this book enough for fans of historical romance. I would recommend that you read "A Rogue By Any Other Name" first though.
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65 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It left a lot to be desired., February 2, 2013
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This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I had really high expectations for this book; I have read everything else by Sarah MacLean (some of her books repeatedly) so I was one of many, it seems, who had marked this book release date on my calendar. And honestly, I didn't like it. I didn't hate it, but it definitely wasn't her best. I agree with other reviewers... there was a lot left to be desired (and, for the record, the first 5 reviews popped up before 8am on the day of the release [29th] so I don't know when you people read the book and gave it 5 stars unless you're in some special circle and get advance copies).
Problems I had were:
1. The "sneak peek" on the back of "A Rogue" was SO AWESOME... and then, what? It was nowhere in the Kindle version of this book? That was weird. If you didn't read it on "a rogue" you'd have no idea what was going on.
2. Fundamental issue (Spoiler): Cross is someone who left society, just walked away. He obviously doesn't care about the backlash of society or how his actions affect others (his sister, family, etc). Pippa also does not care about society; she's considered odd, hides at her own ball, walks around London with only a dog for a chaperone, etc. SO, you have two people who care nothing about the social repercussions of their actions. Why in the heck is Cross so determined to make sure Pippa has a life unstained by him, to the point where he's risking all to sever all ties? She doesn't care (too smitten to know better), he doesn't care what society thinks (clearly), and he had no problem taking her virginity and not offering marriage (a big no-no, if you actually tried to make the argument that he did care about her reputation). Because of all these things, the ending --him proposing to Knight's daughter to "save" Pippa's reputation by silencing Knight-- makes no sense. It doesn't fit. He's not the kind of character who WOULD care. Someone like the "Duke of Disdain" (from 11 scandals to start) would care. Bourne/Penny, who are *NOW* moving in society, would care about the backlash. But Cross??? and knowing Pippa?? Hardly. And..... after all this, after the entire book of him hurting her and repeatedly pushing her away..... in ONE PAGE..... Temple/Chase convince him that he's an idiot and he runs to stop her marriage?! Really??! C'mon.... that's hardly believable. I'm sorry if I'm the only one who sees how ludicrious this whole thing is, but I was shocked at how little pushing it took to get him moving to rectify the wrongs. There was no fundamental hurdle to overcome, only one character's unwillingness to do what he, and everyone else, wanted. The whole plot conflict was incredibly disappointing.
3. It would have helped if we saw more of Cross's family life-- relationships with his father/mother, we saw his sister but that didn't tell us much. I feel like there was a whole "side" of him that we were supposed to know that we didn't SEE, didn't feel him going through. Maybe if there was more of a look into his past that would have justified his celibacy, his distance from Lavinia (YEAH, he's so distant from her for years, then suddenly he's desperate to make things right?!) And Pippa's family life... we didn't once see/hear of her father, who played such a pivotal role in "A Rogue." There were so many other elements that could have been added to this book to make it better.

......honestly, it's a shame. The more I think about it the more holes I see. It feels like I missed entire chapters of amazing things that everyone else read. I wasn't going to write a review because not everyone is perfect all of the time (and Sarah really HAS been perfect!), but this was NOT a 5-star book. There were a lot of issues that really ruined the whole experience for me. I love Sarah MacLean, but I did not like this book at all.

I hope Temple's book is a lot better. Please. I'm begging. Anyone will do anything if properly motivated..... and for me, this book lacked a lot of justifiable action/conflict that would have made it eons better. Why did Bourne/Penny never find out about Cross and Pippa?!? Talk about fireworks. I'd have loved to see that one.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't meet the standard, July 27, 2013
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This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I picked up the first book in this series on a whim, and enjoyed it. That first book set up a situation for the heroine of this book, Pippa; she's engaged to a man who cannot match her intellect, and whom she doesn't love, and it causes concern to the main characters of the first book. Add to that a 'teaser' scene at the end of the first book, giving us a bridge into Pippa's story, and I was hooked, I bought this one.
For me, after a very few chapters, this book just fell apart. The conflict, what little there was of it, felt contrived. The villain lacked menace, the hero lacked ingenuity, and given that there's a countdown at the beginning of each chapter, there was very little sense of tension. Many reviewers seem to have found Pippa's character either annoying or colorless; I had less of a problem with her because people who are rigorous about telling the truth are interesting to me. The disappointing character, for my taste, was the hero, Cross. As other reviewers have mentioned, his backstory felt incomplete, and I never really felt I had a grasp on who Cross was. After the initial click with Pippa, after he showed some allure by actually 'getting' her and her thought-processes, he dissolves into this angsty wallower in either feminized emotion (several mentions of how he wants to strip her and throw her down, yet also protect her and have her by his side forever) or else low self esteem ("I'm not good enough for her, she deserves better"). After multiple characters in two books (including Cross) have been deeply concerned about what a failure Pippa's impending marriage to someone else is going to be, he's still willing to just stand aside and let it happen. In my opinion, one of the reasons Mr. Darcy of "Pride and Prejudice" sets the standard for a romance hero, is that when the heroine shows him where he's fallen short, HE DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
I understand that romance novels aren't about what real guys actually do - there's a reason we refer to the genre as escapism. But reading this book is a bit like spending an evening with an inveterate skirt-chaser; after a very few moments, one starts to see that this is an often-practiced formula, and to think "You're just stringing together the things you think women want to hear." For me, I could have done with a few less references to how hot the H/h were for each other, and a few more to what they brought out in each other that was unique to their particular relationship.
I enjoyed the first Rule of Scoundrels book, and it's likely that I'd buy another from Sarah McLean at some point (though probably not until after I've read a sample). It's just clear to me that this isn't her best work. I'm not trying to nit-pick or be overly critical, I just hope my review can help other readers make an informed decision, and maybe help the author return to her own higher standards.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does being unique make me less likely to find love?, January 29, 2013
Lady Phillipa Marbury knows about everything written in a book. She is brilliant and a little life savvy but love has her befuddled but she knows where to go to get the answers. The mysterious Cross, is the rumored master of seduction and a magnificent businessman so he could provide her answers with complicated questions. What Pippa wants from Cross is to teach her how to be a well-seasoned lover before her upcoming wedding.

Pippa is engaged to a nice but dull man and Cross is running from something no one is quite clear about. So will Cross take up the challenge Pippa has extended to show her how to make love like a seasoned pro? Cross is definitely hesitant but it is better to keep her beautiful and tempting lips close and show her what she has to look forward to, with another man.

The problem that arises as it always does with the overly curious is Pippa moves forward in invading Cross both personally and professionally. Cross is not sure which is worse but with Pippa standing there looking so exquisite who cares she can have the gaming hell he just wants another kiss.

When the challenge for another great book in this series was issued Sarah MacLean said, bring it on I write like a poetic genius. That she certainly does.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical historical with a Bluestocking (MINOR SPOILERS), January 30, 2013
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Sarah Maclean has her own very specific style of writing - sometimes witty, sometimes sweet, sometimes heart-wrenching. Honestly, we've read about the typical historical heroine who's a Bluestocking and thus either rendered unmarriageable or has been on the shelf until a gorgeous hunk (insert Duke / Marquess / Earl) sees the pretty eyes behind the thick glasses and the clever brain behind the plain face.

This book is not that much different, except that the hero (an Earl) is a smart one too. When I read Pippa & Cross's introduction scene in The First Rule of Scoundrels, I was happy to see a hero who ran a gambling hell. Alas, it so happens that 3 of the 4 owners of The Fallen Angel are some sort of Lord (Bourne is a Marquess, Cross turns out to be an Earl, Temple is Duke - I bet Chase too is some Lord or the other). Seems like majority of historical novels need to give the hero a title.

Despite all that, the story is somewhat fresh with a bluestocking heroine asking a rake to give her lessons in "Coitus" and how to tempt her to-be-husband. Only thing is, during all these lessons, they inevitably fall in love. Of course we need various obstacles to make a story interesting, and these are introduced in the form of Pippa's fiance and some villain named Digger Knight (won't spoil it much for you).

If you like Maclean, you'll enjoy this one too. It is predictable (as all historical romances are expected to be), which makes is a good escape from reality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost 4 Stars, October 25, 2013
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This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I did enjoy this book and would recommend it with the following cautions: The hero is a little too tortured, the heroine is a little too naïve, the ending a little too pat for a couple of characters and the book is long and wordy. Toward the end I found myself skimming over whole sections of character introspection because I'd heard it before - several times. Nonetheless, it is a good book and a somewhat different story so I do recommend it and will keep up with the series as it develops.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dogged Heroine and Elusive Hero Play Games in this Historical Romance, December 10, 2013
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This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
MacLean's second edition in the Rule of Scoundrels series hits the marks in areas, and fails in others. Pippa Marbury, daughter of a Marquess, is the oddball in her group of sisters. She could care less about fashion and balls, and spends her time studying horticulture and reading scientific books about anatomy. She's a bespectacled proverbial ugly duckling - as despite her thin fame, glasses, awkward social stigma and rattling tongue, beneath all of that she is a wanton beauty ready to blossom into an adventurous, sensuous woman. This trope brings to mind better versions of this young woman - namely the heroines from several of Amanda Quick's books. Regardless, Pippa is fairly interesting in that she is curious, forthright and downright persistent to get what she wants. Newly betrothed to a ho-hum earl,the young lady is spurred into relentless action to track down a notorious rogue to learn about intimacy.

Which brings us to Cross, the ginger-haired fourth owner of The Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell. His reputation precedes him but is still floored when Pippa allows herself into his office to proposition him into teaching her about the mysteries of the night before she weds. Cross has issues which keeps him at bay from women. Unfortunately for him, Pippa doesn't take no for an answer. Suddenly she is everywhere and he can't seem to rid himself of her. Ultimately he gives into her, and thus their relationship is born.

I liked the characters well enough in this romance. But I felt that the two-week time frame the book takes place in just wasn't enough time to build true sexual tension or real love. I honestly couldn't tell if Cross was really taken with Pippa, or if she was just the first woman to relentlessly pursue him in so many years. I actually found her to be annoying with her anachronistic doggedness. She troops about without a chaperon constantly, somehow finds easy access to a so-called exclusive gaming hall, talks to prostitutes, prepositions men, drops her clothes without care, lets herself in and out of people's sanctuaries as though she owns these places... and somehow this is supposed to be believable in a historic romance that takes place in the 1830's. Not only was it hard to swallow, but it was just annoying.. even if this story took place in the modern day. I can't stand a person who just pops in and wanders all over and in other people's personal spaces.

I think the other issue I had with this novel was the premise in its entirety. I just never really understood what it was that Pippa was asking for and WHY she was asking for it from Cross - a man she has never met. I wish he had been, say, a brother-in-law or a childhood friend.. because asking a rogue from a gaming hall to seduce you is just... weird. He's a stranger to her in every sense and she thinks she can just barter into his office and demand he answers personal questions about male anatomy. Outrageous. It didn't feel scandalous to me.. just felt lame and uncomfortable.

Other issues persisted in this romance that were just a series of other unlikely circumstances. Like how is it that Pippa can wander about the gaming hall for days, attend events, wander in in the kitchen and more, and never ever encounter her sister Penelope and her brother-in-law Bourne who seem to be there most of the time? Why is it they never discover her presence or are let in on the big secret? How in the world does Cross scale three stories to find PIppa.. .without even knowing which room is hers in a big mansion? How is it that Pippa can learn to basically count cards if she's never gambled before?

Overall, this romance had some great parts. I really enjoyed certain scenes, but I was also left frustrated and wanting more. I give the author props for the unique leads of the story. She threw in some rarities - a red-headed hero, a science-minded heroine... and they shared some sizzling scenes. Ultimately it just felt a little hokey. I will definitely be reading more of this author though because despite the failing of this particular book, one thing was extremely clear - she is clearly a great stylist with words.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars., August 8, 2013
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This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Second book in a great regency romance series (so far, at least). The heroine is atypical, quirky, and intelligent, while being charming and likable at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart Girls Everywhere Rejoice Pippa is our Long Awaited Heroine, June 14, 2013
This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I LOVE Pippa Marbury. She is a breath of fresh air. Instead of being the picture of propriety she dismisses many of society's dos and don'ts because well they are just silly. Why shouldn't she walk the streets of London as women have had the use of bipedal locomotion since Eve. Why would she take a chaperone to The Angel as she asks the co-owner Cross to help her understand carnal lusts? That would be counterproductive and make asking for help in ruination impossible, of course and illogical. She is so forthright and honest in her request that she is utterly adorable. Cross has the best reputation as a rake with much emphasis on sex not that Pippa believes all the rumors.

She waved a hand "Well, some of it is utter nonsense. They say for example, that you can relieve a lady of her clothing without the use of your hands."
"Do They?"
She smiled "Silly, I know. I definitely do not believe that."
"Why not?"
"In the absence of physical force, an object at rest remains at rest." She explained.

Omg she just quoted Newton's Laws geekasm and little does she know there is a great scene latter involving no hands.

The interactions between Pippa and Cross are so much fun I believe I whole heartedly belly laughed more than once. She is so innocent yet says the most peculiar spectacular things that just dumbfound him. It is as if she doesn't have a filter and really is so inquisitive and curious that no matter what her mind is thinking she says it out loud. I love that she is so odd and unusual but instead of Cross trying to change her he find everything about the way she is intriguing and sexy. I loved this because I could relate I mean how many of us are sexy in the beautiful seductress kind of way.

"And what of Miss Tasser's smolder? Can you teach me to do that? It seems like it will help. With the tempting"
He didn't look at her. He couldn't But he also couldn't stop himself from saying, "You don't need to smolder."
She paused. "I don't?"
"No. You are tempting in a different way."

While it takes a while to get to the juicy parts of the story the seduction and sexual tension of it is extraordinarily sweet.
Pippa is a great heroine in that while everyone is trying to "save" her she decides that she doesn't need or want to be saved and if anyone is going to save anyone she would do the saving herself. I loved that about her. She is exactly how I imagine the strong women thirsty for knowledge in the 20th century would be if they were stuck in 1830s unable to attend university and left to their own devices to discover the world. Is the plot line completely believable? Probably not. Did I care at any time throughout the story? Definitely not. Pippa is my girl and I found this book fun, exciting and wonderfully engaging.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good. Not at all. Not a bit., January 18, 2014
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This review is from: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Golly, I don't know where to start. The plot, and there was hardly a plot at all, didn't make sense. The heroine, although she is a well-read scientific genius who knows everything about everything, including animal husbandry and human anatomy, wants to know more about sex before she marries because she is completely in the dark? About what, I wasn't sure.

She has three married sisters she could ask, but she approaches a complete stranger, an infamously promiscuous rake (who has been secretly celebrate for years???) instead to answer her questions. This even though she is to marry in a few days and will have ample opportunity to learn from her husband, a dull but nice man. I felt sorry for her fiance and disliked the heroine for being socially and morally retarded, selfish, and unfaithful.

Time and time again the plot line and character motivations made no sense. How is a gently bred young woman free to walk the streets alone at all times of day and night, including bad areas frequented by prostitutes, drunks, and gamblers at a time in history when just being alone in a room with a man could "ruin" a girl? I don't need 100% historical accuracy, but this story was silly for the time period. And MacLean used anachronistic words for a Recency romance, like "sexier."

The author repeated things in threes. It was distracting and annoying, even more so because I started noticing it toward the end of her last book, which made it grate from the get-go this time around.

For example:

She'd been forced into a marriage with Dunblade because he had been willing to take her on--despite her imperfections. Imperfections Cross had caused.
Imperfections that should have been overlooked.

He loathed the idea of her inside his club with another man--outside of his own protection.
Outside of his sight.
Outside of his embrace.

This happens constantly. I. Mean. Constantly. Like constantly.

There is no build up of sexual tension. In its place the H & H constantly daydream about having sex with each other. It was tedious. I didn't buy the attraction.

This was a complete miss for me.
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