- Series: Rules of Scoundrels (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Avon; Original edition (February 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062068520
- ISBN-13: 978-0062068521
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (406 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Rogue by Any Other Name: The First Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012
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“Brilliantly crafted and deliciously seductive...” (Library Journal (starred review))
From the Back Cover
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 an unexplored world of pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London's illicit 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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Top Customer Reviews
Michael compromises Penelope to force her into marriage in order to regain the ancestral holdings he lost so many years ago, now part of her dowry. Penelope, who has loved Michael since childhood, is nothing but a means to an end for him... at least in the beginning. Initially he is cruel and dismissive, but he softens toward her in time. The love story proceeds, somewhat predictably-but-enjoyably from there as he is forced to choose between vengeance and the love of his wife. It was a cracking good time until the end when it began to drag a little for me, beginning when Michael's interfering partner Chase invites Penelope to the club. This leads to a protracted, voyeuristic love scene (I found myself skimming), but overall it was an entertaining read.
For the first three quarters I found it hard to put down this romance, which is more than I can say for numerous others I've read lately, so I gave it four stars despite a couple of things that really bugged me. I enjoy MacLean's writing, but she overused one—I am not sure know what to call it—stylistic writing device, I suppose. She repeated things for dramatic effect, often with consecutive sentence fragments, but she did it so often that it became tedious. After it was on my radar I couldn't ignore it and it drew me out of the story time and time again. Not every page, but far too often, and occasionally twice on a single page.
This is what I mean:
“She did not like how simple it was to him. How callous he was. How easily he kept secrets. How easily he used them to punish those around him."
"He did not respond. Of course he didn't. He didn't understand. He wouldn't understand."
"Perhaps it was the word. The softness of it. The strangeness of it on his tongue. The way he said it..."
"He'd enjoyed himself. He'd enjoyed Penelope. He'd enjoyed skating with her..."
"...the place he would kiss in another time and place, if they were married and he were a different man. If he were a man she could love. If theirs was a marriage built on something other than revenge."
"The words whispered through him, and he loathed them. Loathed what they represented—the way she thought of him, the way she believed he would treat her. The way he had treated her. The way he was treating her."
"He spent the evening in the pit, watching as tens of thousands of pounds were wagered and lost, reminding him of the power of desire, of weakness. Reminding him of what he had conquered. Of what he had lost."
"He'd never considered children. He'd never imagined he'd want them. Never thought he'd be the kind of father they deserved."
"Was it possible that the invitation was from him? Perhaps it was. Perhaps he had chosen her. Perhaps he was giving her an adventure and giving them both a new chance at life. Perhaps not."
There are countless examples, but you get the picture. Also, there were many references to "indecipherable emotions flashing" across Michael's face. I know he is enigmatic and all, but that, too, became tedious.
Still, it was an enjoyable romp, a satisfying romp. A romp I recommend. A romperific romp full of rompiness.
3.5 out of 4 stars