- 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: 456 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
A Rogue by Any Other Name: The First Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“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.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-5 of 456 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
AUTHOR: Sarah MacLean
SERIES: Rules of Scoundrels, Book 1
SETTING: early 1830s (post-Georgian, pre-Victorian), mostly London
THEMES/TROPES: old friends-to-lovers, coerced marriage, revenge, redemption, spinster, “heartless” hero, reformed rake, gaming hell
Lady Penelope Marbury has languished in Society for several years after a broken engagement placed her desirability in question, turning down a handful of so-so suitors and, without realizing it, putting her sisters’ futures in jeopardy—but her father is determined that it’s time she married. He’s added a valuable piece of land, newly acquired, to Penelope’s dowry, and the suitors are about to come pouring in. Though she knows she wants more than a bland Society marriage, Penelope is ready to accept a proposal from an old friend and settle into a comfortable life.
That is, until another old friend, Michael, Lord Bourne, comes bursting back into her life, determined to have her dowry: the ancestral land that he lost on a foolish bet years earlier. Bourne has spent several years focused on two things, regaining his land and seeking revenge against the man who took it from him, and a wife seems a small price to pay to achieve at least one of those goals. His plan, however, did not account for the fact that the bride in question is the one woman who knew him before he was the dark, hardened Bourne—when he was happy, carefree Michael. Nor did he consider that his revenge might be something that hurts Penelope. And he certainly didn’t consider that he might care about hurting her. It all comes down to a decision between the goal he’s been chasing for so long—as goal that has hardened his heart—and giving Penelope the love and adventure that she’s always wanted.
Love developing between old friends is one of my favorite romance archetypes, so this storyline automatically appealed to me. The concept of Bourne’s goals, and his guilt and shame at having lost his land to begin with, are a fabulous background for the story because it puts him and Penelope in a position where they’ve been separated for years and become very different people. Not only do they need to rediscover one another and their friendship, but his drive for revenge propels the drama between them.
The two characters are both well-rounded and interesting, and their relationship develops at a good pace. Penelope is finding the gumption to seek some adventure in her life, but she’s not throwing propriety to the wind because she wants to help her sisters make good matches more than anything. Bourne is infused with a good amount of devil-may-care attitude with hints of solicitousness to show that he’s not truly heartless. I like that he has a major screw-up in his past because so many heroes are so infallible. Bourne is constructed as a very driven character, so it felt believable that once he found a goal that brought out the best in him (namely, love and family), his drive would make him strive to be better.
The pace of the romance is fairly good, with plenty of trust issues because of the charade of a love match they put on for Society to make their marriage look less scandalous. Because they spend so much time pretending to be in love, there are points when the emotional progression feels a little redundant—“he cares about me … no, that was just pretend … but he does seem to care … no, that was just acting again”—but those emotional circles mostly make sense in the plot.
One detail of this book that I love is the use of letters as epigraphs for each chapter, starting with letters between Penelope and Bourne when they were quite young and continuing to letters from Penelope that he never answered and then to letters that Penelope kept writing but never sent.
The one aspect of Bourne that I found a little perplexing was his very insistent belief that he and his life aren’t good enough for Penelope. Perhaps if we got more information on the things he had done during the years when he was trying to earn back his lost fortune, this might make more sense, but the glimpses we get of the gaming hell he co-owns, particularly some details about how well-regulated it is and how well they treat their employees, does not paint a picture of a particularly dark life.
The plot was very much focused on their emotional progression, which is not necessarily a con in itself, but the plot could have had more interest by being a bit more eventful. I would have liked a bit more of Bourne and Penelope interacting with secondary characters. I usually love secondary characters, and I did enjoy Cross, one of Bourne’s partners, but there just wasn’t a lot of the other characters in this story.
Writing: 4/5 MacLean’s writing is consistently good.
Characters: 5/5 Well-rounded and interesting.
Plot: 4/5 Could have been a bit more eventful.
Setting: 4/5 Bourne’s gaming hell is nicely detailed.
Romance: 5/5 I love a friends-to-lovers story.
Sexiness: 5/5 Well-written and integrated with romance.
Humor: 3/5 Touches of humor, but not much laugh-out-loud.
Average: 4.28 Great Romance Development between Old Friends
This is the first of MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series, each book focusing on one of the four owners of the gaming hell called The Fallen Angel. Penelope previously appeared in the Love by Numbers series as the betrothed of the Duke of Leighton, the hero of the third book, and their broken engagement plays a big role in how she got to the place she’s at in this book. Reading that book before this one isn’t necessary, but I would recommend reading this book before moving on to the rest of the series because this book gives good background on Penelope’s sister Pippa, who is the next heroine in this series, paired with Bourne’s co-owner, Cross.