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The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book I Mass Market Paperback – December 29, 2015
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“MacLean’s elegant writing, brisk storytelling, and clever dialogue are frosting on the cake of Sophie’s compelling romance, and they’ll hook the reader into this new series about the risqué Talbot sisters [...] MacLean’s latest shines with the intensity, wit, and emotion for which she’s celebrated.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“spellbinding [...] Readers will be intoxicated by the emotional connection between the lovers, which makes their banter that much more amusing and their eventual physical passion that much more satisfying. [...] Comedy, action, secrets, and love: this book has it all.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“MacLean has the magic touch... This lovely story is perfect in so many ways; it’s funny, with rapier wit, sweet and super-sexy, one of those stories you’ll keep close to your heart.” (RT Book Reviews (top pick))
“Sarah MacLean has reignited the genre with bolder edge. She interprets the romance novel as a crucial component of feminist literature” (The New Yorker)
From the Back Cover
Lady Sophie's Society Splash!
When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocacy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn't saving her from ruin . . . it's filled with it.
Rogue's Reign of Ravishment!
Kingscote, "King," the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn't charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he's more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.
War? Or More?
He thinks she's trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn't have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .
Top customer reviews
Put another way, the hero was a jerk of the first order. He repeatedly insulted the heroine: he mocked her opinions and morals, her appearance and intelligence, disparaged her family and her origins, all the while he lusted after her body. And when her harebrained stunt landed her in hot water, instead of offering his assistance - befitting the hero - he left her to fend for herself. Arguably, most, if not all, of the heroine's troubles could have been avoided if he'd acted like a gentleman ought to have done. If this weren't enough, when she was most vulnerable, he used her to further the conflict with his father and took every opportunity to seduce her, stopping short of the sexual act only because he didn't intend to marry her.
I wasn't surprised he made a nasty scene and humiliated her when they finally went "all the way," got caught, and were forced to marry. But, I was disappointed she forgave him as quickly as she did when he realized his mistake and apologized. She should have made him grovel. I realize such an ending is realistic for the historical period - a wife had little recourse against an emotionally abusive husband - but it's not what I would call a happy or fitting conclusion for a romance novel.
Sophie is my favorite main character in a long time. She is fiercely loyal, sure of who she is (and who she isn't), and willing to stand up for her beliefs. I loved her creativity, her bravery, and her caring soul.
The love scenes were just right, in my opinion, though some readers might think they're too graphic. To those who prefer "clean reads", I say this story is worth reading anyway-you can always skip a paragraph(or page) or two. The story itself is worth the risk. This is a love story with a little sex to spice it up, rather than a sex story masquerading as romance.
The Rogue Not Taken is full of emotion, but what made it truly special was the irreverent, cheeky humor woven throughout.
I recommend this for anyone who loves a story filled with passion, damaged heroes, strong women, and a touch of humor.
Sophie is a strong, independent character, who is not afraid to say exactly what she thinks about King and his actions.... and he is certainly the same towards her. While King may not be the most witty, respectful, or charming hero I've ever read, he certainly has a sense of duty and is drawn to the light that Sophie brings into his life. He can be dark and even cruel at times, but there is growth in his character as the story progresses. When Sophie seems lost, King is the one who offers her an answer. In return, Sophie offers him redemption, a second chance at the life he never thought he'd have - and the real tension here, is will King be bold enough to see the truth that's right in front of him, and reach out to take it? Or will he let his past color everything in his present? Along their journey there are plenty of twists, some bordering on the ridiculous (I mean, how many things can happen to one couple in the span of a week?!?) - but they just add a sense of fun and whimsy to a story that could otherwise be too melodramatic. All in all, a good read and I'm excited to see what the second installment will bring.
But. BUT. I LOVED this book. I loved Sophie being the oddball of the family, an introverted bookworm whose biggest dream in life was to own a bookstore in her native Cumbria, far from the madding crowd of aristocrats and scandal in London.
I adored King, too. I liked that his father turned out not to be a nasty Duke at all. I loved Agnes and her motherly relationship with King.
I enjoyed the road trip and cross-dressing bits. I fell in love with the library at Lyne - I felt like Sarah put that bit in especially for her fans, knowing how we all sigh for the library in Beauty and the Beast.
I thought the secondary characters of the doctor, Mary, Bess, John and Matthew the footman were all very well done.
I liked the sneak-peek we get of Warnick, who will be/is the hero in the next book.