Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (Rule of Scoundrels, Book 3) by Sarah MacLean

no good duke goes unpunishedReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: William Harrow, aka the Killer Duke or Temple is accused of murdering Mara Lowe before her wedding day. He was not able to receive his rightful title. Now he works at a successful casino, but even still that one night completely destroys any good aspects of his reputation. Temple is annoyed to see Mara return to him with a proposal even though she should by rights be dead. This proposal could clear his now tarnished name, offering to come back into polite society in order to put right his reputation for good, but what does she want in return?

Review: When the rules of the ton are broken…no good duke goes unpunished, or at least that’s the theory. As the third book in the Rule of Scoundrels series, the first being A Rogue by Any Other Name, and the second one One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (of which I thoroughly enjoyed) this one is a jewel among paperbacks with a cover that belies what is really inside. Of all the opening lines of a novel, this one is this years’ favourite and I’m sure it will stick in the mind of other readers too. Temple fights at the aptly named Fallen Angel gambling establishment in Mayfair after losing his title, family and right to his fortune. His manager, Chase has a long list of high standing men who want to fight him, a well-known killer duke and live, or win (which they don’t) but there is one man he will never face no matter what the odds, and this seems to be his Achilles heel in the story.

Good Bits:

  • Chase saying he doesn’t believe he killed Mara.
  • The fight scene at the beginning with Temple and Montlake – I was surprised at how lethal the blows were and how realistic.
  • Temple won’t fight Christopher Lowe – could it be that he is innocent of his sister’s murder?
  • Lavender, the MacIntyre piglet…awww.

Bad Bits:

  • None.

Final Thoughts: The general plot of Temple getting revenge on Mara aside, he isn’t seeing the whole picture. While he sees only having his revenge on her for what she did to him, he doesn’t see her as a governess who does her best to look after the illegitimate boys at the orphanage. These boys are the love children of some of the most high standing men in London who would rather not have their illicit affairs made public. She struggles to keep the boys fed and the orphanage heated at winter, so her deal with Temple is promising to her if only to give the boys a decent life. Temple starts out by only wanting revenge and sets the ground rules for it with Mara, but when he gets too close to her, he finds he can’t let her go despite how he feels about her. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean is one of the best romance novels of 2013 and Sarah MacLean is a writer I will look out for in the future.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

[phpbay]No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, 377, “”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, Book 2) by Sarah MacLean

one good earlReviewed by Sandra Scholes

For Lady Philippa Marbury reading books and indulging in science is preferable to parading around at society balls in the latest fashionable gowns. She is intelligent and wise beyond her young years, and knows what she wants from a man, even though she is engaged to Lord Castleton. Philippa isn’t cut out for marriage, she has her life to live, and takes it upon herself to find the perfect man who could take her to the parts of London that no serious lady would ever dare to explore, Cross. He is the man who is tall, dark and devilishly handsome with a quick wit and a rakish manner. He is also the bookkeeper of the Fallen Angel, London’s infamous gambling establishment.

Cross is a legend around London, and also known for his numerous affairs with women, so Philippa could hardly resist asking Cross to ‘ruin’ her as she does not want to go into the marriage bed with her husband unaware of what will happen. Cross, of course thinks she is insane to ask him to do that to her when he could also get into trouble with her brother-in-law. Cross views Lord Castleton as a young dandy with nothing resembling brains between his ears, and thinks Philippa and he would be miss matched. Not that he can do anything about it, even though deep down as lovely a woman as she is, he would like to.

Cross is reluctant to help her with her research into the bedroom arts needed after a marriage, but as it is only research, and she will keep the matter a secret, he might indulge Philippa’s ‘madness.’ She is well aware that she could not ask her mother or her sisters about sex within marriage, but Philippa wants to be prepared for what will happen between the sheets with her and her husband. She liked Cross from the moment she came through and saw him laid on the floor half naked. As a gaming man, he decides to let chance decide on whether he should help her, and in one roll of the dice, if it is in her favour, he will tell her all she needs to know.

As the second Rules of Scoundrels novel it reads as good as the previous one with the added bonus of a strong heroine, and a dashingly rakish, but trying not to be hero. Cross finds it hard not to succumb to Philippa’s advances, and soon finds he is putty in her hands. Sarah MacLean deserves recognition for writing a top notch romp from pre-Victorian times where her heroine is as daring as the hero.

Things I liked about the book:

  • At the beginning of each chapter there is an excerpt from “The Scientific Journal of Lady Philippa Marbury,” which contains some hilarious insights into her psyche.
  • Lady Philippa’s one-liners in response to Cross – they are delightful.
  • Lady Philippa referring to Lord Castleton as being unintelligent and rather dull, which gives the reader a good enough reason why she would want to be with Cross instead.

This is the second novel from the Rule of Scoundrels series, and is also the author of A Rogue by Any Other Name. If you haven’t yet encountered a real page turner, then this will be the perfect introduction into the way a period novel should be written.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover

[phpbay]one good earl deserves a lover sarah maclean, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]