Author: Sarah MacLean
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Amazon Vine Program
What 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 such unexplored pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London’s 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. [via GoodReads]
Michael, the Marquess of Bourne, lost everything one night in a game of cards. Ten years later, he has not only surpassed the wealth he lost, but he is also one of the owners of an exclusive gaming hell called The Fallen Angel. Bent on revenge and the need to gain back all he has lost, he finds that he cannot pass up the chance at winning back his ancestral home, he'll do anything it takes to get it back, even if it means acquiring a wife in the process. Lady Penelope Marbury understands that spinsterhood awaits her. She's dealt with a broken engagement and boring courtships that have left her pining for something more. When her childhood friend Michael, whisks her away one night promising adventure and the illicit pleasures of the London underworld, she finds his promises too hard to resist.
Sarah MacLean can do no wrong!! I love and own everything she's ever written for a reason... she's awesome!! Her books are awesome!! Her characters are awesome!! Need I say more?
As a big fan of Ms. MacLean's Love By Numbers series, I was overjoyed to learn that she would have a breakout series - The Rules of Scoundrels:
"Four scoundrels, each whispered about in ballrooms across London. Four aristocrats, each exiled from society, now royalty in the London underworld. Four loves, powerful enough to tame the darkness... and bring these fallen angels back into the light."
Michael and Penelope were wonderful. Michael was dark and brooding - he's tormented, sarcastic and jaded (I love 'em like that!) and treats Penelope at arms length. He's a man with one thing on his mind... revenge, and nothing will stand in the way of him avenging himself. Penelope is feisty and witty and so full of life. I loved how proper she was even when Michael had her at her wits end.
I adore stories of childhood friends becoming lovers and I especially loved reading Penelope and Michael's letters at the beginning of each chapter. I think it was splendidly done how you get to know their past through their letters without getting full chapters reminiscing on their time as children growing up.
As with all her characters, Ms. MacLean makes you fall head over heels for them. Michael and Penelope's love story was swoon worthy. Michael was such a tormented character - it was hard not to feel as emotionally wrought out as Penelope was when it came to her feelings for him.
These are the types of characters you become invested in - feeling their hurts and joys just as much as they do. Their happily-ever-after was a hard one to come by which made it even sweeter in the end.
I cannot wait to see what Ms. MacLean has up her sleeves for the other three scoundrels in the series. I shall anxiously be awaiting the next in the series - One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. eeek!