February 25, 2012

An Unexpected Romeo • A Rogue by Any Other Name

A Rogue by Any Other Name book cover
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #1
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Source: Borrowed from April (Thanks!) || Paperback

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.

Sarah MacLean is definitely one of my favorite historical romance authors. Her Love by Numbers series was incredibly well-written, with quirky characters and unique story premises that were perfectly executed. It's safe to say that I feel the same way about her new series, The Rules of Scoundrels, after reading A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME. Charming, witty and with an endearing couple, I absolutely adored it.

The Characters

Penelope Marbury is the classic sort of historical romance heroine (at least amongst the novels that I've read). She's sassy, funny, smart, brave, stubborn and a completely different sort when compared with other women of that time period. I absolutely adored her character, simply because of her hilarious antics, her dreamy personality and her stubborn need to assert herself and make her own choices.

Michael Bourne, on the other hand, is the perfect classic romance hero to Penelope's heroine. He's got the icy exterior, but a warm heart. He's physically handsome, but acts like a bit of a rude rakish brute. He was a fallen angel, the disgraced peer of their generation - and it was a treat to watch him learn to forgive himself and redeem himself.

The Story

Though it followed the typical plot of hate-turning-into-passionate-love, I loved how the idea of childhood friendship blossoming into a relationship was also integrated into the story. It adds a familiarity and history to their relationship that explains their ease and little quirks around each other.

I was also pleasantly surprised about how gambling was instrumental to telling the tale, as readers will discover for themselves. It's presence was subtly always around, but I love how it really comes to play a very important part in the plot.

The sweet moments were what I lived for most of all - I loved it when they let their guard down around each other, when they revealed vulnerabilities and showed tenderness. It was enough to make me sigh and swoon and I absolutely adore that element.

Personally, I say you should...

... read this if you're a fan of historical romances with a quirky twist, or you're a Sarah MacLean fan. It's an adorable love story, with great characters, interest plot and some witty repartee, and I highly recommend it.


  1. I read Eleven Scandals and loved it - that was my 1st MacLean novel and I'm looking forward to reading this one even more now.

  2. Hooray! :D I'm so glad this lived up to the Love By Numbers series, cause I absolutely loved those books! :) I'm very much excited to read it soon!! Penelope and Michael sound like my kind of characters :)

  3. I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS! Love Sarah MacLean!

  4. The title is awesome!!! I love stories where the characters grow up together and turns into love eventually.

  5. I read April's review of this and she seemed to love it. Yours is the only one I've ever read besides hers. But I've seen tweets blow up left and right about it and about this author. CLEARLY I'm missing out, right?!?!? I need to get on this one.

  6. I'm a big fan of Sarah MacLean. I've read every single book she's written and loved them all - and I hope you feel the same!

  7. I'm pretty sure you're going to like this one, if you haven't already read it. I hope you enjoy it!

  8. Definitely try reading a Sarah MacLean novel - she's amazing!


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