I started reading romance novels throughout high school and in college and for the longest time I exclusively read historical fiction. Give me women who changed their dress 5 times a day, vouchers to Almack’s, betting at White’s, Dukes, Ladies, and houses in Grosvenor Square, and I was set.
However, I began to get burnt out on historical romances and soon moved on to contemporary and paranormal romances. But lately I’ve been thinking of that London Regency era and went on the hunt for a good historical romance to read. I had heard wonderful things about Sarah MacLean so I picked up one of her books.
A Rogue By Any Other Name is the first book in The Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah McLean. It’s the first Regency novel I’ve read in a long time and I enjoyed it greatly. It had everything I was expecting – the daughter whose sole purpose is to marry well but who secretly wants to marry for love, a past scandal, a roguish lord, and love that conquers all. It was Regency London at its best.
Michael, Lord Bourne, is part owner of The Fallen Angel, a famous gaming hall in London. Years before, he was deceived and lost everything he owned in a game of cards. But now he is ready to return to Society and has set his sights on reclaiming what is his. The only problem is that his inheritance now belongs to Penelope Marbury.
At 28 years old, Penelope Marbury is on the verge of becoming a spinster. In the hopes of finding someone to marry his daughter, Penelope’s father has included Bourne’s land and inheritance as part of her dowry. As Penelope and Bourne were childhood friends and neighbors, Penelope is not too upset when Bourne tricks her into marriage. However, she soon finds out that the boy she once knew has changed completely.
Bourne is a tortured hero who is only focused on revenge. At times you want to yell at him for the way he treats Penelope. Like most angst-ridden heroes, Bourne does not believe he is worthy of Penelope’s love so he pushes her away at every convenience. But Penelope doesn’t back down and, since this is a romance novel, we all know how it will end.
I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. This book was easy to read and the secondary characters were great. MacLean writes great dialogue and I could see the characters interacting with each other.
Speaking of characters, this book has such a wide range of them. We meet the other 3 owners of The Fallen Angel, which presumably are the main characters for the rest of the book series. All 3 appear to have things in their past they would like to forget so you know what that means – more brooding and redemption!
I’m definitely going to continue with this series.