A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah Maclean
Series: Rules of Scoundrels #1
What a 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 an unexplored world of pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London’s illicit 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.
Winner of the 2013 RITA Award for Best Historical Romance
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I got interested in A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME when I heard about it on Ilona Andrews’ blog. I enjoy a good historical romance and this one sounded quite tempting. I’ve been waiting for it to be available at my local library and I jumped on it as soon as it was. 🙂
A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME is a wonderful novel. I was immediately swept up in the world of nineteenth century nobility. Penelope is a winning protagonist, and Bourne is a great foil for her since he is all of the bad things according to polite society. Penelope’s not a typical heroine; rather than being an ingenue, she’s practically a spinster, her engagement to a duke broken when the duke fell in love with another woman shortly before his wedding to Penelope. She was pretty much ruined, which ruined her four sisters’ chances of stupendous marriages, but she is oddly okay with her impending spinsterdom.Penelope is relativeily content with her lot in life, though she regrets how her life has affected her sisters, which makes her something of an oddball, and which endeared her to me from the start. But then her father makes her dowry irresistible by adding in a property that used to be Bourne’s family estate and Penelope becomes a more exciting commodity, except that Bourne promptly swoops in and forces her to marry him. It’s a completely unromantic beginning to their marriage, made especially awful by the fact that they used to be childhood friends. (And some of the best parts of the book are the letters they exchanged as youngsters.
This wouldn’t be much of a romance novel if they didn’t overcome their bad start, would it? And once they do start to overcome themselves, things get steamy. And smoochy. And we get to see exactly what Bourne and Penelope are made of, and how very compatible they are.
Aside from the romance, I really loved the writing. Maclean has done a great job of creating a fantastic atmosphere. She does a great job of immersing the reader in the period, with lots of great details, and she does it without making you feel bogged down in the nitty gritty. The best authors are the ones who can create a really great sense of mood and history seemingly effortlessly and Maclean has done a bang-up job of setting the scene in A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME. I haven’t tried any of her other books but if this is an indication of her talent, you can bet I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more books at the library.
All in all, A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME is a wonderful foray into historical romance — a novel sure to appeal to fans of the genre and those who are just getting cozy with it. I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a great historical title.