Eleven Scandals to Start
to Win a Duke's Heart

Ten Ways to Be Adored
When Landing a Lord

 
A Rogue by Any Other Name
by Sarah MacLean
(Avon, $7.99, R) 978-0-06-206852-1
*****
Sarah MacLean returns with the first book in a new series about four aristocratic men who have fallen into the London underworld due to scandals in their past. A Rogue by Any Other Name starts off the series proving a darker themed story than weíve seen from MacLean in the past; but still exhibits the excellent writing that will keep her a top author for years to come.

Michael Lawler, Marquess of Bourne, was a young boy when he inherited his title. His Guardian, Viscount Langford, was his protector until one night in a gaming club when Bourne lost it all to Langford in a game of cards. What hurt the most was the loss of Falconwell, the prized and lush land that had been in his family for generations. He left the club with nothing, except a vow to seek revenge.

Nine years later, Bourne discovers that Langford lost Falconwell recently to his old neighbor, the Marquess of Needham and Dolby, and that the land is now part of Lady Penelopeís dowry. Penelope had been a good friend growing up and even though he has not seen her in a decade, he must take this chance to get Falconwell back.

Penelope Marbury is 28 years old and headed for spinsterhood. During her first season, she was betrothed to a duke in the usual business agreement among aristocratic society, but the duke confessing his love for another shattered her world. She has received offers since then, but seeing the unusual love match between aristocrats opened her eyes to a hope that she could have the same.

Penelope is shocked when Michael shows up. He has changed and Penelope does not recognize him as the fun loving, carefree, adventurer he once was. Michael takes Penelope and forces her to marry him on the threat of ruin. A ruin that will make her younger sisterís futureís uncertain. To protect her family, Penelope agrees and hopes that a promise of adventure will get her off her current path of a life of boredom.

What Penelope soon discovers is that Michael is so caught up in his plan for revenge against Langford, that heís willing to sacrifice everything, including Penelope, to achieve it. Penelope wills herself to stay strong and hopes that she can lead him on a better path, but heís making that a great challenge and hurting her along the way.

A Rogue by Any Other Name is an attention grabbing and emotional book. Penelope is such a strong and determined character; it lures the reader into her heart. The scenes between Bourne and Penelope are so palpable it is enthralling. Sarah MacLean gives us a world that is incredibly real youíll feel like youíre there witnessing it all first hand. Iím left speechless and donít want the story to end.

It is easy to say I strongly recommend A Rogue by Any Other Name. Iím looking forward to reading it again and to the future books in this series.

--Nichole Howell


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