Monday, November 24, 2014

Special Guest Review: Lisa Lin's Review of NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean

Today, I have a guest review for you by one of my Avon Addict sisters, Lisa Lin. The review is for NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, book four of the Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean releasing tomorrow, November 25, 2014 from Avon Romance. I hope you enjoy her review as much as I do.

***eARC provided to reviewer by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review


She is the most powerful woman in Britain,
A queen of the London Underworld ...
But no one can ever know.

He is the only man smart enough to uncover the truth,
Putting all she has at risk . . .
Including her heart.

The fourth book in New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean’s incredible Rule of Scoundrels/Fallen Angels series. These four dark heroes will steal the hearts of their heroines, and the readers alike! This is the last in the Rules of Scoundrels series—Chase’s story

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.

*              *               *               *               *

Review by Lisa Lin:

I first discovered Sarah MacLean and her books shortly after the release of her debut romance, NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE. I had the good fortune to attend Lady Jane’s Salon where Sarah was one of the guest authors. I heard her read and was immediately sold. I bought the book right then and there, and have been a Sarah MacLean fan ever since. Her writing is captivating, clever, and irresistible.

Throughout the entire Rules of Scoundrels series, we get intriguing glimpses into Chase, the mysterious all-powerful founder and leader of The Fallen Angel. At the end of NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, readers were hit with the bombshell that Chase was a woman. Not only was Chase a woman, she was Georgiana Pearson, the sister of the Duke of Leighton whom we met in Sarah’s previous Love by Numbers Series. Once I found that out, I knew I had to get my hands on this book, NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, as soon as humanly possible.

The Rules of Scoundrels series tells the story of the four owners of The Fallen Angel, an infamous gaming hell/casino set in Regency England. Each book opens with the story of the owner’s fall from grace. In NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, we get the story of how Georgiana came to be disgraced and shunned from the ton – she conceived a child out of wedlock. Being the object of ridicule and scorn made Georgiana strong and determined to prove herself unbreakable against those who wanted to tear her down merely because of her one indiscretion. Towards that end, she opens a gaming hell with the other Fallen Angels, and collects all of the scandalous secrets of the ton in the process. By using those secrets as leverage, Georgiana shows that she has more power than all of them combined. In fact, it is by using these secrets that Georgiana plans to find a groom who will give her and Caroline the respectability and security she’s looking for.

I really loved Georgiana. I admire her strength and fortitude in building a new life for herself, and what a loving mother she is to Caroline. She has come a long way from the scared and lost young girl we first met in TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD. As Chase, she has London at her beck and call, except she must keep her double life a secret if she is to continue to survive, reign, and maintain her power. One of my favorite aspects of this book is how Sarah expertly illustrates the transient nature of power, and how destructive secrets can be. Due to her past, Georgiana is determined to have control over her own destiny, to be beholden to no one, and to never feel hopeless or powerless again. But having secrets and constantly living your life in the shadows with a fear of discovery is not real power or real freedom at all. Secrets isolate you, and make you unable to trust or be vulnerable. Only by trusting and being truthful with herself, and those she loves, and by stepping into the light, does Georgiana finally find the peace, love, and happiness she has been seeking.

Duncan West is a man with secrets and demons of his own. A powerful and popular newspaperman who can swing public opinion with a headline, he offers Georgiana his assistance in restoring her reputation and landing a respectable husband. Soon, he is fascinated by the alluring Georgiana, and becomes desperate to make her his. But due to secrets from his past, and a dangerous man who threatens his very life and livelihood, he is sure that a future with Georgiana is impossible. I really fell in love with Duncan as a hero. He is sexy, charming, brave, protective, smart, and extremely handsome. I loved how wonderful he was with his sister Cynthia, and with Caroline. Sarah does a great job of showing his great strength of character and substance beneath his exterior of the successful wealthy businessman.

The relationship between Georgiana and Duncan is truly wonderful. There is an instant connection, and attraction between them, which immediately draws the reader in. These are two people who recognize and understand each other in a way that is both enthralling and scary. Indeed, the strength of what they feel for each other makes Georgiana and Duncan put walls up to protect themselves. The tug back and forth between them plays out beautifully like an intricate dance. I found the way Sarah gradually had Duncan and Georgiana lower their guards, trust in each other, fight for each other, and their future lovely, and the epitome of what love and the romance genre is all about.

NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER is not just Duncan and Georgiana’s love story. This book is also a powerful testimony to the fierce and all-encompassing might of a mother’s love. Georgiana’s determination to protect and provide Caroline with a life of opportunity untainted by her scandal is a perfect example of the lengths a mother will go to ensure her child is happy, healthy, and safe. Similarly, Duncan’s mother was also forced to make terrible, heartbreaking sacrifices and decisions for the sake of her children.

NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER is the fourth and final book in Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series. While it is not necessary to read the three previous books, I highly recommend reading the series in order to get a better and richer understanding of what happens in this book. I loved the cameos from the previous couples in the series, and how they rallied around Chase/Georgiana.

I cannot recommend NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean highly enough. This book is Sarah writing at the top of her game, with an emotionally gripping story and characters that will stay with the reader long after they get to The End. It is a satisfying ending to the series, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next from Sarah!

Happy Reading Everyone!


Lisa Lin is as addicted to romance novels just as I am, it’s one of the reasons she is such an important asset to the Avon Addicts super reader group for Avon Romance. She joined the Avon Addicts with the third group and quickly proved her worth by joining in discussions, and sharing all things Avon. She’s fanatic about Tessa Dare, her absolute favorite romance author, and her books, but opens her heart and her reading time to the rest of the romance community as well. She contributes greatly to discussions and events held for the authors and I call her a good friend.

Thank you, Lisa for a wonderful review and you’re always welcome at Unwrapping Romance to share your thoughts and opinions.

NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, a Rules of Scoundrels novel by Sarah MacLean, Avon Romance, releasing November 25, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sale using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.



Elizabeth H. said...

Wow! What an insightful review! As someone who doesn't like historical romance...I'm tempted to pick this one up!

Thanks for sharing!

Veronica said...

Lisa, I think we may be book-sisters. I was a little obsessed about getting my hands on this book and totally loved it! I was a huge fan of the Chase-West give-and-take romance dance, too.