Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Unwrapping a Review of NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED by Sarah MacLean

Okay, I admit it - I’m a bit behind on my Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean reading. My Avon Addict sister, Lisa Lin gave you the rundown last week on NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER because I had only started reading NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. Whether you’re caught up, are in the midst of reading them as I am, or haven’t read any, I hope you’ll dive right into this series because it’s that good.

***purchased a print copy for my personal reading, but am sharing my honest and unscripted review with you anyway.


A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows . . . that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love. 

*                   *                  *                  *                  *

In the underground world of the Fallen Angel, Temple carries the name of Killer Duke and reigns undefeated in the fighting ring but in reality, he is William Harrow, the Duke of Lamont. Having been accused of taking the life of his father’s bride-to-be on the eve of their wedding, Temple lives with the name and the guilt of not knowing what happened that fateful night twelve years ago.

Mara Lowe disappeared that night long ago, created a new name and life so she might escape a marriage she didn’t want. She carries the guilt of unwillingly putting the blame of her supposed murder on the shoulders of the man who now holds her brother’s debt at the Fallen Angel – a debt that could destroy her home for the throwaway children of the ton. Now she must reveal herself to the man whose reputation makes him one of the most dangerous men in London.

When Mara confronts Temple and he learns the truth that she still lives, he strikes a deal with her. He will not fight her brother but she must willingly reveal herself to Society at his appointed time, as well as tell him the truth - all of the truth. Their attachment soon becomes romantically entangled, and when her feelings for Temple increase her guilt, she knows she must leave him to the life he should have had. When a final truth nearly destroys any love between them, she offers herself to Society to clear Temple’s name.

I will start by saying that whereas NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, the third Rule of Scoundrels novel by Sarah MacLean is in the end a very good read; it is not my favorite of the series. Pippa and Chase in ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER is still my favorite. That said, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED started out slow for me and Mara was not the heroine I’d always hoped for Temple. As I continued to read, I began to understand her angst, and her steely demeanor but still felt Temple deserved someone who would love him, honor him, and protect him even from himself. It wasn’t until Mara did something near the end of the book that I finally saw her as the perfect match for our Temple. She did what no other woman could do for Temple. She saved him. She saved him from himself, his unwarranted reputation, from defeat in the ring, and saved him by showing him what real love was and how she was willing to sacrifice everything she had, and loved, for him – her duke. I was wholly satisfied and happy for Temple and Mara.

I’ve read this series from the beginning and all along, I had my suspicions about whom the mysterious Chase really was. Since the release of NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, it’s now common knowledge that Chase is actually a woman and that woman is Lady Georgiana Pearson who we met in the Love By Numbers series – if you haven’t read that series, DO. This being said, I felt that NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED was more of a catalyst for Chase’s reveal than for Temple to have his story told and for him to get his happily ever after. It didn’t take me long to connect the clues in this book and solve the mystery even before I turned the last page. I haven’t read NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER yet and I will get to it later rather than sooner, but will eventually read because I want the rest of the story. Through the clues along the way though, I already knew that we'd been seeing Georgiana not only as Chase but also as Anna, the Fallen Angel’s madam. It all clicked for me, as I’m sure it did for many others if attention was given to the clues. I think I would rather have had a few less clues, and more Temple and Mara. Although, I have to admit it was worth it to have Temple tell Chase to 'feed the pig'. Had Mara been able to redeem herself earlier, I might have read this one at the same excited pace I read the first two books.

Overall, though, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED by Sarah MacLean was a good read but unlike the others which can stand alone, if you haven’t read the first two books, this one might leave you scratching your head. If you’ve read the first two books in the Rules of Scoundrels series, then I highly recommend you read NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED because it pulls everything together and sets things up for the final book - NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER.

If you haven’t dipped into this series, then go – go quickly – and get yourself immersed in the world of the Fallen Angel with A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME and ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, and then read Temple’s story in NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED to watch the mystery of Chase unfold.

Happy Reading Everyone!

NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, a Rules of Scoundrels novel by Sarah MacLean, Avon Romance, available in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes and 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.


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