by Sarah MacLean
“My whole life . . . two and two has made four.”…
“But now . . . it’s all gone wrong.” She shook her head. “It doesn’t make four anymore. It makes you.”
Pippa Marbury appears in Cross’s office in the middle of the afternoon, unchaperoned, asking questions about seduction. She’s getting married in a couple of weeks and there are things she doesn’t know. Being a lady of science she’s not afraid of asking the questions, and Cross’s reputation indicates he will be an excellent source. She doesn’t anticipate her lessons on temptation hitting so close to home. And Cross is certainly surprised by the lady’s appearance in his office. Now he must balance this new acquaintance, and all of her questions, with his attempts to battle his past and save his sister from economic ruin.
The second in MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover directly follows A Rogue By Any Other Name. I enjoyed this installment more than the first, even if I will grant that I preferred the banter in A Rougue By Any Other Name. I do heartily enjoy my banter.
I liked our heroine Pippa. Except for that time she ruined parts of Pride and Prejudice for the poor doorman. Still, she was quirky and smart and tough.But she wasn’t perfect. And while she acknowledged that she was somewhat odd, and not what most gentleman were looking for in a wife, I never got the feeling she didn’t like herself. Likewise, I didn’t balk as much at Cross’s backstory as Bourne’s. They were similar, but maybe I had to read Bourne’s story first to get my disbelief firmly suspended. Yes, I did question why he ran a gaming hell that invited others into the a future that includes a past Cross regrets.
I was slightly sad that Bourne and Penelope spent most of the novel in the country. While this was a convenient plot device, I did want to see Bourne and Cross square off. Maybe we’ll get some hints of it in the next novel. Maybe they’ll be super chilly to each other and Temple will just be running around like, “Come on guys we have work to do. We don’t have time for the silent treatment.” And Bourne will just stare Cross down, but he’ll throw out a, “well at least I didn’t steal my bride.” I’m writing a review not a fanfiction, but I hope there’s some element of that going on in the next book.
Slightly ridiculous quote above aside, as with the first MacLean’s writing is spot on, quickly moving me through this world and keeping me engaged throughout. I actually stayed up late to finish this one, and it’s been a while since I’ve done that with a romance novel (after all, I generally know how it’s going to end).
Also, we got plenty of good time in at the Fallen Angel gaming hell. Being now halfway through the series I’m already mourning letting this setting go.