A Rogue by Any Other Name is the story of Bourne and Penelope. It is the first book in Sarah MacLean’s Rule of Scoundrel series and really who doesn’t love a scoundrel? 😉
This is the fifth book in the Summer of Sarah MacLean event. The hosts of the event are Kelly Gallucci (bookish.kelly, Instagram) and Dana Cuadrado (To All the Nerdy Girls, Instagram). For more information about this amazing event, you can look at my review of our first book, The Season. It’s not too late to join us! This is where I currently stand with my Summer of Sarah MacLean Bingo Card:
This book was a reread for me, but I have to say I may have enjoyed it even more the second time!
The heroine is Lady Penelope Marbury, the same Penelope who was engaged to the Duke of Leighton in the previous book. We learned in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart that Penelope was the perfect English lady and considered a great catch for a Duke. What we see in this book are the consequences of a broken engagement – even if it’s the woman who calls it off – damn patriarchy.
Poor Penelope has not been able to make a match for years following her blown engagement. Penelope’s situation impacts not just her, but her sisters as well. This is a weight she very much feels. MacLean has a way of describing Penelope where you know just how lonely and unwanted she feels. My heart hurt for her. She did nothing wrong, Penelope just could not find someone to love her, leading her to think it was impossible.
Our hero, though I’d say, Michael, the Marquess of Bourne would not approve of the title, grew up with Penelope. The two were very close until Michel fled after losing the family fortune gambling. He built his life again running a famous London gaming hell with his partners called The Fallen Angel. But there is one thing he cannot rebuild, his family’s lands. Bourne learns that the lands are now attached to the dowry of Penelope. There is no doubt what he must do.
Bourne is a highly controversial hero. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt due to the letters. YES, there are letters! Each chapter opens letters between Penelope and Michael. We get to read the correspondence between the two, including those he never received. I LOVE LETTERS! They showed us what a marvellous friend Michael was and gave great insight into Penelope as well.
Penelope’s love and trust of Michael in childhood, allows her to really come into her own with Bourne. She is not afraid to challenge him and you can see her confidence grow throughout the novel.
Bourne really is an alpha hero, not a cinnamon roll. There are solid reasons why he changed from Michael to Bourne. With Penelope back in his life, he had no choice to become her Michael again.
There is no doubt that these two belong together – their wit and banter were stunning. MacLean has a true skill for writing banter that makes you squee!!
I believe the exchange below between Penelope and Michael shows how they truly are the perfect match!:
SEE – they are beyond delightful!!!
As mentioned, this is the first in the Rule of Scoundrel series. Each book will focus on a partner in The Fallen Angel. I’d be remiss to not mention what sounds like a truly stunning establishment. I look forward to learning more about The Fallen Angel and its partners in the coming weeks.