Lady Sophie’s Society Splash
When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.
Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!
Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.
War? Or More?
He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .
Source: egalley from Edelweiss/publisher Avon/Harper Collins. I also purchased it )
Sophie is one of the Soiled S’s, the so-called Dangerous Daughters, a moniker given to them by aristocratic members of the ton. She and her four sisters, all of whom have names begins with S, are daughters of a man of trade who only became an Earl ten years before. They’re upstart aristocrats, and crass, and most of them, with the exception of Sophie, love being the center of attention and love being scandalous. When Sophie decides to leave a party to return home because she has just shoved her cheating brother-in-law into a fish pond and is now being scorned by members of the ton, she begs for a ride from King, a known rogue who routinely ruins young women of the ton. He declines. She buys the livery off of his young footman and climbs onto the back of the carriage to make her escape.
Except that King is not in his carriage and his carriage is not going to Mayfair, but is headed out of town. When the carriage stops for the night and King appears on his curricle, he immediately realizes who she is and attempts to send her home. Sophie is no longer interested in going back to Mayfair, but to the home where she grew up in the North Country, where she remembers being happy. King is returning to his home, where he hasn’t been in 15 years, and it just happens to be the same place that Sophie grew up. His father is dying and King wants to remind the old man of a promise he made to him years before.
What starts out as King being irritated that he has to ensure that this girl gets home and then be on his way turns into him protecting her from being found. Both Sophie and King need each other and lean on each other during their journey and slowly fall in love.
I read and loved Sarah MacLean’s The Rule of Scoundrels series, which was a little bit dark but this was a much lighter in spirit. I really enjoyed getting to know Sophie and King. Sophie was unlike most other historical romance heroines in that she was not born to the aristocracy and was not interested in being a part of it. I loved her spunk and her tenacity. According to the author, this series was inspired by the scandal sheets of the time period and our own modern day obsession with celebrity gossip.
King was a lot of fun because he is totally not who you expect. I like being surprised by characters. King is supposed to be a rogue, a no good, hedonistic aristocrat dodging responsibility and getting his pleasure where he can. He turned out to be so much more, in more ways that we normally get when introduced to a “rogue” in Regency England. Reading from his point of view was a pleasure, though we don’t know what makes him tick through a good part of the book. His inconsistency with wanting to get rid of but also take care of and help Sophie made for a fun read because even King didn’t know why he was doing what he was doing.
Overall, such a great start to a new series. As always, I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series. Well done, Mrs. MacLean. *tips hat*
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the Rules of Scoundrels Series by Sarah MacLean
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THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN
Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Releasing December 29th, 2015
(Being shot on the Great North Road isn’t exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)
“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.
She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.
Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She
came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.
“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”
He raised a brow. “Clever. There’s food when you’ve bathed.” The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”
“It seems so,” she said.
“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”
She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”
“It’s a particular talent.”
“What with you being called King.”
“Name is destiny.”
She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.
King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.
If only someone would tell his body that.
Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.
Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at www.macleanspace.com