Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled brilliant daughter of a Marquess cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Engaged to Lord Castleton, before she marries she wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she has never seen. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming quick-witted bookkeeper of the Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.
This is the second book in the Rules of Scoundrels series, and oh my is it a good one. I absolutely love Pippa who is way ahead of her time and continuously flummoxes Cross with the words that came out of her mouth – in the interests of research of course. As a girl who wears glasses myself it is good to see one triumphing in this era when some other books would have us believe it is all about perfection. Pippa is probably one of my favourite heroines to date – and I do read a lot of historicals!
Cross is sexy, smart and far more honourable than he gives himself credit for. He tries very hard to distance himself from Pippa, aside from the fact her brother in law (Bourne from the first book) would kill him, he thinks the lady herself will be the death of him and the carefully constructed world he has created. It really was very much Pippa doing all the chasing and Cross trying as hard as possible to run in the other direction – without much success I might add. This does not mean Cross is a wuss, oh no far from it, and when he does decide to take control – hot!!
This book returns to the world originally discovered in A Rogue by Any Other Name and we did get glimpses of Bourne and Penelope, the characters from that book, as well as glimpses of the other two gentlemen involved in running the club. I believe Temple gets his story next and I am looking forward to discovering his secrets.
The dialogue between our two protagonists is great and I could not wait to find out what was going to come out of Pippa’s mouth next. Cross has a definite way with words and while Pippa did not really believe the rumours she heard about him removing ladies clothes without using his hands, she soon found out what they were talking about.
This book has passion, humour, romance and at times is pure sensuality – well worth a read. If I had to make a criticism it would be the sub plot involving “Digger” Knight as I felt it was a bit weak, but for me it is always about the romance and this definitely delivers. You do not need to have read the first book at all, this can be read totally stand alone.
Sarah MacLean certainly knows how to get my heart fluttering and I cannot wait to read more in this series and any other she writes. She is definitely on my list of must read authors.