Book Review: A ROUGE BY ANY OTHER NAME by Sarah MacLean

Book Summary:
What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets...

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title.  Now a partner in London's most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance--including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more.  How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London's illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness--a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them...even her heart.

Book Review:

Sarah MacLean has yet another winner on her hands with Penelope and Bourne's romance!

Penelope Marbury is a delightful heroine whose journey is a sight to behold.  She loves her family deeply and is saddened that she has caused her family, especially her younger sisters, so much pain through her broken engagement and subsequent failures to find a suitable husband.  She is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her younger sister from having to make a marriage that is unfulfilling to her.

Penelope is stunned to be taken "hostage" by her childhood friend (and sweetheart), Michael Bourne at his family's old home, which is adjacent to the Marbury family land.  Michael has turned up again to marry Penelope, by any means necessary, because included in her dowry is his old ancestral home which he lost ten years ago in a bad gambling game.  Penelope marries Michael with the request that he introduce her two younger sisters to proper suitors with whom they may find happy marriages.  She also requests that he help her shed her respectable ways and introduce just a bit of "sin" into her life.  He agrees and their romance is off and soaring...

Through the use of old letters that Penelope and Michael sent to one another when they were younger, Ms. MacLean is able to establish for the reader that, had Michael not lost horribly in a bad bet set up by a nefarious guardian, the two probably would have fallen in love and married much sooner.  It also explains why Penelope has such faith that her bad boy husband can be redeemed through love.  It is wonderful to watch two characters deeply in love with one another help the other become a much better and fuller version of themselves.  Bravo, Ms. MacLean!

4 stars out of 4

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