Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #4
Also in this series: A Rogue by Any Other Name, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover,
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: November 25th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General
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RITA® Award-winning author Sarah MacLean reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel's final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her New York Times bestselling Rules of Scoundrels series . . .
By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London's darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city's most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.
Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems, and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana's secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.
I’m sad to see the end of the Rules of Scoundrels series, though I’m happy to say MacLean really went out with a bang. This was an excellent read.
Lady Georgiana was introduced in Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart. She is the younger sister of The Duke of Leighton. She was ruined when she became pregnant out of wedlock. It’s been many years and she’s mostly fine with not being accepted in society, until it becomes apparent her daughter will also be snubbed. By day she may be the fallen sister of the Duke of Leighton, but by night she is Chase, the founder of the Fallen Angel, and she holds more power than any man in England, for she knows the secrets of everyone.
She plans to use her knowledge to secure herself a place in society, and a strong marriage to a titled gentleman, in order to pave the way for her daughter. She hopes to win a proposal without resorting to blackmail, though she isn’t above it if necessary. All is going as plan until Duncan West, owner of the city’s largest newspaper, takes an interest in her. She can’t let Duncan find out her secrets, but she can’t afford to turn him away when he offers to help repair her reputation. They’re more similar than they like to admit, and the attraction between them is hard to deny. But Duncan has secrets from his own past he doesn’t want revealed. Plus, he lacks the one thing Georgiana desperately needs…a title.
Chase is the most enigmatic and mysterious owner of the Fallen Angel. Throughout the series, there have been clues about Chase’s identity, but it isn’t until this book that she’s finally revealed (Though I feel pretty smug that I called who Chase was right after the last book was released.). I wasn’t sure what to expect from a female gaming hell owner, but Lady Georgiana was everything I could have hoped for. Strong, independent, wily and manipulative.
Duncan was a good fit for her, since he, too, was wily and manipulative. As a newspaper magnate, he’s learned to be cagey and trade in information. His secrets were well kept, and he did well at ferreting out the secrets of others. Yet he had a surprising about of honor for a journalist.
They had a good amount of chemistry. Their witty banter and constant sparring made for interesting reading. I did feel like Georgiana kept her secrets a lot longer than she needed to, but I understood why she felt the need to hold her cards close to her chest. I also felt like she took an unnecessary amount of risks with her identity after she came back out into society. Especially since she knew Duncan had figured out who she was (not Chase, but the madame at the club, who she’d masquerading as for years).
I’m sad to see the series end, but MacLean is ending on a high note. The final resolution was satisfying and, though I’ll miss them, I think all four founders of the Fallen Angel have moved on to bigger and better things.
4 out of 5