A rogue ruined . . .
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.
A lady returned . . .
Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows . . . that he is no killer.
A scandal revealed . . .
It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love…
Sarah MacLean strikes again!
I’m always excited to read a new Sarah MacLean because she’s written some pretty fantastic books and this book wasn’t any different. Temple and Mara came alive in this book for me and I really came to love the both of them. I thought MacLean did a great job of making the reader understand where each character was coming from and why they did the things they did, and the way that everything unraveled kept me glued into the story. I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in one sitting.
So this book starts off with Temple waking up from a good night. He spent the night with a beautiful woman and he’s in a good mood, until he realizes he’s not in his bed and there’s a pool of blood on the sheets. And just like that, his good mood is gone and he gets a new name. The Killer Duke.
Temple is thrown into the streets and he builds a life for himself in the darkness of the streets. Twelve years later, Temple is one of the owners of The Fallen Angel, the exclusive gaming hall of the aristocracy and he’s richer than rich.
Christopher Lowe has lost everything he owns to the Fallen Angel. He’s desperate to get everything back and the only way that he can do that is to fight Temple…and win. But Temple won’t fight him because Christopher is brother to Mara Lowe, the woman that Temple supposedly killed. So when Mara comes back into Temples life, trying to barter for her brother’s debt, Temple is equal parts relieved that he’s not a killer and pissed because Mara set him up to fall.
So Temple goes about avenging himself…with Mara’s help. But the more time he spends with Mara, the more he realizes that not all is what they seem.
For the past twelve years, Mara has been living as a widow running an orphanage of illegitimate young boys. She had her reasons for running away and hiding away from everyone and now that her brother has gambled away everything that he owned (and everything she owned), the future of the orphanage is at risk and Mara is desperate to save the boys. So she returns to Temple and the story really takes off.
MacLean writes a fabulous story about two people who have every reason to not trust each other but fall in love with each other anyway.
I loved Temple. I loved getting his back story, loved seeing him come to terms with the past in order to completely move on toward a future that he always wanted but never thought he’d have. When he realizes that he is in love with Mara, I couldn’t help but sigh because Temple deserved to love and be loved more than anyone and I was so happy that he was finally going to get that.
What’s funny is that considering what Mara did to Temple, I didn’t hate her at all. Not once in the entire story did I hate her. I was dying to find out what her reasons were for doing what she did because I know that it had to be something and I was worried that when the big reveal came, I would be let down by what happened but that wasn’t the case at all. Everything made sense and even though it shouldn’t, it made me laugh. It should have been easy to hate Mara because she charged Temple for every little thing and I didn’t feel like he owed her anything…but even while I thought that, I understood why she was doing what she did. She had reasons for doing every single thing she did and I just really liked her.
This book was filled with great characters, a story that was interesting and a romance that was filled with steam. I really loved this book and I know everyone who reads it will enjoy it as well. It was a great addition to the Scoundrels series and I’m mighty anxious for Chase’s story…WHO THE HECK IS HE???? I thought I read somewhere that Chase’s identity is revealed in this book but if it was, I missed it (so did Holly) but now I NEED TO KNOW!
Read this book, you won’t regret it!
Edited to add (I finally read the back of the final copy): The only thing that I’ll say about Chase is that….I totally didn’t see that one coming but I can’t wait for Chase’s book!
Grade: 4.75 out of 5