Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review (+ Giveaway!): The Rogue Not Taken

Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Sarah MacLean
Historical Romance
384 pages
Available Now
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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 . . .

The Rogue Not Taken is historical romance at its finest, giving us a relationship full of the very best kind of angst as our hero and heroine navigate the pitfalls of aristocratic society in order to be together. Normally a word like “angst” in reference to a romance of any kind would be a mark against it rather than for, but in the hands of Ms. MacLean we find the kind of angst that leaves a dull ache in our chests as we live and breathe with the characters until we reach their happy ending.

Sophie is an unforgettable heroine, standing up for her sister in the opening chapters in a way that has us cheering aloud and startling those around us, but in giving the Ton a dose of the truth they so rightfully deserve, she finds more trouble than she intended. What follows is an adventure full of physical pain, emotional heartbreak and utter joy, and we find ourselves experiencing the gamut of those emotions with her every step of the way. She’s unafraid to tell King exactly what she’s thinking or feeling and refuses to shrink away when his sharp words hit their mark, instead letting him see that while her emotional armor isn’t impenetrable, she’s not defenseless either.

King is a man who learns Sophie’s sore spots quickly and exploits them ruthlessly in the beginning, earning a narrowed gaze from us time and again as we prepare to punch the book in the hopes that he’ll feel it, but he also knows how to make up for harsh words both intentional and careless. He’s therefore incredibly hard to stay mad at for too long, especially when Sophie handles herself so beautifully, and we’re able to easily root for him to get out of his own way and see how perfect Sophie is for him. Of course it takes him until nearly the final chapter to realize what he has in Sophie, but their initial hostility and then comfortable banter has us smiling all the while even as our hearts constrict when he stumbles and winds up hurting her.

Overall, The Rogue Not Taken is a historical romance for the favorites shelf, Sophie and King both strong and vulnerable in equal measure, and their relationship is the type that has us itching to start again at the beginning as soon as we turn the last page.

Rating: 4.5/5

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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.

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One lucky winner will receive a complete set of the print editions of all books in the Rule of Scoundrels series (A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, and NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER)!  To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Jenny! I love this review and agree with everything you had to say about the book. I honestly think this might have been my favorite Sarah MacLean book. I loved all the emotions that the book made me go through. Not to mention, the delightful banter and the chemistry! Sophie was one amazing girl! And of course, King!! <3 <3
    I think I'm ready for a re-read!
    Lovely review, Jenny!

    1. Mine too Nick! Sophie was the best, I can't wait to read this one again:)

  2. EHMAGERD. Jenny! I'm so excited for this book! Even ordered it through Sarah MacLean's local indie store, since they were doing a special release package for it. SOON I WILL BE ABLE TO READ IT TOO.

  3. I SO need to read her! I've said this a million times now, I know! Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Hmmmm, guys that you really want to punch badly for being arseholes but that you end up forgiving can be tricky for me, but I love it when the lady in question knows how to handle herself and won't take it down quietly!
    Great review Jenny!

    1. You'll love King Pili, I know it. He can say some cruel things, but he'll make you fall for him in the end:)

  5. I really enjoyed the Scoundrel series. I still need to read the last few books in that series. I really like how Maclean writes.

    1. I do too Rummanah, her historical romances just make me happy:)

  6. Love the title! Glad you enjoyed it, Jenny!

  7. You're welcome, so excited to have been a part of this tour:)

  8. I've never read a book by this author before. But your enthusiasm is so contagious, Jenny!

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