Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Tour for The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of this author and her unique and strong-willed heroines I'm happy to introduce you to the new series starter The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this first installment in the Scandal & Scoundrel series, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this read by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this book make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a set of print copies of Ms. MacLean's Rule of Scoundrels series to US readers too!

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 . . .


Intro from Sarah MacLean
Being shot on the Great North Road isn't exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)
“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.
She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look."
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.
Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.
“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine."
He raised a brow. “Clever. There's food when you’ve bathed." The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry."
“It seems so,” she said.
“Food after the bath. And then sleep."
She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering."
“It’s a particular talent."
“What with you being called King."
“Name is destiny."
She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.
King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.
If only someone would tell his body that.





When it comes to the historical genre there's only a handful of authors on my auto-buy list for their talent at crafting unforgettable characters with sensual interactions.  Ms. MacLean is one of those authors and has been since her very first release.  With the groundwork laid here for her new series readers are guaranteed more unique heroines with entertaining dialogue directed at tarnished heroes.

Though I've always enjoyed the books of Ms. MacLean I have to say that while I found joy reading this I was also left frustrated.  The best part of this story was its memorable heroine in Sophie and her deep thoughts and emotions.  She was quite happy living the life of a commoner where she felt no judgements or expectations.  It was a time of true freedom that she longs to return to after becoming more and more disillusioned by her family's rise to the aristocracy. She's tired of her family being mocked and belittled, though they embrace all the attention, and she's tired of being nothing in the eyes of Society after being labeled the plain and unfun sister.  After being condemned for defending her sister she's finally had enough and runs off to start her life anew as the owner of a bookshop.  Along the way she finds excitement in her anonymity and an unexpected savior and friends who like her for herself.  She also finds love but it's a rocky journey to get her HEA as the man who she's drawn to has many issues of his own.  At the start of the story Sophie's very angry at the hypocrisy of the aristocracy.  She once saw such promise for her life but now finds herself more lost and alone as her sister's notoriety gains speed.  Sophie's a modern-day woman with her thoughts and deeds.  She's smart and not afraid to show it despite being judged.  I admired her bravery in making her own life even if it led to a few hairbrained schemes that led into danger, at least she was now living life on her own terms instead of others.  She's sweet and kindhearted which is why King's callousness at times left me so frustrated.  She already had low self-esteem due to other's unkind descriptions of her and he made it worse when they started becoming closer in a display of emotional self-defense.

King is a man clearly in pain, subtly lashing out at others over a long-ago loss that's left him jaded when it comes to matters of the heart.  He's bitter towards his father and determined to punish him the only way he can by denying the continuation of the family line.  He's chosen a bachelor life of racing and womanizing until he runs into Sophie and is drawn to her despite himself.  He doesn't always act in a heroic way though he wants to be Sophie's hero after seeing and hearing how unhappy she is in the world of the aristocracy.  One moment he can be sweet and charming and the next he's insulting her.  I know he reacted that way in self-defense but it's especially hurtful considering her issues with self-esteem.  He always expects the worst when it comes to matters of the heart which had him jumping to conclusions and sabotaging his HEA. Luckily for him he had the ever-forgiving Sophie as he had much to apologize for throughout the story.

Though there was much I liked about this story there was my frustration with King that dimmed my enjoyment a bit.  He was so harsh at times and felt like a bully in his treatment of Sophie, but it was those flashes of care and concern that he showed her that kept me on his side.  Sophie was a delightful heroine with an outgoing and thought-provoking personality.  I enjoyed her bravery in going after what she wanted but felt that she compromised almost too much of herself when forgiving King.  Despite that I enjoyed their connection and the witty banter that felt like a sexual tug of war.  Their sexual interludes were steamy early on but with so much sexual tension those encounters became scorching.  Alongside these two larger than life main characters is a compelling cast of secondary ones that have me excited for the next installment with the possibilities hinted at late in the story.  Overall, while this isn't the best of Ms. MacLean's works, it's still an entertaining read with fun and flirty dialogue and an immensely likable heroine that you'll be rooting for from start to finish.

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


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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1 comment:

  1. Lovely review! Thank you for hosting THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours