- Taschenbuch: 384 Seiten
- Verlag: Avon (25. November 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0062068512
- ISBN-13: 978-0062068514
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,6 x 2,4 x 17,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 83.859 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels (Rules of Scoundrels, Band 4) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. November 2014
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“MacLean wraps up her popular Rules of Scoundrels series with the clever plotting, exquisite writing and lush sensuality she is known for. A worthy conclusion to an extraordinary series.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Series readers will be blown away by the revelation of Chase’s identity, and will cheer on Duncan and Georgiana as they bring their complex relationship to a riveting conclusion.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“RITA Award-winning MacLean again successfully woos readers with another entrancing literary merger of sophisticated sensuality and scintillating wit as she wraps up her exquisitely written Rules of Scoundrels quartet in splendid fashion.” (Booklist (starred review))
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.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
Welche anderen Artikel kaufen Kunden, nachdem sie diesen Artikel angesehen haben?
Langatmige Gespräche, warum sie einander nicht heiraten können..,blablabla
Für mich nicht nachvollziehbar, daß sie sich erst kaum kennen und im nächsten Augenblick sind sie komplett "in Love".
Aber obwohl sie sich soo sehr lieben, können sie nicht heiraten..
Die Gründe dafür sind ebenso schwer nachvollziehbar. Sogar erotische Szenen werden "verquasselt".
Ich hab schnell angefangen das ganze Geschwafel zu überspringen, und hab nix verpaßt. Was hätte Lisa Kleypas oder Loretta Chase tolles aus dieser Geschichte gemacht!
Zwei Sterne, weil mir ihre Tochter gut gefallen hat und ich was Neues aus der griech. Mythologie gelernt habe, und ja die Grundidee war gut.
Trotzdem keine Leseempfehlung!
Einzig die angedeuteten Zeitungsausschnitte zu jedem Kapitalbeginn sind interessant: wenn man die Bücher von Sarah MacLean kennt, weiß man schnell, wer gemeint ist und bleibt so bei den anderen Charakteren auf dem Laufenden.
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
THE STORY: Lady Georgiana Pearson was only sixteen when she gave herself to a man who she believed she loved but who abandoned her leaving her pregnant. Utterly ruined, Georgiana has secretly resurrected herself into the most powerful woman in Britain. At the tender age of twenty, she founded The Fallen Angel recruiting as her partners three men who had also fallen from the grace of the aristocracy.
"She might never again be accepted by society, but now she held the power to destroy it."
For years, Georgiana has had three different roles: Georgiana, sister to a duke and a fallen woman; Anna, the madam of the Angel and the most famous whore in London; and Chase, the mysterious man who holds all the secrets of the Angel and the aristocracy. At the beginning of NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER, Georgiana is reluctantly seeking out a husband. She wants the respectability of a title to protect her daughter Caroline's future prospects and as a result has had to re-enter society.
"She was like no woman he'd ever known."
At a ball, Georgiana "meets" Duncan West. Unknown to West, the two have actually interacted for years. Chase and West have been partners of a sort in the secrets of London. The two have sent messages back and forth dealing in the secrets of the ton. Anna and West have also done some mild flirting as Anna acted as messenger for Chase. It is meeting, Georgiana, however, that most intrigues West.
Duncan West is "brilliant and powerful and handsome as sin." A newspaper magnet, West owns five newspapers and magazines known throughout Britain. (Readers of MacLean's other books will recognize West's publications. West himself appeared in ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE'S HEART along with the prior books in the Rules of Scoundrels series). A self-made man, West has dangerous secrets of his own that he is working feverously to keep hidden. Considered an unofficial fifth partner in the Fallen Angel because of his critical rule in controlling and disclosing the scandalous information that the Angel trades in, West knows nothing about the roles that Georgiana plays for the Angel.
"He was a man, and men saw only that for which they were looking. And still he seemed to see into her."
Almost immediately in the story, West discovers part of Georgiana's connection with the Angel. Thus begins a dance between Georgiana and West where each discloses and conceals truths about themselves while making deals and trades and also falling in love with one another. West agrees to help Georgiana capture a titled husband at the same time that the simmering attraction between them begins to consume them both.
OPNION: NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER is a book I haven't been able to stop thinking about since I read it - twice already. Georgiana is a heroine that is so incredibly unique and brilliant. Determined, driven, witty, sarcastic, ambitious, smart and loving, protective and caring, Georgiana is a woman on par with the men of the Fallen Angel. My favorite part of this book might be her relationship with Bourne, Cross and Temple who clearly care about her and yet treat her as a strong, independent partner and not a woman that has to be protected. They treat her as an equal and MacLean has written Georgiana as their equal. Duncan at first wants to protect Georgiana and yet as he gets to know her, he also learns to respect and ultimately be in awe of what she has done with her life.
Georgiana is not a weak young woman who needs to be rescued. She is the linchpin, the creator, the originator of the Fallen Angel. She has been so integral to the happy endings for others (her brother Simon, Bourne, Cross and Temple) sometimes to her own detriment that her journey to happiness had special meaning. Georgiana is a woman who has made herself strong and yet is not hard. She gives everything to those she loves. That trait, which led to her ruination, also makes her capable of having a forever type of love. By the end of the book, the girl who wanted so much to be wanted, is shown as a woman who has the loyalty and love by more people than she would have imagined.
The relationship between Georgiana and Duncan is truly a match of equals. The clever and witty repartee between them urged me to return to their interactions again and again to re-read them. The two are on guard with one another and the tension created by the fear that each has of disclosing their weaknesses while at the same time deeply hungering to reveal themselves to one another drives a great deal of the emotional angst of the story. While stories based upon the keeping of secrets from the other can be quite tedious an annoying as the reader yells - "just talk to one another already" - this is NOT one of those books. The secrets that Georgiana and Duncan are keeping have the power to utterly destroy them. To disclose secrets is to give power to the other. As the two begin to build trust between them, the secrets are revealed. By the time the ultimate secret, Chase's identity, is revealed, it feels like the proper time.
I greatly appreciate the heat level of NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER. The book is sexy and hot, but not gratuitous or crass. The heat level is high but always grounded in the emotional intimacy of the characters. Plus, there is a very sexy scene in an indoor swimming pool.
This historical feels incredibly fresh and new. Georgiana does not react in stereotypical historical heroine fashion. The opening where Georgiana and West meet is one of the most amazing scenes I have read. All readers of historical romance have read the scene where a heroine is being savaged by gossips in the ton. What was unusual is Georgiana's reaction. She does not simper or whine or fear. Instead, she is incredibly strong and dark in her reaction. I loved the reaction of Georgiana and it is a risk for MacLean to make her heroine vengeful in those circumstances - but entirely within the character of the woman who created the Fallen Angel.
As a lover of dark, angst filled romances, this book was a tumultuous emotional ride. MacLean's writing goes deep inside the emotional journey of her characters and drags the reader along. The focus is always on the characters and their connection to one another. The story is painful and funny and sexy and empowering. The writing is at turns brisk and lush declarative and evocative. Rather than reading like a high school English paper, this book is more like poetry or stream of consciousness. MacLean uses all the tricks of a master writer who knows how to break the rules that schoolchildren are taught to increase the tension and flow of the story. It is a book that I could not put down and immediately wanted to read again.
WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of the Rules of Scoundrels series and her Love By Numbers series will be pleased with the amusing cameos MacLean gives of the lives of the heroes and heroines from those books. By using the excerpts from West's newspapers, MacLean gives readers updates on those characters, glimpses into their lives, that don't interrupt the flow of the story. Also, for Georgiana switches from breaches to dresses and is comfortable in both which I love!
FINAL DECISION: NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER is a winner of a book. Dark, emotional, fresh with a hero and heroine who are strong and smart and clever. A fan of the series, I was worried that this book would be a disappointment because I expected too much. Those fears were unfounded. While Pippa and Cross remain my favorite couple, NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER may be the best all around book. I highly recommend the entire series. I've already read this book twice and look forward to revisiting the story for a long time.
CONNECTED BOOKS: NEVER A LADY BY HER COVER has been a long time in the making. Georgiana was first introduced in MacLean's Love By Numbers series. Readers meet her as a pregnant unwed teenager in TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD and then as a new mother in ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE'S HEART. She, of course, also appears in the first three books of the Rules of Scandals series although readers do not know her true identity. This book can be read independent of the others but readers who really want to enjoy this book should start at the beginning of Georgiana's story in TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD. MacLean has created a world where every one of her books inhabit the same world. Readers can start with her New Adults Novel THE SEASON, read the three books of her Love By Numbers series, and then the four books of her Rules of Scoundrels series and see cameos by characters throughout. A small spoiler that Lady Sophie who appears briefly in this book will be the heroine of her next book THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN.
STAR RATING: Unreserved 5 stars! Immediately a keeper.
The blurb spoils a few of the biggest reveals. Like the fact that Chase is a woman. If you haven't been following this series, that will mean nothing to you. But Chase is one of four owners of the Fallen Angel club... the leader, in fact. And in the first three books, no mention at all was made of the fact that the mysterious character was a female. But MacLean did it in such a way, that I never even noticed that the character had no gender reference. Like most other readers, I just assumed Chase was a man, who would be the final hero of the series. Nope. Not only is she a woman, but a lady. She is Lady Georgiana, sister to the Duke of Leighton, ex-fiance of Lady Penelope (A Rouge By Any Other Name.) The hero: newspaperman Duncan West.
There are many other reveals, but I am going to try not to spoil them, because the surprises are really half of the fun.
Georgiana is a ruined woman. A groomsman sweet talked her into a roll in the hay at 16, and from that encounter, little Caroline was born. An illegitimate child is too much scandal for even a girl of Georgiana's breeding to overcome. Society turned its back on her. So she decided to rule them all, and did it behind the guise of Chase. Unfortunately, her ruin is spilling over to her little girl. The secrets she has accumulated at the Angel aren't enough to force the ton to accept Caroline; only a titled husband can do that.
West regrets the cartoon his paper ran, drawing attention to Caroline. Not only that, but seeing Georgiana at her first ball back in the game, he respects her; he likes her. And he decides to help her get the husband she wants. Their collusion puts them in each other's orbit --and their attraction to one another will not be denied. But attraction or no, these two have some very practical concerns that rule out anything that could ever be more between them. Or do they?
Georgiana is so wonderfully complex. She is so smart and ruthless and powerful. But above all things she is a mother. I love how that trumps everything else. I love that despite the fact she is surrounded by vice and iniquity, Georgiana remains innocent in so many ways; that she is jaded and still emotionally vulnerable, to love... to sex... and to the beasts of the ton. Even as she could crush them all, she has to struggle at times to hold her head high and remember her own worth.
West is complicated too. He is also powerful, yet the secrets that hang over his head could destroy him. He and Georgiana are so alike in some ways. Neither can trust the other; and both have very good reasons. But together they are wonderful. I believe in the fierceness of how they love each other, and in the hopelessness of it. I believe that they think they have to put their own needs last, but in each other touch and each surrender to desire, it's just. so. good.
It's a great ride seeing Georgiana's struggle with her dual identity, and I really had no idea what would become of her alter ego and the club. I really enjoyed catching up with her partners and their wives over the course of the story too. It's such a great conclusion to the series. Yes, it could work as a standalone, but part of its awesomeness is the fact that it's such a great culmination of events. It's just fantastic.
I want to like this story, because MacLean made me laugh in her first tales, which I enjoyed for their smooth writing and sly wit.
And, like every other fan, I've eagerly awaited the uncovering of Chase, the ruthless senior partner, even tougher than the hardened fallen angels of the previous stories in this series.
MacLean's talent remains evident in Never Judge a Lady by her Cover. Readers are provided with some great lines, none more so than when Chase/Anna/Georgiana is pointing out to Duncan his double/triple standards in how he changes his behaviour to her, depending on which persona he is dealing with - particularly when he offers to "support" the aristocratic Georgiana and touches her with respect, but offers a "deal" and blackmails the "whore" Anna, then drags her into an alcove and has her dress pulled to her waist only seconds later. And who could not enjoy the reversal of the usual scene in romance land, where it is the h who is nearly always the first to whisper endearments and be met with silence, or a practiced lie? I appreciated Maclean's clever creation of Georgiana's response to Duncan's needy, jealous and repeated utterances of "I love you" with the more guarded "I choose you".
I very much liked Georgiana's daughter, who didn't whine about her lot, was clever and tough and independent, who loved and tried to protect her mother and who challenged her when it mattered.
And I enjoyed the scene where Georgiana faced down the gossiping, snobbish bully at the ball. I totally believed in her ruthlessness. She was taking on that young woman for the cruelty to her daughter and it was interesting that, even when Mary(?) suffers from the alienation and fall from favour she spitefully wants to inflict on Georgiana's 9 year old daughter (who she doesn't even know) she doesn't back down next time Georgiana sees her. Yes, it is nasty bullying in reverse, but Chase IS ruthless. And, queasy though it made me feel at one level, I thought it illustrative at another. It does take Georgiana down to the same level as the bully. But it reminds us that she is Chase and that she has ruined the lives of many other people in the past few years. And too often in romance land the h is a doormat or too noble in circumstances like this. (The punishment is eventually lifted, when Georgiana decides to resurrect the bully's popularity.)
So far, so good, but now to the reservations and downright dislikes.
I can't be sanguine about women who make money from prostitution of other women. It is more understandable if they are, or were, prostitutes themselves, working with women imbued with power and a sense of choice. Or at the other extreme, trapped in poverty or some other dire circumstance. But Georgiana - a wealthy woman, who refuses to sell herself and is insulted when the h sees her as a whore? No. This book mentions the prostitutes she has working the floor of the club, as well as the fact that she has been surrounded by them for years. Yet, none of them are identified as independent workers, or even as friends. Distasteful.
It is just as distasteful that Georgiana would seriously consider blackmailing a gay man into marrying her, just because he had the requisite title. And seriously consider it she does. She has him investigated, has a secret file and indicates that she may need to use it. I can not believe that MacLean would use this device and not recognise it would disgust her readers and make her h virtually irredeemable.
Then there are the many implausible scenes. The first major gulp for me was how easy it was for Duncan to follow the Georgiana when she left the ball. It is totally weird that she would protect her identity so scrupulously for years and then behave so carelessly on a night that has been so rigorously planned. And the transformation on that trip (from Georgiana to Anna) while inside the coach - with no one to help her with the corsetry, the maquillage etc - is downright ridiculous.
The second gulp comes with Anna's behaviour inside the alcove at the club. It is so inconsistent with years and years of previous conduct designed to keep her safe and impregnable to attack. I can believe that she may have been so overwhelmed with lust that she may have behaved that way somewhere else. But in an alcove in the open club area? An alcove? Without even a door? After what had happened to her, in front of witnesses only minutes before? No.
I felt less of a gulp and more of a sigh with the swimming pool. Once I'd got over the shock of a swimming pool in a house of that time, and recognised that a writer of Maclean's aptitude would have ensured this was possible, I was somewhat entranced by its importance to Duncan - getting clean, washing away his regrets and guilts and sense of sin for the tragedy of the "other" Duncan. Lovely. But then that imagery was overwhelmed by the very predictable sex scene. OK, I get it. Doing it on a billiard table is now old hat, ditto the greenhouse, on a desk, against the wall, on the Captain's bunk. So where else can it happen that may tittilate with being unusual? Ah! A swimming pool! Maybe, if I hadn't already been discombobulated by the previous gulps, I might have gone along with the setting, but, instead, I felt that it was contrived to the point of being tedious. (Unlike the Eloisa James's scene in the Roman baths in the Duchess series, which is swoon-worthy.)
I found the potential disclosure (of Chase) scene to be the weakest, and most implausible in the whole book (exceeding even the insufficiently explained details of how a teenage girl became Chase, which I was prepared to overlook.) Georgiana gets on a table and declares - it is me. To be met with - No me. No me. Etc. Etc. Right down to the servants. In front of a room full of aristos? And not ONE of them shares this absolutely fabulous story with his wife, or mistress, or a friend? I don't think so.
And, finally, Georgiana and Duncan are described, in the Epilogue, as the darlings of the ton. Why bother? I can understand that the superficial ton would want them, but why would Georgiana want the reverse? How absolutely boring for someone who has lived such a dangerous, risky life and only re-engaged with the ton she detested, for a reason that is now unnecessary. When the other fallen angels are described as still being on the outer, why become conventional?
I wanted to enjoy this story unreservedly, as I did some of MacLean's earlier work, but this one doesn't do it for me. I originally ranked it at 3, because there was much I liked about it, but I've rethought the blackmail component and decided that rating is too high for a book that left me feeling so uneasy about the h's venality. Is it because she is a female? No. I'd feel the same way about a man who was prepared to blackmail someone in the same way. So two stars.
Georgiana was certainly a strong heroine. She had power over some of the most powerful men in the country and she wasn't afraid to use it. But, besides that, she was also very loyal to the people she cared about and determined to be a better mother to her daughter. My only issue with her was that she had a slightly annoying tendency to be stuck in her ways. But, it was understandable, so I liked her overall.
Duncan was definitely Georgiana's match. He was just as powerful, loaded with secrets, and clever and wouldn't let her get away with her usual tricks. And, he could also be very sweet when he allowed his softer side to show. I thought he was great.
The romance was good. As I said, Georgiana and Duncan were definitely each other's match, both being so strong and clever. And, they definitely had chemistry. However, I did find myself annoyed with how long they held on to their secrets. Especially Georgiana because, even after Duncan told her everything, she still couldn't be the one to tell him her secrets. Overall, though, I did think they were a lovely couple.
The plot was fast paced and totally engaging all the way through. There were plenty of secrets and surprises to keep me hooked. I really liked the story and the ending was perfect.
Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover was a wonderful historical romance that showed a bit of the darker side. With its lovely romance and plentiful secrets, it was a really great book. Romance lovers, this is definitely a book worth the read.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
I can't believe all the 5 star reviews. After reading all of this -- and only managing to do that by skimming the less believable/readable/enjoyable sections -- I feel generous giving it 2. I read a lot of the 2 star reviews and definitely agree with those that critique the book point by point. I can bear a stupid plot (which this was -- marrying a viscount is somehow going to save the reputation of this woman's illegitimate daughter??!) if the dialogue or characterization is good. The dialogue was AGONIZING. It probably appeared even more so because I've recently read Sherry Thomas and Julie Ann Long, both of whom have hilarious and witty dialogue, not to mention sensual and simmering. This book was just written in a ham-fisted manner all the way around. At least the first 2 books in this series had a feeling of historical authenticity (even with their outrageous plots) this book felt much too modern.
I'm afraid this is the last MacLean I'll read for a while.