Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

never-judgeNever Judge a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels #4) by Sarah MacLean, published in November 2014 by Avon.

AuthorGoodreads. Amazon. Book Depository.

Source: purchased.

Genre: historical romance, the fluffy kind.

She is the most powerful woman in Britain, a queen of the London Underworld … But no one can ever know. 

He is the only man smart enough to uncover the truth, putting all she has at risk . . . Including her heart. 

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. (Goodreads)

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My rating: 4/5.

The final book in the Scoundrels series did not disappoint. There was much grumbling around the web when it became clear, at the end of No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, that Chase, the mysterious fourth owner of the best gaming club in London, is actually a woman. But I felt like MacLean did something quite rare in the romance world: she gave Georgiana – a woman – the position of ultimate power. For this alone, I think, this book is worth reading.

Georgiana is a fallen woman, an unwed mother, who chose exile from Society over giving up her baby. Now, ten years later, after establishing herself (albeit incognito) as the Lord of the London Underworld, she has to re-enter the Society, marry, and thus ensure a legitimate future for her daughter.

I liked Georgiana a lot. Despite her habit of lying to almost everyone in her acquaintance, she’s a woman who did the best she could given the circumstances she’s found herself in. Ruthless in her business world, she’s a good mother to her daughter and a very loyal friend to her club’s co-founders and their wives.

Duncan West, newspaper magnate and the hero of this tale, is another character we know from previous novels. He’s convinced Georgiana is being exploited and manipulated by the mysterious Chase and has a serious jealous-knight-in-shining-armor problem, complicating Georgiana’s life to a point where she must decide between her identities.

If I was Georgiana, I would have stopped lying to the poor man earlier, which might resolve their problems faster, but then where’s the fun in that? I love MacLean’s writing, her sense of humor, and, above all, her refusal to write meek heroines, who appear all too often in romances in general.

I would strongly recommend MacLean’s The Rules of Scoundrels series to any lover of historical romance. And I can’t wait what she’ll think of next!

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Have you read any good historicals lately? I’m always looking for suggestions! :)

  • I’m a big Sarah MacLean fan too, but I rarely rate romance books on Goodreads because I’ve got my bosses on there and they are easily scandalized, haha. When one of my coworkers added 50 Shades it became fodder for office gossip for weeks afterwards, which is both juvenile and ridiculous since we work in a public library. I just don’t want to deal with that pettiness so I leave straight-up romance novels off social media.

    I didn’t understand all the grumbling about Chase, either. The most powerful and mysterious criminal entrepreneur is a woman? How could you not love that?! Guess I’m not too surprised that Georgia turned out to be a bit of a pathological liar…and if she came clean right away then it wouldn’t be a romance novel! ;) Great review, Kaja! I’m very excited to read this one now.

    • Kaja

      Thanks, Danya! :)
      Oh, I understand your reluctance to add romances to your Goodreads. I have a separate account for the blog and basically none of my friends and colleagues know I blog at all. I wrote a post about bookish shame a while ago (http://ofdragonsandhearts.com/2014/07/thursday-thoughts-bookish-shame/) and while I’m relatively honest on the blog, I haven’t made much progress in my personal life when it comes to this. And I really want to, because I shouldn’t be ashamed by what I read, or call these books “my guilty pleasures”, implying that there’s guilt involved…

      But yes, MacLean is awesome! (Sorry for the rambling reply) :)

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