Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
Sarah MacLean is one of those historical romance authors I’ve been wanting to read, but haven’t had the chance to do so. When the opportunity came to participate in the blog tour, I knew this was my chance. MacLean’s NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is the third book in her The Rules of Scoundrels series. If you haven’t read the series, it’s perfectly safe to read NO GOOD DUKE without being exposed to spoilers.
As for characterization, it’s a bit weak. I do believe it has to do with the fact that this is the third book in a series and some characters are already established. Our hero is Temple (William Harrow, the Duke of Lamont) who has spent the past twelve years known as Killer Duke. He has no memory of the night he met Mara Lowe and I just loved him! Your heart will be break when you realize that at times he thinks that maybe he did do the unthinkable and ah, he’s just lovely. Then we have Mara and it’s difficult to like her. She drugs Temple, withholds information, and you’re just not sure what her overall agenda is. And when we finally get the truth you have to question if she’s telling you everything. Even though I had a hard time liking her, her best moments are with the boys at the orphanage and with Lavender the pig. We have several secondary characters that make an appearance and play a small role. Mara’s brother, Kit, is the reason why Mara has come out of hiding and let’s just say he won’t be going away quietly. Readers of the Rules of Scoundrels series will be happy catching up with past characters (ah Bourne is one that has me intrigued).
What I really enjoyed about MacLean’s NO GOOD DUKE was the premise. I’ve read my share of historicals where the hero is often accused of murdering his wife or fiancée, but it’s all speculation until the heroine comes and proves his innocence. In these novels, there’s always a reason for the death and usually a villain to play it up. Here we don’t and let me give MacLean a high-five for giving me a book that I’ve been waiting for! I just adore that we have the victim alive and well. It takes a while to get to the conflict and why Mara fakes her death, but when she does reveal everything you can’t help but feel for her because her reasons are perfectly valid. I really liked that Mara owns up to her mistakes and eventually takes responsibility for it.
I debated with the rating between a three and four. Ultimately, I decided on four based on three factors. The first has to do with the premise which I’ve already explained that I really liked. The second is that this doesn’t take place among the ton and the plot isn’t dominated by the glittering ballrooms of the ton. Don’t get me wrong, I adore historicals that feature these scenes because of the etiquette of the time and I love scenes with the hero and heroine sneaking outside for a private tête-à-tête. I most enjoyed getting a glimpse of another part of London-those featuring gentleman activities. And the final factor is the sizzling attraction between Temple and Mara.
Fans of historical romance will enjoy Sarah MacLean’s NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. I’m looking forward to reading MacLean’s backlist and of course keeping an eye out for Chase’s story.