What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets...
A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them... even her heart.Mass Market Paperback, 386 pagesPublished February 28th 2012 by Avon
Three and a half stars: A nice romance, even though it is frustrating.
Penelope at twenty nine, knows that her options for marriage are running out. She must either accept one of the proposals, or spend her life as a spinster. Penelope worries because her status is affecting her younger sisters, and she doesn't want to hurt them. When Penelope's long time friend, Tommy, proposes, Penelope realizes she should say yes, but she doesn't. Her heart longs for something more, or perhaps someone. When Penelope learns that her father has included more land in her dowry, she hopes that the one she truly cares about will return home to claim his land, and hopefully her hand. Will Penelope find love?
What I Liked:
- I don't read too many historical romances, so I picked this one up hoping to break out of a reading slump. While I liked the story, and enjoyed the characters, I wasn't sold on the romance, as it had its ups and downs. Still it ended sweet and satisfying, and I finished with a smile.
- Penelope was a fun character to get to know. I so appreciated that she had was strong willed and that she had dreams, and that she refused to fall into the expected societal expectations. I loved when she stood her ground and spoke her mind, and went toe toe to toe with her rogue husband. Most of all, I loved her kind heart and how she always had other people's best interests in mind, especially when it comes to her sisters.
- Michael "Bourne", the rogue, is a character who wants to appear to be a scoundrel, and yes, he has done plenty of things that he isn't proud of, but when you strip away his outer layers, deep down, you find a gentle, kind heart. I liked getting to know him, and seeing how much he struggled to keep up his facade. I especially liked his final decision at the end regarding his revenge.
- I adored the inclusion of the letters that Penelope and Michael exchanged for years during their childhood, and then the letters that Penelope continued to write after Michael left. These small snippets revealed the truth about how Penelope and Michael felt. This is a romance built upon a childhood friendship, that struggles greatly due to lack of communication, but in the end, it works.
- Aside from Penelope and Michael, there is an entertaining cast of secondary characters. I was intrigued by Michael's partners in the Angel club, and I am eager to know more about them in upcoming books. I also liked Penelope's sisters, especially, Pippa. I can't wait for her story. Finally, I thought Penelope's dad was hilarious with his shot gun toting, and then his revelation about how he felt about Penelope and Michael was sweet and cute.
- Even though this is the first book in a series, it is a companion novel. You get a complete story in this one. No loose ends or unanswered questions. There is a tantalizing hook though at the end regarding Pippa and her story is featured in book two.
And The Not So Much:
- As I mentioned, I did have some issues with the romance. Mainly I got tired of the two constantly denying their feelings and not communicating. Michael especially is an ass because he refuses to open up his heart, and instead acts like a blockhead. Luckily, other people get involved and he is forced to admit the truth. Unfortunately, the whole book is full of stumbles due to stubbornness before the two see the error of their ways.
- I was hoping for a bit more detail on the club. I would love to know more about the Angel club and all that goes on there. Perhaps there will be more in the next installment. I especially was curious about the founder, Chase.
- What was the deal with Michael's housekeeper Mrs. Worth? There is a story there and I am itching to know it.
A Rogue by Any Other Name is a fun little romance even though it is a bit frustrating due to two stubborn people. It delivers in the end, which will leave you satisfied. I enjoyed the solid cast of characters and the story. I definitely recommend this for fans of historical romances.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.